Once upon the not-so-distant future …
“We have to go dancing,” Vuyisa said. She tugged on Ntando’s arm. “Come on, girl, the night is fiiiiine. Put on those red shoes and we’re going out.”
Ntando shrugged off Vuyisa’s grasp and looked away. She loved Vuyisa, more than any person she’d ever known. But tonight was not happening. “Sorry,” she said. “I’m beat; tired. You know how it is. That time of the month, and–”
“I’m gonna stop you right there, girl, because I know when you’re lying to me. I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again – I can see those lies written right across your face. So spit it out. What’s the real problem?”
Ntando swallowed hard. She knew Vuyisa would understand. She, too, depended on bursaries and loans to attend University of Cape Town. But it didn’t make saying the words any easier. “I’m temporarily embarrassed of funds.”
Vuyisa smacked her lips. “So what? You know I wouldn’t leave you behind over money. Come on, it will be my treat. We’ve survived our first term, this is something to celebrate!”
The music thrummed into the marrow of both young women’s bones, but it was Vuyisa who moved as if she was the music. Joy radiated out of her, as her body glided and swayed with the beat. It was contagious. People around them fed off her energy. In her presence, everyone’s spirits lifted as their cares and woes slipped out through the soles of their dancing feet.
But only Ntando received the full voltage of Vuyisa’s attention.
The girls had become close since day one at varsity when Ntando, struggling with a bag of clothes and a box of books, had tripped, scattering her stuff. Vuyisa was the first to rush over and help. She had smiled at Ntando and said, “It’s all going to be OK.” And so far, it mostly had been.
“How you feeling?” Vuyisa shouted into Ntando’s ear.
“Good, but hot,” Ntando replied. “Let’s take a break.”
The crisp air caressed Ntando’s cheek as the pair walked into the night. Vuyisa took Ntando by the hand and led her away from the mingling crowds.
“Is this good?” Vuyisa asked.
“Better,” Ntando said, looking up into the starless sky. “But it’s freezing out here. Or was it just that hot inside?”
Vuyisa shook her head. “It was hot, but this is cold.” A slow smile slid across her face. “But I can warm you up a little, if you like?”
Ntando held her breath as Vuyisa’s lips touched her own. Warmth spread through Ntando’s veins, as she savoured Vuyisa’s kiss.
“How are you doing, now?” Vuyisa breathed.
“Good,” Vuyisa beamed. “Because I’ve wanted to do that since the day I met you.”
Ntando opened her mouth to reply, but nothing came out. A snowflake had landed on her nose.
“It’s snowing!” Vuyisa squealed. She flung her arms out wide and began to spin and laugh. “It’s only April and it is snowing!”
Ntando tilted up her head and opened her mouth. Snowflakes landed like icy wishes on her tongue.
“This is unbelievable,” Vuyisa laughed.
Then her laughter cut off abruptly. “Ow! Damn it. Something is in my eye.”
Ntando rushed over. “Let me have a look.”
Vuyisa blinked a few times. “No, I’m fine now. But damn, that hurt.”
“Want to go back inside and dance, or walk back?”
Vuyisa smiled. “Let’s walk. We need to savour this weather fluke. It will probably be gone by morning.”
Tell us: Do you believe climate change is real? Why or why not?