Term one was finally over and Karabo couldn’t wait to get on a plane and go home. She’d triple checked that her mother would be able to spend at least a week with her during their three-week school holiday. Anathi had confirmed they’d spend the first week together; Karabo hadn’t yet decided if she was going to spend the last two weeks of her holiday at Isla’s family’s farm in the Eastern Cape, or stay with her mom. It would depend on how bored she got in Anathi’s Sandton estate home, once her mom went back to work. At this point in time, she was more than

ready to be on her own. As much as she loved Isla, and enjoyed her roommates, she wanted nothing more than to be alone in her room with her thoughts. Her cast was still driving her mad, and she daydreamed about wearing her pyjamas day in and day out for three weeks, without ever having to change – just to avoid the drama of getting dressed. Besides, her mother would leave early in the mornings to go to work, so she would have to dress herself, which was mostly impossible.

Isla zipped up Karabo’s bag, before slapping it for good measure. ‘Done. Let’s get out of here,’ she said, as they made their way down to the school reception, where the boarders were being collected. As usual, Karabo was getting a lift with Isla’s family to the airport. As they waited for Isla’s parents, William and Mzi walked past. Mzi grunted a ‘Hello’ and picked up speed as he walked past. It seemed that he was still incapable of speaking to Isla and acting like an adult about their non-relationship. Isla shook her head and watched him walk away. ‘Tosser!’ she said, under her breath. William stopped, flicking his fringe out of his face. ‘Hey Will,’ said Karabo, her heartbeat picking up slightly. Isla scowled at Karabo. She noticed that Karabo’s voice changed when she spoke to William, although Karabo thought that was preposterous. You couldn’t change your voice on demand.

‘Hey Karabz,’ responded William. ‘So, where you going this holiday?’ he asked nonchalantly, not looking at Karabo, as he scanned the crowd of teenagers filing into cars.

‘Just Jozi. Going to hang with my mom. Can’t really do much with this stupid arm, so probably going to watch a ton of series and eat loads of chocolate,’ said Karabo. William smiled.

‘And you?’ Karabo asked William, raising her eyebrows.

‘My mom too mostly, and then maybe visit Mzi in Jozi. See how it goes, you know,’ said William, looking down and kicking something on the floor with his trainers.

‘Cool. Well, shout if you are in Jozi. I know lots of cool places,’ offered Karabo. Isla’s mouth was now hanging open.

‘Ya, cool, thanks man. But maybe I won’t even be there. But ya, whatever, I’ll maybe check you then,’ said William. ‘Oh, and don’t forget, we’re doing the sangoma trip when we get back next term,’ reminded William. Karabo nodded. ‘Yip, haven’t forgotten. Well, there’s our lift,’ said Karabo, spotting Isla’s parents. ‘See you round Will, or not,’ said Karabo, as she turned her back to William and dragged her suitcase to the car.

There was little chance to talk in the car, about how strange William’s behaviour had been. Isla’s brother Fab was already in the car, and Mrs Hepworth was jabbering with excitement at the children, demanding a term’s worth of information. Luckily for Isla, her mother avoided the sensitive issue of Mzi. Karabo was required to recount the event that resulted in her broken arm and how they got to the hospital. She avoided mentioning that it was William who had driven them there. Mrs Hepworth was old fashioned and thought that teachers had to do everything. Once they had reached the airport, Karabo was completely parched from all the talking and questioning. As they unpacked her bags from the boot of the car, Isla convinced her mother to stay in the car while she walked Karabo in.

As soon as they were out of earshot, Isla pounced on Karabo about William.

‘What’s wrong with him? It’s like he is too cool to care. But then with you, he blows hot and cold. Driving you to the hospital, then pretending he doesn’t really care where you spend the holidays! Oh, my word Karabz, how do you cope with his garbage?’ shrieked Isla, causing a few passing travellers to look over their shoulder at her.

Karabo laughed at Isla. ‘My friend, you are so funny. Don’t get annoyed with him. That’s just how he is. I try hard not to take it too seriously. I think he cares about me. Probably more as a friend than anything, but that’s OK, right?’ asked Karabo, shrugging her shoulders.

Isla shook her head. ‘No, it’s not!’ she stated. ‘Because you adore that fool, and I can’t see one reason why. But whatever, that’s your problem. Seriously Karabz, just think how awesome Buzz was. He was so nice to you. Please, over this holiday, try and think about how you should be treated by someone you like. You are getting no love from William English. Even as a friend, he is a waste of your time and attention!’ said Isla, her arms crossed.

Karabo exhaled. Isla was right. William treated her like an acquaintance mostly, sometimes as a friend, and never as anything more. It did hurt.

‘OK, I promise to try and squeeze William English out of my heart this holiday.’ said Karabo, raising her pinkie finger. Isla locked her pinkie finger with Karabo’s. ‘Pinkie promise,’ they chimed, before hugging each other and walking in opposite directions.


Question: Do you think Karabo is going to be able to stick to her promise?