Coffee together during their lunch break quickly becomes a regular thing for Lesedi and Siboniso. They talk and talk. Lesedi likes everything she is learning about him, his passion for dance, his sense of humour, his warmth.
“This falling in love business is weird,” she admits to her flatmates, at home one early evening. “If that’s what it is. I feel so much happier and more relaxed with him than I did with Bheka. At the same time, I’m fizzing with excitement, so I know it’s more than just friendship.”
“Maybe you were never really in love with Bheka,” Mariel suggests, biting into a slice of white bread.
“Ma’am would freak if she saw you eating that.”
“Ma’am has forgotten what it’s like to be poor,” Mariel retorts. “Lucky for us, we’re naturally small…has Bheka finally accepted that you’ve moved on?”
“He must have, because I haven’t seen him. But that’s another weird thing,” Lesedi adds. “I keep thinking I see him, just on the edge of my sight, if you know what I mean, but when I look properly, he’s never there. Habit, I guess, simply because I was so used to seeing him all the time.”
“As long as you’re not regretting that he’s not around any more — like, subconsciously, you know?” Zotha says. “Siboniso is way nicer.”
By now they too are getting to know Siboniso on some of their evening walks to the taxi rank, as he insists on accompanying Lesedi.
“No, I’m not subconsciously doing anything.” Lesedi is shaking her head. “But I almost feel sorry for Bheka now, you know? The way his old girlfriends can move on. Because that’s what I’m doing, for sure. And that girl in our class that he went out with before me? Tibuyile? I’ve seen her getting hot and heavy with Pitso.”
“Damn, I rather had my eye on Pitso for myself.” Mariel’s mouth turns down comically. “He is one hard-working dancer, and you can tell Ma’am thinks he’s got what it takes to be a great principal male dancer…but tell us, friend, have you and Siboniso got hot and heavy yet?”
“I might or might not tell you when and if we do.” Lesedi is mischievous. “But we’re going out tonight. That thing at the Market Theatre. We were talking about it, and at the exact same time we both started to say — hey, we should go. I like that. It wasn’t him asking me out, or me asking him, but both of us deciding together. It’s lucky I’ve been saving some of what I earn at the salon, so I can pay my own way, so I’m not under any obligation to Siboniso…not that he’d think I was if he paid. He’s not like that, but these are early days, and why should it be the guy who pays?”
“Some men and some women would not like hearing you say that, girl, but I’m with you.” Zotha nods approvingly. “Nails and I share our expenses, even now. Well, I know you’ll enjoy your date.”
“Touch wood.” Superstitiously, Lesedi touches the tabletop, because it looks like wood, even if it’s really only veneer.
Tell us: What are your thoughts on couples sharing expenses when they go out together?