The next morning Morwadi and I stopped at Best Shop on our way to school to get a pack of biscuits.

“I really don’t know what to do about a dress for the dance now,” I said.

Morwadi picked a box of Choice Assorted and set it on the counter. “I’d offer you a dress from my cousin but she’s not your size.”

“I think I should just make up an excuse and tell Dineo I can’t go to the dance. I only have old, ugly dresses.”

“Don’t worry, who knows? Maybe a miracle will happen.”

“Yes,” I said, though I knew miracles never happened for people like me.

We left the shop and headed toward school munching on biscuits. Morwadi even gave me the pink wafer. “I know it’s your favourite. Cheer up!”

“Thanks.” She really was a good friend.

“Oh, I nearly forgot to tell you!”

“Tell me what?” I asked.

“We actually had a real miracle happen.”

“What do you mean?”

“Yesterday afternoon the guy from the Water place came and turned our water back on,” Morwadi said.

“That’s great! That lugging water from your auntie’s was too much. Are they giving your mother a chance to pay off the bill?”

“No, that’s just it. Someone went in and paid the bill – the entire thing.”

“What? Who would do that?”

“At first we thought it was Auntie Kagiso, that maybe she got tired of me at her gate. But she said she didn’t, that she’d never have that sort of money. And the Water people don’t know either. It was paid from the bank.”

“What a mystery!”

“I’m just happy we have water again.” Morwadi looked at me. “See? Miracles happen.”

Since Dineo was now officially my boyfriend we started eating lunch together every day. It had been three days since I learned about my mother losing her job and I still hadn’t told him I couldn’t go to the Christmas dance. But I decided I must. He might want to ask someone else, though I’d be very sad if he did.

We sat down on the bench under the far fever tree. “So, I need to tell you something,” I started.

“Okay. Tell me. You shouldn’t ever be scared to tell me anything,” he said.

“Well …” Just then my phone beeped. I looked down and I saw it was an SMS from Carla’s Dress Shop. I clicked it and got the biggest surprise.

Come and collect your dress. The bill’s been paid and the dress is ready for collection.

I read it again just to be sure. Had Mama got a job and paid off the dress as a surprise?

“What are you smiling about? I hope that message is not from another boy,” Dineo said.

I looked up at him. “No … never.” I kissed his cheek. “It’s just a message saying my dress for the dance is ready.”

“That’s good. So what did you want to tell me?”

“Oh … yes … that … I wanted to tell you that I’m very excited about going to the dance with you,” I said.

He looked at me oddly. “Oh. I thought it was something else. You acted as if it was very important … serious in some way.”

“Sorry I gave you that impression.” What a relief! I knew my mother would make a plan. “But it is serious – this is the first dance I’m attending with my new boyfriend.”

Dineo smiled. He really had the most gorgeous smile.


Have you ever had something like this happen to you and you didn’t know who helped you?