“Buhle, we have a new worker here at Tomz Shoes,” Mr Banda said.

“Oh when is he starting?” Buhle asked nervously. She hated new workers, last time she fought with a new data capture because of a little misunderstanding and the girl got fired.

“Tomorrow,” he replied.

“Is it a woman? Last time…” Ellie said and got interrupt by Mr Banda.

“I don’t want a repeat of what happened with Buhle and Elsie. He is a man so please be able to work with him without hassles,”

Buhle and Ellie nodded their heads silently and Mr Banda walked back to his office. The two ladies stood waiting for their supervisor to disappear in his office. They burst into laughter.

“It’s a man, at least I can flirt…” Ellie chuckled.

“Yea hey, I don’t want a woman like Elsie. She did plenty of damage here,” Buhle sat down.

“That man, he is mine you will see,” Ellie said with pride and sat in her chair.

“What if he’s married?” Buhle asked with her eyes wide open.

“I will cross that bridge when I come to it,” she replied calmly.

Buhle shook her head and sighed. She wondered what kind of person the new employee would be. She hated men, after a man kidnapped her when she was young. She has never trusted men since. Mr Banda was different from how she viewed other men and she trusted him.

After work they walked together with Ellie and they shared an apartment. Ellie and Buhle were data capturers but the new member would be their Chief Data Capturer. She thought she would get the promotion since it was three years working at Tomz Shoes. The company made shoes but they were the ones who did the administrations and databases.

Buhle’s sad face affected Ellie, she had tried to get information but avoided asking the questions.

Since her rape, she never told anyone what the man looked like or what he did to her, but her family knew she was raped after the tests she had. It had been a long time and she hadn’t had flashbacks. Buhle could not see men as good; she always saw the bad side of them. She saw them only as predators who wanted to destroy the lives of women.

She couldn’t sleep thinking about their new Chief Data Capturer.

Ellie prepared the chicken stew for dinner with mashed potatoes and coleslaw salad. Buhle didn’t eat but put her food in the microwave. She went to sleep while her friend ate alone in the kitchen.

At midnight her stomach growled angrily, she went to the kitchen and took the food and ate it in the dark, afraid of waking Ellie and knowing her friend was worried about her. She trusted her but her secret wasn’t even known to Ellie, her best friend.


Tell us: What do you think of Buhle’s fear of men?