It was finally a new year. School was re-opening. And, I felt glad that at least my good friends, Bongi and Charmaine, never kept secrets from me.

School started on the Wednesday – and we were now entering our final grade. There were lots of new faces but I didn’t seem to notice or even care, for that matter. There was a new boy in our class – a handsome boy, according to Bongi.

“What does it matter if he looks at me like that?” I muttered, annoyed by Bongi’s pathetic comment.

“That guy is into you,” said Charmaine.

My friends’ observant techniques can really annoy one at times! It was break time and the three of us headed off to the spaza shop next to our school to buy some snacks. Just after we’d made the purchase we turned and there was the ‘handsome boy’ coming straight towards us. He passed by without greeting us, not even a simple nod. Well, that was a bit of a turn off for me.

As we walked towards school I turned back and saw the guy again. This time his raised his hand and waved. I quickly looked away. We went straight back to class as soon as the bell rang. It was my favourite period, Mathematics. I tried hard to concentrate but I kept on thinking about the possibilities of meeting my mom and dad, if they were still alive at least. My real mother wouldn’t treat me like trash, she wouldn’t yell at me, I thought.

I was lost in my thoughts. I didn’t realise Mr Zwane was talking to me.

“Vatiswa, I hate a child whose mind drifts away from class while I’m teaching,” he said. I knew that.

“I’m sorry, Sir. It won’t happen again,” I said apologetically.

Bongi leaned close to me and whispered, “What’s wrong, Vatiswa?” But I ignored her and pretended to not hear a thing. Finally it was time to go home. I couldn’t stand my problems distracting me from class. But I didn’t like the idea of going home either. Nonetheless, I just had to. Bongi and Charmaine kept asking me what was wrong but I didn’t tell them, I just couldn’t. As we were at the school gate waiting for our bus, a black BMW pulled over and that ‘handsome’ boy, Vusi, as we later found out via the grape vine, got inside and then it drove off.

“Wow! Did you see that? That boy has a very rich family.” Bongi exclaimed.

“Well, sure he does,” I said in a low voice.

Our bus arrived and we climbed onto it hurriedly. We were excited about going home, except for me, Vatiswa Muloni. At least Michael wasn’t going to be home with his friends, sniffing till they were senseless. All I needed was a nap and no disturbances.

Tell us what you think: What do you think of the new rich kid, does he seem like trouble? Do you think he’ll make a move on Vatiswa next time they meet?