There was a beautiful girl named Mbali but she known as Cherry because of her beauty. Nobody knew where she stayed. One day her friends were so stress because she didn’t come to school for some days and they started to realise that nobody knew where she stayed. They started asking other students if they’ve seen Mbali and if they knew why she wasn’t at school. Nobody had the answer.

“What kind of friends are we?” Musa asked Mandisa, “friends who don’t care for each other?”

Mandisa was so ashamed that she didn’t know where her best friend stayed.

“Musa, let’s make a plan before she knows that we didn’t know where she stays,” Mandisa said. After that day Mandisa told herself that she was going to follow Mbali home and tell her friends to surprise her on her birthday. That was the plan and the friends’ secret.

The following day things returned to normal and everyone forgot to ask Mbali why she wasn’t’ at school. That’s when Mandisa decided to follow her and go back to tell her friends. But she got an unexpected surprise when she saw where Mbali stayed. She was so shocked and couldn’t believe what she saw.

All along her best friend was living a hard and painful life.

She looked down and started crying.

“Wow, what kind of life is this? Why her, God? Oh God for how long?” All these where her questions that couldn’t be answered. She knew now that maybe that was why her friend was secretive about her home. Mandisa stood there, the pain written on her face.

She worried whether she should tell her Musa about Mbali’s situation but worried how they would treat her if they knew. Will we be her friends if she told us? She wondered. She decided not to tell anyone just yet.

She walked closer and hid at the side of the house and to get a closer look. She noted that Mbali and her mother were very connected; she could tell by the way her mother talked to her daughter. It showed love and the strength to stand no matter what.

“Mbali, take off your school uniform, I have a story to read,” her mother called.

Mandisa was interested and wanted to hear the story. Her story was ‘Don’t fall by your past, be aware of your future!’ It was interesting story and Mbali’s mother was a good storyteller.

“Mama, where did you find this book, it looks nice and new?” Mbali asked.

“Today we found a way to get in the dirty bin site, so I got it there.” She started to read. “Once upon a time there was a man named John, he was so rich and had a beautiful wife and one son. His son was 10-years-old and was so spoilt because he was the only child. One sad day the family had an accident; their car crashed into a bus and the parents died on the spot. The boy had a broken left leg.

“Because he was too young to take care of himself, he was forced to stay at uncle’s house. His uncle was Jabu. Things were so hard for Chuli because life was so different now. He had to wake up early and go to the river to fetch water. He also had to walk to school and all these things were so new to the life he used to live.

“Every day when he went to the river he thought his uncle hated him. But he kept telling himself that one day he would get his life back. One day he heard a big voice coming down from under the bridge. ‘What you see is not easily as you think. You don’t know where and how far I have come.’ He was so shocked to hear that and looked around but couldn’t see anything. ‘Where are you? Where do you come from?’ He asked looking under the bridge.

“‘Under the mountain, far away. I am here today to help my people and animals but they sometimes treat me like they don’t need my and they forget about the animals. So young boy, go and stop searching for the question, just search for answers.’”

“Did you love this story?” Mbali’s mother asked her daughter.

Mandisa moved back little by little to go back home. She couldn’t think straight and did not know what happened. One day Mandisa decided to tell her class teacher the secret and asked her teacher to keep it between them. But the teacher went and organised a house for Mbali.

Mbali later found out that they were getting a house that was built by the government. Also that year Mbali passed her Matric with flying colours. She is still friends with her friends.

***

Tell us what you think: Do you have friends like Mandisa?