Tebogo was bathing in the children’s bathroom of the Namane household when his father, Omolemo called out.

“Tebogo! Tebogo! Dira ka bonako borakana botloga bo jewa, (make it snappy, breakfast is nearly served).” Tebogo concluded everything by hopping out of the bath, drying himself and applying lotion on his body.

Everyone was already at the table when he got there; his mother Kgomotso, his older sister Palesa and his father.

“Morning everyone.”

“Morning!” the three altogether chorused the greetings.

They began breakfast. Whilst they were eating, Omolemo said, “Boy! I am thinking of buying you a quad bike before March. You make me proud unlike…” Before he could conclude the sentence, Palesa grabbed her school bag and ran out of the house, near tears.

Tebogo also ran out to call after her.

“Lesa,Lesa!” But she ran off and he didn’t chase after her because he did not want the neighbours to witness a scene. Plus their neighbour, Aus Motle was a busy body.

Back at the house Kgomotso asked her husband. “A re o longwa ke eng o mpkhibidu o? (What’s bothering that pale one?)”

“I wonder otla re bora.”

Yes, they were referring to Palesa. Palesa was not the favourite child, in fact she was the black sheep of the family. Palesa was proving to be very tiring to her parents. She was in the same class as her brother, Grade 10B in Rakgwedi Bokang Secondary School, and repeating the class for the third time. For that her parents were neglecting her. They paid no attention to her.

Every night she cried to sleep and that turned her eyes red. Since she was light-skinned, the red eyes made others speculate that she was a Satanist or Vampire. That speculation distanced her from all her friends, alas stripping her of solace. Everything collapsed around the poor girl.

During class Mrs Mooketsi was calling out the marks as she always did. She got to the Ns on the mark sheet.

“Namane Palesa, 5 out of 150. Namane Tebogo 110 out of 150.”

The class erupted in whispers and it was obvious that Palesa was the topic. Devastated, she took a permission slip on pretence of having a headache. Mr Meleloe, the principal, didn’t hesitate to issue one because her eyes were always red, evidence that she was having a horrific headache.

After school Tebogo headed straight home, he was not the type of guy who liked gallivanting around the streets. When he got home he decided to take a bath. Whilst he was bathing Palesa walked in he grabbed the nearest towel and coverd his lower body.

“Modimo oo tshelang ka tlhapa. (Goodness me, I am bathing).”

His sister went towards him and held him at the neck.

“Kopa o ntshware.” She said.

As per request he also grabbed and hugged her and he heard her take a deep sigh. He requested that she take leave the room so he could bath, but she protested.

“I am going to hang myself.”

“Please don’t hang yourself, you still have a lot to live for.”

“No one loves me. I am a disgrace. At least if I die mom and dad will have peace of mind.”

“I will do anything for you, please dismiss suicide.”

“Then kiss me.” She said in her serenading voice.

He brotherly kissed her on the forehead but she went to for the lips. He tried to protest but she came on him heavily and he surrendered.

From then Palesa was transmogrified. She was always happy.

The bike was bought and everywhere Tebogo went with it he would take Palesa with him. In June the midterm reports were issued. Omolemo looked at his son’s report with a big smile. When it came to Palesa he sneered.

“Kana wena o setlatla ka pelo ya gago yotlhe. (you are extremely stupid.)”

To his suprise Palesa’s marks had developed rapidly, the poor girl had scored four level 5s and three level 6s. But he did not retract his statement.

“Babes! I told you, no one cares for me in this earth,” Palesa announced.

“Don’t say that beautiful, you know that you are my world.” Tebogo comforted her.

Hearing this Palesa’s face lit. These two were in an intimate relationship which was a crime before mankind and God.

Two years went by.

“Palesa! Cook for yourself and your brother, me and your father are going to a B&B tonight.” Kgomotso announced as she was heading for the car.

Palesa cooked up a feast, considering that she was the greatest of cooks. During that timeline they were awaiting their matric results. They sat on the couch, extremely comfortable, romancing each other and kissing passionately. The door opened it was Rakgadi Sponono, Kgomotso and Omolemo. Their plans for the night took a quick turn and they decided to come home.

The adults witnessed the kiss for moments before Omolemo coughed and collapsed. After hearing the whole story Rakgadi Sponono had the parents to blame. Unfortunately Omolemo did not make it. After his will reading the children took their share of the estate and vacated. No one knows where they are.


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