A few minutes after the funeral of the Baobab tree which fell without alert, all that was left were people dressed in black, singing hymns. The man was feared by many, glorified by the kingpins and kids chilling street corners. His body and soul parted ways, and his demise came as shock to his family.

Shakes saw Japheth standing alone, staring at his father’s fresh grave. He walked to him and rubbed his shoulder.

“The big dog is gone now,” Shakes murmured.

“You know, I can’t understand death,” Japheth said looking at Shakes with red, teary-eyes. “I was talking to dad, and an hour later I receive a call talking about his death.” He looked up at the sky. “I wonder if death is as painful as life,” he added.

“No one can understand death champ, don’t even question that,” Shakes said. “Boy, I know this is not the right time, but it’s time you stepped up and took over your father’s business.”

Japheth looked outraged.

“Are you serious? We just buried my father and you’re already talking about the business?” he shrieked.

“Look Japh, your father is gone and it’s tough for you. But you know your grandfather has been poaching your father’s client, and now he thinks he has won. Step up or starve your family to death”

Japheth felt enthused and ready. “Okay bra Shakes, let me think about it,” he mumbled.

“If I was you I wouldn’t think. Don’t take too much time because clients are waiting,” said Shakes.

This was the mighty business that his mother always beseeched him to convince his father to quit. ‘This is taking a lot from us,’ were her exact words as she lay on that death bed in the hospice, not knowing she was next one to be taken.

It indeed took a lot from them, tore the family apart. He knew the best way to avenge them was to get back to business and be on top. But going up against a monster that defeated the man he always looked up to wasn’t an easy decision. But he had to weather the storm.

You always have to break eggs in order to make a good omelette, he thought.

*****

During their lunch break at RA Kobue High School, it always the perfect time for Olwethu and Prudence to have a girl talk.

“Yoh but friend, if I don’t get an A on accounting this term, I give up,” mumbled Olwethu. “I mean, this new teacher is clearly a genius, he makes this thing look easy.”

“Yhu friend, that man is a snack. His cologne, attire, shoes, the way he walks, hmm that man is Godly.”

The girls burst into laughter as a good looking man in a black sports car pulled over next to them. He wore dark shades, was telephone-pole tall with white, shiny teeth. He had that ‘I am dripping with money and I want to spend it on you’ personality.

“Hey Pru, just the girl I’ve been looking for,” he said with great animation.

“Oh hey T. Oh where are my manners, Terrence this my friend Olwethu, baby this is Terrence.”

Olwethu shook the man’s hand. “Pleasure meeting you.”

“The pleasure is all mine,” the man kissed her hand. “Let me give you guys a ride, this sun ain’t forgiving,” he asked

“Let’s get in friend,” murmured Prudence.

They got in and the man drove off. As they passed the mall, the man insisted on taking them for lunch.

“No, we’re OK,” Olwethu rejected the offer but Prudence interjected.

“Yeah why not? You know a lady’s gotta eat, right?”

The man dashed into the shopping centre. He took the girls to one of the poshest restaurants where he paid a king’s ransom for their meal.

*****

Tell us: Would you take a ride from a stranger. Why or why not?