“Is everything okay?” my mother asked me, as she poured herself some coffee. It was just her and I living together, and she liked to be on top of everything in my life. Sometimes too much.

“Sure, why?”

“I don’t know. You just seem quiet. And Daisy says Matlho’s dating someone. You never said anything about that.”

“Well it’s his business. I thought he’d tell you if he wanted you to know.”

“Who is it?” My mother is nosey. I knew it was best to give in; it would save time. In any case, Matlho and Kaya were not keeping it a secret, so why should I?

“It’s Kaya.”

“Kaya your friend? How do you feel about that?”

“It’s fine. I’m happy for them. But listen, I need to go or I’ll be late for school.”

I gathered up my stuff and dashed out of the door. I was tired of everyone asking me how I felt about Kaya and Matlho. I didn’t want to think about them. It didn’t matter what I thought anyway. They were together; that’s just how it was. How would I seem if I wasn’t happy for them? What kind of friend would I be? I wished people would stop being so weird about it.

I got to school and Kaya was waiting for me. She held out her hand. “Look what Matlho bought me.”

I looked down at the bracelet on her wrist. It was silver with a black onyx, pretty. “Nice.”

We walked together toward our first class. “Do you think things are going too fast with us? I really like him,” Kaya said. I could hear in her voice that she was scared.

“He’s a great guy. I think you guys are fine. I’m sure it’ll be okay.”

“You two really have a long history together.”

“He’s like a brother to me. That’s all. He’s just always been there. Nothing for you to worry about. We’re friends.”

Kaya walked some more and then stopped and turned to me. “Dineo, you’re my friend. I care about you. You need to speak up if I’m stepping in where I don’t belong. If that’s the case, I’d rather end it now before I get in any further.”

I shook my head. I told her no. I told her it wasn’t like that.

But I was pretty sure I was lying. I couldn’t say it though. I couldn’t say ‘I don’t like you being together’. Does it mean I’m jealous? Does it mean that I actually love Matlho? I thought to myself. I didn’t know; it was all confusing. And besides, what did it matter? I knew Matlho liked Kaya.

To him I’m his friend, a good friend, an important friend, but nothing more. I’d never risk losing that by falling in love with him. His friendship meant too much to me. I just needed to sort my head out about the new situation, that was all.

“Listen Kaya, I love Matlho and I want him to be happy. You make him happy.”

Kaya smiled, pleased, then changed the subject: “How’d the chess match go?”

“We won,” I said, smiling. I veered off toward my English literature class. I was looking forward to thinking about something else. For a while.


Tell us what you think: Should Dineo risk her friendships with Matlho and Kaya by telling them the truth about how she feels?