It took Karabo three days of begging (and most of her chocolate supply) to get Isla to forgive her. She hadn’t meant to be so biting or to lose her temper with Isla. She knew that Isla had only wanted to protect her from William. She also knew that Isla hasn’t really bought the story that Karabo no longer adored him. She was trying very hard to believe it, so why couldn’t Isla? The trip to the sangoma was purely to understand more about the dream and the reason behind it. That’s if there was one. It was all good and well knowing that William had Malagasy royal blood, but what was the point of knowing this? Had it been just to help William and his mom get back on speaking terms? Or was there a bigger reason, like finding the treasure? Karabo needed to make sure she hadn’t missed anything.

On Saturday morning, Karabo woke up before everyone else in their dorm room and felt excitement bubbling up from her tummy. She couldn’t wait to leave. After a quick breakfast, Karabo hugged Isla tightly. ‘Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,’ Isla told Karabo.

There was definitely no need for Isla to concern herself. William barely spoke to her on the way there, and merely responded to her questions about post-matric with one-word answers. Eventually Karabo gave up and just watched the passing valleys of the Eastern Cape as they drove in ice-cold silence.

William’s car finally skidded to a halt on the sand road above the sangoma’s hut. Karabo climbed out quickly, desperate to be out of the car and away from William and his mood. She breathed the warm air deep into her lungs and looked down the green hill. The footpath snaked down towards the door of the sangoma’s hut, that was tucked into the side of the round green hill. William strode past her and followed the footpath, ignoring her.

‘What’s your problem?’ Karabo shouted at him, running after him. She felt frustrated and squeezed her hands into fists by her sides.

‘Nothing!’ he shouted back at her. As his long-legged strides towards the hut became longer, Karabo had to take three steps for every one of his, just to keep up.

As they neared the hut, the door flew open and the sangoma stepped outside, watching them approach. Her wrinkled face scowled at them, with eyes like tiny black holes in her gnarled face. She wore black, white and red beads on her arms, legs and woven into her hair, and had a large brown and beige blanket covering her upper body.

‘I had a feeling you would come Karabo… but why did you bring the sea rat?’ she muttered, looking disapprovingly at William.

‘Nice to see you too!’ William spat back at the sangoma, coming to a halt in front of her and glaring down at the top of her head.

‘Hello Makhosi,’ greeted Karabo, slightly breathless as she emerged from behind William.

The sangoma nodded at Karabo and then stepped aside, allowing them into her hut.

There was a small fire in the centre of the hut and the air was heavy with the smell of smoke and herbs Karabo couldn’t identify. Karabo coughed as she entered, her lungs struggling in the smoke. Three reed mats formed a triangle around the fire in the centre of the hut and the sangoma indicated they should each sit on a mat. Karabo felt William’s icy energy intensify. She could have sworn there was an Arctic wind blowing from him towards her, and she shivered as she sat down next to him.


Question: Why do you think William is behaving in this way?