“What is this?” I asked.

She took off her helmet and scowled. “Hello to you, too.”

I eyed the alien green bike with contempt. “Where is the Ducati?”

Without answering, Lazola gracefully stepped off the bike, pulled a second helmet off the back, a stupid blue one––but a girl’s got to be safe––and slapped it against my chest.

“Ugh,” I grunted.

“The Ducati,” she said, “is a monster of a bike and my father’s favourite. I might be crazy letting you talk me into this, but I haven’t totally lost my mind.”

“Ja, ja, I understand,” I said, holding up my hands, trying to calm her down. “I am grateful, of course.”

Her frown eased up a little, I could tell she was happy to see me, despite the bad start. “This,” she said, laying a hand on the bike, “Is the Kawasaki Ninja 250.”

I cocked my head. “Ninja, nice. But isn’t there a 300?”

She stared up at the sky, and I could tell she was counting to herself. “Not in my father’s garage, there isn’t.”

I shrugged. “Ja well, okay a 250, sounds great.”

She rolled her eyes. “Like you had a choice. Now are we riding, or what?”

I stuffed my head into the stupid helmet. Lazola’s is this wicked silver and black one, that matches her scooter. Ag, but this blue one looks like it was made for a baby with a really big head. But ja, ja, safety first, and I prefer my brains inside my skull, not out. So big blue baby helmet went on.

“What’s that?” she said.

“What’s what?” I tried to look around, but that’s the problem with motorcycle helmets, they may help keep your brains where they belong, but you have to turn your head like an astronaut. You feel like a bit of a fat head, with limited vision.

“That,” she said, and pointed to my waist band.

I looked down, even though I really couldn’t see much straight down, the helmet and all. But I knew what she meant and pulled out the can. “This is my protection.”

“And you were planning on holding on to that and the bike?”

“No, I thought you might have a bag or something.”

“Oh sure,” she said, “I just asked my dad, ‘May I borrow your tank bag?’ and he never suspected a thing.”

“Ja, ja,” I said, and began scanning around. There was a gap around the school gate, where I could kind of shove the can through. It didn’t look too visible, so I left it there.

“Are we done, now?” she said.


She threw her leg over the bike, before glancing over her shoulder. “Then get on.”


Tell us: Lazola is eighteen, making her a legal adult in South Africa. However, she is only two years older than Ayesha. Do you think Lazola should be held more accountable for this mischief? Or, since it is Ayesha’s idea, is she the one that should be held responsible if anything should go wrong?