The Coward 2/5

By Drum Digital
08 July 2014

For a moment, his legs and takkies dangled and then they too disappeared – up in that terrifying world of pylons and bridges and electrical cables, all shooting by at 60 km per hour! Beside Eli, a girl shouted, “What a man! hero of Spes Bona! hey, Wame, you are the luckiest girl in the world with Volt as your boyfriend! How does that feel, girl?”and now all eyes were on pretty Wame from Grade 11.

She giggled and covered her mouth with her hand but her eyes were shining, shining with joy and pride. Eli thought sadly, “I wish I could make Masego proud too. I wish I could make her eyes shine like that. But would I ever have the courage to get up on the train’s roof? Will I ever be brave enough to train-surf?” the train stopped at last at Greenfields Park Station. High Voltage was safely down from the roof with his fans crowding around him, wanting to hear about his Rio Run. Most of the students got off at Greenfields

Park – Eli, Masego, Volt and Wame amongst them. Masego whispered a quick goodbye to Eli and then off she went, with her friends, up the stairs and onto the bridge. Eli watched her go, feeling useless, wondering if she wanted to be his girlfriend any longer. He wouldn’t blame her if she found another boyfriend. “Hey, Eli, come with us.We’re off to The Shack to celebrate!” Some of High Voltage’s friends were calling across the station.But Eli shook his head. No. Mrs Selepeng was expecting him. “I have to go do some stuff,” he said.

“Some stuff!” It was High Voltage who shouted now. “What’s with you, Eli? You always have stuff to do! You should relax, dude! Have some fun. Life is short and you’re wasting it. Stop being a loser!” Alone, Eli headed out onto the road. Yes, Volt was right, he thought. “I am a loser. A loser and a coward. I could never train-surf – or could I? Could I find the courage?” As Eli walked towards Mrs Selepeng’s house, he tried to imagine how it would feel to climb out of a train window with the wind rushing across his face; to grab onto the roof ledge while the train shuddered and squealed along the tracks.

To lift himself up there on the roof and stand facing all the dangers ahead; to be there on top of the world while inside, in the coach, everyone screamed his name and Masego giggled while her eyes shone with pride. How would that feel? How wonderful would that be? Then he would never have to worry about Masego dumping him.

No girl would ever dump a brave hero who train-surfed!

To be continued...

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