[A week and a bit later…]
It’s the last day of the holidays and the drama of New Year’s and my punishment is long behind us when Nomusa, Deevya and I meet for one last coffee before school starts. We’re at the Corner Café in Glenwood and we’ve got a prime table spot – in the sunshine right next to the huge, open window.
“I can’t believe it’s all over,” groans Nomusa “I just don’t know if I can handle all those teachers and bells between lessons after a whole month of freedom!”
“You’re not even going to have time to think about it,” I console her, “we’ve got so much work to do for our exhibition at Red Eye.”
We, as in ‘The Awesomes’, have been invited to take part in the coolest exhibition in Durban that happens from time to time down at Durban Art Gallery, in the middle of the city. We’re working together on a series of cartoons that tell a love story set in Minitown. You know Minitown? That really cool mini version of Durban city that’s a tourist hotspot down on the beachfront? Well that’s where our love story is set. The story is kinda quirky. Sort of Afropolitan meets Bollywood with a Japanese anime influence. So we’ve called our exhibition ‘AfroBollyMe’. Cute huh?
Deevya pulls out her sketchpad to show us some ideas she’s been working on for it. And before long all three of us have our sketchpads out and are drawing away happily.;
I check Deevya out from time to time when I think she isn’t paying attention, trying to suss out if she’s really ok. She seems a bit distracted. I’m wondering if it’s a long-term side effect of her concussion.
“Hey, are you looking at the bruises under my eyes?” she asks me.
Well so much for Deevya not paying attention! She totally caught me out.
“I was just thinking that they’re fading really quickly,” I quickly explain.
The bruises under her eyes are a side effect of the knock on the head she got from that atom bomb surfboard. And what I said is true. The bruises are looking much better.
Deevya swings the attention away from her and onto Nomusa.
“So Nomusa, I’ve been wondering if you’ve got your eye on a boy? You have a bit of a glow about you.”
Nomusa looks bashful and shakes her head.
“No way, no one.”
Hmmm! I know Nomusa well and right now she looks like she’s hiding something from us! Confidentially, I’ve had a sneaky suspicion that there might be something going on between Nomusa and my downstairs neighbour Zack. I’m sure there’s a bit of a vibe between them. And if there isn’t then maybe there could be in the future. They’d be so well suited. I make a mental note to do a little matchmaking.
“What about you and Simon?” Nomusa unexpectedly asks me.
Sneaky diversion Nomusa! I feel my cheeks flush. But there’s no way I want to get into this subject in front of Deevya. I’m still feeling a bit sensitive about how badly things turned out the last time we spoke about Simon.
As I’m trying to think up a clever change of subject a car pulls up and parks outside, right in front of the window we’re sitting next to. We turn and see Deevya’s ex-boyfriend, Prakesh, getting out. He’s the one that Deevya went out with for a year. And actually he’s the only boyfriend she’s ever had.
If you want my take on their relationship I actually thought it was like a rollercoaster ride with extreme highs and lows. Not that I’m any kind of an expert on relationships. But one day Deevya would seem extremely happy and in love. And then the next day she’d be absolutely devastated because Prakesh was having doubts about their relationship. And she got far too skinny and I’d even say she was often more than a little neurotic.
I breathed a secret sight of relief when they broke up six months ago. All that emotional seesaw-ing clearly wasn’t good for the girl. Deevya hasn’t seen Prakesh since the day they broke up. And in my opinion that’s a good thing. Who needs heartbreak every second day? Seriously?! The only down side for us has been having to swallow all the relationship advice she’s been feeding us ever since. But remembering how down she was when she was with Prakesh suddenly makes me realise that I’d much rather have her upbeat and bossy, even if it does get a little irritating now and again.
Right now Prakesh is standing just two metres away from us with a couple of DVD’s in his hand.
I glance at Nomusa and hold my breath. I’m expecting Prakesh and Deevya to have a huge argument, like they often did in the old days.
But their encounter doesn’t start quite as I anticipate it will.
“I’ve missed you,” is all Prakesh says as he reaches Deevya.
Nomusa and I glance at each other and I almost giggle as she rolls her eyes. Deevya’s come a long way since her and Prakesh broke up, and we’re on the edge of our seats as we wait for her to show Prakesh her super-assertive, bossy colours. After the way he treated her he deserves to be put in his place!
And then? S.H.O.C.K! and A.S.T.O.N.I.S.H.M.E.N.T! Deevya and Prakesh melt wordlessly into each others arms through the open window and kiss passionately like long lost lovers.
Nomusa’s mouth is gaping so wide open in disbelief that a flock of birds could fly in there and build nests in her back teeth with no problem. It occurs to me that my mouth looks much the same but I’m so blown away I don’t really care.
Finally, after the longest, schmelziest smooch you’ve ever seen in real life or the big screen, Prakesh pulls away from Deevya, says “I’ll call you”. That’s it. That’s all he says. And then he gets into the car and drives off without returning his DVDs!
At this point our jaws hit the floor.
When Deevya turns back towards us she is so radiant with happiness it looks like someone has turned a light on inside her.
After a full 30 seconds of silence Nomusa manages to make a recovery.
“Deevya!!!!!” she shrieks. “What’s going on?! Are you and Prakesh back together or what?!”
“That’s the first time I’ve seen him since we broke up,” says Deevya in a husky voice, pouting her lips like Angelina Jolie. “But if that kiss is anything to go by I’d say Prakesh and I may well have a ‘Forever After’ to look forward to.”
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK? Do you think the love affair between Deevya and Prakesh is going to get new wings? Or do you think it will dive bomb in no time at all?