Leila slipped her phone into her handbag just as Alletta came around the corner.

“What are you hiding?” Alletta said.

Leila knew that telling Alletta anything about Hardy would be a bad idea. She saw Leila as a stupid, naïve young woman. If Alletta knew about Hardy she’d have more fuel for her already steadily burning fire.


Leila went back to entering the new books that had arrived at the library into the computer system. She wished Alletta would leave. One of the things she liked most about her job at the library was the long hours she spent alone with books, at her desk in the storeroom. Books had always been her friends. Much easier to understand than people. That was why, at 19, she’d never had a boyfriend; well that was until Hardy.

Alletta rolled her eyes. “Anyway I don’t care. Keep your secrets. We’re taking Dikeledi out for her birthday after work. You need to come. I know you’ll try to dodge like you always do, but I’m not allowing it this time. You need to get out and socialise, Leila.”

Leila tried not to sigh out loud. There was little she hated more than going to the pub across the street for these work functions. It wasn’t mandatory but she knew the fallout from not going, and she didn’t want that either. On balance it was easier just to go and suffer through it.

“Okay. Let me finish this,” Leila said. “I’ll find you there.”

Alletta rushed out the door calling back, “Don’t be too late. You might find us gone to the club!”

Leila went back to her work. She would delay for as long as she could. Maybe she’d get lucky and they’d be gone. Then she could go home and be with Hardy.


Tell us: Should Leila go to the pub, or just go home? Why or why not?