Kago woke up and knew something wasn’t right. He looked around the house and realised Tiger, his dog, was missing.

“Ma? Have you seen Tiger?”

His mother was getting ready for work. “Maybe he went out when Spokes came.” Spokes was Kago’s cousin. He kept odd hours, going to ‘his job’ when everyone else was going to bed; sneaking in just before sunrise. Nobody knew what ‘his job’ was, or where he worked.

Kago knocked on Spokes’ door. He could hear him snoring and stuck his head in. “Spokes, did you see Tiger when you came in?”

“Nyaa, I don’t know man. Hey I’m sleeping okay?” Spokes was such a jerk. He didn’t care about anything but himself. Kago wondered why his mother let him stay with them.

He closed the door and checked the time. He needed to get to work. Mr Alexander didn’t tolerate lateness at ‘Builder’s Friend’ and Kago had only just got the job. It was stupid to worry about a dog anyway – little boy shit. He was grown now, nineteen, and working, Kago reminded himself. He even had a girlfriend – kind of: Jojo who worked in the Supplies department down at Builder’s Friend. It wasn’t set firm yet, but he was sure she liked him. He was going to ask her out one of these days. For real.

* * * * *

Kago sneaked in the door exactly at seven twenty-nine. The combi was late and he had had to run the whole way from the stop. Mr Alexander was standing at the punch-in clock.

“One would expect a new employee to try his best to be better than all of the others. You’re on probation, or did you forget?”

“No, sir. But I’m not late.”

Mr Alexander clicked his tongue. “You’re nearly late. You better try harder than that.”

“Yes, sir,” Kago said. He knew people like Mr Alexander. They just wanted you to show them who the boss was. As long as you kept letting them know they were the big man, no matter what the truth was, they’d leave you alone.

“Hey Kago,” Jojo said, passing by to her office. “See you at lunch, neh?”

“Sure; you know it,” Kago said. He smiled at her and she smiled back – her pretty dimpled smile that he often dreamed about.

Kago put on his overalls, grabbed his gloves, and made his way to the loading dock. He enjoyed his job, though some might think he was mad. He liked it when trucks pulled up stacked full of corrugated iron sheets or wood planks, and the guys offloaded everything into the warehouse. It was good to see that a job had been well done. He counted off the trucks that were offloaded, keeping an eye on the warehouse as it filled up. It was satisfying – a hard day’s work.

The siren went for lunch and Kago rushed to Jojo’s office door. “Here to escort the beautiful lady,” he said.

Jojo smiled. He knew he was making headway with this girl. It was only a matter of time.

* * *

Tell us what you think: What kind of guy is Kago? Why?