FICTION: The Boyfriend from hell - Part Two

By Drum Digital
02 March 2017

No matter how hard I pressed my knuckles to my head, how low I hung my head and stared at the ground by my feet, I found no comforting thoughts

By Thomas Szendrei

No amount of fervent appeals brought any relief to my heavy heart.. Ants went about their usual chores over the dry winter ground totally unconcerned with my suffering presence.

Maybe the father was right – I was unworthy of his daughter. That delicate flower in the clutches of a street ruffian?

For that is what I was, rumpled clothes, bushy hair and all. How could a being like that aspire to even hold her hand? Perhaps that smooth boyfriend was what she secretly desired – a refined man, a well-dressed man, a man with soft words and smiles and touches delicate enough to polish the petals on a rose.

Suddenly I hated my hands, the big knuckles, the broken nails. I would just have to accept my rough life and give up living in the grip of an impossible dream.

I stumbled back to the streets to where I'd stashed my tattered cardboard bed. I dragged it further under the water tower, away from the world, away from life.

The next morning, when the sun was already high, I was still sprawled under the water tower, nursing my broken heart.

The junior from the day before rudely interrupted my grieving melancholy.

“Come! Quick! There’s drama at the spaza!”

“What happened?” I was already running before the junior said: “It’s the new boyfriend. He tried to get fresh with the daughter.”

I was at the shop in minutes. Just as I got there, what did I see but the boyfriend come tumbling out of the door and sprawl on the street. A large suitcase followed and struck him on the head. The father filled the doorway, shouting words of fury, all hoarse and distorted, and harsh sounds exploding from his throat in Portuguese. If I had any doubts what he meant, they were dispelled by a glorious sight.

The father rushed at the spread-eagled boyfriend, brandishing the shop sjambok. Being a short man, the whip was longer than he was. He swished it crisscross across his chest to get his swing right and lashed the arms and the back of the boyfriend, who was ducking and weaving as he tried to scramble away, dragging his suitcase. I stood rooted to the ground, lapping all this up. Served him right, that boyfriend from hell.

By this time, quite a crowd had gathered in a tight ring around the two men, shutting off my sight. They gave excited shouts and yells like a boxing crowd. The ring expanded and contracted as the action swirled from one side to the other. I couldn’t see the action but from the desperate yelps rising above the noise of the crowd I knew the boyfriend was getting a thrashing. Then all at once, the crowd parted in front of me. The boyfriend scrambled through the gap, stooped low, all arms and legs, and I was left face to face with the father.

He was standing heavy footed, blowing hoarse rattling sounds, his hand still twitching the sjambok. His eyes skidded off my face. They were hard and flat and dulled with rage. He turned back to the shop and walked away, still blowing and heaving like a rumbling volcano, and dragging the sjambok behind him on the ground.

For a second, my girl’s face appeared in the doorway behind the father’s back before the door slammed shut. In that second, a round, fluffy-looking object flew from my girl’s hand and plopped in front of me.

It was her soft floral hat I had used as a disguise, that time when her father was away and I had sought refuge from the cops in the shop, in the absence of her father. I clutched that little hat to my heart and pressed my face to the soft fabric. I could almost feel her warmth against my cheeks. I knew it was a message from her.

The door to my girl was shut. The crowd in the street dwindled away and took their chattering voices with them. How could I ever get to my girl past the father’s sjambok? The only way was to come back in a sleek roadster with yours truly behind the wheel and a degree behind his name. I knew then that I had to get off the streets and take back my life from the druglord Bossman in Orlando.

The time had come to strike a deal with Capt. Botha of Booysens Police Station.


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