Half an hour later the car was still driving. “Maybe no one got the message,” Motso said.

“Maybe you should try kicking out the tail light.”

“Where do you think they are taking us?”

“It can’t be too far. They want to swap us for the guy locked in the jewellery store, remember.”

“He may be dead, though.” Sim felt cold at the thought. “That shooting we heard – maybe the owner of the store had a gun?”

He could feel Motso shivering behind him. “If he’s dead,” she said softly, “it means that they’ll kill us, doesn’t it?”

Sim’s heart sank. He knew it was true.

“I don’t want to die, Mots,” he whispered. “I’m only 23. My whole life lies ahead of me.” He felt like crying as he thought of his mother and sisters battling to survive without his steady income.

“What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do before you die?” Motso asked. Her breath was warm on the back of his neck.

“I used to think it was to marry Toya,” he said. He felt Motso stiffen behind him. “But there’s so much more I wish I could do, before it’s too late. I’d like to study further, open my own business, buy my mom a smart house. And you?”

“There’s only one thing I really want to do before I die,” she said softly.

“What is it?” He thought for a moment of the dreams that girls like Motso had – probably she wanted to meet a nice doctor, and have a big white wedding on a game farm, like the ones in True Love magazine. He knew she’d always wanted to be an actress. Maybe she wanted to star in a Hollywood movie.

“Turn around,” she said softly.

Carefully he shifted onto his back, and then by carefully bending his legs and wiggling with his elbows, he turned to face her. She lifted her face to his, pressed her soft lips on his, and kissed him.

He felt like the stars had exploded around him! He felt a million volts of electricity! He felt like the world had fallen off its axis and was bouncing around the universe. He felt…

Suddenly Motso pulled away: “Listen…”

Above the beating of his drumming heart he heard voices. The car had stopped. A bright light was flashing, and he heard the wail of a police siren. “We’re saved!” Motso cried, as the boot was opened up from outside.

“Sir, Ma’am – are you alright? You’re safe now. We’re here to help you. Can you get out on your own?”

Sim blinked in the glaring light. Gradually he made out the faces of two police officers and a paramedic staring down at him. He felt Motso clambering over him, as the officers helped her out of the boot.

“Sir, sir, are you injured?” the paramedic asked, leaning in with his stethoscope. “Can you tell me where it hurts?”

Slowly Sim sat up. He shook his dazed head. His heart was still thudding, but he grinned as he climbed out of the boot. “I’m fine,” he said. “I’ve never been better.”

Motso took his hand and leaned her head on his shoulder. “Me too,” she said. And he kissed her again.


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