“What are you two doing?” Mr Samuel said, astonished.
We clambered out from under the desk. I gave Gideon a look that said ‘Keep quiet, I’ll do the talking’.
“I have photos of you stealing money from Gideon’s desk. I suspect you took the earrings too. I arranged for Gideon to leave the money in his desk to trap you. And now we have.”
Mr Samuel’s face dropped. “Yes, it seems you have. I’m a horrible, horrible man. I don’t know how it all came to this.”
He slumped down in a nearby chair, the stack of cash still in his hand.
“Gambling is an addiction. You need to get help,” I said. “What about the earrings? Where are they?”
“I needed money to pay a debt at the bookie. I pawned them.”
“If you can get them back, and you agree to get help for your problem, then the photos stay with me,” I said.
Mr Samuel looked at Gideon. “You’ve got one tough girlfriend there. You best watch it if you get out of line.”
“So?” I said.
“Sure, we have a deal.” He held out his hand and shook mine. I believed him; I hoped he wouldn’t let me down.
I wasn’t looking forward to the next day. If things didn’t go well Bonang would never believe me again and she’d just keep giving her money to Enoch and Radithedi. I hoped it would all go the way I expected.
I followed Bonang to the place in the rocks where she was meant to meet Enoch and Radithedi. I had told Sergeant Seabe about the two ‘prophets’ the day before. Sure enough, they’d been trying to catch them for months. He promised he and his men would be at the rocks, hiding, waiting for us.
When we arrived, Enoch looked at me suspiciously. “Who’s this? You never said you were bringing someone!”
I cut in before Bonang spoke. “I also have an infertility problem. Bonang told me you could help me.”
Enoch’s face softened. “Of course. When we are finished all of us will pray for you, my sister.”
He reached into his leather satchel and carefully pulled out something wrapped in a red velvet cloth fringed in gold. “This is very powerful medicine, made specifically for you. You must finish the whole bottle.”
He slowly opened the cloth and in his hand lay the unlabelled brown bottle. Bonang looked at me, then picked up the bottle. She opened the lid and sniffed.
“This smells like salad dressing.”
Radithedi laughed a bit too loud. “Oh no! That’s just the smell that is created, the medicine inside is very powerful. Very, very powerful.”
Bonang stuck her finger inside and tasted it. Then with all of the fury she could muster, she threw the bottle at Enoch’s head. It hit him in the middle of the forehead, and though it didn’t knock him out he fell backward onto his bum.
“You thief!” Bonang flew at him, her arms outstretched. Just then Sergeant Seabe and his men rushed out from behind the rocks – and saved the men from a wild Bonang.
Sergeant Seabe searched the men and found the R3000 Bonang had given them. “I think this is yours,” he said handing it to her.
We watched as they led the two crooks away.
“I guess I lost the housing fund money,” Bonang said.
“Yep, I think so,” I said.
“I’m going to give Jomo this money to replace it. I was so stupid! Thanks Lola.”
That evening I heard a knock on the door. My mother answered. “Lola, there’s someone here for you!” she called.
I was surprised to find Gideon at the door; he never came to Nokeng during the week. I was even more surprised to find Mareledi with him.
She said nothing but suddenly grabbed me up in her arms. “Thank you! I’m going back to work tomorrow! All because of you.”
“And guess what turned up today in Kago Mmanthe’s desk drawer?” Gideon said.
“Let me guess – her earrings?”
“Yep, like magic.”
“And you were right, Mr Samuel isn’t angry with me at all. He feels sorry for me because I have such a tough lady as a girlfriend. He doesn’t like you very much though.”
“That’s OK. I can live with that.”
I watched them walk to Gideon’s car and head back to Joburg. I waved and thought about what a good day it had turned out to be and how nice it was to have a boyfriend after all.
Tell us: Do you like Gideon? Why or why not?