Aunty Lisa got home and found Don on the floor, playing video games. He was shirtless, imitating Fido. As soon as his mom walked through the door, Don jumped to his feet. The smell of fried chicken emerging from his mother’s grocery bags and the sight of vanilla ice cream made Don miss his Aunty Violet who had always taken him to Pingo on her pay day before she got married and moved to Bethal with her husband and kids.

Don hugged his mother. ”Mama, I missed you so much!” he said as he wrestled to put on his shirt.

Aunty Lisa smiled and ruffled her son’s hair. “Oh, you missed me? Well mommy missed you too, Snowflake.”

Don smiled and went for the grocery bags, “I thought you were never coming home!” he exclaimed.

Fido walked in whistling, fresh from the outside loo, his eyes burgundy red, as if he had been smoking something. It’s probably marijuana, Aunty Lisa thought as Fido walked past her.

“Love, please put away the groceries,” she asked him. “Yes ma’am,” Fido replied as he folded his Bob Marley hoodie over his arms as if he were preparing to do a very intricate task.

Aunty Lisa came back from the bedroom in a comfortable top and pants. “Boys, please wash your hands, then you can enjoy your supper.” Fido and Don did as told. They came back and sat at the table where Aunty Lisa had prepared their meal.

Aunty Lisa watched them as they ate. “Don’t forget, if you finish your food in time, you get to have ice cream with me.”

Don got excited by his mom’s words. Fido gave no response nor did he show any emotion on his face. He was not paying attention to what was being said at the dinner table – you could tell by the look in his eye that he had something sinister in mind and his sights set on a larger prize. He knew Aunty Lisa had been paid that morning, so she’d be an easy target, she wouldn’t notice a couple of bills missing from her purse.

Fido trusted Don not to tell because he had never given him up for smoking marijuana around the house when Aunty Lisa was not home. As they sat at the dinner table enjoying their delicious chicken, Aunty Lisa excused herself and headed for her bedroom.

She sat on her bed, lit a cigarette and started counting her money. When she got to the R100 bill with the red number written on it, she paused. She thought about how the bill had come to her and wondered whether she would actually call the gentleman. She smiled but soon her smile turned upside down, because she didn’t like the way she felt. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to pay the bills! she decided.

Aunty Lisa put out the cigarette butt and put her purse away, then went to watch some TV with Don. As soon as Fido heard her giggle at the screen, he knew she was cuddled up under a blanket with Don. By the time Aunty Lisa had settled down in the living room, Fido was already in her room, counting the money in her purse.

Fido came across the R100 bill with the red number written on it and paused. “Ayman has principle, he’s no ordinary Ethiopian shopkeeper; he probably won’t take this R100 with a red number written on it, because he’ll figure it’s fake,” he said under his breath. Fido was forever scamming foreign shopkeepers. He convinced them that he was an Eskom expert or an immigration officer looking for a passport or a work permit and if their affairs were not in order they had to pay him itshotsho (a bribe).

After counting the bills, Fido took his share of Aunty Lisa’s pay. “I will most definitely come back for the R100 bill with the red number written on it. This ought to be enough if I stick around locally. George and I can take a trip to Springs and get messed up on some fine marijuana, soft women and hard liquor,” he said under his breath as he chuckled and put away the purse.

Fido left the house and went by Ayman’s shop to see if George was there. George was Fido’s close buddy; they did everything together like twins. They were atypical twins, though. Fido was a ncaa cup of coffee and George a tall glass of caramel milk. George wasn’t at Ayman’s shop, but Fido did get some intel that George was seen headed towards Wayitsha, a real ncaa kota shop that catered to all nations.

After Fido found George, they went to get marijuana, the best in Geluksdal, behind the petrol station. They bought enough to share with the rest of their friends, then they went to meet up with them on the main road where they normally hung out, a couple of blocks from Tawakal. After smoking the marijuana, Fido and George walked down the main road on their way back home. George turned to Fido with an ominous smile. “Bro, you know what we need? We need girls and liquor!” he exclaimed. “It’s Friday bro! Let’s spoil ourselves!”

Fido decided to head home for a quick cash withdrawal from Aunty Lisa’s purse. He took a couple of bills, but not the R100 bill with the red number written on it. After he had taken the money, Fido asked Aunty Lisa not to wait up because he was off to watch a series at George’s house. He left after he had said good night to Don.

Fido, George and their friends all had a good time partying all night long. When they ran out of money, they knew they only had to lie in wait to get all the money they desired.


Tell us: Do you think Fido will get caught? How?