“What the hell is wrong with you?” Khaya shouts, his eyes blazing with anger as he kicks the bench in the change-room.
“I…” I start to try and explain, but then I stop.
I don’t actually understand why I made such a ridiculously hard challenge on Khaya. I guess I just wanted to prove to Reinecker that I have the killer instinct.
“It was a practice, you idiot,” Khaya storms, sitting down on the bench and glaring across at me. “So much for us being friends, hey? I might have to miss the qualifiers if my hand is badly injured.”
I sigh and sit down, putting my face in my hands. Khaya’s been told he has to go for X-rays on his wrist. If it’s broken he’ll probably have to miss the qualifiers.
“I knew you weren’t worth my time,” Khaya says, standing up and pushing past me. “See you later, Benni Mccarthy.”
Khaya spits out his mean old nickname for me before stalking out of the changeroom and slamming the door behind him, leaving me sitting on the bench feeling like hell.
A few minutes later I hear the door creak open again and look up, hoping Khaya has come back, but instead I see Henry’s thin face peering in.
“Oh,” says Henry, “you’re in here.”
I nod. I’m still not exactly sure what to think about Henry these days. He was the one who had started all this violent play in our one-on-one competition, but now I have admit to myself that I’ve just done exactly the same thing to Khaya.
“I’m just getting my stuff,” Henry says, walking across to where his bag is hung up on a peg.
“Henry…” Still, I don’t really know what I want to say. It was a competition and I won. Henry will be sitting out during the qualifiers on Saturday, but if he wasn’t, it would be me.
Henry grabs his bag and shakes his head.
“I can’t talk now Nathi,” he says, walking toward the door, “I’ve got to speak to Mr. Naidoo.”
He leaves the changeroom too and I feel more alone that ever. I’m about to leave myself when Reinecker strides in with a grin on his face.
“There he is!” Reinecker booms, sitting down next to me and clapping me on the shoulder.
“Brilliant play today.”
“But… Khaya…” My emotions finally bubble over as I speak, “he’s injured and now he hates me again, and Henry is also acting weird and doesn’t want to speak to me.”
Reinecker smiles and squeezes my shoulder painfully.
“You want to know why they’re acting like that?”
I look at Reinecker and nod.
“Because,” my famous coach says, looking me dead in the eye, “they’re jealous. Losers are always jealous.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have you ever been jealous of someone? Do you think Henry and Khaya are acting like this because they’re jealous?