Jam Doughnuts 2/3

By Drum Digital
01 January 2014

Siphiwe finds himself in between a rock and a hard place.

?Siphiwe! Siphiwe!'' Vusi his classmate  shook him. He'd fallen fast asleep at his desk.

Vusi was his best friend. They shared a desk and were inseparable. Everybody liked them. They were good boys and were always studying or doing their homework. You would never find these two in trouble.

Both boys had had it tough all their lives but they'd never resorted to crime.

Some boys in their school had cellphones and a lot of money, obtained illegally. Crime was becoming a very big problem in town. Lack of employment and poverty were driving the boys to crime.

During the day they were just innocent schoolboys but after school they became gangsters and thieves.

Siphiwe and Vusi had always steered away from trouble but this was about to change.

??Siphiwe, do you love your mother and sister? Would you do anything to see them happy?''  Vusi asked his friend. ??Anything, Vusi. I'm fed up with seeing my family suffer,'' Siphiwe replied.

?'My friend, I'm about to give you an opportunity to change your life and help your family,'' Vusi continued. ??Meet me tonight at 8 pm at the shopping complex. Then I'll tell you all about it.''

??Vusi, I don't like the sound of this . . .''

??Siphiwe, don't ask questions now. Eight o'clock tonight! Deal?''

Siphiwe agreed, reluctantly, although he was 100 per cent sure what Vusi was talking about wasn't good.

Most of the shops closed at around 7 or 8pm. The night was quiet. Most people had gone indoors and locked themselves in. No one dared to walk the streets at this time of night.

Siphiwe arrived to find Vusi with six other much older boys. He recognised three from

his school but didn't know their names. The tallest was the first to speak and said,

??Now listen, guys, we don't want to waste time. In and out. That's it.''

As the guy spoke Siphiwe couldn't believe what he was about to do. He noticed that two of the older guys had guns tucked in their trousers.

??Siphiwe, you are the key to this job. The old man knows you and trusts you. You walk to the shop and knock, identify yourself. As soon as the door opens we all go in.

Is that clear guys?''

The others nodded.

??His van is still parked there, that means he's still inside,'' said the tall boy.

He seemed to be the boss of the group.

??What happens when you go in?'' Siphiwe asked.

??You leave that to the professionals boy. Your job is to make sure that door is opened. Now we wait for the street to clear.''

Siphiwe was shaking all over. The sound of his heartbeat was so loud he could hardly hear anything else. As they lay hiding in the nearby bushes his mind raced back to his mother. He thought of how disappointed she would be in him. But when he thought of the money and what he could do with it he toughened up. A man has to do what a man has to do for his family, he reasoned.

Then he turned his focus back to the reality of what he was about to do. How could he face Mr Msomi? The man had been so nice to his family. Why did he have to do this to the jam doughnut man, of all people? But it was too late to pull out now.

The few minutes they lay there hiding felt like hours. Soon it was time to work. At a

nod from the tall ringleader, Siphiwe jumped up and ran towards the shop.

??Bab' uMsomi! Bab' uMsomi!'' he cried out as he knocked on the door of the shop.

??Who's that?'' the old man asked.

??It's me, Siphiwe. Please open up,'' the boy answered.

??Siphiwe, my son, what's the matter? the old man asked.

Siphiwe heard the keys jingle as the old man opened the door...

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