Motso pointed to the computer monitor showing the front of the shop. “I put the security camera back on so we can see what’s happening.”

Very quietly, click by click, Sim turned the lock in the store room door. “Thank goodness,” he breathed. “Hopefully they won’t find us here.”

“That poor lady,” whispered Motso as they watched the robbers pushing the woman onto the floor. One of the robbers stood by the door, his gun trained on the handle. He was watching the mall outside.

“Shame, she’s crying,” said Sim.

“Her stomach’s huge. She looks like she’s giving birth tomorrow.” Motso’s plump face was screwed up with worry.

The door of the broom cupboard opened a crack. “What’s going on?” Toya whispered. She took one look at the picture on the security TV screen. Her hand flew to her mouth. “Oh my God,” she mouthed. Then she leaned back into the cupboard and pulled the door firmly shut. Sim looked at the screen again. The pregnant woman was lying on her side with her knees pulled up. She was cradling her crying daughter in her arms. Sim thought of his own sister, Thandi. How would he feel if it was her lying there?’

He made a decision. “Move over,” he ordered, pulling the cupboard door open. “Make room for Motso.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Toya snapped. “She’s too fat.” She pulled the door shut again.

Motso grabbed his arm. “We can hide behind the boxes. The door’s locked. They won’t come in here.”

“I’m going out there,” said Sim.

“Don’t be stupid.” Her eyes were wide with fear.

“I have to, Motso,” he whispered. “That poor woman…”

“You can’t help her. You don’t know first aid.”
“I’m not going to help her,” Sim said, opening the drawer where the customer phones were kept when they came back from repair. He took out an extra cellphone, and tucked it in his shirt pocket. “I’m going to take her place.”


Tell us what you think: Why do Motso and Toya hate each other so much? Will their hatred put all three of them in even greater danger?