It’s hard to look sexy with a bandage on my foot and a crutch under my arm, but I’m trying anyway. 

Nomusa looks amazing of course. She’s wearing a tiny pair of hipster boardshorts, a rash vest that she’s customised with a handpainted isiShweShwe pattern and she’s got her surfboard tucked under one arm. She’s tall, lean and totally in her element on the beach. 

My butterflies, still flying high due to my imagined day of romance on the beach with Simon, kamakazi dive to an all-time low as we spot him. He’s lying face down on his towel while Deevya leans over him, squeezing suntan lotion onto his back. I stop dead in surprise. To say that this is not exactly how my romantic imagination had pictured the day rolling out is something of an understatement. 

Deevya’s wearing black bikini bottoms, a cropped white tank top, about ten brightly coloured necklaces and a pair of big silver hoop earrings. Her silky black hair falls down to her waist. Basically she looks like a walking, talking, Durban babe version of Pocahontas.  

Confidentially, right now I’m feeling like a jealous, fat-footed fool. If my ankle weren’t throbbing I might well kick myself for being such a romanticising idiot.  

“Hope!” Deevya squeals when she spots us, and runs over. “I’m so glad you’re up and about. Here, let me help you across the sand.”

And she grabs my crutch out of my hand and offers me her arm.

‘I didn’t know you were going to be here,” I try not to growl at her.

“Oh really? Simon invited me. And he also invited Lindi – you know, that girl who climbed out the window with us last night.  I didn’t know you were going to be here either but I’m happy you are. You can lean on me as hard as you need to,” she says.

I force the corners of my mouth to lift into a smile to hide the fact that I’m quite upset.

“Hey Hope!” says Simon. “Great to see you. Sorry I can’t get up, Deevya’s busy painting on my back. Check it out.”

I try not to get too distracted by Simon’s bare, muscular back as I feign interest in Deevya’s art work. She’s squeezed out  a suntan lotion cartoon of Simon lying on a towel on the beach, smiling at the group of bikini-clad girls sitting around him.  

“Would you mind taking a photo of my back on your phone so that I can take a look?”

I reluctantly do so and show it to him.

“Rad Deevya!”  

Deevya shoots me a meaningful look, but I let it go right past me. I’m still getting my head around how manipulative I’ve realised she can be and I’m not in the mood for any mind games right now. 

Simon jumps to his feet.

“Make yourself comfortable on my towel if you want, Hope. I’m heading out for a surf.”

Oh fabulous, the day just gets better.

“Us too,” says Nomusa.

I look over and notice that Lindi also has a surfboard with her. 

The three of them chat away as they strap their leashes to their legs and then run off leaving Deevya and I sitting alone together in awkward silence.