The Promenade Panthers were already doing their warm-ups when Sbu and Airtime arrived in Sea Point. It was a crisp winter’s day and the sea was that turquoise colour that made the water look almost warm. There were joggers and parents pushing prams and dog-walkers; there were kayakers paddling about in the ocean, but no sign of K8. Sbu sighed. 

Airtime sighed too, but for a different reason. He was looking at the SABC building across the road. “One day, Sbu, I’m going to be king of that whole building! Riding the airwaves with my own radio show on Good Hope or Metro or 5FM. They’ll be all like ‘DJ Fresh, who dat?'” 

“Keep talking, Airtime,” Sbu grinned. “Just keep talking and you might actually get there.” 

“Hei, Lionel Messi!” Abaeze, the Nigerian captain of the Panthers shouted over. “Get  over here and start your stretches!” 

“Lionel Messi?” Airtime asked. 

“It’s because he thinks he’s da hotshot player,” Abaeze explained. “I’m Abaeze.”

“Yeah, we met before, but last time I had a camera.” Airtime thought back on their last adventure when he’d got mugged, lost Song’s video camera and they’d had a run-in with Sbu’s scary uncle. 

“Not making movies today? You want to play soccer with us?” Abaeze said.

“I only hook up the video game version,” Airtime said. “But I’m an awesome spectator!”

“You should be the commentator, Airtime,” Sbu joked, bending down to stretch. 

“That’s a great idea!” Airtime said. He put on a sports commentator voice. “And now it’s Sbu, he’s stretching his quads… Now he’s moving on to his calf muscles. He’s really going for it. In fine form this morning!”  The players laughed and Airtime beamed.

“You sure love having an audience,” Sbu teased his friend.  

“Don’t you?” A voice said behind him. Sbu looked over his shoulder just as K8 jumped on his back. 

“Oof!” Sbu staggered under the surprise attack.

“Uh-oh,” Airtime said in his sports commentator voice. “Looks like Sbu is getting some interference from an over-enthusiastic fan. Or maybe this is part of the Panthers’ new gruelling training regime. Running around the field while carrying their girlfriends on their back!”

“I’m happy to see you, too, K8,” Sbu said, spinning around the field with K8 on his back, making them both dizzy. 

“Woah!” K8 laughed. 

“Anytime you ready, Messi!” Abaeze shouted. 

“Gotta go,” Sbu said, putting K8 down. 

“Show me your moves, hot stuff!” K8 said, slapping him on the butt. Then she turned serious. “But later, we have to talk, okay?” K8 said. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking” 

“After practice!” Sbu said and blew her a kiss as he ran out onto the field to join the other players. 

Image: Steve Vosloo, CC-BY

WHAT DO YOU THINK: What do you think K8 wants to talk about?