The stream ran through a rocky hillside, and the water rushed past large boulders. To reach Jonno’s fishing spot, the teenagers had to clamber over boulders, and hug the side of the river through the bush. After about an hour of walking, they arrived at a rock pool that was large and round. The water was deep and dark in the centre, its surface glistening in the afternoon sun. Jonno explained that he could stand in the shallow and cast from there into the pool. Isla found a spot that was safely out of the way of rods and flying hooks, and sat down to watch. He expertly flicked the fly across the water, leaving barely a ripple in the stream as the gut lay flat on the pool’s surface. Nicky came and sat next to her.

‘He has a girlfriend you know,’ she stated, as she moved a rock from behind her to sit more comfortably. Isla was taken aback. ‘Sure, OK. What makes you think I’m bothered if Jonno has a girlfriend or not?’ she asked, trying to understand how she could be so obvious. ‘If you say so,’ said Nicky raising her eyebrows knowingly at Isla. ‘Most girls think about dating my brother though. Even my friends. It’s a pain,’ explained Nicky. She also had freckles and a small upturned nose. ‘I see,’ responded Isla,

wondering where this alleged girlfriend lived. Isla turned her interest back to Jonno and watched him cast across the clear pool again. She could see a trout drift past his fly, but it wasn’t biting. Fab’s line was thrashing in the water not too far away and Jonno opted to help Fab cast better, rather than try to convince the unresponsive trout to bite. He reeled his line in and looked over at Isla. He smiled shyly when he caught her eye, and Isla smiled back. She couldn’t help thinking that his alleged girlfriend couldn’t be a very serious situation. Leaning back against the rock, Isla closed her eyes, letting her mind wander as she felt the afternoon sun on her skin.

Jonno eventually reeled in all the rods and called it a day, as the sun sank down behind the mountain ridge. A few exciting bites had kept them at the pool, but unfortunately no slimy wet trout had been caught. As the sky turned grey and the crickets began to chirrup loudly, they trekked back slowly. They picked their way over the rocks once again, finding new paths and animal tracks as they went. As they approached the farmhouse, they could smell dinner on the breeze, calling them home. Isla’s stomach grumbled in approval.

Later that evening while lying in bed, Isla looked up at the ceiling with eyes glazed. She’d caught Jonno looking at her a few times at dinner. His big brown eyes watched her, and Isla could tell that there was something not that innocent about him. She liked that about him, and while they’d been serving up their food she made a point of brushing up against him. He had looked back at her with wide eyes, and nearly tipped his full plate of food on the floor. Isla smiled sweetly as he managed to recover himself and move away from her towards the peas. Nicky, who was sitting across the table, rolled her eyes at Isla.

During dinner, Isla’s mother asked him where he went to school, and he told her he went to a boys’ school in the KwaZulu-Natal

midlands. Isla approved and was now convinced that the girlfriend was definitely a vague definition for some girl he knew. How could he possibly have a girlfriend when he went to an all-boys’ school?


Question: What do you think of Nicky’s reaction to Isla when they went fishing?