Everything was just like he always dreamed. Despite what Shashank had said, Mpho did like him – just how he was. At school the next day everything looked gold tinged with happiness.
He dug in his locker for books for his next class when he heard someone talking around the corner, he knew that voice- it was Mpho’s. He was about to go and greet her, but then he heard her friend Goitseone.
“You should watch yourself being seen with someone like that,” Goitseone said.
“I know what I’m doing,” Mpho said.
“He’s a weirdo if you ask me,” Goitseone said laughing.
Then he heard Mpho laughing and she said, “People can think what they want. I’ll be passing biology, that’s what matters to me.”
Suddenly Kago’s gold tinged world turned grey. He put his books back in the locker, locked it and headed home.
He didn’t go to the next tutoring session and avoided bumping into Mpho. He couldn’t believe she was so deceitful! She was just being nice to him so that he’d help her pass biology. She didn’t really like him- just how he was. She didn’t like him in any way. Except as someone who could get her what she wanted.
“Forget about her,” Shashank said. “Annah has a friend who goes to Marupula. A big chess whiz, she thinks you’ll really hit it off.”
Kago walked slowly toward school. What was he holding out for anyway? “Yeah, go siame-okay, tell Annah to set it up.”
“Good, I think you’re doing the right thing.”
They got to school and Kago didn’t notice Mpho standing to the side under the pepper tree until suddenly she was there. “Can we talk?”
Shashank moved between Kago and Mpho. “No. He has nothing he wants to talk to you about.”
Mpho looked confused. She poked her head around the mass of Shashank. “What’s he talking about?”
“It’s okay, Shashank,” Kago said. He walked to the side and Mpho followed him.
“So what happened yesterday? I thought we had a tutoring session,” Mpho said.
“I can’t tutor you anymore.”
“Why? I thought things were going fine.”
Kago wanted to tell her the truth. What could he say? I’m in love with you and you laugh about me with your friends? That sounded pathetic. He was tired of being pathetic and sad and hopeless because of Mpho.
“I’m too busy. I have exams to study for too you know.”
“Yeah, I know that. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was taking all of your time. Well…okay… if ever you have a bit of spare time maybe we could meet up,” Mpho said.
Kago moved to walk away then stopped. He turned back. He was not going to let her get away with this!
“You know what Mpho? I have plenty of time! Lots and lots of time-but it’s just that I don’t want to spend it with you.”
Her face dropped, but she said nothing.
“I heard you and Goitseone talking yesterday. Laughing at me. Saying how it didn’t matter if people saw you with a weirdo like me- at least you’ll be passing biology. I heard it all! So you can just forget about it!”
“It wasn’t like that… you must not have heard the entire conversation.”
“I didn’t need to,” Kago said.
“Yes, you did actually. I went on to tell her how brilliant you are, and how funny and wise. And how I thought it was becoming much more than just tutoring. And how I was happy about that. And that I didn’t care what anyone thought about anything.”
Kago waited, trying to understand everything. “Really?”
“Yes- really. I like you, Kago. I thought …maybe… if you weren’t busy on Saturday we could… like …go to a movie.”
“To a movie?” Kago asked confused. “Like a date?”
Mpho smiled. “Yes, exactly like a date.”
Kago looked back at Shashank who gave him a thumbs-up. Kago turned back to Mpho smiling.
“Okay, I think I can make some time for that.”
Tell us what you think: How did you enjoy this story? Would you like to find out what happens to Kago and Mpho in the future?