Zipho is Nokubonga’s first boyfriend and she truly loves him. It adds to her love for Zipho that her mother also likes him. But things have changed ever since Zipho moved to Jozi.
“I’ll call you every day, my love. I’ll behave in Jozi, I won’t do anything stupid to jeopardise our relationship,” Zipho had promised Nokubonga.
Nokubonga was truly heartbroken the day Zipho left for Jozi. But she believed that he would keep his promise. At first he called every day, but then things changed.
Ukhozi FM is playing on the radio in the taxi. It’s been three hours since the taxi left Stanger. Most of the passengers are asleep now. Sphindile has also fallen asleep; her head is resting on Nokubonga’s shoulder. Nokubonga has not moved her shoulder to wake Sphindile because it does not bother her that she has fallen asleep on her shoulder. In fact, she feels comfortable with this stranger’s head resting on her shoulder.
She gets a chance to look at Sphindile as she is asleep. She looks at her fine light skin, her ponytail and her long eyelashes. A warm feeling floods all over Nokubonga’s body. Sphindile is more beautiful now that she is asleep, Nokubonga thinks. She is wondering what is going on with her because she appreciates beauty in other women but not like this. She never feels like this about women. She looks away from Sphindile, to the road ahead. She shakes her head slightly, hoping to shake off this strange feeling.
Her cellphone rings. Zipho is calling.
“Hello, my love,” says Nokubonga softly, not wanting to wake up Sphindile.
“How are you, my wife-to-be?” says Zipho.
“I’m fine, my love,” says Nokubonga.
“Tell me, are you still going ahead with coming to Jozi?”
“Yes. That’s what we agreed to. I’m in a taxi as we speak. I’ll be in Jozi in three hours.”
“The problem is that I’m at work right now. I’ll only knock off in the evening.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“I’ll call you back right now,” Zipho drops the call.
Nokubonga’s voice has such irritation that it wakes up Sphindile.
“Is everything alright?” Sphindile rubs the nap off her eyes.
“I don’t know, really. My boyfriend just told me he’ll knock off work in the evening. I don’t know what that means!”
“Why didn’t he say so earlier? You could have taken a later taxi.”
“I really don’t know,” Nokubonga runs her hand through her hair.
Zipho calls back just as she is starting to panic.
“I’m listening, Zipho.”
“My friend, Sihle, will come to get you at Park Station. Tell me when you reach the De Hoek toll gate so I can tell him to leave the house for the station,” says Zipho.
“Okay, I’ll do that,” says Nokubonga.
Nokubonga is angry, and she is hot; sweat drips from her nose.
“Is everything alright?” asks Sphindile.
“Yes, he says he’ll get his friend to come fetch me.”
“That’s better. How long have I been asleep?” asks Sphindile.
“For an hour,” says Nokubonga.
She smiles when she realises that the anger and irritation she felt less than a minute ago has simply disappeared. There’s that warm feeling creeping up all over her body again. Everything that Sphindile says makes Nokubonga smile.
Tell us: What do you think of Zipho?