Andile and Kokeso sat facing each other separated by the thick sound-proof glass between them. She was crying and he sat with his palms supporting his head. His eyes were blank, empty pages – emotionless. Gone was the fire that once blazed in his eyes.

Was he angry or not, Koketso couldn’t decide. Was he looking at her with love or did he detest her, that too she couldn’t tell. But one thing was clear even through the dirty glass that separated them, Koketso knew that things will never be the same; his eyes will no longer look at her with desire and love. At the realization of this terrible truth, she longed to touch him; to embrace and to kiss his soft, dagga-darkened lips.

The warden stood by the door dressed in his Khaki uniform, unperturbed by the two teenagers staring at each other in silence. Koketso felt that it was up to her to break the ice and start talking.

“How… you…” he stuttered. “How are you holding up,” she finally said with a voice of hesitation. She didn’t want to anger him. She just wanted to talk to him. She couldn’t believe it when she heard that Andile was arrested, it was in the campus newspaper and on social networks.

“I am breathing, that’s all that’s keeping me alive,” he said, his voice filled with tears. He looked tired, like he had not slept for days. His back was bent; his whole body seemed to have sagged. His eyes were a peaceful storm of confusing clouds.

“Anything you need…” she asked.

“Had it been under different circumstances I would have said I need you, but now here, in this shell, in this hell… all I need is my freedom,” he was near to tears now but his eyes were expressionless. She wanted desperately to hug him.

“Please don’t cry,” she said with tears in her eyes, trying to reach out but could only touch the filthy glass that separated them.

“Mem, you don’t clean those windows. Remove your hands, assemblief and dankie,” the warden spoke in a commanding voice. She quickly removed them.

Guilt ate inside her as she felt responsible for the situation in which Andile was in. She wished she could tell him that things would be fine. But there was no time for that.

“Time up, visiting hours now done, tomorrow come again,” the warden said, in the little English words he could remember, helping Andile stand up.


“How do I fix things?” she asked Cleopatra later that day.

“I don’t know,” she said poking her phone. “Call Richard he is studying Law, he might know what to do,”

“Are you serious?”

“Ja! I am. Call him.”

“Ow! Ja, do you have his numbers – I deleted them?” she said. Cleopatra gave her the number.


As we speak today Andile is out of jail. He is facing disciplinary hearing at university and at the dormitory. Now his dreams are tainted, he has a criminal record stamped on his name for eternity.

Koketso, all she has to suffer is guilt; guilt of a life she had, without her own making, led astray. A guilt of love. But for him there’s more to suffer…

[The End]

Help the writer grow: Did you enjoy the story? Why? Why not?