The following day I woke up before the sun was out. I did my cleaning and when the sun came out I was done with everything. Today more boys came to play cards. I could not wait for them to leave one by lunchtime like they did yesterday. I just wanted to be alone with Buhle. Yesterday he made me cry because I missed him, after I left him I did not see him right until I went to bed, so today I was not going to make the same mistake. They did not leave and it made me mad. I went inside the house. I thought I was going to come back when they were just a few of them. I stuck around for a while in the house and when I came back they were few just like I was hoping. After some time they all left and I was left with Buhle and Kuhle. I played with them.

“Buhle, lets go play soccer with the guys,” Kuhle said.

“Go Kuhle, im not going there,” Buhle replied.

“I thought you love soccer,” said Kuhle.

“I do, it’s just that I’m not in the mood,” Buhle replied.

“But I already told them that I was going to come with you, come on, Buhle, don’t let me down.”

I prayed with my heart that Buhle wouldn’t agree to go there. “That’s being forward, I’m really not going, so let it go, Kuhle.”

“Okay fine, I aint gonna beg you. I’m going.” Kuhle left,left me with Buhle. I knew he refused to go because he wanted to be with me.

“So you play soccer?” I asked him.

“I’m so good at it, in fact there is nothing I can do better than that.”

“Oh really, then why did you refuse to go play?” He did not answer, instead he just stared at me. “Okay I know an answer to that so you don’t have to answer it.” Still he did not say anything. I continued. “When I look at you I see a poet.”

He laughed. “Me, poet? Come on, Slie, I am no poet.”

“I’ll prove to you that you are a poet,” I said.

“Yeah, how?” he asked.

“Wait and see.” I smiled and he smiled too. Every time that happened it felt like magic.

My aunt called me. It was time to cook. I could not believe I forgot. I hate being reminded of my duties. When I was cooking I could not take my mind off Buhle. Because I was thinking about him so much I forgot to put salt in the food. When I was done cooking everyone complained about my food and that was the first time. I told them I forgot.

I had my praying times. Every time I was going to pray I just disappeared, I had my place where I talked to God. A place only I knew. I went to pray and on my way back I found Kuhle waiting for me by the corner of the house, surely he thought I was coming from the toilet as in rural areas toilets are far from houses.

“Slie I need to talk to you about something,” he said.

“I’m all ears.” I looked and sounded serious.

“Slie I can’t help it but I’m in love with you. I need you, Slie, and I will treat you like a princess the way you deserve to be treated.”

I could not believe my ears. “What?”

Kuhle could see that I was shocked by what he had just told me. He went quiet for a while. I was not laughing, not smiling, instead I gave him a bitter face, although it was a little dark but he could see I gave him a bitter face. “Slie I said I love you. There I said it, shoot me for loving you.”

“Kuhle you are out of your mind. You and I can never date. I mean we are family, besides that I do not have feelings for you. So do not ever let something like that cross your mind again.”

I did not wait for him to reply, I just walked away. That night I could not sleep thinking. How I wish those words Kuhle said came from Buhle. Although they looked exactly alike I wanted Buhle or nothing at all.

In the morning I did the usual, cleaned the house and went under the tree where I knew I’d find everyone else. All the boys who were there wanted to date me. Only Buhle among them had never said anything about love to me.

“Guys, everyday it’s cards, let’s play a different game today,” I said to them as soon as I arrived.

“Sounds like a great idea,” Kuhle said, my cousins Ntombenhle and Happy were there too and I was then a third girl among boys.

“Okay guys, we are all going to see who shela the best, all of you are gonna be given a chance to tell me how much you love me. Ntombenhle and Happy are going to be judges. A boy who wins will get a kiss from me on his mouth and a runner up will get a kiss on his forehead, then a person who got third place will get a hug. Those are the prizes.”

Kuhle loved the idea of the game – it was as if he was sure he was going to win. All the guys loved the idea: the thought of kissing me meant a lot to them. It started with Ayanda, a boy from the neighbourhood. “Slie, I love you more than love itself. I love you more than money and I love you with all my heart.”

Next was Sihle. “I’m going to buy you an airplane, I will treat you like gold and you will never be in a need of anything.”

“Dude you don’t even have a bicycle, how can you buy an airplane?” We all laughed.

Senzo’s turn came. “I have nothing but love for you.”

“That’s all?” Happy asked.

“Yeah that’s all, straight to the point.”

“Okay moving on, Nathi, what do you have for us?”

“I don’t have the gold to offer you, I have no silver to offer you. But I have my pure heart that will reach where silver and gold cannot reach. I do not have the world to promise, I only have love that the whole world is searching for – just for you and you only.” It went quiet for a while.

“That was impressive, thank you Nathi. Sizwe what do you have for us?” Happy said.

“I want to die in your arms, that means I will never leave you.”

“Thank you, Sizwe. Kuhle it’s your turn now.”

“The moment I laid my eye on you I knew you are the one. The one I was born to love, the one I was made to love. By taking my hand you are taking your bliss that God prepared for you by assembling me. You make my heart skip a beat there is no way you are not made for me because I feel like I have known you all my life.”

“Wow that was amazing Kuhle, now let’s see if Buhle can do better, your turn Buhle.”

Buhle stared at me just before he said anything, I stared at him back. Already I felt like he had started talking. There was something his eyes were telling me. My heart felt warm as if I was in double heaven.

“Love was meant for the two of us, if love was meant for everyone else then this feeling I’m feeling inside still has to be named because this feeling I am feeling inside was meant just for the two of us. You taught me to love, you taught me to live, you taught me to be happy. I know I love because I love you, I know I live because I love you, I know I am happy because you make me happy. I’m not going anywhere because with you is where I belong. What was meant for you and I was meant to be long. That is love that is too much to be just love. You have my heart. All you need to do is to give me yours and I will never be in a need again.”

My eyes were filled with tears the minute he finished talking I quickly ran to the toilet not to do anything else but to finish crying before anyone see that I was crying. When I came back the judges had taken their decision.