Patricia hurried past her ex-best-friend Zanele’s house. She didn’t want Zanele to see her. Though she hated to admit it, even to herself, Patricia missed her friend very much.

The two teenagers had been friends since they were small children. Last week they had a terrible row on their way home from school. They had not spoken since.

“I don’t know what’s happening to you, Patty,” Zanele had said. (She also called her by her pet name.)

“What do you mean?” Patricia asked, though she knew very well what Zanele was talking about.

“It’s like you’ve turned into a different person since Tefo started taking an interest in you.”

“No, I haven’t!” Patricia protested. “I think you’re just jealous.”

Zanele cleared her throat and stopped walking. She looked closely at her friend. “Jealous?!” she echoed. “I’ve known you for ever, Patty. And have you ever once noticed that I’m a jealous kind of person?”

Patricia sighed inwardly. She knew her friend was the last person to be jealous of anybody.

“Well then, why can’t you be happy that Tefo has asked me out?”

“We both know that Tefo only wants one thing, Patty. When he gets his way with you, he’ll discard you like a used tissue.”

“Please don’t say that about him, Zanele. I know he hasn’t got the best reputation but I’ll change him. I’ll make him respect women and see that we are not only useful in the bedroom.”

“Surely you haven’t slept with him?” Zanele demanded.

“No – not yet,” Patricia said, with a smug look on her face.

“A leopard never changes his spots,” Zanele said. “Don’t do it, Patty.”

“I want to make love to him,” Patricia said.

“Tefo doesn’t ‘make love’, Patty. He uses innocent girls like you for sex.”

“How would you know?!” Patricia yelled at her, and stormed off home. She had not spoken to her friend since.

* * * * *

Patricia had texted Tefo to tell him she was on her way. He had texted back saying that he and a crowd of his friends were drinking at a pub called Rumours, which was next to the mall.

Patricia went into the mall toilets and changed out of her T-shirt and jeans. When she looked at herself in the mirror she hardly recognised herself. She applied some mascara and added bright red lipstick to her lips. She could have easily passed for a twenty-year-old. She hid her bag behind one of the toilets, planning to pick it up later before she headed home. Her Mom would have a heart attack if she saw her dressed up like this, she thought.

As soon as Patricia entered the pub she noticed Tefo and his friends drinking at a corner table. As she walked across the bar a few guys wolf-whistled at her. Some others even blew kisses in her direction.

“What are you doing tonight, baby?” a tall, muscular man propping up the bar winked at her.

Patricia loved all the attention she was getting. When she neared Tefo’s table she noticed there was a young woman with corn-coloured dreadlocks, draped across his lap.

When Tefo looked up and saw that it was Patricia standing there he pushed the young woman off him and said, “Hey! There’s my girl.”

The young woman looked at Patricia as if she wanted to murder her. “If looks could kill I’d be dead right now,” Patricia thought, as she sat down next to Tefo.


Tell us what you think: Do you think your friendships suffer when you get a boyfriend or girlfriend?