The coward 3/5

By Drum Digital
09 July 2014

Eli’s got a lot on his shoulders: matric, his siblings, money . . . and impressing his girlfriend

Eli sighed as he reached Mrs Selepeng’s door.

“Koko, Mma? I’m here.”

Mrs Selepeng looked after Eli’s baby brother, Everloved. She came to the door and said, “Oh hello, Eli. Your little brother is still fast asleep. Why don’t you let him stay here for the night? He’s had supper. I don’t want to wake him up.”

Eli sighed again. Mrs Selepeng said this every afternoon. She was always trying to keep Everloved with her. She even wanted to adopt him.

But Eli shook his head. “Thank you, Mrs Selepeng. But Everloved must be with his family. It’s important.” So he went through to the bedroom, picked up his sleeping brother and carried him out of the house. Everloved woke up. He started to cry but then he realised he was in Eli’s arms, so he stopped. Eli hugged his little brother tight.

“I hope you sleep well tonight, Everloved.’ I hope you won’t cry and cry like you did last night,” he said, even though Everloved was too young to understand any words.

Sometimes it was very hard looking after a one-year-old. Sometimes Eli struggled to get his homework done. In fact, sometimes Eli was tempted to tell Mrs Selepeng, “Yes, you can adopt Everloved. It will be better for everyone if he stays here with you.”

But no, Eli could never do that! Eli had made a promise to his mother before she died. He had promised his mother he would keep the family together: Bokamoso, Thandi and Everloved. And he would never, never break his promise to his late mother.

To be continued ........

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