When I walk into the Somalian shop I see Yonela coming my way.

Hayi Siphelo ndiyanqanda. Stop being unfair. Why are you so scarce? Or is this how you treat people you love?” she hugs me.

“Hey Yonela, I need to go. My grandfather is visiting,” I tell her quickly.

“I thought you once told me he died?” she shoots back.

“Always remember, my love, people have grandparents on both sides of the family,” I reply just as quickly.

“You never know. I thought maybe he came down from heaven to teach you a few things,” she laughs.

“Ha, ha! Like what?”

“That maybe you should try and see the people that you always tell you love a bit more than you do right now!” she says, her hands on her hips.

I leave Yonela in the shop.

When I cross the street near my house I spot Nokubonga in a pimped up Uno that is driving by. She ducks when she sees me. Is that her father’s car? Is that why she doesn’t want to be seen? But her dad doesn’t drive an Uno!

I punch her number into my cell. Music is blaring in the Uno. She tells me I must phone again because she can’t hear me.

I hope she does not have another boyfriend. She can’t do that to me. No-one cheats on S’phe…



“I don’t like the way you act sometimes,” I tell Morris as we get out of his Uno and stumble over the loose wood between the house and his shack in the back yard. “I mean, you don’t just hijack me when I am sitting with my friends like that.”

He just looks at me. I can see that he is not ready to engage in an argument. Still, I expect an apology from him. But, if we argue I know he will have a whole string of reasons lined up. He is the type, my parents would have said, that is going to become a lawyer.

“I can’t stay long. I need to get back to the girls,” I tell him.

He pushes the door to get into his one-room shack. The latch broke two months ago, and he hasn’t bothered to fix it.

There is one thing he wants right now. He can’t wait to get me into bed.

When he falls asleep I leave.

I don’t find the girls where I left them and I decide to go home.

A little later I will go to Siphelo and sleep over at his place.



When I get back to my house I find Nqabisa listening to music.

“Oh, you like ‘Pro kid’?” I ask her.

“Yes, very much,” she tells me.

I pour the cooldrink for her. She takes it and winks at me. She seems comfortable in my shack. I am happy.

“I think we should go for drinks at Manda’s.”

“No, not today. Do you have a movie we can watch?” she asks me. “I would love to watch Tsotsi again.”

We lie on the bed and watch the movie together. She rests her head on my chest. “Are you ok?” she asks me.

“Ja. Why?”

“You seem a bit tense.”

“I am happy that you are here baby. How can I be tense?”



When the movie ends I lie and stare at his roof. Some of the iron sheets are rusted. Pieces of paper are stuffed into the ridges on two sides. His shack is very neat though.

There is a knock on the door. He does not let this person in. Instead, he goes out and closes the door behind him. Maybe it is one of his friends, I tell myself, and relax back again on the bed.

Then I hear a girl’s voice, demanding: “Why not today Siphelo?”

I jump up. Before I can put my shoes on, I hear the sound of a rock against the door.

Phuma apho s’febe, get out of there bitch!” My heart is racing now I know there is trouble. I hear Siphelo telling this girl, who he calls Nokubonga, to be civil. What does that mean?

They walk in, Siphelo gripping both her hands.

Ungubani ke wena sisi? Who are you?” she asks accusingly. “Uzand’thini? Who does think she is?”

Siphelo lets go of her hands and reaches for his phone.

“I think you must go home,” he tells her.

“No! I am sleeping here,” she says to him.

I can’t believe my eyes and ears.

There is another knock on the door. Before Siphelo can respond another girl walks in.

Hayibo, Yonela. You never come here without telling me first,” he complains.

The girl stands at the door, her hands on her hips, glaring at us.


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