Two’s Company (2/4)

By Drum Digital
13 August 2014

Handsome Jerry made Refilwe go weak at the knees.

“What?” The smile slipped from his face, replaced by a dark scowl. “Remembered something else more important?” he demanded. “No – not at all. I’m free too,” she quickly lied. He looked down into her large, anxious eyes and then he leaned across the counter towards her. “Well now, isn’t that convenient?” he said slowly, lightly touching her fingers as he handed her the packet.

“So, meet me at the bottom of the stairs below D-block then. We’ll have some coffee . . . get to know each other really well.” He smiled. “Till then, take care, little Refilwe.” With that, he turned away to attend to another customer. Refilwe forced herself to breathe in and out slowly. She loosened her grip on her packet and made herself walk out of the shop slowly. It had happened! It had really happened! He’d asked to see her again.

On Monday morning Refilwe woke well before the birds. She lay still for a few minutes stressing about what to wear. Yet, as much as she wanted to meet Jerry, some part of her was still struggling to decide whether or not to miss her critical English tutorial. Thoughts of her proud, tired mother would make her decide she must attend her tutorial. Then images of Jerry would flash through her mind and she’d hesitate. Surely she deserved some fun in her life? What was one English tutorial really? Some of the students she knew even missed several lectures each week.

They still seemed to pass. I’ll work extra hard for my next English essay, she finally promised God and herself. That way it won’t matter. Breakfast was always a meal-on-the-go in their household. Her mother busy preparing for her day at work, her two younger siblings getting ready for school. Sometimes they even ate standing up. Refilwe glanced at her mother, feeling a guilty pang, hoping she wouldn’t be asked about her day.

But no, she was simply handed a list of chores to do when she returned home. Soon she gave her mother a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek and headed out to catch her taxi. Her heart started to sing. For once the crowded space and buzz of people talking didn’t bother her. Her thoughts were far away as the taxi shot along the highway. Then halfway through their journey she felt a shudder and violent shaking – the mini bus shot sideways and wobbled to a halt.

The passengers clambered out, some starting to grumble while others laughed and chatted, making the most of this unexpected delay. The left front wheel had come right off. Refilwe gasped, realising just how lucky she was that there hadn’t been an accident, but now she would be late. She stood a little apart from her fellow passengers, her thoughts in turmoil. Shewatched the luxury cars speed past the stranded taxi and its passengers without so much as a glance.

To be continued... 

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