It was a chilled Thursday eveningLukhanya was sitting on her bed thinking of a way to tell Ndaloenhle about her new tutor first thing tomorrow morningthen suddenly she heard a hard knock on the door.To her suprise she saw Jackie the only daughter of the well known businessman Mr Naidoo.Jackie was so full of herself you could tell by the way she walkedit was as if she didn't want sand or soil rolling on her shoes.She was an attention seeker also you could tell by the loud coloursshe always wore.Mr Naidoo on the other hand was so sweet and humble.
"Hey Jackie"Lukhanya went to meet her halfwayknowing that she wouldn't enter their shack to save her life.
"Miss Naidoo to you!"Jackie emphasised
"Oh how can I help you?"
"My dad told me you help around the pawn shop on Saturdays"
"Scratch thattomorrow will be a busy day at the pawn shop since is friday so I need you there first thing tomorrow morning"Jackie said while blowing her nails
"Im not sure if I follow"
"One of our workers called in sick todaywe need an extra ASAPand from where im standing you could do with an extra cash"
"But im going to school tomorrowcan't I come after school at least?"
"No you can'tand as a matter of a fact if you don't come tomorrow morning.consider yourself fired!"
Jackie walked away leaving Lukhanya's jaw on the groundwhat will she say to Mrs Maseko?winter was already here and Njabulo had lost his jerseyshe needed to replace it before he gets flu.Where would she get the money to buy remedy for himthis was the hardest decision she had to make.
The following morning the sun was so weakclearly the midst was over powering it.Lukhanya had made a decision she woke up and prepared hot soup for her siblingsthen boiled water.She woke them up to drink the soup while waiting for the water to boil.You could tell they enjoyed it by the sound they madein a short while they were prepared for school.They ran off to school as they waved goodbye to their sisteryes she had decided not to go to school.
"Morning miss Naidoo"Lukhanya yelled as she closed the pawn shop door behind herclapping her teeth and rubbing her hands together.The weather had gone from -10 to -2.
"Good girlI knew you would make a clever choice"Jackie said sarcastically
"Where do you need me?"
"Firstly sweep the shopthen you can come over here by the counter im already tired"Jackie said while sitting on a bar stool behind the counterthey had only opened for 5minutes and she was already tired.Thats Jackie for you!Lukhanya did as she was instructed toindeed Jackie was right many clients came through.Only half of friday clients came on Saturdayshe had managed to buy and sell many staffs.The last customer forgot to close the doorwhen she rushed to close the door she bumped into another customer walking inshe apologised and closed the door for him.Then suddenly she felt something pricking her inside her left brown half boot
she apologised and closed the door for him.Then suddenly she felt something pricking her inside her left brown half bootshe ignored it until she arrived home even though the pain was getting worse.She found her siblings in blankets on the couchthe first thing she did was take off her boot.She found something that looked like a glasswhat bothered her was its shape.It was shaped like a diamond"there is no way this could be a diamondhow did it end up in my boot anyway?"alot of questions ran through her mindshe placed it in her toiletry bag and began cooking for her siblings with a smile on her faceJackie had paid her R500she has never gotten so much money since she started helping at the pawn shopif she works on Saturday also she wouldn't have to clean Mrs Mazibuko's house or baby sit for anyone.
"Knock!knock!"Lukhanya thought she had Ndaloenhle's voice
"Lukhanya!"Now she was sure that she wasn't dreamingthat was definitely Ndaloenhleshe rubbed her eyes and stretched her hands while getting off bed to open the doorbut someone beat her to it.Phiwe had already opened the door before she could.
"Move Phiwe shes not here to see you"Lukhanya pulled Phiwe inside
"Hy Ndalo"Phiwe greeted
"What happened to your voice Phiwe?come in Ndalo"Lukhanya said
"Hy Phiwewhy were you absent friend?"
"I had to work at the..."Ndaloenhle interrupted Lukhanya before she could finish off her sentence
"I would start writing a sick letter if I was you"
"Mrs Maseko huh?"
"Yeah she was so moody the whole day"
"She likes putting so much pressure on me"Lukhanya complained
"Are you kidding me you used to ace mathematicsI don't blame her"Ndaloenhle replied
"Yeah things changepeople do too"
"You are still grievingI understand.but it doesn't count Mrs Maseko ain't having it"Ndaloenhle said.Lukhanya just wished Mrs Maseko understood the kind of pain she was experiencingjust because she didn't talk about it didn't mean she was coping.The wound for her mother's death was still freshtaking care of her siblings and doing piece jobs distracted her.She never took a time out to mourn her mother's death properly.
"Anyway I hear you have found yourself a tutor"Ndaloenhle continued talking
"Mrs Maseko's idea"Lukhanya couldn't look at Ndaloenhle anymore
"She is a total control freak if you ask me"Ndaloenhle said
"Perhaps you could study with us"
"Oh no!I hate math with passion not to mention studying"Ndaloenhle replied
"Uhm too bad then"Lukhanya said
"Who is she anyway Anita?hahaha"
"Its a he"
"Mmh do I know him?"
"Yeah...Uhm everybody does"Lukhanya replied
"Whats his name?"
"Take a seatwould you like tea?"
"Nice try tell me the name"Ndaloenhle said
"Co...(clears throat)llin"Lukhanya replied
"Hahaha I thought you said Collinimagine"
"What do you mean?"Lukhanya asked
"Oh..."Lukhanya started realising that she took the crush Ndaloenhle had for Collin for granted
"As a matter of fact its himCollin"Lukhanya continued talking
"Oh uhm thats...thats nice"Ndaloenhle pretended to be cool about itbut Lukhanya could see far behind her painted smile was jelousy.
"I hope you don't mind"Lukhanya said
"Of course I don't mindits not like yall are dating or something"ndaloenhle replied
"Okay thanks"Lukhanya sighed
"I have to rush somewheresee you around"ndaloenhle left just like that.