“Your family sacrificed a lot for you?” Khotso gave Modi a curious look. “Like they sent you to a pricey private school or something?”

“No, it’s just … I got sick.” Modi couldn’t stop her voice dragging, its usual liveliness lost. “And being sick is an expensive business.”

And even now that she was feeling fine, the illness was still costing money, and would for pretty much the rest of her life. That terrible year had cast a long shadow. Modi hated thinking about it.

Maybe Khotso sensed that, because after a sympathetic exclamation, he changed the subject.

They had a lot in common, Modi discovered. Khotso had also been independent, working long hours at various jobs to set himself up to go into business with his two partners.

He was warm, witty and confident, and she loved listening to him. She felt a sense of loss when, at the theatre, they had to stop talking because the show was beginning. However, she was soon lost in the spectacle of colour, movement and sound that had brought audiences to their feet around the world.

“Where should we go now?” Khotso said when it was over and they were making their way out of the theatre. “Not a club. Somewhere we can hear each other talk.”

The place they chose had tables inside and out, and a reputation for unusual drinks.

“And a platter for sharing?” Khotso suggested. “Do you eat Mexican?”

‘I eat everything.” Modi was enthusiastic, forever grateful that she was healthy enough these days to enjoy her food, although she mostly tried to eat healthily.

“I like that.” Khotso’s eyes sparkled.

As they sipped their drinks, Modi was surprised and impressed to realise that he wanted to talk about her and her ambitions, rather than about himself. He really was something rare and special.

And she would enjoy him to the max, if this date led to anything. She just had to be careful not to fall in love with him.

And not only because he was a playboy.

“So the cabin crew thing?” he prompted at one point. “Tell me more.”

“It’s so much more than the service or hospitality job a lot of people think it is.” Modi was eager to share her knowledge. “The training includes so many safety aspects. When I’m qualified, I’ll be looking after people, helping them, keeping a trained eye open for anything wrong.”

“Care in the air! I guess you must really like people to want to do that for them,” Khotso said.

“I do!”

“And I like you, Modiegi.”

It was amazing, the way he came across as both flirty and serious at the same time.

“Most people just call me Modi,” she said.

A young child at a nearby table started crying loudly.

Khotso glanced at the wailing child, then shook his head when a man, clearly the father, gave the little boy a hard whack – which made him cry even louder.

“Poor kid shouldn’t be out this late,” Khotso said. “He’s overtired. Man, I’m never going to hit my children.”

Shocked, Modi stared at him. His children? That didn’t sound like a bachelor playboy.


Tell us what you think: Maybe Khotso isn’t such a playa after all. Should Modi get out now, seeing she doesn’t want a serious relationship?