Lesedi and Siboniso have the place to themselves as Zotha is with Nails, and Mariel’s old neighbours are visiting Jozi and have taken her out for a meal.
Lesedi waits until they’ve eaten — just so she can have him for this last little while, before she has to give him up.
Then she says, “Siboniso, my…I hate doing this when you’ve just been in an accident, but I have to tell you. I…I’m breaking up with you.”
He doesn’t say anything, just looks at her, but she sees his hands clenching. His poor hurt hands that she wants to pick up in hers, and kiss.
“This is a shock,” he says, finally. “We’ve been so…good together. Happy, or so I thought. Can I ask why, Lesedi?”
“Just…” She has to harden her heart, for his sake. “It’s time to move on.”
“It’s not…” He swallows hard. “Because what happened, this stupid accident, has scared you? I remember how you talked about happiness sort of drawing back luck.”
She shakes her head, biting back words about how it was her, just her, and she didn’t want to bring harm to him.
“I’m sorry, Siboniso,” she says miserably.
He shakes his head and starts to stand up. “All right, I have to accept it. I’m not going to harass you about it, that’s not me, but I have to tell you, Lesedi — you’ve broken my heart.”
And her heart too is cracking wide open. She wants to cry, to call his name, throw herself into his arms.
Instead, she says, “Will you be OK, going home?”
“Fine. There’s no concussion, nothing like that.” He pauses. “Goodbye, Lesedi.”
She can’t speak.
When he has gone, she unblocks Bheka and sends a message: I have broken up with Siboniso, don’t love him any more, but I still don’t want you in my life.
When he messages back and then tries to call her, she blocks him again.
Then she begins to cry, and can’t stop.
When morning comes, she feels emptied out, no tears left, but she doesn’t feel any better.
In her dance classes, it’s as if there’s lead in her legs, no lift in her feet. In theory classes, she can’t concentrate.
“I sincerely hope you are simply having an off-day, child,” Ma’am says to her at the end of rehearsal that night, “because that was atrocious.”
“What’s going on with you guys?” Zotha asks later, having a rare evening at home with Lesedi and Mariel. “Siboniso has been acting stunned all day, and I don’t think it’s anything to do with this accident that put a fat plaster on his head. And you, Lesedi, you’re a lump of misery. Why isn’t he here? Why haven’t you gone to his place?”
“We broke up,” Lesedi says dully.
There’s uproar, both her flatmates protesting.
“You’re made for each other, you fool,” Mariel says. “The fact that you’re both so unhappy is proof of that. Which of you has made this terrible mistake?”
“It’s not a mistake. He says someone pushed him into the traffic yesterday.” Lesedi shudders at the thought of what might have happened. “I know it was Bheka. He made a threat when he was here the other night…I’ve let him know I broke up with Siboniso. Now he hasn’t got any reason to hurt him. I’m keeping Siboniso safe.”
They’re horrified, and there’s a long discussion, sometimes edging into argument, about what else Lesedi could have done.
“I have no hard evidence of anything,” Lesedi shuts it down sadly. “There’s nothing else I can do.”
Tell us: Is Lesedi right, that without evidence there is no other way to keep Siboniso safe from Bheka?