It was speech Monday in the English class and the headline was: The most important person in your life and why.

Thintswalo, the sweetest girl in our class, came to show me the speech’s topic, and Khombo, the meanest girl ever, passed by.

“Arg shame, I heard your father rejected you, again, last week. Is that why you didn’t come to school the whole week? Had too much to deal with?” Khombo said in her annoying voice.

She was the daughter of Ma’Gumede so she was always eavesdropping in people’s conversations; took after her mother.

“And where did you get that, Khombo?” I asked acting as if I didn’t know what she was talking about.

“Oh please Mihloti, drop the act. I saw you with my very eyes.”

“And what exactly did you see, Khombo? I don’t know what you talking about.”

“Next time you should find a more private place; you know what they say, ‘walls have ears.’

I just looked down and said nothing. Did she constantly have to remind me what a fatherless child I am? She had been reminding me ever since I knew her; which was like forever. Why couldn’t she leave me alone?

“Oh please, Khombo, stop acting as if your life is a dream, because your dad abandoned you more times than you can remember,” Thinstwalo said.

Khombo looked down and walked away. It’s about time someone puts her in her place, I thought to myself.

“Thanks, you saved me from that pig,” I said with a smile.

“It’s my pleasure, I’ve always wanted to do that,” she said holding my hand. She noticed the rings under my eyes. “Mihloti, sula mihloti, wipe away your tears. Don’t let her get to you.”

After school as I walked home, Khombo followed me with her other ‘cool puppets’, wanting to gang up on me.

“You didn’t really think this was over, did you? Because it won’t be over till the fat lady sings,”

“Don’t you get tired of torturing me, Khombo?” I asked her with a tired tone.

“Oh no, I never will. Where’s your friend now, Mihloti?”

“Get over yourself, Khombo,” I said walking away.

“Walk away like the coward you are, will you tell your mommy? Please don’t do that,” she said in mocking tone.

“Stop it!” I said almost crying.

“Whoops! Did I hit a nerve? I forgot your mom is hospitalized,”

“Because of that thing you call your mom, isn’t it?”

“Don’t involve my mom, you fatherless trash,”

“That makes two of us right? Where’s your dad? At home? Till when? Till he flees, again?”

“Ha ha ha…..” all her friends burst into laughter.

“Shut up!” she shouted.

And silence was restored.

“Let’s go girls,” she said snapping her fingers.

“Is the fat lady already singing?” I asked laughing.

“Consider yourself lucky,” she said walking away.

For the first time ever I had stood up to Khombo. I was proud of myself. I had done well.


Let’s chat: Have you ever been bullied at school? How did you handle it?