Mr. Hugh, or fat Hugh, would surely have thought that Kamohelo Sekhabi had really improved, as her marks for her assignment were 100/100. Nelly had discovered that helping Kamo with the mathematics assignment meant writing it for her.
“Yho, thanks friend, you a life saver,” the other girls had said as they snatched Kamo’s script and copied from it.
“Today is the day, I hope you ready,” Kamo said to Nelly as they walked to class with the rest of their classmates walking ahead.
“I’m ready,” Nelly responded, nodding. She had gotten stares from other learners every time she was with Kamohelo, and some had even asked her if they had become besties or not. Of course, Nelly would just pace past them without a response, and with her head hidden under a hoodie, with her big geek-like glasses – you would have mistaken them for goggles – on her face.
Nelly was the big-glassed girl whose loaded bag bent her mildly as she walked, walking around with the slim and sultry hottie who would rarely suffer the heavy weight of the books because her bag was mostly always carried by her crew. That was how it was.
“Nice, I see that he already likes you,” Kamo said, giving Nelly her Mobicel after reading the chats. Nelly and this Dr Mbuli guy had been chatting at night. “And by the time you win him, tell him to buy you a better phone so you can replace this thing.”
“Okay,” Nelly responded.
“Don’t worry,” Kamo said, laying her hand on Nellz and feeling the sweat. “You’ll be fine. You ever been with a guy before?” she asked.
Nelly shook her bowed head, and then Kamo quickly placed a hand on her mouth, holding in the laughter. They then entered the class.
Creston City’s bus was already parked outside the school’s premises as teachers picked those who would be supporting and watching the four representatives at the spelling bee event. The representatives, on the other hand, were being prepared inside the office.
“My lovely daughter, you’re going to win this. You’ll show them,” Mrs Bronwyn said. She then kissed Cindy’s cheek while kneeling in from of her, and fixed her collar. The short, blonde, and pony tailed girl smiled back at mother.
“When we said they should wear their tracksuits, we also meant sweaters too,” Mrs Mabaso whispered from the back.
Mrs Bronwyn rolled her eyes, got up, and turned to Mrs Mabaso with a wide smile. “I lost it. I’ll buy it again next week,” she said, but Cindy’s sweater was at the passenger seat of her car with tinted windows.
Cindy knew better, so she kept quiet. She had on the school’s sky blue golf t-shirt and a long sleeve white top. She was different from her fellow teammates/opponents, who completed the dress code requirement of black-blue tracksuits.
Mr Jacobs, who taught L.O and sporting exercises, rushed in. “Okay, okay, the bus driver has arrived and we’re about to leave now,” he said, looking at the three kids. “Aren’t you supposed to be four? Where’s that Mapula girl?”
“I think she’s on the way,” Mrs Mabaso said, glancing at her wrist.
“Okay, you,” Mr Jacobs said, pointing at Cindy. His eyes then shot at Mrs Bronwyn. “Are you the mother?”
“Yes,” Mrs Bronwyn responded.
“Where’s the sweater? She needs to be in her sweater,” Mr Jacobs asked.
“I lost it,” Mrs Bronwyn responded.
“Oh, where? It’s fine, I have an extra one in my class, I’m coming,” Mr Jacobs said, and then he dashed out with his keys tingling on his pockets.
“I think we should replace Naledi,” Mrs Bronwyn said.
“You just an SGB member here, you aren’t allowed to make such decisions,” Mrs Mabaso thought to herself, and before she uttered any word, Naledi ran inside the office.
“Hey! Where have you been?” Mrs Mabaso asked, kneeling to her face.
“Home,” Naledi responded, speaking through heavy breaths.
“Have you been running?” Mrs Mabaso asked, wiping off the small beads of sweat on her small forehead.
Naledi nodded in response. “Yeah. I also had to look for my tracksuit, it’s been a while since I wore it, so Mama had a lot of searching to do. Thought the bus had already left.”
“Ncooh we wouldn’t leave without you,” Mrs Mabaso said.
Mr Jacobs returned with the sweater. “Here you go,” he said. Mrs Bronwyn took the sweater, but she never put it on her precious daughter. Mr Jacobs then clapped his hands once. “Okay, okay, let’s get going, let’s go,” he said, holding the hands of the three kids.
Cindy held on to her mother’s hand tightly, and she looked up and waved for her attention as they all left the office. They walked behind everyone, and Mrs Bronwyn lowered her head, ear first.
“Mom, why is she here?” Cindy whispered.
“I don’t know, my baby,” Mrs Bronwyn whispered back. Both their eyes were set on Naledi, whose hand was now held by Mrs Mabaso as they walked to the bus. “Stubborn! Too stubborn!” Mrs Bronwyn thought.
The cars of the parents were also ready to go, and the bus was now fully packed with screaming, laughing kids inside. Mr Jacobs took the two boys to his car, while Mrs Mabaso left Naledi near the bus to go ask Mrs Rosie for her car keys.
“Wait here, ngiyabuya,” Mrs Mabaso said, running.
“So, how’s your mother doing? It’s Naledi isn’t it?” Mrs Bronwyn asked, her voice creeping up behind the little girl.
Naledi turned to the white lady and her kid. “Yes, that’s my name. My mother is doing good, and that has nothing to do with your visit yesterday,” she said, and her stern eyes penetrated through her.
“Really? I guess I need to pay her another visit,” Mrs Bronwyn said, tightening her hand on her daughter’s hand and forging a smug smile.
“No need for that,” Naledi said, pulling out stacks of hundred Rand notes from her bag and handing them to Mrs Bronwyn. “I believe this is yours. You forgot to take it with you,” she said, and then left them with a smile.
As Mrs Mabaso handled the steering wheel while applying lipstick, Naledi’s stare was fixed on the playing kids displayed on the bus’s back window, but her mind was on an incident that occurred last year, where Mrs Bronwyn accused her of cheating.
Naledi had topped not only the fifth grade, but the whole school when the results came out at the end of the year, and sixth grader Cindy Bronwyn came second. Mrs Bronwyn had thrown tantrums, demanding that the school investigate the ten-year-old Naledi, and that her work should be re-marked.
Investigations happened, and they found no misconduct. A re-mark happened, and instead they found out the mark difference between Naledi and Cindy was by two percent.
Tell us: What do you think could be the cause for Mrs Bronwyn to hate Naledi?