The weekend flew by so quickly that Speedkop didn’t even find the time to do what he did best after messing up – contrive a story as to why he had behaved the way he had. Speedkop recalled everything he had done on Friday at work, which wasn’t a good thing. He preferred not to remember his misdeeds.

It was Monday morning. Speedkop dreaded waking up in the morning, especially on Mondays. And today wasn’t any different. Speedkop didn’t want to go to work because he feared that Manuel might fire him.

Speedkop sat in bed looking at his wife who was still asleep. Then he looked at the empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s on the floor next to his work boots. He heard a noise as his kids were preparing to go to school. Speedkop had two kids, a boy and a girl.

Speedkop finally found the courage to face the music at work but he knew he couldn’t do it by himself. He knew he needed some foreign spirits in his system to guide him through the day and to cushion the blow if things turned south with Manuel. He left the house earlier than he normally did so he could stop by a watering hole right next to where he worked.

Speedkop knocked down shot after shot until he felt lekker. Then he made his way to work. When he arrived the street vendors didn’t say anything to him like they usually did. They were quiet, talking amongst themselves using the ventriloquist technique where you could hear a voice but couldn’t tell where it was coming from. They were also giving Speedkop the nasty eyes. They clearly had seen what had happened on Friday.

Speedkop suspected that things might be a bit sour inside; he even considered turning back but he decided to go ahead. He walked into the office. Every eye in the building was fixed on him and he felt a little bit of shame, a feeling that was uncomfortable for him. As soon as he sat down, Manuel called him into his office.

“The director of the company wants you gone. Not only did you steal a bottle of liquor from my office but you also assaulted him,” said Manuel.

“But Sir, it was a mistake. I promise if you give me one last chance I won’t mess it up,” replied Speedkop.

“I hear you, Mshengu, and I would give you another chance but we have video footage of you starting the fire in the bathroom, and the box of matches with your name and fingerprints on it. I am sorry, Mshengu, but I have to let you go,” said Manuel.

“But Sir, I do all my work on time and I promise I already quit hitting the bottle,” pleaded Speedkop.

“I am sorry, Mshengu, but you could have hurt someone. The director said this matter is not up for discussion. Good day, Mshengu.”

Speedkop cleared his desk and left work with his tail between his legs, cussing the director as he walked out the door. On his way home, he made a pit stop at a bar in Kwa-thema, half way home, because he figured he could use the break before facing his wife and kids.

***

Tell us: If it were up to you would you have given Speedkop a second chance?