In not to far away Sunnyside, Pretoria, Brenda was standing at the side of the road waiting for a taxi that would transport her to campus. She was apprehensive that morning and was beginning to wonder why she was in such a hurry to get to the university that day.
It was very unusual of her to get up and not mope around her room before getting ready for school. But that day there was something strange pulling her like she was a puppet on a string.
The thing had pulled her thirty minutes before the time she normally would get out of bed. The same thing had also persuaded her to wear a skinny jean that she had pushed to the back of her closet. She was not one for wearing anything that called attention to her and her hips.
Her mouth had unwillingly curled up into a smile when she saw her reflection in the mirror. She had wondered why she felt that was a good look for her. She ate apples instead of bananas and she chose her red-rimmed glasses instead of the black ones.
After all that been done, Brenda locked her door to the leering stare of the boys on her corridor. She also noticed the mischievous grin on the faces of the ladies. They always thought Brenda was a wet blanket that had to be ejected from that building. Her phone started to ring when she got to the elevator and she picked up. It was her brother.
“Sawubona! Unjani?,” Brenda greeted in Zulu as she adjusted her seemingly tight blouse. She was beginning to feel that her choice of outfit wasn’t the right one after all but she was late.
One of the ladies asked who the jerk was that had caught her attention. Brenda shook her head but kept as the elevator door closed. She had other things on her mind than to reply a bimbo in a slutty skirt.
Her brother said something about an amount of money that had been deposited into her ABSA bank account. He also mentioned his intending visit to her place over the weekend. They chatted over nothing for a while and disconnected with a promise to call back soon.
The guy that joined the elevator at the 3rd floor paused before he entered. He stood behind Brenda and winked as she shifted for him to pass.
“Unjani?” The guy said and Brenda said she was good to the question about her well being. No one said ‘how are you’ to someone they’d always thought was a nerd. She was feeling very nervous and she could feel his stare drilling a hole into the back of her head.
What a day this is going to turn out to be, Brenda thought as the elevator finally opened. She walked as fast as she could and didn’t look back till she was outside the compound and on the road.
The first taxi that stopped in front of Brenda didn’t have a charming driver so Brenda waved him off. The next one had a panama cap that clashed with Brenda’s bag and he was also waved away. The fifth one had a nice-person look and his shirt was a good match for Brenda. So he was her driver for the day.
When Sean and Derek got to the campus they went straight for lectures. Derek was a fine art student and he had a life drawing to do somewhere near the administrative building. Sean on the other hand had a chemistry practical to supervise as the class rep. They said goodbye to each other and went their separate ways.
The chemistry practical turned out alright so Sean finished early. He had promised Derek to buy him boerwors and pap for lunch. So when it was time, he went looking for him at the cafeteria. As he made his way to the cafeteria, he heard an argument behind him.
The voice of the lady was shrill but strong. It was the kind of voice that held a lot of passion but at the same time bold. Sean turned and he saw her. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen aside his sister. The lady looked in his direction and Sean turned his back. He was not sure of what to do.
Derek would have stepped in if he were there. Sean felt in his heart that he was supposed to go and talk to the lady. Nobody had ever caught his attention like that before. Somehow this pretty stranger made his heartbeat accelerate. He turned again in time to see the cab man getting out of his car.
Sean noticed that the argument was about the fare. The lady probably didn’t have that much money on her and Sean could see that she was beginning to sound perplexed. He cleared his throat and turned towards them.