As on every other day of the week, all the cool dudes were hanging around the school gate, waiting to make a hit as the girls walked into school. And as usual, they were all trying to score with Gloria as she headed towards them.

“Your face is looking more beautiful than ever today.”

“And how come you’ve grown taller since yesterday? Your legs bowl me over.”

“And those eyes! Dey mos gevaarlik.”

“Your body’s digital, my babe. Gimme a kiss.”

Today, Gloria swatted them all off. How unlike her! Usually there was at least one of them she would flirt with. Tansey was quite disappointed. It was entertaining to watch her friend playing with her bait. And instructive as well! She could learn something from this girl: how to catch a man. She must ask Gloria the details about that soon. She didn’t want Jonathan to slip through her fingers.

As there was no funny show in the school grounds, Tansey decided to go to the classroom to work on her essay. It was really going to be her best ever. She had called it Moment of Glory. A little embarrassed about it too. And just a touch guilty – about the topic. She told herself not to forget to change the names in the story before she handed it in. She had to disguise the characters. Isn’t that what the best authors did? Write about what they knew?

As soon as she got to her desk, she began reading over what she had written, pencil in hand for marking up corrections. She was so absorbed in her story that she didn’t notice the classroom filling up. As she read, she began to feel like a million dollars herself. Zahra and Washela came up behind her and looked over her shoulder.

“Ag, give us a peep hey,” said Zahra, frustrated because she couldn’t see properly.

“Ja, we’d love you to read your story to us,” agreed Washela.

There was a chorus of voices: “We want Tansey’s story. We want Tansey’s story.”

Quickly, Tansey put her hand over her book. “I’m still fixing it.”

“Doesn’t matter. Read us what you’ve got.”

Tansey shook her head, but Zahra was too quick for her. She grabbed the creative writing book from under Tansey’s nose and began to read aloud: “Two friends lived next door to each other in neat houses in Mitchell’s Plain… mmm sounds familiar,” teased Zahra. Tansey snatched the book back. It was her story. Her surprise. They would have to wait.

While Tansey was working on her story in the classroom, out in the school grounds, another story was playing out. And the two main characters were none other than Gloria and Jonathan.

Jonathan had arrived at school after the girls. He was carrying a book in his hand and had a puzzled look on his face. He was walking in the direction of the library. Gloria, a bunch admirers trailing behind her, followed him. When the guys saw her ‘target’ was Jonathan, most of them decided to call it off and try their luck another day. So they peeled off to look for other girls to impress. Except for Benny and Moses – they hung around to see the action.

Jonathan didn’t even notice Gloria was there until he looked through the library window. Seeing her reflection he turned round abruptly then, and asked, “Where’s Tansey? She often hangs out in the library before school.”

“Probably still at home,” Gloria replied, wide-eyed.

“But you two always hang out together,” he said. “I was sure you’d be walking with her today. I really need her.”

“What for?” She sounded cross. But Jonathan didn’t seem to be bothered by her tone.

“There’s a difficult part in this novel that I don’t understand. The main character’s motivation really doesn’t make sense. I wish Tansey was here. We could discuss it.”

“Seeing she isn’t here, I could teach you how to understand…”

Jonathan raised his eyebrows.

“…other things,” she continued. She fluttered her eyelashes, threw her shoulders back so that the white material of her blouse took on the contours of her breasts, and pouted her lips. Jonathan looked stunned, not able to tear his eyes away from her breasts.

“Go for it, my man,” encouraged Benny. “She’s sizzling hot.”

Gloria grabbed Jonathan’s arms and drew him closer.

Jonathan drew back a little to look appreciatively at her beautiful face, then his eyes wandered down, over her entire body.

Benny could not bear to watch more of this action! He said desperately: “This is burning me up man. How about a lekker soen for Benny instead?”

“Jonathan! You think she’s hot,” said Moses, coming up behind his friend, “but she ain’t got no brains and when she’s finished with you, you’re in the dustbin man.”

Jonathan reluctantly tore his eyes away from Gloria’s breasts. His eyes flicked from Moses to Gloria. From Gloria to Moses and back again. To go for her or not to go for her…


Tell us what you think: Why do you think Gloria acts like she does? Why does she feel she needs to impress boys?