“Hello, it’s Alice speaking,” Alice said answering the phone.

“Hi babes, it’s me,” Thabo’s voice came and Alice recognised it immediately.

“OMG! Hey you, whose number are you using?” Alice replied with excitement in her voice. She always loved it when he called.

“It’s my brother’s phone, mine is dead, I forgot to charge it last night,” Thabo replied.

“Oh! OK. Is that why it kept going to voice mail when I tried calling you last night?” Alice quickly said.

“Yea, sorry babes, but I can’t speak now because I have to get back to work. I just wanted to say hi,” he said in a hurry.

“Oh! But we hardly ever talk anymore, you’re always busy,” Alice sounded frustrated.

“Um! How about this weekend, you and I go out to see a movie?” Thabo suggested, trying to get her to relax.

“Ok, sure,” she still had hope and didn’t want to give up on their relationship just yet.

They said their goodbyes and he hung up the phone. Alice sat on her bed and looked at the photo of the two of them happy; she had saved it as a screensaver on her phone. She knew that things were different now and being at school by herself without him was not helping either.

The following day Alice went to school and on her way she caught up with Unathi, her best friend. The girls hadn’t seen each other in a while because of the school vacation.

“Hey gal, how was the holidays?” Unathi asked with excitement. She was eager to hear what had happened while they had been apart.

“It was fine,” Alice replied with a gloomy look in her eyes.

“Hey, is everything alright?” Unathi stopped her and turned towards her.

“Yeah! It’s fine, it’s just Thabo and I didn’t exactly hang out as much while we were on holiday.” Alice replied.

“Oh! no, what happened? I mean you guys are still together right?” Unathi asked needing reassurance.

“Yes, we are together, but it’s just that ever since he got the job as DJ working at his brother’s shebeen, he never seems to have time for us,” Alice said and she could feel her eyes filling up with tears.

“It’s not like he does it on purpose, I mean you guys are really good together,” Unathi said in comfort to her friend’s reaction.

“But what if he doesn’t think it will work out? I mean he’s finished with school and I’m still here. What if he thinks I’m too young for him, or what if…”

“No my friend, stop thinking like that,” Unathi stopped her and she could see that Alice was really starting to get worried about her relationship. “Thabo likes you and he would never do that to you. Besides it’s a new year and who knows… things might just work out for you two,” Unathi replied giving her a hug.

“Now come on, we gonna be late for our first day of school,” Unathi said and they both started walking fast to get there before the school bell rang.

“No one wants detention on the first day,” Alice said with a smile on her face.

The school bell rang and everyone queued up for assembly. Alice and Unathi loved standing at the back of the line so they could comment on what was said and gossip. They would whisper about who didn’t show up or on the hairstyles that the other girls had on for the New Year.

Suddenly Unathi noticed an unfamiliar face in the crown and quickly tapped on Alice’s shoulder.

“Hey hey, who’s that?” Unathi pointed at the boy leaning against the wall.

“Ouch! You didn’t have to hit that hard. Oh wow. . . who is that?” Alice’s eyes widened up as she stared at the boy.

“Hey, I saw him first,” Unathi pushed Alice in front.

“Stop it, what’s wrong with the two of you? Always staring at boys,” Grace turned to face them.

“Uhm! There is nothing wrong with admiring a fine guy,” Unathi said but kept her eyes fixed on the boy who suddenly turned and stared at them. Both Alice and Unathi quickly looked away to avoid him and pretended to listen to the principal in front. The principal was in a good mood, he beamed every time the holidays ended.