The Red Car 4/4

By Drum Digital
22 August 2014

What's a girl to do when her marriage goes sour?

Palesa fought the urge to respond. She felt angry and helpless. I’m damned if I’m going to let these two street gossips get the better of me, she resolved. At last she got home.

Quietly she entered the house and was surprised to hear two voices coming from the bedroom. ‘‘Ooh, you’re so good at slicing the cake,’’ a girlish voice said. It was Tumza! ‘‘There’s so much more where that came from,’’ replied Buti, and she heard him kiss Tumza. Palesa tiptoed out of the house and then ran off down the road.

After hours of soul searching, she remembered her mother’s words. She called Buti to let him know she’d be home soon and went shopping. ‘‘Hello big boy! Did you miss me?’’ Palesa asked as she kissed Buti on the lips.

‘‘Er . . . Yes,’’ Buti replied, scratching his head in surprise. ‘‘Good. Go sit down and I’ll cook your favourite – pap and vleis.’’ He loved it. ‘‘Darling, this is the best you’ve ever cooked,’’

gushed Buti as he wolfed down another big piece of steak. ‘‘Big boy, there’s more where that came from,’’ Palesa cooed. ‘‘Finish up and I’ll pour you a drink.’’

Soon Buti collapsed in a heap on the couch and started snoring. Then the sleep talking began, ‘‘Mmm . . . I told you guys that car is fast. The money is safe in the car ... They’ll never look in my workshop.’’ Palesa listened to Buti’s drunken sleep talk until he had repeated himself several times.

She fished out Buti’s car and workshop keys from his pocket and hurried out of the house. She drove to Buti’s workshop. The doors to the workshop were heavy and refused to budge when she tried to open them but she finally managed to squeeze herself into the workshop. She felt for a light switch and flicked it on.

There was the red car – a sleek BMW, as glossy as a ripe tomato. Palesa ran to it. All the doors were locked! ‘‘I forgot to take the keys. Now what do I do?’’ she wondered.

She took out the workshop keys and had another look. On the bunch was a single car key. She kissed it and unlocked the driver’s door. She glanced in the driver’s side and the front seat passenger’s side – nothing. She looked in the back seat – nothing. ‘‘So Buti’s talk was just the mutterings of a drunken fool,’’ Palesa thought.

She walked away from the car, then turned and went back to open the boot. Her hands shook as she lifted the lid. Palesa froze when she saw canvas bags – stuffed with money!

Working as fast as she could, she took half of the bags and loaded them into Buti’s car. Palesa made two stops. One was to make a phone call, the other was to stash the moneybags,

well out of sight. Buti was still snoring loudly when a squad of armed policemen broke down the front door and hauled him away.

On her way to work later Palesa overheard the two street gossips. ‘‘Police have arrested that sweet girl, Tumza,’’ said the skinny one. ‘‘Why?’’ asked the fat gossip.

‘‘They say she hid stolen money in her backyard,’’ replied the thin woman. ‘‘Who would have thought that of her?’’

A smile spread across Palesa’s face.

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