Shocked, Lesedi stares at Bheka as he walks into the Yeoville flat she shares with two other girls from the Apex Dance Academy.
“Bheka!” Her voice shakes. “Where have you been? It’s more than a week. Everyone has been so worried, your friends, your family. Your parents even came to the Academy. All those messages, and your WhatsApp status posts those first two days, but never answering anyone, before you went silent…about how you were suffering, you couldn’t live if you couldn’t follow your dream, there was no point in anything. We thought — we all thought…”
They had thought the worst. For Lesedi, the fear had been all mixed up with guilt. Was she to blame, for not sharing his dream and supporting him in it?
She wants to cry, and relief is making her weak. At the same time, something else is forming inside her, a small feeling, but hard and fierce, growing as she hears him laugh.
“I’m fine. I’ve been lying low in Hillbrow. You upset me, babe, refusing to quit the stupid Academy and partner with me to become an influencer couple.”
“The Academy isn’t stupid. And honestly, how realistic is your plan?”
“We’re young, gorgeous, and in love. Who won’t want to give us all sorts of freebies in exchange for us mentioning them on our social media platforms?” Bheka’s confidence is absolute.
“I don’t want free stuff.” Lesedi’s voice has hardened. “I want to be a dancer, and ballet takes hours and hours of hard work every single day — as you know too well. That’s really why you were looking around for something else to do, right? Because you couldn’t handle the work.”
“Maybe. But why should people like me and you need to work at all, except at looking good and being glamorous? Now you’ve had a chance to miss me, and worry about me, and think about what’s really important in life — love and our relationship…”
“So it was about teaching me a lesson?” The anger that has been growing in Lesedi takes over. “Never mind anything I’ve been feeling this past week, that was a seriously asshole thing to do to your parents. I saw them, they spoke to me…they were frantic. That’s it, Bheka, it’s over. We’re through.”
And saying it is as big a relief as discovering he was safe and well.
“You don’t mean that, you can’t.” Bheka is still smiling, teeth dazzling in his smoothly handsome face.
“I mean it.”
“But we belong together, babe, you know that.” A whining note is creeping into his voice.
“Leave,” Lesedi says, finding she no longer cares enough to explain or discuss anything.
“You’ll regret it, Lesedi.” There’s something ugly about the way he says it.
“I won’t. Go.”
“You’ll be sorry.” But he’s turning to go, most likely because he hears one of her flatmates at the door.
Lesedi shrugs as he leaves. Of course he wasn’t really threatening her, because what can he do?
She breathes in deeply. She’s free.
Tell us: Is Lesedi right to break up with Bheka, or should she have tried to find some sort of solution?