Khaya replays the dream in his mind as he stands at the school gate, waiting for his friend Thando. The dancing, the feeling of the moment, lingers in his body. It was so––
“Khaya! EARTH TO KHAYA!”
He blinks. There is a hand waving in his face.
He stumbles back as his brain registers Thando’s presence. “Hayi man wena yini uya sangana, are you crazy?”
“Well, I could ask you the same thing. I have been standing here for at least five minutes,” she says, shoving her hand in his face, “just trying to get your attention.”
He sighs. He doesn’t feel like talking. But maybe he has to?
Khaya met Thando on their first day of Grade 8. To most, he was a poor kid who got lucky and got a scholarship. He didn’t care. They were a bunch of rich kids who grew up with spoons of gold and silver so far in their mouths they scraped the back of their throats; they had never had to work a day in their lives and probably never would.
But Thando was different. Around her, he always felt he could be himself; he did not have to put up a front. He showed her parts of himself no one else got to see. So maybe I should––
She frowns. “Are you OK?”
“It’s…it’s just that–––”
The words have vanished. He shakes his head. “Actually, never mind, it’s nothing.” He forces a smile and changes the subject. “How did the family trip go?”
Thando gasps, covering her mouth with her hands, “You — won’t — believe — what — happened!”
Tell us: Why do you think Khaya is so ashamed of his dream?