The shopping had been quicker than he expected and now he could get some lunch. He walked over to a KFC and stood in line, ready to order. He texted Lutho and told him where to meet him and then he called Lucia.

“Hi babe. How is your day?” Zakhele asked.

“I’m good. What’s going on?” Lucia asked, sounding breathy.

“Nothing. Did I disturb you? Were you running?”

“Oh, yeah, my phone was on charge. What’s up?”

“Oh sorry babe. I was just missing you,” he said, not wanting to let the surprise slip. “Can’t wait to see you later.”

“Listen, my sister was asked to cover for a sick colleague this evening, so she asked me to watch the kids,” Lucia said.

“But baby, I already made plans for us.”

“So what do you want me to do then, Zakhele? Tell my sister that I’d rather go out than watch her kids?” she shouted.

“No, that’s not what I meant,” Zakhele looked around, worried that others might have heard Lucia screaming over the phone.

“Okay then, we’ll go out another time.”

“Okay, I’ll drop by to see you when I knock off,” he said.

“That’s fine. I might take them to my uncle’s house in Simon’s Town to watch the big screen. Maybe also go to the beach for sundown; they love it there. So I might not be home. But I’ll call you tomorrow,” she said, and hung up before he could even say another word.

Her battery might have died because it wasn’t fully charged, he told himself.

He was disappointed, especially watching everyone in the mall so happy. The KFC line was long because everyone was out spoiling themselves on payday. He watched a couple sitting in one of the booths, feeding each other. How romantic, he thought.

He wished he and Lucia would do something like that, but she didn’t like to be held or kissed in public. Feeding her would be out of the question.

***

Tell us: Do you like public displays of affection? Do you kiss in public?