So anyway, Bossboy was turning 21 and he had a gedoemse 6/6 party planned. He invited everybody we could think of and even some we couldn’t – he had a few important friends we didn’t usually mingle with. Captain Dlamini was there from the local force. He booked a band, he bought us new clothes, Shoes new shoes. Bossboy had plenty money, he bought himself a snazzy gold colour show-off car and he had a girlfriend, Zinzi who liked to lie all over the bonnet of it and all over him too. We didn’t ask him about his money because he didn’t have a job so it was obvious he got it in other ways - it was better we didn’t know about them. Some weekends he didn’t hang out with Shoes, Unlucky Dube and me because he was away visiting his cousin in Mozambique. At the end of those weekends he always came back bouncing along on the balls of his feet, a big fat smile on his face and Zinzi in a new dress.
I was jealous about the car, it was an old Merc and I was good at telling Bossboy how rubbish the engine was when he asked me to lift the bonnet to check it. The truth was I wanted my own wheels. I was still the best driver in my job and worked as mechanic for the car pool now too but I didn’t have my own. Cars cost too much on my wage.
Bossboy liked to wear a fedora hat and smoke cigars, like a movie gangsta. His black eyes shone out from underneath the brim through the smoke like two dung beetles on a misty morning. I remember that party well, it was about three in the morning when I was sitting next to Bossboy on a new leather sofa outside his house and we were sharing a joint. He was taking turns on the cigar and the joint. My head was light as a feather and my eyes half shut but there was my girl with me, Vanessa, who was the younger sister of Shoes and she was keeping me awake with her eyes, chatter and smiles. Vanessa was my first girl. She stood up to go and get me another beer and then Bossboy leant over to me.
‘NP’. It was hard to hear him over the beat of the music, his voice was low and rumbled like a thunderstorm approaching from the horizon. His eyes slowly moved over the crowd, like those of a lion who is confident of his hunting ground.
‘NP, I hear your mother is not well’.
‘That’s true Boss’. I was surprised, he never asked about my family before. He was the kind of man who told you about his affairs but didn’t ask about yours. My mother had heart troubles, something the nurse at the clinic had called angina and she needed medicine. She couldn’t work and had retired and I was liv...