Nomsa was waiting for Busi back in her bedroom.

“How do I look?” asked Nomsa, pulling back from the mirror she had been preening into, and looking at Busi.

Busi surveyed her friend. She smiled. No-one would ever guess that Nomsa had only just turned fifteen. Her make-up had been expertly applied.

“Where did you learn to do make-up so well?” asked Busi.

Nomsa smiled a broad, shiny smile. Her lips were cherry red and glossy. She shrugged.

“From my Mom I guess,” she said, sitting down on the edge of the bed. “She went out every night while I was growing up. My Mom knew how to have a good time.” Nomsa paused, and added, “All I had to do was watch and learn, girl. Just watch and learn…”

Nomsa’s voice faded and she looked down for a second. She took a deep breath and ran a finger under her heavily made-up eyelashes.

Busi stepped forward. She placed her hand gently on Nomsa’s shoulder, and patted it lightly, sympathetically. Nomsa’s mother had passed away two years before.

Nomsa shrugged, and looked up at Busi. “No good making my mascara run now girl,” she said brightly, standing up and looking at Busi. “And I still have a little work to do on you. Sit down.”

Busi sat down on the edge of the bed and Nomsa rummaged in her large make-up bag, spilling some of its contents onto Busi’s bed. She bent over Busi and carefully painted her eyes and lips with colour.

After a while she stood back and admired her work. “That’s better,” she said with satisfaction. “What do you think?”

Busi studied herself in the mirror. She hardly recognised the person there. Her heart began to beat in her chest with excitement.

Nomsa glanced at her watch. “The taxi will be here in a minute,” she said. “Are you sure you have the money?”

Busi nodded. She had been saving up her allowance for this night. Nomsa didn’t have any money at all most of the time, and Busi had had to make sure that she had enough for both of them. Busi didn’t mind that. After all, she thought to herself, I would never do any of the exciting things I do with Nomsa by myself. And anyway, Busi thought as she folded the wad of notes and put them into her bag, Nomsa is the best friend I have ever had.

Busi had not found it easy to make friends. Having a father as a headmaster, and a mother as a teacher in the same school didn’t help matters.

Busi and Nomsa stood and looked at themselves, side by side, in the mirror.

A smile broke out on Busi’s face. They looked at least eighteen years old. Maybe even older. Self consciously she flicked her long hair extensions over her shoulder and ran her palm over her tight skirt that just covered her panties. Nervously she tugged it down a centimetre or two.

“Don’t do that Busi,” said Nomsa. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it! That’s what my mother always said.”

Nomsa put on her heels, tripping, as she did so, on another pair of shoes lying on the floor. She stumbled, and landed heavily on the bed, almost on top of Busi’s little white, fluffy dog lying asleep on her pillow.

Startled, the dog gave a loud, shrill bark.

Nomsa and Busi froze, and the dog barked again, louder this time.


Tell us what you think: Why does Nomsa behave the way she does? Why is Busi so keen to follow Nomsa’s suggestions?