Karabo paced her bedroom floor. Coffee with Buzz. Nothing wrong with that. They had been friends for ages, in fact much longer than they had dated — which had only been for three months. So why not? Besides, Isla said she had to forget William. What better way than to see an old ‘friend’. Once she’d confirmed with Buzz, Karabo sent her mother a message to tell her about her plans. He was going to pick her up in an hour, and suddenly Karabo realised her dressing predicament. She wouldn’t be able
to go for coffee in her pyjamas. She rushed to the shower and washed, which was a long and annoying experience, trying to keep her arm out of the water as much as possible. Standing in front of her cupboard, she finally chose a T-shirt and jeans. While she managed to get the T-shirt over her head and her arm through the hole, her jeans were a different story. She couldn’t get the button into the hole, and her good hand seemed to have gone spastic on her. Or was the excessive chocolate eating finally sitting on her hips? She couldn’t think about it now. She went downstairs, and nearly cried with joy when she saw her mother’s domestic worker cleaning in the kitchen.
‘Ma Sarah, please can you help me with my jeans,’ she asked.
‘Ha, Karabo. You are dressed today. Finally, your mother has sorted you out,’ said Ma Sarah, doing up the button and zip on Karabo’s jeans, perhaps too enthusiastically. She tugged at Karabo’s jeans, nearly lifting her off the ground and deftly pushing the brass button through the hole. Karabo grinned sheepishly back at her. She was dressed! She returned to her room and pushed her feet into her slops – no other shoe would work. When the doorbell rang, she rushed past Ma Sarah and answered it, to let Buzz into the security complex, and then grabbed her bag and phone.
‘Does your mother know where you are going?’ asked Ma Sarah, accusingly.
‘Yes!’ shouted Karabo in response, as she rushed out the door.
Buzz drove a white Citi Golf. It was old and a little battered, and he seemed to fill the entire front of it. Was it possible that he had kept on growing after matric? Karabo smiled, the car suited Buzz perfectly. He stuck his head out the window. ‘Hey Karabz! Jump in!’ he called. She rounded the car and climbed in the passenger side. Buzz beamed across at her and Karabo felt her cheeks warm. She had forgotten how much she actually liked Buzz.
‘Woah! What happened there?’ asked Buzz, staring wide-eyed at her broken arm.
‘Hockey,’ responded Karabo, shrugging. ‘I’ll tell you all about it. Now let’s go!’ urged Karabo. With a rev of the engine, they reversed, and left Ma Sarah behind, peering at them from the kitchen window.
The weather was still hot, and Karabo and Buzz decided that an ice-cream in Sandton Square would be so much better than coffee. As they found a step to sit on, in the shadow of the Nelson Mandela statue overlooking the square, they caught up on all the school gossip.
‘And Venter? Still dreaming of rugby glory for the Derby?’ asked Buzz.
‘Still there, still the same. You’ve only been out of school for like six months, Buzz. Not exactly a long time,’ said Karabo, wiping ice-cream off her nose.
‘It feels like forever Karabz. I feel so much more alive. Or like, I don’t know. More like me. No more stupid school rules. School feels like playgroup compared to varsity,’ said Buzz, trying to explain. Karabo looked at him carefully. He was mostly the same, just taller, and had filled out a little. His face had also changed shape, and he had stubble, and even though he was still skinny, he seemed more manly. The mop of red hair was the same, but longer and more unruly, and he actually looked really good. Karabo’s heart fluttered.
‘What are you staring at?’ asked Buzz, catching Karabo analysing him.
Karabo looked down at her ice-cream, feeling the heat move up her neck and burn in her cheeks.
‘Nothing, well… you’ve changed,’ she said eventually.
‘So have you!’ said Buzz. ‘Broke your arm, you twit! Who does that just before provincials?’ he teased, scanning her up and down, barely looking at her arm. She felt dizzy. There was so much blood pumping through her head.
She laughed and nearly dropped her ice-cream, which made Buzz laugh at her. It felt good to laugh with Buzz. She wished he had called her sooner.
After licking the last drops of sweet, creamy ice-cream off their fingers, and throwing their serviettes away, they walked through the mall. It seemed that every year Sandton City expanded a little more.
Question: What do you think of Buzz?