The first tutoring session was Thursday, two days away. That gave Kago two days to strategise. How was he going to use the tutoring session to let Mpho see that he was the perfect guy for her?
“It’s just not going to happen.” Shashank was no help.
Kago took a bite of the second half of a chicken his mother had left for him, this being his after school snack. “Yes, that from you, the one who thought she didn’t even know me. Did I mention that she actually did know my name, Mr Know-it-All?”
“Yes, I think that’s the 14th time.” Shashank took the chicken leg Kago handed him.
“Okay I was thinking… I’d ask her to the school dance.”
Shashank leaned back laughing until he coughed from having breathed in a bit of chicken. Serves him right, Kago thought, but, still, he got him a glass of water, he couldn’t let his best friend die even if he was a huge mampara.
Thursday arrived. Kago hadn’t slept. He hadn’t eaten (much to his mother’s dismay). He suddenly developed a rash on his arms. It was all too much.
They agreed to meet after school at the biology lab. Kago arrived early and then realised how completely nerdy that was. He collected his books and pencils and plain paper and went back outside hiding behind a wall of lockers where he had a good look of the door to the lab. Hiding behind lockers spying on her was not nerdy, at least that was what he convinced himself.
Two minutes past the agreed time, Mpho walked up to the lab with her best friend Goitseone. “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Mpho said.
“Yeah, good luck in there,” Goitseone said. She laughed as if there was some inside joke between the two of them.
Kago waited for Mpho to get inside and for Goitseone to leave. Then he sauntered (or at least he fancied he sauntered) into the lab.
“Am I late?” he said. “I was busy with … (with what? with what? Quick!!Think of something cool! ) …my …car …maintenance.”
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
“You have a car?” Mpho asked surprised.
“Well…yes…yes, I do,” he lied. He didn’t even have his license and why on earth would he be maintaining his car at school? He was breaking down already.
He pulled his books out of his bag, books were safe. He knew books. “So should we get started?”
He sat down next to her and though his mouth and brain discussed the parts of a cell, his heart only saw the beautiful outline of Mpho’s silhouette and smelled her lovely vanilla ice cream smell.
When they walked home afterwards, Shashank asked Kago, “So did you ask her to the dance?”
“No, I’m waiting for the right moment.”
“The dance is next Saturday. The right moment better be pretty soon.”
“I know that, you don’t think I know that?”
“Well, I’m thinking of asking Annah Ditiro,” Shashank said. He took the tumbler out of Kago’s back pack. The one containing the three pieces of cake his mother packed – “in case you get hungry at school”. As if hunger was a feeling he was ever given the option of feeling.
“Annah Ditiro? But you hate her,” Kago said.
“Hate is a strong word.”
“But I always sort of got the idea she liked me a bit,” Kago said.
“Well, you’re out chasing your Mpho Rabosigo rainbows. Do you expect Annah to wait for you?”
They walked quietly, save for the sound of Shashank finishing the last of the cake. Kago had to admit Shashank was right. He had no right expecting Annah to wait for him.
Tell us what you think: What do you think about Shashank asking Annah to the school dance?