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CHAPTER 5


They agreed on just one glass but here she is dropping the 5th one. They’ve already finished 2 bottles and he has a 3rd one on his hands with an opener. Getting drunk wasn’t a plan but after the first one they just kept on coming and coming. Somehow they both needed to drown their sorrows.

“My lady.” He shows his palm and accepts the empty glass on her hands .He pours it full and hands it back to her he pours his and heads back to the couch. He sinks right next to her.

“Thought you were digging it.” She chuckles while her lips meet with the glass.

“I’m here now.”He also chuckles and gulps his.

“You plan on getting me drunk?” She’s already wasted but a part of her still insists on convincing herself that she’s not. She still needs to request to the other side of town. If she keeps up to his pace she’s going to have a hard time trying to get out the front door.

“Sobushisa kuse!” Better that than sitting here sulking. His talk with Thulile didn’t end well for the first time in never he got the gut to cut her call. He had a perfect night planned out for the both of them and she ruined that.

Candle lights expensive wine rose petals ;he went all out to throw in the romantic pinch just for her and the expensive rock was already waiting. But then the lady of the hour never showed up. 

He understands that she has a tight schedule but then again he also works but he never misses important dates. He always try to avail himself for her every time she’s off. But with her it’s always the same.

“No yazini let me finish this and request. The night is not getting any young.” She gulps the rest of it down and searches for her phone. It was here somewhere the last time she saw it.

“Let finish this one ke . It’s still early.” He frowns. Oddly he is enjoying her company. It’s not a hard task to warm up and be yourself around her. Had he known that she’s such a wonderful soul maybe they would have been friends  for ages now. 

“The door is drifting away.” She also frowns and flaunts a weird facial expression you’d swear she’s about to cry. She stops for a good second and then she burst out.

“You crazy. I’m filing you up.” He grabs the wine bottle and fills her cup once again.

“Filing me up in which way?” She stares at him he also switches his eyes back at her and they lock. His facial expression tells that he’s reading it and trying to process it you’d swear he’s just seen a ghost.

“Which way do you want to filled?” He swallows an excessive lump of saliva. The atmosphere changes to brief sighs and long awkward stares.

“That’s my cue!” She grabs the glass gulps it down and turns back to her phone. She’s requesting before the situation gets even more hectic.

His hand rushes to hers it prevents her from being able to do the dial up.

“Can you please stay?” He frowns.

She lets out a heavy sigh and says nothing more.

_

He drops her off outside the gate and she finds her way in. She’s in a rush she already has a shift start at 8 and it’s already 7. She still has to change into her uniform and head back to town. Coming back home was essential she does have the clothes she wore yesterday in her locker at work but she’s not spending a day in sweaty clothes. She needs to look all clean and brand new for the wonderful day ahead.

“Sthandwa sami!” She cringes as she turns back to meet him. (My love!) There he is standing with a big fat grin as if he couldn’t get any more annoying.

“Hi.” She fakes a smile. He already has his bags on his hands a clear sign that his shift is over .Hopefully she won’t have to see his ugly face later.

“Your friends have already gone to work. Mind if I give you a lift?” He continues giving her  that bright yellow smile it’s as eye blocking as the sun is.

“A lift?” The last time she remembers he didn’t have a car so what type of lift is he on about?

“Oh yes! My good friend is coming to pick me up he’s just passing by. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind going out of his way for a beauty like you.” He smiles yet again. Something happens to him every time he sees Thando he would be standing with a grin looking like a love strike puppy. She has tried a couple of times to set him off even  being mean to him didn’t help out.

“No thank you!” She walks forward and chuckles in disbelief. Who does he think he is?

Mphephethwa as he would address himself this one never gets it. Thando and him are completely water and paraffin fire and ice ; they wouldn’t work even if the fate of the earth depended on it. 

She gets inside just in time changes clothes and request a taxi to work.

_

In no time she’s already preparing to start her shift

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10 minutes early. She didn’t expect that she’ll be just on track but then she made it. She did see the skorokoro that picked up Mphephethwa if she had agreed to ride on that thing she wouldn’t have made it on time. She reaches for the back in attempts to put it in the locker a beeps interrupts and she sends her hand over to check it.

‘Hope you got to work in time. Can’t come for my morning fix I’ll see you during lunch.’ Her heart almost skips a beat. She smiles and lets out a sigh. Nothing else she needed for her day to be more perfect.

“Bitch!”Rato walks in. She finds her still standing in front of the locker with her lips visiting her ears. She knows that she has a lot of explanations to do.

“Uhm hey Rato.” She chuckles shyly.

“Yah Thando.” She sits and fixes her eyes on her. (Hey Thando.)

“I’m all ears!” She cuts the chase and gets straight to the point. It’s the date of the century something they both been longing for. Yes it’s Thando who gets to date him but she was there in tough times she was there when this crush was formed and they both nursed it to life and watered it. Well she was there for listening and giving her hope but she still needs to hear every bit of it. 

“I’m not telling.” She smiles and slips the phone back to her bag. She picks her apron and ties it on her waist with a very huge smile. She’s definitely hiding something.

“You can’t do me  like that. Asilalanga ekhay chommie I need to hear what went down . And why didn’t you call to let us know?” She wears her pleading face. She can’t drop her now she’s a majority shareholder in this mjolo business . She needs to be aware of everything.

“Okay. I prepared him dinner.” She knows that she will force it out of her mouth anyway it’s better if she comes clean now.

“Cooking on the first date?” She frowns. Where’s the romance in that? If a guy could ever try that with her he would wake up in the hospital the next day with food poisoning.

“It wasn’t a date Thando.” Her face changes as she’s reminded of how she spent the entire evening cooking for the girlfriend that didn’t show up. Sya still gives him a bit of excitement but it’s just pointless since he’s already prepared to tie the knot and settle down. A crush gone to waste!

“What was it then?” She catches up.

“I was there on a catering gig.” She picks a swap and walk over to her working station. They always start by cleaning up before serving customers. The Hub is known for it good coffee cleanliness and for being the perfect hang out.

“Wait! I don’t understand.” Her face screams awe. Someone better wake her up and that person needs to do that ASAP. Since when are dates catering gigs and since when does she have a catering company?

“He asked me to cook for his girlfriend.” She lowers her voice and lets that out in a fuss.

Wait ! What? 

Rato almost catches her eyes on the floor.

“Ladies! Rato please join me in the office.”Mr Anderson senior walks in and disturbs their catch up with what almost sounds like Reatoh . He doesn’t normally come unless he has something important that he needs to sort out. This doesn’t look so good but then you can never guarantee with this one. He’s always wearing a serious face you never catch him smiling. You’d swear the whole world stinks.

“Sowenzeni?” Thando whispers he never really shows interest on the stuff .(What did you do?)  She’s even surprised that she knows her name. She shakes her shoulders in signal that she doesn’t know.

“In-law issues?” She continues with her whistles.

“I’ll stab you.” She frowns and whistles back. She goes after him and leave her next victim chuckling.

_

_

It’s just after 12 and she’s already counting hours to her lunch time. She has a few errands that she need to run during  her lunch and she can’t wait for the clock to strike one. At least they have an hour long break she’ll have enough time on her side.

The coffee shop isn’t the busiest today she has her eyes pinned down the bar area when someone walks in. She’s disturbed by a voice clearing sound and she lifts her eyes up to meet him. She almost smiles but decides to hold it.

“Siyabonga.” That forces it way out. He stands on the other side and smiles.

“Thando. I’ll have my usual.” He’s here once again ready to order what he usually orders. That isn’t all he’s here for though he still needs to thank the weird coffee predictor.

“Alright. Coming right up.” She smiles and punch his order. The smile in her heart is visible through her facial expression .

“So how are you today?” _Siyabonga.

“She’s fine! She’ll be fine tomorrow and she’ll be fine the day after!” Rato comes out of nowhere. She’s already standing behind Thando and is having a ‘not so pleased no nonsense taking ‘ face.

“Uhm okay! How are you Rato?” He frowns a bit. He doesn’t understand what happening and why she’s like this. 

“Can I have a favor Thando?” He turns back to Thando.

“Yes!”

“No!” They both say it the same time. Thando looks at Rato in awe. She isn’t having it she continues wearing her ‘hate Siya ‘face.

“No she won’t!” As they are both still confused.

“Rato.” She whispers that while pulling her by her apron.

“Fine! I’ll go.”She says with her eyes still fixed on Siyabonga.

“ke tla o hlaba wena.”She gives him one last death stare before leaving them .Fear him for breaking the record of getting her mad enough to speak her language in a period of short time knowing each other. She’s the type that doesn’t take time getting to know people and she’s the nicest between the two. It’s not an easy task for  a stranger to get her this angry.

“What was that about?” He is startled.

“ Don’t mind her. It’s just not her day.” She says shyly. What an embarrassing encounter yes Sya broke her heart but she wasn’t expecting Rato to go about it this way. This is so uncalled for. Siya takes her coffee awkwardly and bounce as soon as he can.



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