Dube’s Den

I walk out of the spaza shop with Gogo’s bread and milk and watch the children stuff their sweets into their pockets. Mr Patel knows just how to attract these little customers. It is so different from the city here. The shop sells everything in singles: one toffee, one cigarette, one candle. Everything to give the customers their ‘daily bread.’ Mr Patel’s wife makes vetkoek and samoosas. The best.

The children run past me and grab their wire cars. With a few kick backs in the dust and some rude noises they sprint off down the street.

I look across the road and see the sign for Dube’s Den: the garage and cafe that belong to Mike’s uncle, Sammie Dube. I decide to go and try out the cafe and have a milkshake.

“Flags” is the name of the cafe. It’s decorated with checkered flags and racing cars all over the walls. I’m about to walk inside and order a milkshake, when I notice the garage doors are open. A pair of legs sticks out from under a car. And then someone wriggles out. My heart stops for a minute. Mike from next door! He sees me and jumps up to say hi.

“Hi Zoe, what brings you to the garage?” he asks.

“I thought I’d come for a milkshake. What are you doing here on a Saturday?” I reply.

“Putting in some overtime. My uncle needs this car fixed and I can do with some extra cash. When this car is done there are a few more to wash,” he says, pointing to the other cars in the garage.

As Mike raises his arm, I notice a flash of gold on his wrist. A thick gold chain. Mike must be doing well with his overtime, I think to myself.

Suddenly, there is a roar of motorbikes and the biker boys ride past. Chickens scatter and dogs and children retreat to safety. The motorbikes screech to a halt outside Flags. I need to stay calm, I tell myself.

No-one in the cafe looks up as the biker boys walk in. Perhaps they are a bit nervous. The boys look super cool in their leather jackets. They have real attitude. They walk over to a table at the back and sit down.

I am on the other side of the cafe and try not to stare. I am curious to see if they are the same guys who were at the Youth Club last night. Trying to seem uninterested, I turn my head and look at the flags on the wall, but my eyes make brief contact with one of the bikers. He nods his head as a form of recognition. Could he be the leader of the bike gang? He is still looking at me! I am embarrassed and look away. My heart is beating. The leader of the biker boys just noticed me!


Tell us what you think: Can a chance meeting at the local cafe lead to something more or should Zoe just forget her encounter with a stranger?