FICTION: The lamp under a clay pot - Part Two

By Drum Digital
16 February 2017

On Saturday, Casette bought Simba chips, 500 ml Tropika and a packet of Cherrols sweets

By Harry Sekgweleo 

.

“For Zipho.”

BRUTUS only nodded. They walked all the 10-kilometre distance back home as Cassette had exhausted his savings. Brutus on the other hand kept muttering under his breath that he had some serious stuff to do with his money.

That afternoon at MmeMotlalepula’s stokvel, Zipho gladly accepted the gifts from Cassette. When they were done with the dancing, Brutus sneaked away from his cousin and went to meet Zipho around the corner.

“There’s something I need to tell you. But first let’s go this way.”

Brutus took the surprised girl to the tent were food and refreshments were sold. He bought two plates of rice stew and together they found a table in the tent. Only those who were buying food were allowed to use the tent. The stew (pronounced Stshuu) was a treat; and while they were enjoying it, Brutus said:

“I’ve got something to tell you: I love you, Zipho.”

Ziphora was dumbfounded. “Really?”

Brutus nodded.

“But what about Cassette?”

Brutus laughed. “Has he made a formal move?”

“No.”

“Look Zipho, let’s not discuss my cousin here. Let’s focus on what I just told you. My love for you flows like the water at Victoria Falls; it’s so fresh, so unstoppable.”

She was still thunderstruck. So she asked him to wait a few days while she thought about it. When they rose, they hugged. It was Zipho’s way of showing her gratitude for the stew. As for Brutus, he was celebrating the fact that he’d got his foot in the door.

CASSETTE had seen it all from a distance. When they emerged from the tent he threw his huge frame in front of them.

“What are you two up to?”

And before Brutus could respond, he screamed “Judas!” and launched a right hook. Brutus ducked under the vicious punch. But Cassette lifted him, kicking and screaming. The crowd cheered as Cassette carried Brutus to the corner of the yard were all the wasted food was kept for the pigs. He threw him on top of the rotting pile and closed in to smash Brutus into smithereens. He had gone berserk. The crowd encouraged them as they frolicked in the dirt like two furious TV wrestlers.

It was their uncle who stopped the mayhem. He took the two to the house and listened to their flimsy excuses. Then he read them the riot act. You are a disgrace to the family. Fighting over a girl in front of the whole village! A girl neither of you can really claim!”

The agreement between the uncle and MmeMotlalepula was that on Sunday the boys would clean her pigsty for the whole day and feed the pigs.

On Sunday, in the pigsty, they kept their distance and toiled. Only later did Brutus say in a soft voice: “Be kind and merciful and forgive others just as God forgave you because of Christ. Ephesians 4 verse 32.”

“Shut up, Judas!”

Love had turned close relatives into distant cousins.

Somebody posted a cartoon at Barolong High School gate on the Monday morning. In the first frame there was a traditionally-clad girl looking indecisive, in between a packet of Cherrols and a plate of stew. The second frame showed two dirty young men sweating in a pigsty.

And the cartoon caption was: Et tu Brute.

The End

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