THE REST of the day passes in a slight blur.
I’m vaguely aware of girls arriving, of Matron welcoming us all at lunch, of some kind of orientation meeting in the afternoon. We get told so many house rules that there’s no way I can possibly remember them all. But that’s fine because Matron gives us a little handbook to put next to our beds in case we forget anything.
Lael keeps shooting worried glances at me because I’m not being the life and soul of the party. A really nice group of girls has joined us in the dormitory. Only one bed in the far corner is still empty. No one seems to know if it’s going to stay that way or if a new roommate will still arrive. I can’t say I care very much.
There’s only one thing on my mind at the moment, and that’s the boy whose name I don’t even know yet.
The wonderful, floppy-haired, blue-eyed (I’m pretty sure his eyes are blue – or maybe green), fit-bodied boy who’s living practically next door to Sisulu House. I keep replaying that scene of him coming out of the Annexe in my mind. I know I must look like an idiot staring off into space with a silly smile on my face, but I don’t care.
I can’t think of anything except when I’ll get to see him again. And how I can get to meet him for real. Just to give you a clue how desperate I am, I’m actually wondering if I could pretend to trip and faint into his arms. How pathetic is that?
The sad truth is, I’m just a random Grade 10 and he’s one of the kings of the school. If Brentwood really paid a fortune to poach him from Hilton, this guy is so far removed from me he might as well be Justin Bieber.
It’s only toward evening that I come out of my trance and start paying attention to what’s going on around me.
I can’t help comparing tonight to last night. Twenty-four hours ago I couldn’t imagine the dormitory full of girls, and now I can hardly imagine it empty. We’ve got some free time after supper and everyone is chilling out and changing into their PJs. It looks like queueing for the bathrooms won’t be an issue, thank goodness. There are enough baths and showers for us to take as long as we need.
There are two prefects and a Junior Matron on our floor, but they leave us pretty much alone unless we start making too much noise.
At ten o’clock the lights go out as someone flicks a master switch somewhere. I give a little scream, thinking it’s a power failure, but it turns out that’s how it works every night. No warning, no negotiation, just poof, lights out.
Within two minutes everyone has scrambled into their own beds, and one minute after that, a prefect comes around to make sure we’re not using our Blackberries as torches under the covers.
Then all is quiet. I snuggle down into my bed, trying to fall asleep surrounded by the unfamiliar noises of other girls coughing, sighing and shuffling in their beds.
THERE’S A friendly buzz in the dining-hall at breakfast the next morning.
It’s still early days, but I’m starting to think I can do this. As long as the food stays good and the bed stays comfortable, I reckon I can tough it out for the next three months. Of course the fact that I’ve got the sexiest man alive living next door is a bonus. In fact, now that I’ve seen him, wild horses couldn’t drag me back home.
Apparently Lael is reading my mind, because she leans across her bowl of Weet-Bix and says in my ear, “I’ve been thinking about Postmatric Guy.”
“What about him?” I keep my voice casual. “Remember at the end of last year, Dr Hussein
announced that new postmatric tutoring thing?” “Um …”
I have no idea what she is talking about. But then, a lot of what our dear headmaster says goes in one ear and out the other.
“Yes, you do! Come on, Trinity, think! How if we’re struggling with a subject, we’re allowed to ask the postmatrics for help, remember?”
“Oh, really?” I perk up a bit. “And do they have to help us if we ask them?”
“I think so, yes.”
This sets off an interesting train of thought.
“So what you’re saying is that I should pretend to be having trouble with work so that I can ask him for help?”
Lael snorts, sending a little fountain of milk off her spoon and into her bowl.
“I’m just imagining you pretending to have trouble with work.”
“Ha ha. Very funny. Maybe I won’t have to pretend all that hard. But you never know – this might finally be the year I get my act together and start cracking my schoolwork. Oh, stop it!” I say as she giggles some more. “It could happen.”
“Well, even if you do suddenly turn into a model student, this is your best way of getting to know Postmatric Guy.”
“Ja … maybe. Mind you, once the other girls get a look at him, there’ll be queues around the block to ask him for help .”
Tell us what you think: Do you think this scheme is going to work? Why or why not?