I’m on cloud nine as I walk down the hill to Nomusa’s family’s flat. Zack and I are on the same groove again, and my life is stretching out in front of me like a blank page ready to be filled with beautiful colour.
“Hope! Wait up!”
I turn to see Deevya skipping towards me in a beautiful sundress. Us Awesomes are getting together for an afternoon inspiration session and a bit of a catch up.
Deevya’s phone rings and when she answers it I can tell by her voice that it’s Nomusa on the other end of the line.
Deevya hangs up, hugs me hello and gives me the status.
“Nomusa says she needs to get out of the flat, her kid brother and sister are driving her nuts. She’s going to meet us outside her place and then we can go to the park or something.”
When we get there Nomu’s already waiting, holding a brown paper bag in her hands.
“Are those what I think they are?” I ask, eyeing it hungrily.
“Yebo, yeah,” says Nomusa proudly, “three times freshly baked doughnuts still warm from the oven oozing apricot jam.”
We take turns to high five her. The café downstairs from Nomu’s flat is a legend in its own ‘hood for these sugar-dusted delishishnesses.
“So, we could go to the park up the road,” says Nomu, “or, if you’re not going to get totally traumatised Hope, we could also go and sit on the bench opposite our street art. But it’s your call Ms. L’Amour.”
I must admit that my heart does still feel like someone’s just given it a little squeeze when I think about THAT wall, but I realise that the three of us never had a chance to stand back and look at the finished piece together once we were done. Valentine’s dramas blew that out the water.
“Let’s go,” I say, and then I start to get really excited, “now, now, now!”
Deevya looks at me sideways as we head along towards our wall.
“Have you seen Zack by any chance,” she asks, on the money as usual.
“You better believe it dudes,” I smile, and then fill them in on the scoop.
When we get to our bench we sit down in a row and take in the view of our wall.
“It feels so good to be here,” I announce.
And then we happily eat our doughnuts as we mutually agree that The Awesomes are actually the shizzle, and that our street art rocks the nation. Our sugar-coated lips are all smiles.
“So I know it’s been all about me for this last week or so,” I say with a grin, “and thanks guys! But now that my personal and love barometers show clear skies ahead I’m a little more tuned in to the bigger picture again – and I’d love to know what’s been happening with you both?”
“You start,” Nomusa nods at Deevya. But right then one of the buses clad with a picture of Nomusa modelling a bikine pulls up at the bus stop in front of the bench. We laugh and wave to let the bus driver know we’re not getting on.
“I think that’s a sign that you go first,” chuckles Deevya. “And don’t beat about the bush – we want an update on your love life first.”
“Ok,” says Nomusa, taking a deep breath, “It’s still going, it’s still good – great actually…but it’s also not all easy.”
“What are you not finding easy?” asks Deevya, and we both lean in to listen as Nomusa answers in her soft voice.
“Well…you know that Lindi wants us to be a secret, right? And I thought I’d be ok with that, but I’m not really used to pretending – that’s just not who I am.”
Deevya and I both nod as we think about this, and Nomusa keeps explaining.
“I know I’m not that outspoken about my feelings, but if I’m with you two anyone watching would instantly know that we’re great friends. And if I’m surfing I don’t try and hide that I’m totally passionate about it. But when I’m with Lindi and there are other people around, I have to constantly check that I’m not accidentally showing what I’m really feeling to the world. I have to hide that I’m so happy we’re together. And that’s just so hard for me. It feels so…so unnatural.”
I think about Zack and I talking outside on the pavement this afternoon, and how great it was to hold nothing back as I tried to show him and tell him what I was feeling. I really didn’t care who was watching us. Why should I have?
“I totally understand how hard that must be Nomu,” I empathise. “You’re very strong – I don’t think I could do it.”
Deevya looks thoughtful. “People only feel a need to hide stuff about themselves when they’re afraid of being judged badly by others. Maybe you should tell Lindi that Hope, Zack and I have all been in on your little romance since day one – and that we think you make an awesome couple”
I like where Deevya is going with this, and I chip in my two cents worth.
“Yes…and then let Lindi get used to that. It’s not like you told us – we just spotted you guys kissing that first night and made you tell us what was going on with you two. Lindi might freak out at first, but then at least you can relax and be yourself when you and Lindi are around us. And maybe in time Lindi will be a little less afraid to let her feelings show when she’s around us too.”
Nomusa pops her last piece of doughnut into her mouth, and the look on her face says she she thinks we might be on to something.
My phone rings in my pocket. I pull it out.
“Hmm, I don’t know this number,” I say out loud as I look at the screen.
As I take the call a flirty, girlish voice on the other end of the line says “Hey Zack, it’s Velaphi. Are we still on for tonight?”
I hold the phone away from my ear and stare at in confusion. And then I remember that Zack and I have the same phone. We’d put them next to each other on the wall this afternoon when we were busy making up, and when we picked them up we must have accidentally swapped.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Will Nomusa and Lindi make it as a couple? And do you think Zack’s up to no good?!