Out of the corner of his eye Simelane watched Toya getting ready to leave work. Man, she was beautiful. That smooth skin, the white smile, and that body… she was perfect. Too perfect for him. She was changing out of her work shoes into a pair of bright red stilettos. He sighed.

“Mr Hewana wants us to check the new stock,” a voice said at his ear. “He’s just popped out for a bit. He’ll be back in about half an hour.”

Sim sighed again. “Man, its past closing time.”

“I know,” said his colleague and best friend, Motso. “But he said we must get it done tonight. And we can’t all knock off early just because we look at the boss with our big googoo eyes and wiggle our…”’

Futhseki, Motso!” Toya snapped. She took one final look in the mirror behind the counter, picked up her fake Louis Vuitton bag and sashayed out of the shop.

Sim watched Toya’s boyfriend, up-and-coming soccer star Redd Ribelane, walking down the almost-empty mall corridor towards her. He looked like a supermodel, and he drove a BMW – but then he earned a packet, and spent hours every day in the gym. Redd wasn’t stuck behind the counter in the cellphone shop from 9 to 5 – or later if the boss decided it was time to stock take.

Sim took a quick look at himself in the mirror. Simelane Sinxo. Aged 23. A bit on the short side, but not bad looking. The girls thought him kind of cute. Especially now he had his new car. He’d saved for it for three years. A bright red Toyota Tazz. They were all very impressed. But not his colleague Toya. She barely noticed him between flirting with the customers and doing her nails.

“You coming?” Motso asked, picking up the box of Blackberrys that needed to be unpacked. She disappeared into the back room. Sim paused. He looked up the corridor again. He couldn’t help it. He knew he was torturing himself. Toya was never going to be interested in him, but he couldn’t help dreaming of her … of how her skin would feel against his, of what it would be like to kiss those plump lips … to hold her close…

He watched Redd grab her and kiss her. She was laughing, doing that thing with her hair that irritated Motso so much. She was pointing towards the window of the jewellery store next door. He swallowed hard. Now they were both peering in the window at the display of diamond rings. His heart sank. He was never going to get her…

“Hurry up Sim,” Motso called. “We want to get out of here tonight.”

Ah well, may as well get to work. Then suddenly he stopped. What the hell? Three men wearing balaclavas were running down the corridor. They were heading straight for the jewellery store where Toya was standing.

“Toya!” he yelled, running to the door.

She looked up and screamed. Redd took one look at the approaching men and ran for his life towards the escalators. Toya looked bewildered. Simelane dashed out, grabbed her arm and pulled her back into the store. He slammed the door shut. “Damn it! Can’t lock it,” he muttered. “Mr Hewana’s got the key. Come with me!” he ordered. “We’ll be safer in the back room.”

“Don’t leave me,” Toya squeaked, as he shoved her into the stockroom.

“What’s going on?” Motso asked, from deep in a box of cellphone covers.

He slammed the door. “Armed robbery next door. Stay in here till they’re gone. I’ll see what’s going on.”

Toya grabbed his arm. “Stay with me, don’t leave me.”

He pulled her close into a hug. She felt so warm and soft. She was quivering like a little puppy. “I won’t leave you, I promise.”

Although he was scared, his heart swelled with happiness. The love of his life was in his arms at last.


Tell us what you think: Will Toya fall in love with Sim now that he’s saved her life?