Alice’s family was Protestants and went to church faithfully every Sunday morning. Her mother preferred to worship with fellow refugees from Rwanda in Salt-river because they could preach and worship in her language. But Alice and Enoch didn’t like it much because they could not understand half the time what they were talking about, so they had joined an English church in Claremont.

Alice grabbed the remote control from Enoch and changed the TV and put on the DVD. Enoch looked at his mother with a disapproving face.

“Mama look at your daughter, she has no respect,” His mother and sister burst out in laughter.

“You’re the one with no respect. Mama always has to beg you to put in her DVD,” said Alice in between her laughs. Enoch looked at her and then just got up, put on his earphones and went to the room. and banged the door loudly behind him.

At last Alice could now ask her mother again to help her with her English project. “Mama, please tell me what it was like in Rwanda before the war began.” Alice asked politely

“Well my child, it was such a beautiful country, very green and peaceful,” her mother said as she tried to reminisce on the good old days.

“Everybody was happy and lived peacefully together. Yes, we had the three tribes; Hutu, Tutsi and Tua, but there was no separation. Although our traditions were the same, people from the different tribes married each other, so there really was no conflict. I was happy, your father was still alive and we owned two Super Markets in Kigali the capital city. Things were really going well for us until 1994 when everything just changed.” Beatrice said.

Alice could see how happy her mother was while talking about how great things were before the war. But the moment her mother remembered what happened during the war her face changed. Alice could see that just the thought itself was enough to make her mother cry.

“Mama, I think that’s enough for today. I’m very much tried and I have a Maths test tomorrow, so I have to go and revise,” Alice said quickly. She could see how unhappy her mother had become just thinking about it. Alice quickly grabbed her pen and paper she was writing on and ran to the room, leaving her mother in silence.

The following morning Alice was walking to class when suddenly Thabo stopped her in her tracks. He looked at her and gave his weird grin.
“Good Morning Alice,” he said.

“Hello Thabo. What’s up?” Alice gave him a cold stare. Alice was not one to take up any nonsense especially from one of her brothers friends. And unlike most of her friends Alice did not have a boyfriend, she spent most of her time reading books or studying.

“Is that how you greet old friends?” Thabo threw a cheesy joke.

“Ah! You’re my little brother’s friend, so it’s either you want to know where he is or you’re lost. Clearly you can’t be lost and as for my brother, I should be the one to ask you where he is,” Alice said with a sassy attitude.

Mmmmm, you’ve got a seriously rude attitude. I only wanted to greet you, is that so bad?” Thabo said with a soft voice, and just walked away.

For the first time Alice felt so bad for being rude to him. And this was also the first time that she saw Thabo as not just one of Enoch’s friends, but as his own person. Alice turned and smiled at Thabo as he walked away to class and she shouted, “I’m fine thanks for asking, have a good day.” Thabo turned and smiled at her then ran straight to class.


Tell us what you think: Could this be the beginning of a new friendship between Thabo and Alice?