I handed in my assignment on time. And today Mr Ndwapi is going to give us our marks.

I’ve only been sick two mornings this past week. And both times I managed to do it without my mom noticing. But I have made up my mind: today I am getting a pregnancy testing kit. I don’t care who is walking around the chemist. I don’t care who sees. I need to know for sure.

Ever since I visited Naledi, I have been having nightmares and I wake with my arms wrapped around my stomach and tears running down my cheeks.

I’m sitting in our English class next to Victoria when suddenly I feel familiar cramps in my stomach. I cannot believe this! Quickly I excuse myself and rush to the cloakrooms. And yes, it is true. The proof is there clear as daylight – well, you understand what I mean. I am definitely not pregnant!

For a long time I stare at myself in the mirror there. I tell myself I should feel relieved. No more worrying about telling Vincent or Mama, no more worrying about how they will react. No more crazy rollercoaster of excitement followed by fear followed by joy followed by panic. Yes, I have had a lucky escape! I should feel grateful.

But all I feel is sad. Heart-broken, actually. I am no longer special, no longer Beyonce’s mother-to-be. Now I am just ordinary: an ordinary teenage schoolgirl in an ordinary school uniform about to go back to an ordinary desk in an ordinary classroom.

Next lesson is with Mr Ndwapi. He leaves my assignment marks for last. Then he announces, “The highest marks go to Tumi for her fascinating baby-clothing business idea: Rad and Trad.”

Around me everyone is clapping, Victoria especially. And by break time, Vincent has heard about my triumph too. He comes across to talk to me.

“Hey, beautiful! Great job! I’m really proud of you.” And yes, I can see the pride shining there in his beautiful eyes as he looks down on me.

I understand suddenly that I have lots to make me feel special. Like producing a top-class assignment, like having a gorgeous boyfriend who calls me ‘beautiful’ and a loving mother who calls me ‘my angel’. And the most special best friend in the world.

Yes, being a mother myself and having a baby can wait. Something special to look forward to, sometime in the distant future. After I have finished school and my studies.

What I must do now is go to the clinic and find out all about contraception, find out about ways that are safer and surer than what day of the month it is. I wonder if Vincent will come with me? Or will he feel too embarrassed? But that would be something really special: him and me together talking to a counsellor like two careful, sensible teenagers who value their future.

Yes, I will ask him this weekend.

* * *

Tell us what you think: Will Vincent go with Tumi to the clinic to discuss contraception? Would you go and discuss such things with a counsellor or would you be too embarrassed?

The End