There’s a lovely big tree outside the Bishopscourt house where Lindi works. Jabu and I stood beside it, there on the pavement, with our arms around each other. He wasn’t wearing the expensive aftershave. Maybe that belonged to Mr Majola too. But I didn’t care. This was still the best place to be, safe in his embrace.

“I’m so glad you forgive me, Zonke. I couldn’t bear it if I lost you. We’ve only just met but already I know I can’t live without you! No ways! You’re the one!”

Wow! It was the most romantic thing any guy had ever said to me! I was thinking: “Sorry, Auntie Sizi. But maybe you were wrong. Maybe love is worth more than money.”

The security guard called through the fence, “My brother, where is your fancy ride this morning? Angel-face shouldn’t waste her time with guys who must catch taxis. She deserves better.”

I laughed. I told the security guard to shush and to give us some privacy. But then Jabu said he wanted to go inside. He wanted to meet my sister and see her lovely house.

So I had to confess. “This isn’t my sister’s house. She just works here looking after the children.”

“You’re joking, right? You’re just teasing me, Zonke?”

“No, it’s the truth.”

Jabu looked puzzled. “But why does she do a job like that when she’s from a wealthy family? When she has a brain surgeon father? When you guys have a home in Constantia? It doesn’t make sense.”

So I had to confess some more. “Sorry, no brain surgeon father. No house in Constantia. And I’m not a drama student. I’m zee cleaner at zee French hair salon. Oui?” I was giggling, trying to copy my French boss-lady’s accent. But Jabu didn’t see the joke.

“You lied! How could you lie to me like that? How could you trick me?”

He sounded really angry. He stepped away and looked at me with cold, hard eyes. What was happening to my fairy tale? I tried to take his hand, but he snatched it away. “I’m outta here. Goodbye!”

“But why, Jabu?” My heart was breaking. “I forgave you. Now you have to forgive me.”

Jabu shook his head. He said, “My grandfather was a very wise man. And he told me: ‘You are a handsome boy, Jabu. You can get any girl you want. So you make sure you get a rich girl. The richer, the better. Then you will not have a hard life like I have had.’ So goodbye, Zonke. You aren’t the one.”

I watched Jabu walk away. What a scumbag! What a lowdown, rotten gold-digger!

But I don’t care. On Tuesday, Mrs Magaba is bringing her son Sipho to the salon. Just to meet me. And let me tell you, those Magabas are wealthy. Mega-wealthy. They own property here and in Gauteng. They own a game farm up in KwaZulu-Natal. Imagine!

So don’t you worry: Zis Cinderella will still catch zee rich and handsome Prince Charming. Oui! Oui! Oui!


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