Vusi kept looking behind his back in the chilly cold township that he found himself in.
“Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, who in his right mind would follow me?” he muttered and laughed at the thought, forgetting that he had unfinished business with an old acquaintance.
Vusi has been feeling as if he was being watched like a hawk lately, even at work he’d been unfocused. He lightened up as he came closer to his one-room shack he rented in Port Elizabeth. He’d been here for eight months after he left KZN to look for “greener pastures”.
As a hard worker, he found a job at T&C Partners as a delivery boy. Though the pay was low it was better than nothing.
“Maybe I should call Mom.” He said, picking up his old cellphone and dialing his mom’s number.
“My baby, how are you and how is the weather that side?” asked his concerned mother.
“Not bad at all mom,” said Vusi uninterested.
His mom could sense her son’s disturbed voice.
“What is the matter, you don’t sound well?”
Vusi didn’t want his mother to worry but his paranoia got the better of him.
“Mom, I think someone is stalking me.” Said Vusi
There was silence.
“Mom, are you still there?” Vusi’s heart was pumping faster as if it wanted to come out of his chest.
“Oh, my son, he’s found you,” said his sobbing mom.
“Who has? What are you talking about, mom?” said Vusi widening his eyes.
“Lucky was released last month.” His mother finally said.
“Why didn’t they tell us?” asked Vusi terrified.
“They told me before they released him, saying there was not enough evidence to prosecute him. Forgive me son, I didn’t want you to know about…”
He hung up on his mother.
Vusi couldn’t believe his ears. Lucky Mathe, the notorious villain gangster was out to get him. He remembered the note he found in his bedroom back at home.
It read: ”No one betrays me and lives to tell a tale. Your day is coming, till we meet again.”
Although Lucky was in jail, he still managed to scare Vusi and have him on the run. Lucky had connections everywhere, Vusi was not too surprised that he was out of prison but now he had every reason to be terrified.
Vusi had to run away and hide because he was the only witness remaining on the Ndlovu family murder. He was there when Lucky arrived with his men, guns loaded, ready to kill. He still doesn’t know how he escaped that vicious scene.
Before the Ndlovus died, they suffered being tortured, their fingers were cut before Lucky slit their throats halfway and watched them crying with agony. Vusi was at the wrong place at the wrong time. All he wanted was to tell Thabo about his new job offer, only to witness his friend being tortured and killed before his eyes. He remembered the day as if it was yesterday, how he fled for his life while Lucky was firing shots behind him.
He was the one who told the cops about the killing after the Ndlovus were found dead in their home. He thought about his friend, Thabo Ndlovu. He was the only friend he had, since they were toddlers. Thabo was the only friend who stuck around when his father left them to starve, 10 years ago.
The Ndlovu’s provided their family with groceries as Bheki Ndlovu was a businessman who provided for the needy families in their community. The reason Lucky killed the Ndlovus was that he was denied a portion of Mr Ndlovu’s construction business, that he wanted by force.
Lucky stopped at nothing to get what he wanted. Thabo could no longer stay in PE, he was not safe. He could not sleep, and walked up and down in his shack.
“I have to leave this place,” he said as he started packing all his belongings.
He left his shack heartbroken but he had to save his life even if it meant running for the rest of his life. He walked on the dark pavement leading to the bus station. He found three people waiting for a bus.
He was eavesdropping on their conversation about women and forgot about his troubles for a while. They waited about an hour before the last bus arrived for the day.
Yes, I’ll be free, Lucky won’t find me now, he thought as the bus raced away from PE. Though he didn’t know where he was going, he was glad to outsmart Lucky or so he thought.
Durban was fun, the beach, the ladies, life was good. Even though he had no roof over his head he was glad. It’s been a week since he arrived here.
He walked to a nearby bin and started searching for food. He lived on the streets of Durban ever since he got robbed of his last money, his cellphone and the little other things he owned.
He stood near the robot with a board written: “please help no job, no food.”
He held his board and sat patiently. A black SUV stopped at the robot. He rose quickly and went to beg, when the driver’s window opened he froze, Lucky Mathe in the flesh. He ran away leaving his shadow behind.
His past had come back to haunt him. He ran and stopped on a quiet corner. He had to run away again. He had no money to take the bus. He wondered how Lucky had found him.
He had to hide there as he couldn’t go back to his spot. He collected some cupboards and prepared for sleep. He tossed and turned for hours before he fell asleep. He froze as he felt a hard boot on his neck. He thought he was dreaming but as he opened his eyes, there he was; Lucky and his men circling him.
“Gents, take him to the basement,” ordered Lucky
“Please forgive me,” pleaded Vusi as they dragged him to the car.
“Do you know how much money I lost because of your stupidity?” Fumed Lucky with blood shot eyes. “I’ve told you before, no one can betray me and live to tell the tale. We have met again and I’ll make sure that we meet again in heaven.” He said laughing.
Vusi was in the boot of the car as it rode away with him. He knew his life was over.
Tell us what you think: What did you think of the story?