“Tumie,” Dave hisses, pulling me aside, “what the fuck is going on here?”

“I don’t know. I only invited the guys from the office,” I say, putting on my most innocent face.

“Bullshit!” he roars. “You expect me to believe that? This is your place!”

“I know … But … I swear …”

“Don’t fucking lie to me,” he says, coming towards me.

“Look, I only gave Themba the spare key, so they could get the party stuff here. I swear I didn’t know about the girls. Chill, bro. I might have said something on Facebook about an epic party. I didn’t know that you were still friends with your exes,” I say.

Of course it’s a lie. The real reason is that I stole Dave’s little black book and copied his numbers and invited the girls.

Lilly walks towards us with a present.

“Hey, birthday boy,” she says and kisses him on the cheek. “Happy birthday.”

“Thanks,” he says, sheepishly.

Then the buzzer goes off and Dave gives me the scariest look I’ve ever seen.

Moments later someone opens the door and Zandile walks in.

“Happy birthday, my love!” Zandile flies towards Dave and kisses him passionately on the lips. Dave stumbles backwards.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” a girl says, pushing Zandile off Dave. “You slut, get your own man.”

“What? Dave is my man!”

“Like hell he is. He dumped you and you need to get a life,” Joyce wades in. I don’t know where she came from.

“Stay out of this, Joyce. It doesn’t concern you.”

“If it doesn’t concern me, then what was he doing at my house last night?” Joyce shoots back.

“Dave? Where you at this bitch’s house?” Zandile goes off.

Before Dave can answer, Joyce pounces on Zandile and grabs her by her weave. They tussle and fall over, scratching each other.

Everyone is shocked. We all stand by, watching in amazement and disbelief.

It’s only when Pat and Themba pull Zandile off Joyce and walk them outside, that we start to blink and come to our senses.

I look around, searching for Lilly. She’s standing by the guys and they are giggling. I look for Thato and catch her eye across the room. She smiles and winks at me, signalling that I should go over to Lilly.

Everyone is watching.

Dave has the dumbest look on his face. We got him.

As the smoke clears, I grab a drink, take a deep breath and walk over to Lilly. It’s time I made my move.

Lilly and I walk onto the balcony.

“Phew, your cousin is something else,” she says. “And to think he was making moves on me.”

“Are you … like … interested?” I ask.

“In Dave? Hell, no. I don’t date little boys who don’t know what they want. All he talks about is himself and his looks and his clothes. He has no ambition. So unattractive.”

I smile, thinking about what Dave said the other day.

“Well, you’re a catch. I’m sure you’ll find the right guy soon.”

“I think I have, Tumie. But he’s too shy. He won’t ask me out on a date.”

Oh, great. After all that work, Lilly has a man. I feel so heartbroken I want to cry.

“So?” she says, smiling at me.

“So what?” I grumble.

“Are you gonna ask me out or what?”

What? No way? She does like me. I smile, speechless.

“Maybe you need a little encouragement,” she says, moving closer.

Now she’s so close I can smell her fragrance, feel her warmth. I breathe in deeply. Then I wrap my arms around her and we start to kiss slowly, tenderly.

Lilly, beautiful Lilly, is finally mine.

*****

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