Press "Enter" to skip to content

A South African coffee shop scene in 2040

I got out of my car in the parking lot of Starbuck’s – looking forward to seeing my wife again, after a hard day at work. It was busy inside, but Anam was waiting at our usual corner table – a quiet spot, and out of the way.  

We hugged and sat; I noticed a huge dark man with menacing muscles near the front of the shop, eyeing us up. But I forgot about him as we started to talk and laugh – there was so much to enjoy together again, after such a tough day.

I laughed at one of Anam’s funny jokes, but then jumped, as the large man loomed next to our small table.

“Sorry to interrupt, lady,” he said, looking at me, “But you’re very beautiful. Can I have your number?”

“Hi, sir,” I said carefully, “Thank you for recognising my beauty. But please, let me introduce you to my wife, Anam.”

Anam looked at me, suddenly quiet and nervous.

“Ow, you guys are married lesbians. Wow!” The huge man turned away for a moment and we were about to sigh in relief together, when he spun around to stand over us again, his face twisted with anger and hate.

“I hope you both go to hell! Society shouldn’t accept people like you. This is an abomination for black women! I am disgusted to look at the both of you. You make me want to puke!”

He was shouting over us now and the entire shop had gone quiet, as people turned to stare.

My face burned and I looked down, crying, hoping he would just go away.

Anam leaned across the table to me, doing her best to soothe me, whispering, “Ignore him. We are good.”

That seemed to enrage the man even more, as he raised his arms and fists…

Two men in blue held him tight, one holding onto each of his arms.

The large man swore and struggled, but he could not budge the men in blue.

“It is illegal within the Bill of Rights to give negative opinions in public on what people choose with regard to religion, gender, sexuality, etcetera,” said the man on the right.

“Minimum term, ten days in jail,” said the man on the left. “I apologise to the both of you. We will not allow this again.”

They turned and carried the large man out, despite all of his struggling and swearing.

“Wow!” I looked up at a relieved Anam, “Did you see? The cops – they’re cyborgs!”

This was the winning story from a workshop on science fiction writing for high school students supported by the Community and Social Psychology Division of the Psychological Society of Africa (PsySSA).

Author

  • Inga Hanifa Sengo matriculated in 2019 from Isilimelala High, in Langa. In 2020 she joined the bridging year programme at the South African Education Project (SAEP). She is currently enrolled at Tsiba Business School, studying towards her first year of her diploma in business administration and is part of SAEP’s tertiary support programme. Amongst others, her favourite authors are Maya Angelo and Clayton Jennings.