It was much later that same night. Thabo was lying curled up in his bed and he was still wide awake. All he could think about was Sindi. He just could not get her out of his head.

He had promised to meet her in the morning. He should not have made that promise to her. Sundays were family days in his home. On Sunday morning Thabo always went to church with his family. His parents expected the children to attend with them.

But last night after Sindi kissed him goodbye she had said, “I’ll be able to sneak out of the house in the morning. My aunt and uncle go to church then. They always want me to go with them but I refuse point blank. I’ts bad enough I have to go to school five days a week. I’m most certainly not going to spend my free time sitting in church with them.” Then she laughed, a deep throaty laugh.

“What do you think, Thabo?”

“Whatever,” Thabo shrugged, as if it didn’t matter. There was no way he was going to tell Sindi that he liked going to church with his family.

The service started at 9.30 a.m. but he had told Sindi he would meet her at 10.a.m. Now he knew he would have to lie to his parents.

Thabo broke out in a cold sweat when he thought of having to do this. At the same time a knot of fear developed in his stomach. He pulled his arms protectively around his belly.

But how could he have said no to Sindi? He knew that in order to keep her interest in him he would have to go along with whatever she said. If he didn’t, Thabo knew Sindi would soon lose interest in him. He also knew she could have the pick of any boy in his class, maybe even the whole school.

When they were all out for pizza after the Saturday soccer, it was obvious that every boy in his school year was interested in Sindi.

He had seen their envious eyes. Kitso had winked at him and said, “How did you get so lucky? Well, never mind, when she sees what a bone head you are I’ll be waiting.”

“Sorry Kitso. Sindi is mine.” Thabo felt as if he had grown thirty centimetres taller since he left the soccer field.

And then Sindi, after hearing this, had leaned over and kissed Thabo full on the mouth, in front of everybody.

That seals our relationship, thought Thabo, looking at his friends with a huge grin on his face. Sindi stayed close by his side after that.

Everybody laughed and went back to eating their pizza.

Now it was well past midnight and Thabo felt hot as he turned one way and then another in his bed. He couldn’t seem to settle and was finding it difficult to sleep.

He brought his hand up and touched his forehead. It was warm. He was burning up with fever. But it wasn’t a sickness. He was burning up with love for the girl he had met last night.

The love he felt for Sindi Grootbooi was totally different to any other kind of sensation he had ever had. Right at this moment he felt as if he could leave his home and family to be with her. Nothing in his life compared to the way he felt about Sindi.

Thabo knew his parents were expecting him to go to university to study law once he finished high school. He had even been looking forward to it until tonight. He knew he was one of the lucky families. He had wonderful parents who supported him in everything he did. He was also very intelligent. He didn’t have any problems with studying hard. He loved debates and discussions. He was planning on taking the legal bar exams one day. Now, in the matter of one night, all his future plans would have to change.

Thabo hugged his pillow to his chest. He pretended the pillow was Sindi. I love you. I love you, Thabo thought, and hugged the pillow tight.

Finally he fell asleep. As he slept he dreamed about Sindi …

She was sitting on a chair in the classroom, looking at him. He was smiling across the desks at her.

“Can you please stand up when I’m speaking to you, Thabo?” said Mr Edwards, his English teacher, raising his voice.

Thabo had not heard what Mr Edwards had said to him.

“Must I repeat the question?” the teacher asked.

Thabo nodded his head slightly.

“Can you explain what the word ‘love’ means to the class, Thabo?”

“Love is wanting to spend all your time with that special somebody. You will move mountains for that person.”

“By any chance are you talking about Sindi Grootbooi?” Mr Edwards asked him. His voice had changed. Usually he was soft spoken but now his whole manner was hard and cruel, and his teeth were sharp and pointy.

“Sindi Grootbooi is bad news. I order you to stay away from her. She’ll cause you nothing but trouble.” Mr Edwards glared down to where Sindi was sitting, and as he stood there he grew bigger and bigger.

But Sindi just sat at her desk, smiling seductively up at him. “You don’t frighten me, Mr Edwards,” she said, still smiling.

“You can’t stop Thabo and me from loving each other.”

But then Mr Edwards took a book out and started hitting at Sindi, who just laughed as she dodged him. Now Mr Edwards started bleeding out of his mouth, then his eyes, like a horror movie…

“No, no, no!” Thabo screamed over and over again. He thrashed around in his bed.

Suddenly the light came on in his room and his mom was looking anxiously down at him.

“You must have been having a nightmare,” she said. “Do you want to tell me what frightened you so much?”

“I can’t remember,” Thabo lied. There was just no way he could tell his mother what he had been dreaming. But he felt bad for having to lie to her.

“It’s only a small lie,” he reassured himself. Thabo rubbed his eyes. “Is it time to get up now, Mom? I’m very tired.”

His mom touched him comfortingly on the arm. “It’s only four a.m. You can go back to sleep for a few hours.”

“Thanks Mom,” Thabo said, as he closed his eyes. A moment later he was fast asleep. He didn’t dream any more that night.


Tell us: If you were Thabo would you go to see Sindi in the morning? Why or why not?