“So you finally told everyone that you’re sisters, huh? That’s great.” Jayden’s voice is as warm and comforting as hot chocolate over the phone.

“Yes, we told them, but I don’t know how great it is,” I say. “Everyone is gossiping about us today.  Even the teachers have been staring and whispering. The news is spreading around school like wildfire.”

“Are you sure the teachers didn’t already know about it? Considering that your dad has always paid your school fees.”

“I think the headmaster knew,” I say. “But no one else. Anyway, they all know now. It seems to be the only thing everyone is talking about.”

“That’ll die down,” Jayden says calmly. “By next week they’ll have found something else to gossip about. You and Amanda must just ride it out in the meanwhile. And, hey, speaking of riding, did I tell you how well my surfing lessons are going? You know I managed to stand up on the board by my…”

“… second lesson already,” I finish for him. “Yes, you told me. That’s great, Jay. I’m really glad it’s going so well.”

“I’m having such a fantastic time here!” His voice is practically glowing with enthusiasm. “Getting on the student exchange programme is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I feel like I never want to leave Durban. I’d like to stay here forever!”

“Oh, really? Well, that’s… uh… great.” 

This time I don’t manage to sound quite so keen. Here I am missing him like crazy, hardly getting through the days without him, and he already wants to stay there forever? And I’m supposed to be fine with this?

Okay, Latoya, don’t overreact. Don’t snap at him. I take a deep breath to calm myself down.

But before I can speak, Jayden is off, rambling on about how great his new school is and how much fun he’s having. And as he speaks, I remember that Tendai invited me to have pizza with him this weekend. I turned it down because it felt too much like a date. But now I’m thinking I might just call him up and say yes.

I mean, if Jayden can have fun while we’re apart, then so can I, right?

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Is Latoya playing with fire here, or is it okay for her to go and have a friendly pizza with Tendai?