Later that afternoon Zine is in her flat. She is still thinking about what she did — sleeping with Mr Buthelezi for money. Her flatmate Khanya walks in and sits on the sofa opposite her. Khanya smiles as she dips her hand into her purse and pulls out a wad of cash.

“Just look at how much money I made in one day. I bet you it would take you a whole year to make this much money,” says Khanya.

“That is true, I won’t lie,” says Zine.

“If you went out to work with me you’d make a lot of money. You’d make enough to send home and never have to hear your mother calling you asking for money.”

“But I don’t think I can sell my body, Khanya. What would my mother say if she heard I was a prostitute?”

“Who would tell her?”

“My conscience would eat at me every second of the day. But that doesn’t mean I’m judging you, my friend. You do what works for you. All of us came to Jozi to make money. How someone else makes money is not anyone else’s business,” says Zine.

“But our work is not too bad. Just look at Lelo, she has found her soulmate in Themba. Do you know how they met?”

“No,” says Zine.

“Themba came to her as a client. He was buying sex from her. Maybe you’d also find your soulmate if you joined me,” says Khanya.

“After my marriage fell apart, I decided to throw in the towel with romantic relationships. I don’t see myself ever trusting a man again. I’ll never forget the pain Jabu put me through.”

“I understand you. Men have put me through a lot emotionally but I still have hope in love. I just know that one day I will meet my soulmate,” says Khanya.

“I really hope you do, my friend.”

The following day Zine is at work. Sweat drips down her forehead as she cleans the Buthelezi master bedroom. She looks back at the room as she is about to walk out and is satisfied with the work she has done. She hears the door close behind her. She turns to see Mr Buthelezi smiling.

“I didn’t get enough of you. Let’s do it again, I’ll give you more money than I did last time,” says Mr Buthelezi.

“No, I can’t do that. What happened was a mistake and I don’t want it to happen again,” says Zine.

“If you refuse I’ll tell Luyanda to fire you.”

“Please don’t do that. I need this job,” says Zine, tears filling her eyes.

“If you want to keep this job you’ll give me what I want, when I want it.”

“If you tell Luyanda to fire me I’ll tell her the whole truth about what happened.”

“I’ll deny everything. I’ll tell her it was you who wanted me. I’ll say you seduced me. Who do you think she will believe between you and me?”

Desperation once again gets the best of Zine. Her feelings are not in it as she kisses Mr Buthelezi, she is only thinking of the money she is going to get and send home. Now she will be able to send money for her children’s school trip to the beach. She concentrates on these positive thoughts as Mr Buthelezi has sex with her. 

“You see how much we both enjoyed that? Why did you refuse in the first place?” says Mr Buthelezi.

“What we are doing is not right,” says Zine.

“Here is the money I promised you,” says Mr Buthelezi handing, Zine R1000.

Zine shoves the money into her bra. They are both getting dressed when they hear the bedroom door open. Mr Buthelezi’s wife Luyanda is at the door.

“What is happening here?” asks Luyanda.

“My love, it is not what you think!” Mr Buthelezi pleads.

“I’m sorry, Madam.”

“What are you doing in my bed? Get the hell out of my house!” Luyanda pounces on Zine. She swings a fist at Zine. Zine ducks, the fist just a few centimetres from hitting her cheek. She bolts out of the door and out of the house. She doesn’t look back otherwise she might have stopped running because Luyanda is not chasing after her — she is too busy fighting with Mr Buthelezi in the main bedroom.

Zine catches her breath when she finally gets on a taxi. She gets to her flat and takes a shot of Khanya’s vodka to calm her nerves. I need to find another job as soon as possible, she thinks. She can handle almost all her problems, the only one she cannot handle is not having an income. Khanya enters after Zine has gulped down another shot.

“Have you been crying, Zine? And aren’t you supposed to be at work?” says Khanya.

“I was fired. I no longer have a job.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Why were you fired?”

“Please promise me you won’t judge me.”

“I promise.”

“I slept with Mr Buthelezi. His wife caught us.”

“What? Were you and him having a thing? How come you never told me?”

“No, we didn’t have a thing. I agreed to sleep with him one time when I needed money. I asked to borrow money and he asked for sex in exchange. I agreed because I was desperate. Today was the second time we had sex.”

“So he paid you?”


“So you and I are the same. We get paid to have sex. Welcome to the club.”

“These are two very different things.”

“No, my friend. They are one and the same. We both get paid to have sex.”

Tell us: What do you think Zine should do?