Sbu and Khosi got out of the taxi. The wind was whipping up the papers and rubbish. Plastic bags blew around them as they walked along the dusty street near their homes. When they got to the entrance of the small park, close to their homes, Sbu stopped.
“Just listen to my idea. That’s all I ask,” he said as he led Khosi across to one of the swings that wasn’t broken. Khosi had often seen Sbu in this park, surrounded by his gang of friends, most of them with hoods pulled over their heads. They were all guys like him, who had dropped out of school early. Sbu had in fact been kicked out for dealing dagga in the school grounds.
* * * * *
“Sbu is trouble my girl,” Khosi’s mother always said, over and over again.
“He’s just a friend,” Khosi always replied. “What he gets up to has nothing to do with me.”
Nhlanhla, Khosi’s sister, always added, so that their mother could hear: “Everyone knows about you and Sbu, Khosi.”
“What do they know?” Khosi always retorted.
But even Khosi often wondered why she still spent time with Sbu. He just never gave up on the dream they had always shared. Maybe that was why.
“Fame and fortune baby,” Sbu always said. “Khosi, that’s you and me.”
Nhlanhla had been jealous of Khosi ever since her face had first appeared on the sides of the large furniture truck. Ten years ago.
Back then their Mama had said to anyone who would listen, when the truck drove by: “That’s my beautiful Khosi. She’s going to be famous one day. Just you wait and see.”
* * * * *
Khosi stopped swinging, and looked at Sbu with a frown.
“Well, go on then,” she said, a little sarcastically. “Tell me. What’s your big idea?”
Sbu stepped closer, smiling in that way of his that Khosi knew only too well. Khosi put her hand up. “Keep back,” she said, as Sbu leant towards her.
Sbu stopped, but when he spoke, his voice was a low whisper: “This idea is going to make all our dreams come true, baby girl.”
“Keep going,” said Khosi, waving her hand impatiently.
“It’s pretty simple really,” said Sbu, meeting Khosi’s eyes. “Me and my friends are going to rob that restaurant of yours.”
Khosi’s eyes narrowed, but, to be honest, she wasn’t really surprised. Sbu had never had an honest thought in his head, ever.
Khosi knew that she should be closing her ears, and walking away from Sbu. But somehow, today, out there in the park, with the sand and the dirty papers whipping around her, Khosi just didn’t.
Instead, Khosi looked Sbu straight in the eye, and said, “Go on…”