I can’t stand Piko’s friends. They don’t have jobs, and just hang around on street corners looking for trouble. One of them, Lwandile, was arrested for robbing an old lady in her home four months ago, but then they released him. They get away with everything.
They have no respect for anyone, and I can’t stand it. I hate being in the same space as them. They make me sick.
There are three of them here now – Lizo, who is a sweaty creep, Lwandile the robber, and Dumisani, who is a mixture of both.
“Your niece is looking fine,” says Lizo, giving me a look, as I serve the beers.
“Nah, she’s as flat as an ironing board,” chirps Dumisani, as if I’m not even in the room.
Lizo continues to stare at my body like it’s a picture. “I like girls like that though,” he says, winking at me.
This I am supposed to find cute? Vomit!
I go back to the kitchen but I can still hear them talking. I hear Piko complaining about me: that I’m this, that I’m that, that I’m spoiled and always asking him for things.
I should march in there and tell them the truth, but they’ll just laugh. They don’t think of me as a person, just as some chick they can tease and use.
Then their voices go quiet for a while. I am dipping the chicken wings in flour before I fry them. I listen carefully.
I hear the name Samantha a few times, and then a few swear words used to describe her. Then I hear a few fragments of information – ‘four thousand rand’, ‘Jip De Jager Overpass’, ‘Samantha’ again, ‘Lucas’.
Their talking continues but I can’t hear the rest. I store this information in my head for later.
I toss the chicken into the pan angrily. But the oil has become too hot while I’ve been listening. Boiling oil leaps from the pan and hits my arm, neck and face. I scream. The pain is intense, like I am on fire.
Piko is in the kitchen. He doesn’t comfort me. He sees the chicken on the floor and the pan overturned, and the mess.
“What the hell have you done!” he yells.
I’m standing there, holding a lappie, trying to wipe the burning oil off.
“I got burnt,” I cry. “Help me, help me.”
At first I think he is coming to assist but then I feel a huge blow to the side of my head and I am knocked down.
Then I see his foot, it is coming toward me, I turn my face away and he ends up kicking the wall instead.
This hurts him and he swears. Then he kicks me in the stomach.
I can’t breathe. He’s going to kill me! The oil stings. My eyes are wet with tears of rage and pain. I feel like I have been run over by a truck.
“Clean this up. I’ll deal with you later.” He leaves the kitchen.
I lie on the floor, my blood rushing in my ears. I can’t believe what just happened. This is when I decide. One day I am going to make him pay. I swear to avenge myself.
After about ten minutes my breathing returns to normal. I get up, turn on the light and begin to tidy the mess up. The spatters are not as bad as they first felt – I will not scar. There’s oil and bits of chicken all over the floor. I get out the mop.
I look to the doorway. His hyena of a friend Lizo is standing there. He is shorter than the rest of them, with popping eyes and wet lips.
“Nothing,” I mumble, and concentrate on mopping. He doesn’t get the message.
He comes into the kitchen and leans against the counter, as if we are having a nice time or something.
“Bit of a mess here I see,” he says.
Tell us: Do you trust Lizo’s friendliness?