I wanted to buy thin cut T-bone from the butchery – a little contribution to the household from tips I made on Friday. The only butchery with decent meat was near Sango’s house anyway. I’d pass by and ask about Dumisani’s whereabouts.

I buzzed at the gate and waited, until the neighbour opposite, an old lady, called out from her verandah: “There’s nobody there. They are away at a church conference. Try them tomorrow.”

“What about Sango? Is he around?”

“Sango works in Richard’s Bay now, since the beginning of the year.”

“And his younger brother, Dumisani?”

“Who am I answering to? My boy, who are you?”

“Apologies for not introducing myself. I went to school with Sango and my name is Khulekani.”

“I see. I haven’t seen Dumisani since Friday morning when he left the house keys with me.”

“Do you have his phone number?”

“He doesn’t have a phone. He is a wunga addict. His parents got fed up because every time they buy him a new phone he sells it to smoke that poison.”

I thanked her, smiled politely, and said goodbye when she started down the road to chatty. I dialled Simphiwe’s number three times on the way home, wishing that, by some miracle, he’d paid the wunga merchant and got his phone back while I was out looking for him. All I got was his voicemail.

Ma had just finished cooking Sunday supper when I got home. I told her the story and sensibly left out all the added madness that had come into Simphiwe’s life. The fact that she knew he’d become a wunga addict was bad enough, without me turning the screws. She did not need to hear about his fights and camaraderie with killer kids.

“They left in a friend’s car. My guess is they went to the city. There were parties all over this weekend. I checked at one of his friend’s houses, the one they told me he was with. A neighbour told me the family was away. I’ll check in the morning.”

A very small layer of worry lifted from her face. Nonetheless, it was a grim Sunday. I did not eat. The house was filled with the delicious smells of Sunday supper, but I felt sick.

Later, I fell asleep on my books but then woke with a jolt due to a nightmare in which a green Golf was going up in flames.


Tell us what you think: What does Khulekani’s dream about the Golf going up in flames mean?