“Where are you?” Veronica asked, without acknowledging August’s greeting.
“Um...” August knew that no one approved of Kholwa. She was older and also, at the moment, sick. How could he tell Vero that he was staying with her for the day? She would probably come get him and put him on a leash for the rest of the season. “I’m out. Busy. I won’t make it to the meeting.”
She sighed. “Gus, you know that you’re supposed to be here.”
“I’m so sorry. Can’t I just stay out today? It’s important.”
There was a short pause at the end of the line. “Okay. Okay.” August released a relieved breath. “But don’t do this again. Next time let me know first, okay?”
“Yeah.” August turned around when he heard one of the doors open. He saw her small frame exit the room and his heart melted. She looked weak as she walked out towards him, rubbing her eyes.
“Zamo,” She tiredly said. “You should go to work now. I’ll be...” Her eyes met August’s and she paused.
“Who’s that?” Veronica suspiciously asked. “You’re not with a girl, are you?”
“It’s no one.” August dismissed. “I’ll call later. Bye.” He hung up, Veronica not getting a chance to reply. “Kholwa,” he softly smiled.
She quickly put her hands over her face. “You shouldn’t see me like this.” She turned around.
August chuckled. She must have been getting better if she was able to worry about him seeing her in her worst. He walked towards her. He side-stepped her and stood in front of her. She peaked at him from between her fingers.
He was grinning.
“I don’t care how you look like,” she raised her eyebrows sceptically. That was cheesy. “I’m just here to take care of you.”
Her hands went to her cheeks, which were starting to turn rosy. That made August’s smile widen. She did have feelings for him. He looked down at her outfit. Shorts and a t-shirt.
“Aren’t you cold?” He asked. He did not comment about her paler skin, or the dark circles under her eyes. All that he cared about at that moment was helping her get better again.
“I am.” Her hands went to hold her sides as she finally felt naked in front of the man that she really liked. She wished she had worn better clothes. She was going to give Mzamo a mouthful when he got back from work. He should have told her. She was as unattractive as she could get at that moment. “I’ll go get a blanket.”
“You should go back to bed.”
Kholwa smiled, though her smile was duller. “And leave you alone to do what?” She chuckled. “I’ve just been sleeping for the past two days. I need a break from all the sleep.”
August nodded. If it is what she wanted, then it was okay.
She fell asleep on his shoulder.
They had been watching a movie together when August felt a sudden weight on his shoulder. When he looked down, she was sleeping. He smiled, taking his time to look at her peaceful form. A small frown was on her lips, but that did not worry him much. He pulled the blanket higher and covered her shoulders.
He was glad that Mzamo, as much as he always threatened him, messaged him that day. If not, he would have hated her and thought that she did not actually like him. He would have believed everyone and grew to hate the girl that stole his heart.
“You should have woken me up,” Kholwa said, resting her head on the counter. She liked how cold it felt on her boiling skin. She shut her eyes, absorbing the cold feeling. “I even managed to drool on your shoulder. How embarrassing.”
“I thought it was cute.”
She scoffed, “it’s embarrassing.” She lifted her head, her tired eyes staring at August’s back as he heated up the soup that had been in the fridge. “You don’t have to make me anything. I’m not hungry.”
August glanced at her. Smiling as she put her head back on the counter. “I told you that today, I will be taking care of you.” He walked to her and folded his arms on the counter and put his head on top. He stared at her, the smile still on his face.
She looked up, frowning when she saw him.
“Don’t look at me.” She pouted. “Don’t look,” she put her hands over his eyes, “don’t look.”
He chuckled, standing up. “Okay, I won’t. But promise me something.”
“Go on a date with me when you get better.”