Afterwards, I remembered very little of Sandra’s birthday party. I didn’t even remember singing to the birthday girl. But I did remember a kiss. I was in heaven. Amy Davis, my life crush, kissing a guy like me? I had thought that was impossible. I wouldn’t forget the taste of her lips. I re-lived that kiss, again and again. I thought only of the kiss, not about what happened at school on Monday morning.

I pushed that to the back of my mind, and focused on the memory of Amy’s lips on mine.

After school, as usual Chloe, Josh and I had met up by the school gate to make our way home. It was an extremely hot day. Everyone’s shirt was un-tucked. Students walked shielding their eyes and some covered their heads with their blazers. Chloe’s mom came around the bend, so Chloe hugged us and made her way to her mom’s car.

“So, catch you tomorrow, dude,” I said, turning away as I did so. Then suddenly I felt Josh pull me back towards him.

“What?” I exclaimed.

“What did the letter say?” Josh asked.

“What lett… Oh! Chloe’s letter? I haven’t read it yet.” I had been too busy thinking about the party and how I would get 750 rand. I hadn’t even opened the letter. I remembered it getting wet in the rain, but nothing else. I was too busy thinking about Amy.

“You’re an idiot!” Josh was angry: “I can’t believe you would do this to Chloe.”

“What did I do wrong? The rain destroyed it. And what was so important about that letter anyway?”

“The letter was about the deep feelings she has for you!” he shouted.

“What? You’re kidding,” I replied, starting to feel extremely guilty. “And how would you know that anyway? Did you read it before you gave it to me?”

“I helped her write it.”


“She didn’t know what to say. She was so nervous. She had been getting the courage up for weeks. But obviously you didn’t notice any of that, because you stopped hanging out with me and her, and started sucking up to Amy and her crowd, getting drunk and being a jerk! What’s happened to you?”

“Wait! I only partied with them once, and it’s because I paid for the drinks!” I shouted. There was a moment of silence.

“You what?”

“You heard me; I paid for the drinks at the party so I had to go.”

There was a long pause. Then Josh said: “Dude, I overheard Amy brag about the drink and the cake she had bought for the party. And that was last Thursday already,” Josh whispered. Now he looked worried and confused.

I thought of Damian, how I had handed over the cash on Friday – the day of the party. The day after Amy had already bought everything.

“I… I gave him 750 rand!” I stuttered.

When I got home my mother sat me down in the dining room. I was still in shock over the news of Damian betraying me. But my mom wanted to talk to me, which was never a good sign. She looked at me seriously.

“Your extra Maths teacher phoned today,” Mom said. “She says we haven’t paid this month’s fees.”

“Really? That’s weird.” I said, frowning.

“Don’t act dumb with me. I always give you the money to pay at the beginning of every month. That was last week. Now she says we haven’t paid. What happened to the money, Simon?”

I couldn’t tell her that I had given the money to Damian for the party. Damian had told me he would get the money back to me the next day, but that was three days ago.

“I lost it. I’m really sorry,” I lied. “I was too frightened to tell you.”

I got up and ran to my room, hearing my mother angrily shout my name from the dining room.

If Mom tells Dad, I’m dead, I thought.


Tell us what you think: Do you believe Simon’s words that the rain destroyed Chloe’s letter? Will his mother tell his father about the lie?