Tough Choice

by Temba Magorimbo

She was short. She was slim. Maybe she was a metre fifty-five. She looked young too. She must have been a spring chicken. Age, I could guess should be around twenty-four, no baby at home obviously. In terms of weight, she probably weighed sixty kilograms. She had a backside that had me twisting in my bar stool. The beer was frothy, lively ands good tasting. I did not know that the farmers still grew such hops. I don't know if credit should go to the fertilizer company or the improvement in farming methods. It must be interesting to be a combine harvester operator picking those hops I assumed.

"Hey," my male mate said.

"What?" I almost screamed caught off balance. "Want another beer?"

"No chum," he came closer. The machine shop had closed hours ago. We have left the blue two piece work suits, mutton cloth rolls and hard hats somewhere there. A bath after work had seen us in our Friday finery. Then an argument between drinking mates about whether to attend the night soccer match or the lottery shop. I had won on the lottery. The ticket was there. I patted my pocket. Just a crazy lot of numbers that I had used with enough to give me three times my monthly salary, tax free tomorrow!

The hops were so good that they were having an effect on him even after the chemical process of brewing the beer. I thought the lager company was taking masters degree graduates for brew masters and professors of chemistry for beer tasters. I wondered if those who washed the sparkling clean floors did not have bachelors' degrees in clinical administration. Too bad. My friend was gone on three pints. "Leave the girl alone."

"Which girl?" I asked incredulously. How did Caesar see that I was staring at the short one? There were so many pick and choose females in the beer place. Why did Caser consider me and her?

"Shorty with big breasts," he said.

"The wife in not home. I am not going home alone," I rose.

"Hey Chester. Cool down," Caesar said.

"What?" I asked again.

"Leave the women alone."

"Thanks for the advise," I replied saunting off. I reached her. I had the nerve. "Cool night he?"

"Yeah," she replied.

"Buy you a drink?" I asked.

"The last short range customer gave me a load. I can manage," she replied.

"Short range?"

"Yap, you heard me correctly. Did you imagine I was a nun?"

"Last customer?" I asked.

"Five minutes flat in a Peugeot 5.0.4 sedan," she replied. "A hundred metres from here."

"Doing what?" I stammered.

"Grow up. Adult games," she replied.

"Oh," I understood. "How about the rest of the night?"

"I will be sleeping."

"How much will it cost me?" I asked.

"Some loose change obviously," she replied. She started at the top. I negotiated downwards. The idea was to book these women around 10 p.m. for a short stint at home. Around 11 p.m. one would pay and ask them to vacate. She couldn't obviously because thieves would make mince meat of her with their long butcher knives. Then she would sleep over, the rest of the night for almost free, that was when he was most horny. "So how many hours?"

"Two flat," I suggested.

"Okay," she said. We left the bar together. Caesar called me and talked about the ticket and the wallet. He suggested the toilet.

"I am no bloody homo," I replied.


"See ya tomorrow at the machine shop when I tend in my resignation," I replied.

I sang, she laughed. The ticket was in my jacket. My ticket to freedom! We went home. Transport was running even in the night.

I woke her two hours later. It was time.

"I can't go," she professed. "Damn it's 2 a.m. I could get raped and murdered."

"I feel horny."

"Your time expired."

"You are in my bed," I explained.

"Okay have your free whatever," she replied. I woke up two hours later intending to wake her up. She was gone. I looked at the clock, it was 4 a.m. How come.

I tip toed for my jacket. The wallet! The cash was there. The ID and everything. My lottery ticket, I searched. I up ended the jacket. I removed the bed sheets and blankets. I searched under the bed.

But I put it in my jacket's inner pocket. I pulled out the whole pocket. There was nothing.

I guess Caesar was right. I should have given him the ticket!

Tough Choice by Temba Magorimbo

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