I greet Kabelo with relief.

“Oh, thank goodness, it was just you!”

“What was just me?” he asks.

“Amanda and I heard someone moving around in the yard outside. I guess it was you, right?”

Kabelo drops his eyes to the watering can he’s carrying.

“Yes …” he says at last. “I was doing some watering outside. Sorry if I disturbed you.”

“Oh, that’s all right.” I’m so glad to have that sorted out, I feel quite cheerful. 

“We were just choosing outfits to wear tonight. We’re going to a dance.”

“Will you show me which outfits you’ve chosen?”

I’m just about to start showing him some options when Amanda blocks me again.

“We’re not nearly finished,” she says quickly. 

Then she takes me by the arm and steers me back into my room. As I close the door behind us, she marches up to the window and firmly closes the curtains.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Whose watering can was that?” she demands.

“It’s my mom’s. You know she’s got that pot plant in the kitchen and another one in her bedroom?  She’s uses it to water them.”

“And your yard has no plants in it. It’s completely swept bare. So what was he watering out there?”

I stare at her in amazement. “I have absolutely no idea. Why does it matter? I mean, why would he lie about something like that?”

“I don’t know, but I think he was the one sneaking around outside your window. He was looking guilty – didn’t you notice?”

“No, I can’t say I did.”

“There’s just something about him I don’t trust.”

I can’t help feeling a bit offended. I know Kabelo isn’t really part of my family, but he is my mom’s boyfriend, and it’s thanks to him that she has a job and we can live in our house again. I don’t like hearing Amanda criticise him. It makes me want to start defending him.

But before I can decide what to say, we both hear a car pulling up outside the house. I tug the curtain back to have a look, and feel my whole body jerk with shock.

“It’s your mother!” I gasp.

WHAT DO YOU THINK: Do you also get upset when people criticise your family – even though you sometimes criticise them yourself?