As it turned out, I didn’t see Bossboy that night, they said he was away in Mozambique. But Shoes and Unlucky were full of the news about what had gone down and had the newspapers to prove it. Being stuck in the bush meant that we were often late hearing about the world outside the park fences.
The Doctor had been gunned down when he returned home from work late at night. He had stepped out of his vehicle to open the gate of his property when the electric remote control hadn’t done the job because the opening mechanism on the gate was mysteriously broken. Those were the last steps he took. The car was never seen again and nobody could say who the man was who did the job. My heart beat hard in my chest as I read about it.
I was glad not to see Bossboy. I don’t know what I would say to him anyway. Shoes didn’t wait to drink with us, he said he had to go home and look after his sister. Unlucky laughed and said he was just scared.
‘What is he scared of?’ I asked.
Unlucky didn’t answer me but drank a long drink from his beer then he said: ‘Eish NP let’s get wasted tonight my brother.’
We finished the beers very fast that night and had to send someone to score us some more from the shebeen. Unlucky kept rolling the joints for us, there was music and I turned up the volume as loud as the player could go - the louder the music the quieter my head. By the early hours I passed out on the sofa.
Nessa became friendly to me again that weekend after I bought her a few nice things. I didn’t know what her problem was in the first place. Like I said, girls have their own ways.
Back at work on Monday morning Smit called me into his office first thing, my head was still in pain from Saturday night.
‘Sam, I just wanted to say that you did good last week.’
I tried to think what I did but I said nothing, just nodded - gently so my brain didn’t knock about too much.
‘In future I will be needing you to track out in front with me everytime, OK?’
‘OK goed so.’ He sat there looking at me, his eyes were the watery pale blue of a winter sky. I shuffled my feet around while he watched me.
‘Did I notice you in town on Saturday at that jewellery shop in the Mall with a girlfriend, hey?’
I nodded again, that’s where I took Nessa to buy her a necklace. Smit made a chuckling noise.
‘Oooh ni-ice, Sam has a sexy girl! Hope you got her something expensive.’ I didn’t like his tone so I just looked straight ahead out the window behind him when I answered.
‘Ja baas, a gold one’
‘Lekker! Goed so, you can go now Sam.’
The next weekend I saw Bossboy for the first time again since the party. He didn’t mention the car incident and I definitely was not going to say anything. He invited us to come over to his place and was friendly to me and bought beers for us. I called Shoes when we didn’t see him, but he said his mother was sick and he couldn’t leave her.
For about six months after that time of Lawrence’s death each month was the same. I would see Nessa and my friends on the weekends, sometimes I would see Shoes, sometimes...