Surfing & Shakespeare – Chapter 4

AUTHOR: Tiah Marie Beautement

PUBLISHER: FunDza Literacy Trust


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I get to the crèche with two minutes to spare. Gabriel takes one look at me from his spot on the mat and bursts into tears. He just sits there, on his little bum, fat fists clenched, mouth wide while the wet from his eyes begins to mingle with the snot from his nose.

I scoop him up, quick-quick. And then there is the lady handing me his bag, with the nappies, and the bottles and the change of clothes. “Think he might be getting a cold,” she says with a tsk. She is always treating me this way, like I’m his ma, not his auntie. Ma’s told them what they need to know, but that don’t stop the tongues from wagging and making stories.

“No temperature today,” she says, “but if he gets one, he can’t come here.”

“I know,” I say. “We’ll keep him home if he’s sick.”

“Because I can’t have all the babies coming down with flu. I have to think of everyone.”

I nod and bid her a good evening, because what else can I do? If I get a smart mouth then Ma will be hearing about it and then I’ll have to listen how I’m turning out just like Justine.
So I walk out the door, lugging my school bag, a nappy bag and an eight month old baby boy who is rubbing his snotty nose into my school blazer which is the most expensive item of clothing I own, even though it’s second hand.

I try not to think about what we’re going to do if Gabs is sick. Ma comes home tonight at seven and then she’s off tomorrow and most of the next, and then she switches to night shift. So that gives us a bit of wiggle room. Even so, she’ll be tired and cranky and in no mood to take care of Gab during the day. But at least this time I won’t have to miss school.

“Just stay well, little man,” I tell him, kissing his forehead. He grabs one of my plaits and stuffs the end of it in his mouth and sucks. Probably likes the salt.


Tell us: Do you think Tazmin’s ma is right to compare her to her older sister, Justine?

9 Responses

  1. And oh.. Taz should stop crushing on her coach.

    27 Mar 2017 at 05:38
  2. People who have this lady at the crèche’s attitude annoy the **** out of me!!!
    And all of this isn’t fair on Tazmin. She should be living her life.

    27 Mar 2017 at 05:37
  3. No!! It wrong of her comparing Tazmin to Justine they’re not da same

    21 Mar 2017 at 09:59
  4. No. Because tazmin is a responsible girl unlike her sister who gave birth to a child and run away from it. tazmin is even taking care of the same baby whom her sister has abandoned but her mother doesn’t see that.

    20 Mar 2017 at 18:47
  5. No. Because tazmin has proved to be responsible by taking care of Gabs, unlike her sister who neglected her responsibility

    sandisa magqwashe
    18 Mar 2017 at 18:26
  6. She’s wrong.

    17 Mar 2017 at 23:58
  7. she shouldn’t judge people basing on wat other people have done!

    17 Mar 2017 at 18:03
  8. No! She’s absolutely wrong…

    17 Mar 2017 at 07:46
  9. she’s wrong she can’t compare tazmin wit a person hu is careless and in responsible like justine

    17 Mar 2017 at 00:32

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