I sat on the rim of the bath, a container of sleeping tablets in one hand and a bottle of my dad’s most expensive brandy in the other. If this is the last thing I’ll ever be drinking, it might as well be some of the good stuff, I told myself.

I sniffed the foul-smelling alcohol. Was I really going to do this?

How did it get this bad?

It probably started the day Amy smiled at me.

“Dude, dude, she’s totally checking you out,” Josh whispered to me, hiding his mouth behind his hand. Not that it mattered. The teacher wasn’t looking in our direction. It was the last period of the week and everyone just wanted to get home.

“Come on man, in what world would Amy Davis even acknowledge my existence?” I muttered back to him. “Even if she looked at me, how would I react? I mean, it’s Amy we’re talking about. Amy – one of the most popular girls in our class and for me, personally, way out of my league. Not that I even have a league.”

“Hey, I just saw what I saw. She smiled at you, Simon. I saw you smiling back and winking. But anyway, is the thing still on for today, after school?” asked Josh, grinning.

“Yeah, most definitely,” I replied.

Josh had been my best friend since I moved to Silver Grove when I was ten. We moved, not because of circumstances, but rather because we chose to do so. You see my parents finally achieved the financial stability to move out of their starter-home, and chose Silver Grove as a good suburb to start a new life in. It was a small, middle class suburb near the sea. Josh lived down the road from me. We could relate to each other because we were both quite nerdy.

“But listen Josh, I don’t think we can meet at my house. Guests are coming over. Let’s ask Chloe if we can’t do it at her house rather.”

“Sure thing.”

As he said this, the school bell rang. The next minute everyone in class had disappeared like an act in a magic show. Josh and I chatted as we made our way down the passage and out to the main gate.

“She said she was going to meet us here, right?” Josh sighed, as he tilted up his glasses to rub his right eye.

“Patience, dude,” I reassured him.

“She’s always late,” Josh complained.

“Careful Josh. She’s the only female you and I talk to other than our moms, bro. Look, here she comes.”

“Hi, you two. Thanks for waiting.” Chloe came running up to us, out of breath.

“No prob. But hey, guests are at my house. Can we hang out at your house rather?” I asked.

“Sure. What are we waiting for? Let’s roll,” said Chloe, already on her way out of the school grounds.

Chloe was our closest, and only, female friend. She was more friends with me than Josh because she always came along when her mom visited my mom – they were best friends.

Chloe was probably the warmest person I knew, and was labelled by many as a Good Samaritan. I thought that being a bit chubby lowered her self-esteem, so she always dressed conservatively, and unlike the rest of the girls in our class, her school dress reached down to her knees. She had long black hair and was one of the few coloured kids, like me, that lived in Silver Grove. Well, my case was a bit more complicated. My mother was half coloured and half Xhosa. My dad, on the other hand, was white.

Fridays after school, Josh, Chloe and I always went to one of our houses to hang out. We watched movies, talked, played games and occasionally went to the mall like all normal 16-year-olds.

But not that one weekend that started this mess…


Tell us what you think: What is about to change in Simon’s life?