The two men stared at each other in silence. One stared at the other in betrayal, shock and sadness. While the other was defiant. His head held high, and his eyes burning with spite.
Veronica came back with two disposable coffee cups. She put one in front of August, and the other in front of herself. Manelisi already had a glass of fruit juice in front of him from before they arrived.
“I’m assuming you two haven’t said a thing to each other since I left?” She laughed as she slid into the seat.
“I have nothing to say to him,” Manelisi said, taking a deep breath in, his emotions staying firm as he looked at his former roommate.
August smiled. “How are your five minutes of fame treating you? What, did you find my sketches in some of your stuff and thought they were yours?”
“Funny,” Manelisi said, sipping his juice and then taking in a loud breath. “Why am I here?”
“As if you don’t know!” August slammed his hand on the table. “As if you don’t fucking know!”
Veronica’s eyes widened as she glanced around at the crowd that was already glancing and staring at them. She put her hands on August, who turned to glare at her, before he looked away as if realising who she was.
“Manelis,” Veronica started.
“Ma-ne-li-si.” He corrected, rolling his eyes.
“Yes. That’s what I said.” Veronica tightly smiled. Her smile seeming forced, the kind that she did when she was in an unfavoured position. “I think you made a mistake when you told that journalist that August stole your designs.”
“I don’t make such mistakes.”
“Okay,” Veronica’s smile widened, while August glared at Manelisi. “But these are August’s designs. So how was this not a mistake?”
Manelisi sighed, “Lady, I said what I said. I know what I know. And I know that the designs that August is going around saying are his, are actually mine. So unless if you have any time stamps on your designs, please, stop stalking me.”
Manelisi stood up and left.
Veronica sighed and fell back on her chair. She shut her eyes, putting her hand on her forehead.
August picked up his coffee, smelt the chocolate aroma coming from the small drinking hole and then took a sip.
“Should have let me punch him. I forgot how annoying he was.”
“Shut up.” She lifted her hand up. August didn’t respond and instead drank his coffee. He took his phone out of his pocket and then smiled when he saw the text from his girlfriend.
Veronica composed herself again, and then looked at the smiling man next to her. She put her hand on his shoulder, startling him.
“This coffee won’t be strong enough. Let’s go for a drink.” She said, standing up first.
August pouted, glancing at the pink heart emoji Kholwa had sent and then back at Veronica. He shook his head.
“Come. I talked to him like you asked. Now let’s go drink together. It’s on me, don’t worry.”
August pouted still, but stood up and reluctantly went to Veronica’s car. Knowing that she was going to take them to her favourite fancy drinking spot, as she always did when something didn’t go her way.
August’s eyes burst open, and he stared at the road in front of him. He was sitting on the bus stop…had been sleeping there too it seemed. He was a bit drunk, not a lot. He took in a deep breath, scrunching up his face as he searched his pockets to see if everything was still in place.
Wallet. Check. Cellphone. Check, check. Receipt with a random cellphone number and the name Janet on it? He stared at it, shrivelled it up and then threw it on the bin next to the bus stop.
He stood up, trying to remember how he got to the bus stop in the first place. His world swayed for a second, but he steadied himself.
“Will you be able to go home on your own?” Veronica had asked. “You just had two shots how are you this drunk?”
“I’m not drunk.” He scoffed, smiling, with his eyes half-closed.
Veronica let out a soft cry, her hand on her waist as she looked at the map to try and see how close the taxi driver was. “I don’t know why I keep thinking drinking with you will be a good idea. I told you to have water!”
He put both his hands in his pockets, smiling at himself. He wasn’t drunk. He’s a good drinker. After still sober Veronica helped him get into a taxi, he told the driver to ignore the location on the order and instead take him somewhere else.
He turned around from the bus stop and smiled. That was Kholwa’s place.
He only blinked once, but somehow he was standing in front of her door. He blinked a few more times, trying to see if maybe he was too drunk to see correctly. He took a step back, shaking his head. It was too late in the night. She would think he was a creep.
"August?" He heard her melodic voice. He shook his head. He was too drunk. He was even starting to hear things.
"I have to go back." He whispered to himself.
"Gus?" He saw her beautiful face in front of him.
"It's really you." He smiled.
Kholwa was also smiling. "Yes. It is me."
"And me, you cringe-worthy human," Mzamo said, also standing in his line of vision. "I'm going in. If this drunkard tries anything funny... I kill him." And then he opened the door, balancing the two plastic bags he was holding in one hand and then got inside, leaving the two behind.
"Your friend is mean." August pouted.
Kholwa looked into his eyes, amused at how drunk he was. He was adorable. "Why did you drink so much?"
August shook his head. He hummed. "Mmmm. I didn't drink a lot. I just drank a little bit." He held his pointer finger and thumb together, leaving just a small space between the two. He peeked through the space and looked at her. "I drank this much." He giggled.
"Of course you did." She chuckled. "How did you get here? Were you even able to dial the taxi company's number properly?"
"Vero got me the taxi," he giggled, swaying back and forth.
“Okay," he was way too drunk to let out on the streets alone. As adorable as he was, he would ruin his career even more if anyone saw him in his drunken state. "Come," she wrapped her arm around his, "let's go make you a cup of tea. Sleepover tonight."
August giggled. "Kholwa, what are you suggesting? Are we going to sleep together?"
She laughed. "I like drunk you. You're even more forward than usual." She pulled him into the house and he followed. He smiled stupidly at the girl that was pulling him to the place he would spend the night.
"No!" Mzamo glared when he saw them walk in. "No way in hell is he sleeping over."
"He's drunk. We can't let him go alone. I don't even know where he lives." She reasoned. She helped August sit on the sofa. He instantly fell over, shutting his eyes.
"My eyes are so heavy." He mumbled.
"No fucking way, Kholwa."
"He'll sleep on the sofa, he won't even disturb you at all." She reasoned.
Mzamo glared at the sleeping man, imagining all the mischief that he could get into just by being allowed to sleep in the living room. He could wake up in the middle of the night and go sleep in Kholwa's room. He internally scoffed. Never.
"He'll sleep in my room." He said, still glaring.
Kholwa frowned. "You won't choke him during the night, will you?"
"No." He looked at her. "I know just how horny you are, and he's probably just as sexually frustrated seeing that he's been chasing you for the last couple of months. I don't want him to wake up in the middle of the night and go into your room."
Kholwa laughed. "You're being dramatic."
"Yes. He could walk out of your room in the middle of the night as well."
"Then I'll lock my door and only open it in the morning."
Kholwa chuckled. "Okay. If you say so."