Nelly had spent the first three periods of the day inside the toilets, but she knew that even if she were to spend the rest of the year in there, she would still top her whole class in academic results. They all knew that, so three periods did not mean much. She had discovered certain things in and about the toilet. For instance, she had discovered that some girls came in to smoke there during teaching and learning periods, and that that it was also one of the places where deep gossips were being shared.

As Nelly endured the smell of cigarette that floated over to where she was quietly sitting, she overhead two girls talking about Thabo Kgomo rejecting one of their friends.

“That guy is way too much of a nerd, and I do not even know what Lebo saw in him. Nonetheless, he still rejected her,” the girl said, and then she puffed and laughed afterwards. “That means Thabo has his sights on another chick.”

“I wonder who it is. It’s probably someone like him,” another girl responded.

“Yah, maybe. Did you bring the mint sweets, chommie?” the first girl asked.

“Yes,” the second girl responded.

By the time Nelly walked out of the toilet, it was break time. She slowly walked to the corridor that was occupied by a few learners, but they did not see the now-hard gum mark on her behind because she had hid it by tying her white blazer over her waist, and it covered the whole thing.

“Nelly!” a voice said from behind her. Nelly looked back, and it was Kamohelo with her bag. “Here you go,” Kamo said, taking it off her arms and giving it to her.

“Thanks,” Nelly responded.

“At Economics, Sir Serobe asked where his favourite student was, and I said you were absent,” Kamo said.

Nelly was mute, and she gave her glasses a two finger backward push. She wondered if Kamo expected her to say thank you.

“Look, Nelly, I’m deeply sorry for … what I did. I am sorry. I am, truly!” Kamo went on.

“What are you sorry for exactly? For teasing me? For calling me Mrs Four Eyes? For hitting me? For tearing my textbook? Or for placing a gum on my seat?” Nelly asked.

“Nelly …” Kamo said, but Nelly interrupted her before she could finish.

“Or how about that time you ruined my Valentine’s by showering me with freezing water at the toilet?” Nelly asked.

“I’m sorry. I’m apologising for all those things,” Kamo responded.

Nelly returned to being mute. She did not know what to say or how to react. She then turned her head, looked around briefly, and caught sight of Thabo, who was already looking at her from between the two big rocks that lay adjacent on the walkway to the offices. He waved his hand to her and quickly disappeared into a near corner.

“Hello?” Kamo said, also waving her hand. “Do you forgive me or not?”

“Why now? Why you saying sorry now?” Nelly asked.

“Because …” Kamo responded, folding her arms. “Because I’ve realised that the things I do to you are so childish and immature, and I need to grow up.”

“Don’t trust her, sis. A leopard never changes it’s spot,” Nelly though Naledi would have said to her. “Okay,” Nelly said reluctantly, nodding her forgiveness at the same time.

“Thank you,” Kamo said, holding out her hand. Nelly ignored it for about two seconds, but she then shook it. “Yeah,” Kamo said with a smile on her face. “You know what? How about you give me your tens?” she continued, pulling out her phone.

“What for?” Nelly asked.

“I don’t know, maybe we could be friends, who knows? Come on,” Kamo said, shoving her phone to Nelly, who then dialled her numbers and saved them. “Great! See ya! Before I forget, fat Hugh gave us an assignment for two days. I already put it in your bag.”

“Thanks,” Nelly said.


Tell us: Do you think Nelly was right to forgive Kamo?