“Ko ko!” I looked up and there was Matlho’s head bent towards me, him looking through his long lashes, a slight smile on his face. “Your ma let me in.”

I sat up on my bed where I’d been studying. “It’s fine. What’s up?”

“I just wanted to see you. It’s like we never see each other anymore.” Matlho sat down on the bed. He picked up A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the play I’d been studying. He looked at it and laughed.

“What’s funny?”

“Nothing. We read that last year. Lots of mixed-up love in there.” He held the book for a moment and then put it down. “So? How about you take a break? My father gave me a hundred bucks for washing the truck. How about I treat you to chicken?”

Matlho knew how much I like fried chicken. “Sure, let me get my shoes.”

We walked up the road and caught a minibus to the mall. It was a week night so not many people were around. I waited at the table, watching him at the counter. Though I couldn’t hear what he was saying, the girl at the counter was smiling. He was nice that way, always kind and considerate to people. Anyone, everyone. No-one was above other people for Matlho.

He came back to the table with our food. “I’ve missed you D.”

“I’ve been around. I think you’ve just been busy with Kaya.” Oops − I didn’t mean for that to sound the way it did: jealous.

“Sorry, hey? I don’t want this to mess up things between us. You’re my best friend.”

I ate my chicken. “You’re my best friend too.”

“So, what about you? Why don’t you ever have a boyfriend? A hot chick like you,” he teased.

“I’m busy.”

“We’re all busy. I know that Michael in chess club talks about you all the time. What about him?”

I shook my head. “Are you trying to fix me up?”

“No, I just think it’s time, you know. Time you start dating. You’re nearly 18 and you’ve never had a boyfriend.”

“I had you. It was more than enough.” It was a thought, not meant to slip out of my mouth. I looked out of the door of the restaurant. I couldn’t look at Matlho. He would see the truth in my eyes.

“Sure you had me, but I’m your friend. You need a boyfriend.”

He doesn’t get it. I looked at him. “Yeah, maybe you’re right. Maybe that’s it.”

“So how about I sort out a double date: me and Kaya and you and Michael?”

“Okay sure.” I pushed my unfinished chicken away. “You know, Matlho, I need to get back home. I’ve got a big exam tomorrow in English Lit.”

“Sure… no problem.”

I disappeared out the door before he could follow me. Before he could see me crying.


Tell us what you think: Will Dineo going out on a date with Michael fix anything?