It had been almost a week since the incident and Nozuko was now at home getting ready for the exams. She’ll be starting with English in a week’s time and she didn’t work hard for it but some other pupils needed help with it so she had to help. They had formed a study group that will meet for 2 hours every day after school to revise all their subjects. They chose the top student for each of the subjects to lead them and help the others. Thulani was the Physics and Maths guru, Nozie did English and Biology, Afrikaans was Liezel’s because she was the only coloured student in Matric, Geography was Sipho’s department and everyone agreed to just ask if they had problems with Xhosa as they were pressed for time. The other classes did the same for their group of subjects and everyone was nervous about the exams, everyone except for Nozie.

“I can’t wait to get these exams over and done with.” Nozie complained to Thulani when they were walking home from the study sessions.

“Ja, ne. Then we can finally spend some time together.” He jumped up behind her and picked her up and spun her around. She giggled and shouted at him to put her down.

“You can’t wiggle out of my love grip no matter how hard you try.” He set her down and kissed her on the cheek. “This is gonna be one steamy summer.”

He made the sizzling sound and licked his finger as if he just burned. He was excited because a little birdy, named Bulelwa, had told Jabu who told Thulani, that Nozuko was ready to go all the way after the exams. They were finally gonna lose their virginity, but what the little birdy failed to mention was that that was the plan…before the rape incident.

“You’re right; I’ll be chilling on the beaches of Cape Town the entire December.”

“You’re going to Cape Town? But I thought we were spending the summer together, that was the plan.” He tried hard not to sound too disappointed but failed miserably.

“WAS being the operative word and plans change. What would I do in this dull city anyway, Cape Town has more prospects.” She was really not being considerate.

“Fine then, I’m sure you need the time away, guess we’ll plan for next year.” He sounded optimistic.

“I’m not coming back.” It sounded like an afterthought and she didn’t even look at him to see the hurt in his eyes, the disappointment.

“And when were you planning on telling me this?” he could hear his voice shaking and he folded his fist hard trying to control his emotions.

“I’m telling you now. Cikizwa says it’s already hot there now, not this unpredictable P.E. weather.” She hadn’t noticed that he had stopped walking and was standing still, mouth open.

“Nozie I understand if you want to spend your summer in Cape Town with your cousins, but to say you’re not coming back? I mean… what about school and the plan with Mazibuko… what about us?”

She exhaled and looked at him casually, “Look we can do the long distance relationship thing, and I will register at UCT or something. And in case you’ve forgotten, the old goat already won, not enough valid evidence remember? And his suspension from school is only temporary. At least I won’t have to deal with him next year.” She turned and walked on and after a few seconds he followed. They walked in silence; he was worried and wondered if this change of heart and behaviour could be helped. He knew it had everything to do with the attack – the alleged rape; Mazibuko’s lawyers had called it. And he couldn’t do anything to help nail the bastard; he was suspended from school pending the investigation so their plan of catching him on camera would never see the light of day. Maziko and evil Junior will walk. He decided the least he’ll do is read up on this strange behaviour Nozuko was displaying. He was walking alone when he looked up from the ground and she was already nowhere to be seen.