I sit in the train from Cape Town to Fish Hoek. I am excited that finally I got my Levi skinny jeans − on a sale. Two men sit in the corner bouncing a bottle of booze wrapped in a newspaper. A lady sits opposite them listening to music on her earphones.
The granny and old toppie sitting next to me are very straight with each other. He tells her a story, she tells him he’s talking rubbish and that he must rather keep quiet. School girls stand and chat. They burst out laughing from time to time. The one tells the other, “Chommie, don’t forget to bring lots of tissues tomorrow. We are going to have a good cry. Lonwabo died.” I listen closely only to find out that this Lonwabo boy is a character in a soapie they love. Ce ce, itakalne. Young girls!
I doze off, hovering between sleep and wakefulness. My phone keeps beeping with BBM messages from Yonela.
At Claremont Station a beautiful, dark-skinned girl gets on the train. She is talking on her cell.
“Yes, you are speaking to Nqabisa. I am not interested in insurance, thank you,” she says into the phone. She has a big shopping bag in her hand. Her walk is something I have only seen in modelling shows. Not the ones with skinny girls. Those that showcase girls with fuller figures. I like those.
Damn, girls in uniform always do it for me: policewomen, nurses, army, the works. I just love it when they have their uniforms on tight. My friend, Bulela, always tells me it is a plus because it means they have money.
Mayoyo ma lv, got 2 go
My battery is dyng
I cut the BBM conversation with Yonela. This Nqabisa girl in front of me is too hot. It is a good thing I am not in my school uniform. She would think I am a baby. Mind you, she looks young too, just out of school and now in the navy. I am certainly not too young to be her Ben Ten.
Our eyes meet. I smile at her. She smiles and looks away.
It must be the fifth time now that our eyes have met. This time he smiles at me. I like how he is dressed. He is some sort of iskhothane.
I feel like I know him. No Nqabisa, that is insane, you’ve only just laid eyes on him, I warn myself. Yho, but he is a charmer! He just has a way about him. I can’t explain it. That smile … and the way he looks at me.
I think of my boyfriend, Bandile, in PE. Well, ex-boyfriend I should say. He is so stupid. Babeyazi! I had no plans to cheat on him. Then, just because he could not get hold of me for a day he decides to end it. I can’t believe the idiot. He sounded so serious this morning when I called him from a landline. He told me he is sick of this long distance relationship and stuff. I said I thought he’d ended it already. Then he says, yes he just called to say he thinks we really should end it. Oh well, his loss, isidenge.
Why am I thinking about him now? It must be the way this one is dressed. My boyfriend − oh, I mean my ex − is mad about brands. He’s a smart dresser. Yes he certainly reminds me of him.
Hayi lona, shame. This boy just keeps looking at me.
I’ve got to make a move.
“Hey, I’ve always wanted to join the Navy. How does one get in?” I look at her meaningfully. This could be my way in. The train screeches to a halt at Retreat station.
“You must be talking to me right? I am the only one in a SA Navy uniform.” She flashes me another of those beautiful smiles. Yes! I’m in, I think as I get up to sit next to her.
“Hey, I am Siphelo.”
“Nice to meet you,” I tell her with a smile. “So, have you been in Cape Town for a long time?”
“No, it’s my first year in Cape Town. I’m from PE.”
As she speaks I keep looking at her dimples. I must work quickly − we are nearly at Fish Hoek station where I have to hop off the train. I must get her digits.
“Hey, Nqabi, you know, I would like to see you again.”
She just smiles.
“Let me phone you. What’s your number?”
“If we are meant to see each other again, I am sure our paths will cross. You don’t have to take my number.”
This is bad news. I hope she’s joking. How am I supposed to know when she’ll be on the train from town again?
As the train screeches to a halt at Fish Hoek station I beg her for the number.
She takes out her phone, presses a few buttons, and hands it to me with her number displayed on the screen.
“It’s a new phone. I haven’t memorised my number yet,” she tells me.
When I walk through the subway I punch the air in triumph. I must tell Bulela.
Nqabisa has a good job too. What a bonus. She might even be prepared to take care of me. You know… here and there.
Tell us what you think: Do you think Siphelo is going to see Nqabi again? What will happen when he does?