The last line of Lindiwe’s post stabbed at Kotatso. He tried to ignore it, but he was worried. Did he and Sergio have any friends in common on Facebook? Would Sergio see the comment Lindiwe had shared so generously for all to see?

He remembered a party at Sergio’s mansion, to which he had taken some friends of Lindiwe’s. They were so impressed. He had pretended that he lived there with his boss. Yes, Sergio had flirted with the girls. And Kotatso was pretty sure they’d swopped numbers with his boss. One small step after that and they could be friends on Facebook.

How long until Sergio found out that an ex-girlfriend of Kotatso was stirring up trouble, with accusations of the ‘originals’ being fake goods. He’d have to answer to Sergio, who was a big man. Friendly on the surface, but if you crossed him, it wasn’t worth thinking about.

There was a pick-up this week. A consignment of fake goods had just arrived. He would have to face the big man. And, what if some high-end shoppers found out and demanded refunds from the owner of the shop in the mall? She would come looking for refunds from Sergio. Then all hell would break loose. Who knew what Lindiwe would post or tweet next!

Sergio trusted Kotatso with his reputation. “The real thing, at a bargain price, twice as nice.” That was what Sergio always said about the fake goods, and told Kotatso to tell his own customers.

Kotatso was so nervous when his cellphone rang that he cut the call off, thinking it was Lindiwe or Sergio, only to discover that it had been Tankiso’s number. She must have seen Lindiwe’s comments on Facebook. And hadn’t Tankiso been bragging about the Gucci bag that she had got on a sale in the mall, at the very shop Sergio supplied?

By the time Wednesday came and he was on his way to Sergio’s big, lavish home in Waterkloof, Kotatso had so many missed calls that he had switched his phone to silent. He couldn’t even face his friends. All he could think about was the meeting with Sergio.

When he turned into Sergio’s driveway Kotatso began to prepare himself for the worst. He knocked on the door and was greeted by Sergio himself, grinning from ear to ear, and knew that word of Lindiwe’s nonsense hadn’t reached his boss. He felt immense relief, and nearly laughed out loud.

“Espresso for you, my friend?” asked Sergio. “You’re looking pale. Have you seen a ghost?”

“No, no,” Kotatso said, quickly covering up his nervousness. “I just nearly had an accident on the way here.”

Sergio laughed, “The way you drive that vehicle, my friend! You’re reckless sometimes.”

Kotatso laughed with him, feeling assured now that Sergio knew nothing about the fake goods allegation.

Sergio had a drop-dead gorgeous girl, but she was off-limits of course, just like his bright red Ferrari. Kotatso always felt guilty when he even sneaked a peek at the stunning Italian girl, Cynzia. Somehow his eyes were drawn to her like a magnet. But Sergio was very possessive, and he treated Cynzia like his Ferrari: nobody else touched her!

Today Cynzia was acting differently towards him. Kotatso could swear that when she brought them their espressos she was flirting with him. He also felt there was something different about the way she looked, but he couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

“So how was your party?” asked Sergio, and Kotatso nearly coughed up his espresso. How had his boss heard about the party? Kotatso had to fake it.

“It was excellent. We made lots of money, and the dance floor was packed. I sold every last piece of clothing that you supplied me. It was so good, man.” Kotatso was talking rather too fast, but Sergio just smiled.

“That’s good news. Now let me show you the new merchandise.” As Sergio disappeared into another room, Cynzia approached Kotatso and he realised what was different: she’d got fake boobs. Man, they looked good, though a little too big for her skinny body, but so perfectly round and lovely.

“Will you invite me to your next party, Kotatso?” she said, stroking his cheek. “You know, I’d love to come out and dance. I hardly ever get the chance to get out with Mr Muscles.”

Kotatso was shocked, horrified, but also delighted. Of course he’d love to have this Italian beauty attend a party. Just imagine what it would do for his reputation. Before he could give it any more thought she had slipped one of Sergio’s cards, with her number written on the back in red ink, into his shirt pocket.

Sergio returned none the wiser, and called Kotatso to follow him to view the new stock and pick out what he thought would sell.

Kotatso nervously inspected the clothes, especially the seams and stitching. Sergio noticed that he was looking at the goods differently. “What’s wrong my friend? These are perfect rip-offs, remember? ‘The real thing, at a bargain price, twice as nice.’ That’s what you tell them.”

Finally Kotatso selected some items, but not as many as usual, and this made Sergio suspicious. “I thought you said business was good, my friend.” Kotatso didn’t like the way Sergio was looking at him, like he was testing him.

“Yes, it’s good – great actually,” said Kotatso. “It’s just that I’m trying to cater for up-market girls now.”

“Yes?” Sergio shook his head. “Then this is exactly what you want.”

Kotatso ended up loading much more into the van than he could get rid of.

As he pulled out of the driveway he looked out of his rear-view mirror. Cynzia blew him a kiss.

Sergio had been friendly, but something didn’t feel right. Kotatso just knew it.


Tell us what you think: Does Sergio know about the Facebook post?