They all met up at the taxi rank. Sbu and Airtime were heading into town; Lebo and Song were going to visit Mpho’s house. Lebo looked anxious, nervously shifting from one foot to the other. She was eager to go as soon as possible.
“You sure you don’t want us to come?” Sbu asked his sister. He hated to see her so upset. She shook her head, blinking back tears.
“We’ll be okay,” Song said. She bundled Lebo into the back of the taxi and climbed in behind her. “We’ll holla later to let you know how it went down,” she called out the window as the taxi peeled away and went rocketing off towards Gugulethu.
Lebo was obviously upset, so Song tried to take her mind off it.
“Yankee seems pretty cool,” Song said.
“He’s great. He’s smart and nice and he makes me laugh. Although he spends like his entire life on MXit.”
“How did you guys hook up?”
“Guess.” Lebo smiled.
“Ewe. His friends calls him Yankee because he’s always dropping American slang. He loves the States. He’s got these dreams of getting a scholarship at Harvard to study law or something.”
“Quite a guy,” Song was impressed.
“Yeah.” Lebo frowned. “Tell that to my crazily over-protective big bro.”
Song laughed. “Ndizamile. I think the one thing you and Sbu have in common is that you’re both incredibly stubborn.”
Lebo smiled, but it was short-lived. “Thinking about that picture of Mpho has been driving me crazy all day. Like, who would do that?”
“Does she have a boyfriend?”
“She would have told me.”
“But you haven’t seen her since the weekend?”
“I know Mpho. She wouldn’t be taking her clothes off for a guy she’d just met.”
They got off the taxi and walked about a kilometre to Mpho’s house. Lebo knocked on the door and a little boy wearing a Bafana Bafana shirt opened it, just a crack. “Molweni?” he said.
“Molo, is your sister home?” Lebo said.
“She’s in her room. She says she’s sick, but she’s not sick, she’s pretending. She hasn’t gone to school all week. I had to go to school. We did colouring in. Do you want to see?”
“Um, maybe later,” Song said. “Could you call your sister for us?”
“Mpho! There’s some people to see you.”
A voice called out from the back of the shack. “Tell them maba vaye!”
“Mpho? It’s Lebo! We’re here about the photograph.’
There was a moment of silence.
“What photograph?” the little boy asked.
And then a girl burst out of the back – the same girl from the cellphone picture – her eyes red from crying. She grabbed Song and Lebo by the hands, dragged them inside and slammed the door.
Image: Reemer, CC-BY-NC-SA
WHAT DO YOU THINK: Have you ever bunked because of something that happened at school?