“Hope, I’m not listening to another excuse from you! I agree you’ve needed some time to lay low, but you’ve had the whole day. We’re going out in 10 minutes. Get yourself gorgeous baby. There are people to meet!”

I look at Deevya in dismay. I’m loving my bedroom. I feel like no one or nothing can hurt me when I’m here. This is where I want to stay.

She puts one hand on her hip and looks pointedly at the watch on her other hand.

“Nine minutes,” she says.

And then she turns her back on me, joining Nomusa at my dressing table mirror to put on some make-up and glam-up her hair. Nomusa hits the volume button on my radio and the two of them start grooving away as if my room’s a nightclub. 

I feel a bit cross with them for not giving me a choice in this, but given that the two of them went and spoke to Zack this afternoon so that I didn’t have to, I don’t really feel like I’m in a position to give them a hard time.

Don’t worry. I didn’t wimp out completely on the Zack thing. I don’t really know who I am right now, but I do know that I feel like I’ve got nothing to lose. So if Zack wants to tell me why he broke my heart I can deal with that. But only tomorrow. 

“So where are you planning on going out?” I ask Deevya and Nomusa.

“You mean where are WE planning on going out, of course,” says Deevya. “To Wimpy, for burgers.”

I snort out loud. 

“You’re getting that dressed up for burgers around the corner?” I say.

Nomusa and Deevya both grin broadly.

“We ain’t dressing up for the burgers baby,” says Deevya cheekily. “Panther’s taking us out for his farewell dinner. There’ll be hot guys. And Lindi for Nomusa.”

Nomusa nods happily at me, turns to the mirror, tops up her lip gloss and then turns back and gives me the status.

“Lindi sent me a Valentine’s card. We’ve seen each other and we’re on again, but we’re going to take it really slow and keep things super cool and chilled,” she smiles. 

I look at Deevya. “I thought you weren’t into hot guys at all in 2011?” I enquire smugly.

“They’re not for me darling,” she grins. “They’re for you. And you’ve got 3 minutes left now, so hustle.”

And so this is how I end up sitting in Wimpy with a slick new hair do, beautiful make-up and cool kit. That is all thanks to my friends. My bad attitude is 100% my own. I know I’m not ready to be out and about.

“You look like The Shizzle,” says Nomusa as a crowd of hip looking guys cruise in.

I glower at her. I’m not in the mood.

Everyone gets introduced, but I apparently need no introduction.

“Hey Hope – we’ve heard all about you. Great newspaper coverage!” says a good-looking guy in jeans and a black vest.

 How am I meant to reply to that?

“No seriously,” he says, reading into my silence, “I’m really sorry your feelings got hurt, but I’ve been a street artist for three years and my work has never made the newspaper. This is gonna do wonders for your career!”

Really? I look up at everyone’s faces and they’re all nodding and smiling. Some of them even look a little jealous. Hmm. Ok. I sit up a little straighter. I find myself smiling back. And wow – they really are a good-looking bunch of guys!

And they’re nice too. Two hours later we’re all still chatting and laughing away. Deevya’s chattering non-stop to Panther. Nomusa and Lindi are totally absorbed in conversation with some of the other guys down the other end of the table. And I’m sitting next to a guy called Zoom and he’s been telling me the most amazing stories about his life as a street artist. And he’s so funny! 

I’m cackling loudly at one of his jokes, holding my stomach it hurts so much from laughing, when something outside catches my eye. It’s Zack. He’s standing outside the window looking in and he looks really upset. As soon as I notice him he walks away.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you think that Zack is regretting breaking up with Hope?