“Hi Gloria,” Tansey called to her friend. But Gloria either didn’t hear her, or she took no notice. She was too busy listening to the wolf-whistles. They came from Benny, who was leaning against the door of his house, making a curvy shape with his hands. Moses laughed loudly and pointed at Gloria.

“Eish! She’s one cool chick,” he said.

“Yho! Keep your hands off. She’s mine this weekend,” said Benny.

“You should be so lucky! But next week, it’s my turn,” replied Moses.

“Compulsory to share such a voelige chick,” agreed Benny.

“Deal,” responded Moses.

They high-fived each other.

Gloria turned around and gave both guys a beautiful smile. Tansey wished she had teeth as white as her friend had. And such stunning braided black hair. And such awesome legs. Her pencil-high, red heels made her look like a million dollars. She again called to Gloria but again her friend didn’t seem to hear her.

Gloria reached her door, her bulging shopping packet over one arm and her handbag over the other, and fiddled around for her keys.

“What you got there, Glor?” asked Tansey, walking up. Gloria jumped and dropped her arms. Her shopping bag landed on the ground. A silky red top that matched her shoes spilled out into the dust.

“Look what you made me do!” screamed Gloria.

Tansey knelt down to pick up the top, dusting it off.

“Sorry Glor – I called to you before but you didn’t hear.”

Gloria inspected the top; then she nodded and placed it carefully at the top of the packet.

“I was busy!”

“I saw. Which one do you like: Benny or Moses?”

“Ag man, I don’t smaak either of them. All guys are the same. They jus’ wanna check your body.”

“Not Jonathan. He’s different. He says that beauty without brains is useless.”

“That’s why he smaaks you,” smiled Gloria.

“You think so? Then at least there’s one dude in the world who likes me,” sighed Tansey. “Lucky I’m good at essays.”

“Sjoe! That Jonathan. He really likes books,” Gloria commented. “Not like Benny and Moses. I wish I was as brainy as you.”

“A girl can’t have everything,” laughed Tansey, “and you’ve sure got beauty.”

“Thanks hey,” replied her friend. “You want to come in and see my lekker new clothes?”

“What I want to know is, where did you get all the money to buy them?”

“Don’t worry. I didn’t steal it if that’s what you think.”

Tansey couldn’t wait to see what else was in that bulging shopping bag, so she followed her friend inside. Gloria emptied the contents onto her bed.

“This is gevaarlik,” Tansey said in amazement, as she held up a slinky black top.

“Try it on,” said Gloria encouragingly.

“Are you mad? This will never ever fit me,” laughed Tansey. “Or half the other girls in Mitchell’s Plain.”

Without warning, Gloria took off her shirt and pulled the spaghetti-strapped black top over her head.

“What you think, hey?” she asked, when she had smoothed it out.

“Whoo! The guys will love it.”

“It’s not fair that I can’t wear it to school. Uniforms should be banned.”

“Not everyone has nice clothes like you. I’m quite pleased we have uniforms. What would Jonathan think of me in my crazy clothes?!”

Gloria yawned. “You’ve never seen him outside of school?”

“Naa. He’s mostly just seen me in class. But he sometimes talks to me at break. We talk about writing.”

“Really?” Gloria suddenly seemed very interested. “What exactly do you say to him?”

“Oh, stuff like how I plot my stories, and the characters I develop. And the themes.”

“What’s a theme?” asked Gloria. “Oh, never mind. I don’t really want to know. Not when there are all these clothes to try on. I’ll model them for you.”


Tell us what you think: Can Tansey trust Gloria? Why or why not?