It was the last Friday of the month and Zakhele was excited. He had big plans to spend his weekend with Lucia, the love of his life. He wanted to surprise her with a gift to celebrate their five-month anniversary.

Lucia loved being taken care of, and Zakhele loved to make her happy.

“So why did she dump you this time?” his friend Lutho asked, sitting in the passenger seat of Zakhele’s work bakkie. It was lunch time and Zakhele had asked Lutho’s help to pick out a gift for Lucia. He struggled to know what women wanted, and Lucia was a complicated woman.

“Who said I was dumped?” Zakhele laughed.

“Well, usually when you buy your girl something it’s because you were dumped.”

Zakhele frowned, the truth in Lutho’s words hitting home. It was no secret that his relationship with Lucia was difficult, but then again, what relationship wasn’t? They often fought – more than Zakhele liked to remember – and he always had to apologise. It took very little to tick Lucia off and Zakhele always had to be the one to grovel. But he didn’t mind this at all; his relationship was worth fighting for.

He and Lucia had come a long way and Zakhele hadn’t thought they would even make it to five months. It was a miracle that a girl like Lucia went out with a guy like himself. But Lutho would never understand. Women came and went with him; relationships were easy for him.

“Not this time brother. It’s our anniversary,” Zakhele answered proudly.

“Five months? Who celebrates five months of dating?”

“I do. And what’s wrong with that? I just want Lucia to know that I love and appreciate her.”

“I don’t think that will ever happen,” Lutho said, again making his feelings known.

“Look, I just need you to help me choose a gift, not complain about my relationship,” Zakhele said, turning into the parking lot of the mall.

Lutho disliked Lucia. He thought she was using his friend, and that Zakhele was a fool for not seeing it and thinking that she actually cared for him. But Zakhele didn’t see it that way. He was in love and Lucia was the girl of his dreams.

They had attended the same high school and it was love at first sight, at least for Zakhele. Lucia didn’t even know he existed, and who could blame her? She was way out of his league. She was a beauty queen, with a number of beauty contest titles under her belt. She was the most beautiful and popular girl in school, and Zakhele was a nobody.

Lutho would never understand, he thought again. Right now Zakhele didn’t care. He just needed his friend to help choose a gift that would impress Lucia and make her happy.

“So, do you at least have an idea of what you want to buy?” Lutho asked.

“That’s why I have you here man! You know what the ladies like, so you tell me.”

Lutho mumbled something under his breath and Zakhele didn’t care to ask what he’d said. It was probably something insulting about his Lucia. He just needed Lutho to choose a gift and they would be out of there.

“Last time you bought her a phone, so what could possibly top that?” Lutho said.

“Lutho, solutions please, not problems!”

“Don’t snap at me! Usually people cover these things over years of being together. Wena, you’ve bought her everything under the sun already, and you’re only five months together.”

Lutho had a point. Since Zakhele and Lucia started dating, Zakhele had been buying her things. It started with some airtime, then hair products, then went on to clothes, to a TV, and the cellphone two weeks ago. And now this.

“She’ll bleed you dry bro,” Lutho warned. “Lucia is a gold digger; everybody knows that except you.”

Zakhele didn’t answer, he just slammed the car door and walked off towards the mall. Getting Lutho to help was a bad idea; he was already regretting it.

“How about some jewellery? Ladies love sparkly things,” Lutho said, catching up to his friend, who was now sulking.

That doesn’t sound too bad, Zakhele thought. He would get Lucia something beautiful; a gift she’d never forget. If there was one thing Zakhele had quickly learnt it was that presents – shiny, expensive presents – always worked like magic.

They walked into the mall and Zakhele spotted a jewellery shop. In the window was just the sort of thing he knew Lucia would love.


Tell us: Why do you think Zakhele keeps buying Lucia gifts?