Airtime was unusually quiet as they left Song’s house.

“Don’t stress,” said Sbu. “You know Song. She won’t stay peeved for long.”

Airtime looked back, and walked closer to the wall next to the pavement, keeping his head down.

“It was better to tell her the truth,” said Sbu.

“Shh,” said Airtime.

“Sorry,” said Sbu. “I know it’s harsh.”

“I know,” said Airtime. “Shh. There’s someone following us.”

Sbu looked back. A middle-aged man was following them down the road.

“Who is that? Do you know that guy?” Sbu asked.

“I don’t know,” Airtime said out of the corner of his mouth. “He was watching your match yesterday. He caught Song’s dog when it ran away. We’re going to get robbed again, aren’t we?”

Sbu turned around. “Hey you!” he called out.

The man saw Sbu. He looked around as if he was looking for somewhere to hide, and then changed his mind and walked right up to the boys.

“Sorry I was following you,” said the man. “I didn’t want to interfere.”

“Interfere? Who are you?” Sbu challenged.

The man laughed.

“What’s so funny?” asked Airtime.

The man stopped laughing, but his eyes still twinkled. “I never do reunions properly. How are your parents, Sbu? How is Dumisani? And your sister Lebo? She must be fourteen or fifteen now, is that right?”

Airtime took Sbu’s arm. “Run!” he said. “He’s a spy!”

The man laughed again.

“Your friend is funny,” he said. “Come now, Sbu. Don’t you recognise your uncle Mandla?”

Image: Maureen Sill, CC-BY-NC

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you have any family members you haven’t met? What do you know about them?