I emerge from the upstairs bathroom to find Dax on a sofa, reading a fight magazine. Looking up, he says, “You ready?”

“Need to grab my keys,” I say, walking over to my room. “But you don’t need to come with me. Really, I’m doing better now. I’m not seeing bad guys on every corner.”

Dax follows, “Oh no, I’ve got to walk to you to work and I’ll be there when you knock off. I promised.”

“Look,” I say, grabbing my keys, then locking my room. “Just tell Wonga to relax and–”

Dax shakes his head, as we reach the stairwell. “Forget Wonga, its Shana who’d kill me.”

I give him the side-eye as I pass.

“Oh no, really,” he says, as we descend. “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

“Now who is quoting Shakespeare?”

“Ah,” he says. “You got that one. Thought you might.”

I snort. He has no idea. “So, you collect quotes?” I say, as we cross the dojo.

“Doing an English course through Unisa. Taking different classes here and there, till I figure out what I really want to study.”

I’m surprised, since all he’s talked about so far is trying to get on the MMA circuit, find sponsors and go pro. “And English lit is on the list?”

He chuckles, as we exit through the main doors. I haven’t used the door to the alley since the night of the attack. As we walk towards the bar, he says, “Not as a career, no. Just trying to make up for past sins. But I’ll probably end up doing business economics or sports medicine. Both’d be good if I want to run a dojo on my own, someday. Y’know?”

I nod, feeling slightly jealous. I don’t even have a matric and here Dax is, taking courses and planning a life. And I tell him so. But Dax just breaks out into laughter. “Have it together? No, no, I’m getting there, but believe me, it’s been a long road.”

“How’s that? Because you are always talking about your Ma and Daddy and sisters. Sounds like you have had it pretty good.”

“Oh, my family is good,” Dax says, as we cross the street. “But both my parents worked and my sisters were busy, had really full lives, even then. And I kept busy too, but not in ways my parents ever imagined. Which got me into a little bit of trouble.”

He lifts up the corner of his T-shirt, and indicates a long, thin scar. I’d seen it before – he trains often enough without a shirt on. But I’d never asked. “It was only a flesh wound,” he says. “A slash, but it was enough to light a fire under Ma. She’s friends with Shana’s Ma, you see. So the next thing I knew, I had Wonga in my face telling me I was going to find my inner Zulu.”

I give Dax the side-eye.

“Yeah, I know,” he grins. “Cape Coloured, born and raised, I don’t deny it. But Wonga has some theory that there is Zulu warrior lurking in me. Says it has something to do with my eyes.”

And now I’m laughing; laughing hard. People passing on the pavement are looking, but I don’t care. Of all the warrior attributes Dax may have, his eyes are not one of them. His eyes are pure kindness, soft and warm. He trains hard and fights fierce. Make no mistake, the man wants to win, but nothing about him is mean.


Tell us what you think: Can a person’s eyes really reveal something about their personality?