“Let’s go out to Halmits Club, my friend. I need to send money home because my baby is sick. She needs to see a doctor,” says Zine.

“Halmits Club is closed. They are doing renovations. They will open after a month,” says Khanya.

“Eish,” Zine laments.

“If you need quick cash there is a corner I know where you could stand and work,” says Khanya.

“I need this money, Khanya. Show me this corner.”

“But you haven’t healed enough. It would be a good idea to wait for a few more days.”

“I don’t have that luxury. My baby is sick.”

Zine stands on the corner. She is wearing a miniskirt and waiting for any car that will stop. Not one car stops for her. An hour passes before a red Toyota Corolla stops. Zine gets in and closes the door. The car drives off. 

The driver glances at Zine and smiles. “My name is Phakathi,” he says.

“Nice to meet you, Phakathi. I am Zine.”

“Why is such a beautiful lady doing this type of work?” asks Phakathi.

“I don’t have a choice. I can’t find a job. I left three children back home who depend on me. They’d have nothing to eat if I stopped doing this work.”

“In reality everyone has their own dirty secrets that are hidden from the world.”

“What is your dirty secret that you are not proud of?”

“I can’t tell you because it won’t be a secret anymore if I did.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“No, and I don’t need one.”

“Why is that?”

“Women need money, and I don’t have it.”

“That’s true. Every woman wants a rich man.”

“Another thing is that I don’t like to talk that much. When you are in a relationship you have to talk all the time.”

“But you need to communicate so that your relationship can work.”

“There is communicating then there is complaining. Women complain about everything; you end up not knowing what makes them happy.”

“It sounds like you are speaking about a particular person.”

“Yes, there was someone, but things didn’t work out because we had problems.”

They get to Phakathi’s house and have sex.

“I enjoyed being with you, Zine. I’ll call you,” says Phakathi.

Zine smile as she takes the money from Phakathi. Her smile disappears when she feels the money in her hand. She looks at the notes closely and realises Phakathi has given her fake money.

“This is fake money,” says Zine. She inspects the notes.

“Listen to me!” Phakathi draws out a gun and points it at Zine’s head.

“Please don’t kill me!” Zine pleads.

“Get the hell out of my house right now before I paint the wall with your brain-matter!”

Zine sprints out of the house. She runs until she reaches the main road. She runs, thumb out, until a car stops for her.

“Step on it, please! I’m in danger!” says Zine, constantly looking back.

“Miss, I’m disappointed that you don’t recognise me,” says the driver.

Zine looks at the handsome smiling driver. It is Nhlakanipho, the restaurant manager she met when she was job hunting.

Tell us: Do you think Nhlakanipho will help Zine?