August 2017

3 August 2017. I told Christo never to phone me again. He wanted to know why. I just shook my head. And of course I deleted Nantze 2. And yes, I’m hiding my diary away now. Out of harm’s way.

Jonas and I are back on speaking terms. Everything is back to normal. Sort of. Yay!

Soon the term was under way. And so were the practices for Ipi Ntombi. Three afternoons a week, Christo and I took our Grade 7s across to the Community Hall. And yes, we sat side by side in the dark auditorium, watching while the students practised. Now and then, Christo jumped up onto the stage to sort out dance moves. Or demonstrate how Mama Tembu should be looking at her bridegroom.

It was wonderful watching him. He really inspired the children.

In the dark, I whispered in his ear, “You are just amazing! You’re the best thing that ever happened to our school!”

“You’re pretty amazing too, Harmony,” he whispered back and squeezed my hand.

Those afternoons were such happy times! And innocent! Over and over, I told myself: ‘You enjoy working with Christo the same way you enjoy working with Nantze. There’s no sexual spark. It’s all platonic. Definitely.’

16 August 2017. Yes, what is between Christo and me is platonic. Wish I could convince Jonas. He keeps making sarcastic comments about the play practices. Maybe the Head’s Bday party will give me the chance I need?

Every year our Head throws a big staff party for her birthday. We are all invited with our significant others. So this would be a perfect time for Jonas to meet Christo. And Christo would bring his own partner – whoever she was. And then Jonas would see that Christo and I were just friendly, compatible work-colleagues, nothing more.

“Are you sure you want me at this party, Harmony? Won’t I cramp your style?”

“Of course not, Jonas. Don’t say that!”

“Well, do I really want to watch you and Christo together in the same room?”

“Jonas, it’s not like that! I really want you there. It will be fun.”

But the Head’s birthday party was not fun – not for me at least. It was a disaster!

For one thing, Christo didn’t bring his significant other.

“I heard it’s because his partner can’t be seen with him in public,” Nantze whispered to me and Jonas. “I heard his partner is a married woman!”

“Nonsense!” I defended Christo. “That’s just staffroom gossip.”

But Jonas snorted in disgust. “What kind of man messes around with someone else’s wife?” He was looking at me while he said it – and his eyes were hard.

Our librarian and her husband brought their new baby along. So everyone crowded around, telling them how cute and adorable their baby was. I kept my distance. It was heartbreaking for me to see someone else cuddling their baby. Jonas watched from another corner of the room. There was pain in his eyes as he looked at the librarian’s husband.

Christo went to sit outside – with Angie. They sat drinking wine together, under the Head’s fairy-lights. And Christo was making Angie laugh. And Angie was resting her head on Christo’s shoulder.

I watched them through the window – and a surge of jealousy washed over me, making me feel dizzy. And then I caught Jonas’s eye. He was watching me watching them.

“I need to go home,” I told him. In silence we drove home.


Tell us: Do you think the staffroom gossip is true, and Christo is involved with a married woman?