“Babes, what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in school?” Peter was shocked to see his girlfriend at his workplace at midday.
“I ran away,” Mathabo explained, sitting on a chair behind the counter. She had walked straight into the tavern in her school uniform, not caring about right of admission rules or what people would say.
All she wanted was to talk to her boyfriend, Peter. Peter, who was soon to leave her … for a girl whose mother took her father away? There was no way she was going to let that happen. Peter was the strength of her heart. Her soulmate. No-one was going to take him from her, she thought, tears warming her eyes as she remembered how broken she had been the day she first met him.
“Okay, I see. Let me help the customers and I’ll be back.” Peter shuffled towards a group of loud young men drinking beers. He started picking up empty bottles, noisily inserting them into a crate.
Mathabo gazed morosely at her boyfriend. He was 19 and she was 17. Peter had passed Grade 12 and was working to save money so that he could go to tertiary next year. They had been together for about eight months now.
“O grand?” Peter wanted to know, disturbing her thoughts. Mathabo shook her head, tears shining in her big eyes. “What’s wrong? Did something happen at school?”
She nodded and started sobbing, “I had an argument with Meneer Lebone.”
“Why? That’s not your thing, mos. Fighting with teachers? No babes.”
Tears streamed down Mathabo’s light cheeks as she paused, swallowing nothing. Peter held her face, rubbing her tears away with his thumbs.
“Ssh! Don’t cry sweetheart. O se lle hle, babes.” He kissed her forehead gently and stared into her eyes with a frown. “Do you want something to drink? Mmm?”
Mathabo didn’t answer, bursting into fresh tears instead.
The man she loved was sleeping with another girl, and from what she had heard, he was waiting for a good moment to break things between them. Should she ask him if those rumours were true now … or wait until they were alone in his room? Peter was embracing her tightly, reminding her why she should fight for him: she felt safe in his arms.
He let go and went to the fridge, returning a cold bottle of her favourite, cider.
“Okay! I think this will help cool you down. Take,” he said, handing her the drink while touching her fingers gently.
Mathabo popped the top off as her boyfriend continued wiping her tears, kissing her all over her face, while whispering sweet words.
There was no way that she was going to let him go, not in this world, she swore, sniffing, her arms round his waist.
Tell us: Do you think it is right to forgive an affair and try to keep an unfaithful boyfriend?