We decide to finish the day with a couple of beers at Manda’s place. While Bulela and I are sitting there Nokubonga and her friend walk in. They don’t see us sitting in the corner. Bulela calls them to join us.

“Stupid! You are now buying them drinks. I don’t have money,” I whisper in his ear.

“Don’t worry mtshana, I got this covered.”

When they sit down they seem a bit uncomfortable. I don’t think Nokubonga expected to see me here.

“Was it supposed to be a girl’s night out?” I ask her.

“No, no, no, we are happy to be with you.”

“Oh, I thought we might have been spoiling something.”

Nokubonga tells her friend, Bertha, to make a phone call to their friend to tell them to meet at their place. She winks at Bertha. What’s that about? I wonder. Probably some girl stuff. Bertha leaves Manda’s and walks down the stairs to make this call in a quiet place.

“Hey babes, when is your dad leaving for Saldanha again?” I ask Nokubonga.

“I am not sure. He’s got leave, so it could be a while yet.”

“Tell him to get going soon. He is denying us our special times together,” I joke.

She just looks at me and smiles.

When Bertha comes back Bulela offers to buy them both drinks. They settle for Brutal Fruits when he tells them that there is no Sarita.

Nokubonga keeps looking at me, but I can’t read her expression.

It is our first time in a tavern together.



Sihlobo, tell me about uhlelo one. What did he say?” I whisper in Bertha’s ear.

I worry about Morris. Maybe he is only a gentleman when he is sober. Last night I saw another side of him that I don’t know if I like.

As we sit and drink with the boys it soon becomes obvious that Bulela is interested in Bertha. I think Siphelo knows and wants to leave them alone. He asks me to come outside with him.

I am not comfortable. What if Morris is out on the street with his friends? But, what do I tell Siphelo? So I go with him.

When we get outside it does not look like he is exactly sure what he wants us to do there. He offers to buy me braaied chicken wings. We go across the road for the wings. I stand and eat them as he chats to a couple of guys in a white Golf. When he comes back he suggests that we go back inside.

Upstairs we find Bulela and Bertha kissing deeply.

Hayi Bertha,” I find myself saying.

It is evident that Bulela wants her so bad. He strokes her face gently along the cheek and kisses her on the neck. Then he looks at us and gives a naughty smile. He leans to Bertha and tries to unbutton her shirt. She jumps up.

“No, Bulela,” she tells him.

I look at Siphelo and it is clear that he is enjoying this.

“So this is what you do when you go out with your friends?” I tease him.

Uphambene Nokubonga, you are mad. Have you ever seen me do this?”

I don’t know if he’s telling the truth.



I tell Bulela to come outside with me.

“You don’t waste time hey!” I tease him as we walk down the stairs.

We stand outside and chat.

“Bertha tells me she has a boyfriend. But hey, who can say no to Bulela?” he brags. “I am taking her home tonight boy,” he says, finishing his beer.

“Ja, usis’khokho ntwana,” I agree with him.

I take out my cell and punch in Nqabisa’s number. She tells me that she is sleeping. I tell her that I am out with my boys.

Then I punch in Yonela’s number.

“Hi, Nqabi,” I greet her and then stop… I am going to have to do some fast talking.

“Who is Nqabi?” she asks suspiciously.

I tell her that I just saw my old school friend from Orange Farm in Jozi, Nqabile. Phew! That was close, I think to myself.

We go back upstairs. Bulela sits comfortably next to his new mabebeza.

When a rap group that caused trouble with us last time walks in, we decide to leave. Bulela holds hands with Bertha as they walk out. Nokubonga and I don’t hold hands; we just walk next to each other.

Ndinamahlahla, you just never know who is watching.

We walk to Bulela’s house and they go in.

I keep walking with Nokubonga on to my place.


Tell us what you think: Do you think Siphelo will find out about Morris? What will happen?