Sbu’s pulse was thumping like a hard house bassline as he and K8 climbed into her car. He put his hand on her leg and she winked at him. He thought his heart was going to burst right out of his chest. 

This was it. He hoped her parents weren’t home. He wanted it to be special, relaxed, not sneaking around like stressed-out burglars. He wanted to ask, but he seemed to have temporarily lost his voice. 

But instead of driving to her house in Clifton, K8 turned the other way, towards the stadium. 

When they pulled up next to the pharmacy, Sbu was more than a little surprised. He hoped K8 didn’t expect him to buy condoms. He didn’t know if he’d be able to keep a straight face. He felt panicky. What if the cashier tuned him? What if the people in the queue looked at him funny?

What kind should he get? There were like four million variations. Were they all the same? 

Why wasn’t he already prepared? He should have got some from the men’s bathrooms at the promenade. They had a machine that dispensed them for free. They were government condoms, SABS-approved, which meant they were safe, right? 

His mind was racing. He thought about his neighbour two doors down. They had a 15-year-old son who got a girl pregnant and they both had to drop out of school to try and look after the baby. But that was better than some boys he knew, baby daddies who got girls pregnant and didn’t care, they just moved on to the next one. And hey, sometimes accidents happen. What if it happened to him? He wasn’t ready to be a dad!

So when K8 got out of the car and started walking to the pharmacy, Sbu nearly fainted with relief. She was going to get the condoms. He wouldn’t have to deal with it. 

But then she turned back, frowned and said, “Aren’t you coming?”

Sbu was very confused and even more so when, instead of going into the pharmacy, K8 headed for the clinic next door. 

Sbu grabbed her arm and gently tugged her back. “Um, K8? What are we doing?”

“I want to take this to the next level.” 

“So do I. But what are we doing here?”

“What do you think?” K8 smiled at him. “Getting tested!” 

Image: Aleiex, CC-BY-NC-SA

WHAT DO YOU THINK: Do you think K8 and Sbu should have talked about getting tested first? What’s the best way to start that kind of conversation?