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  • When I was fifteen I had a crush on a guy called Joe da Silva. Joe was a like a Portuguese God to me with his shoulder-length dark hair and doggy brown eyes. He oozed shyness and sex appeal and the fact that he was at least eight years older than me made him even more desirable.

    One Saturday afternoon I was walking along the beachfront with a couple of friends when I spotted Joe and his friend Peter walking with a girl on the other side of the road.

    This was a big deal. I had never seen Joe or Peter in daylight before. I'd only ever seen them in the darkness of the Mayfair, a nightclub frequented by strippers, prostitutes and general low life of Durban.

    I shouted their names out across the busy traffic, waved and eventually caught their attention. Too cool to wave back, Joe cocked his head to the side and gestured for us to cross. I thought I saw a smile of recognition.

    Whatever it was, I didn't need much encouragement to join Joe on the other side. This was an opportunity for him to get to know my name, for us to have a proper conversation, for me to find out more about him. He might even ask me out. Who knew, in a few years time, I could be Angie da Silva. I liked the sound of that.

    We made it to the centre of the road and waited to cross. All I could focus on was Joe. I was smiling at him and in the bright glare of the sunlight, it looked like he was smiling back. Half-way there.

    And then I felt it. A heavy weight on my left foot. I looked down and saw that the front wheel of a white VW Beetle had stopped on my left foot.

    I knocked on the driver's window. 'Excuse me, your car's on my foot.'

    'Is it?' The woman rolled down her window and peered out.

    'Oh, it is.' She looked at me and laughed before putting the car into reverse.

    The wheel eased off my foot. But before I could move it out the way, she shifted gear and drove back over it.

    Somehow I managed to remove my foot before the rear wheel followed suit.

    I've always found that in moments of crisis my voice fails me. This was one of those moments. It all happened so quickly I didn't even shout out.

    I hobbled across the road and arrived in front of Joe, trying to hide my tears of pain and shock.

    'That car just ran over my foot,' I spluttered. Everyone laughed like I'd just told the funniest joke ever. The girl with them was laughing too.

    I can't remember what was said after that. All I knew was that in Joe's eyes I was the crazy chick who got her foot run over by a car. I was back to being Angie Macdonald. The girl with a left foot the size of a grapefruit and a bruise to die for. Crushed.
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