One evening as they locked up the store together, Themba cleared his throat. “Zinzi,” he said, “ why don’t we go for a Coke tomorrow after work?”

So that’s what they did. And once a week, every week, they went for a coke after work. And they talked and talked.

Mama thought the store was staying open late once a week. Zinzi felt guilty, but she knew that Mama wouldn’t understand.

Promise 5

Mama told her often, “Zinzi, I am the only one who really loves you. I have always looked after you. Now it is your turn to look after me.”

Zinzi didn’t talk about Themba any more. She didn’t tell Mama that Themba had the softest, sweetest lips in the world.

She didn’t tell her that now they walked along the pavement together, holding hands, their shoulders touching.

Promise 5