It was Monday morning. The pupils were allowed a half hour break from classes. They spent it in different ways.
Thabo and Ben walked out of their classroom together. The sun was high in the sky now. Both boys walked across to the big tree near the end of the school yard and sat down. It was a favourite spot for the pupils to rest between classes.
Thabo had never felt so exhausted in his entire life. He’d had a lucky break yesterday when he arrived back home.
His mother had thought he was sleeping soundly in his bed. He had put a pillow under the duvet. That way when she checked on him she presumed he was in his bed.
“I checked on you earlier,” she said as he walked into the kitchen. He’d been able to sneak up to his room once he arrived home, and change back into his pyjamas. His father was in his study, going over some work details. Mom was busy cooking lunch. His siblings had stayed behind at church for religious classes.
“I feel a little better,” he lied to his mother. But she had become worried again when Thabo barely touched his lunch.
“Why don’t you go lie down again,” she said, after Thabo had refused chocolate cake for dessert.
Thabo was delighted to be able to escape to his bedroom. He lay down on his bed but he could not sleep.
All he could think about was Sindi. He couldn’t believe how important she had become to him in such a short time. He hadn’t even known she existed in this life until a few days ago. Now he felt as if he had known her forever. He couldn’t imagine living his life without her in it.
She was so trusting and beautiful. She was also far too young to have lost both her parents. Because of that she was forced to live with a cruel aunt and uncle.
By now a crowd of boys was sitting under the tree. They were eating their sandwiches and drinking juice or water.
Before morning break there had been three lessons. Thabo had found it difficult to pay attention. No matter how hard he tried to concentrate all he could think about was Sindi.
“If you’re tired, Thabo” Mrs Boucher said sarcastically, “I suggest you try and go to bed a little earlier.”
“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” Thabo said. Then to the amusement of everybody in the class he yawned widely. All the students grinned at him.
Then during the next class, whilst they were reading Julius Caesar for English literature, Thabo’s head had fallen forward on his desk. He had actually fallen asleep. He was snoring softly when Mr Edwards tapped him none too gently on the shoulder. Thabo was wide awake in an instant.
“Who do you think Brutus was talking about in that speech?” demanded Mr Edwards.
“I … er … I’m not sure, Sir,” Thabo stammered, trying to stall for time.
“You don’t know because you dared to fall asleep in my class!” Mr Edwards had shouted.
“Are you going to eat your sandwiches?” Ben brought Thabo sharply out of his reverie.
“I don’t feel hungry,” said Thabo and handed his friend his lunch.
“Hey everybody – our Thabo’s in love!” Kitso shouted out.
All the boys laughed.
Thabo jumped up. He ran off before Ben could ask him where he was going. Suddenly he wanted to shout at the top of his voice: Yeah, I am in love with Sindi Grootbooi! It feels wonderful.
He felt dizzy with happiness. He felt as if he could literally move a mountain. It was the most incredible feeling in the world. He was in love and he wanted to seek out that special girl right now. His heart was beating fast at the thought of her.
He had just turned the corner by the library when he saw her. She was sitting with some of the other girls, but it was only Sindi he saw. When she saw him she jumped up and ran towards him. Her eyes were lit up with happiness when she stood in front of him.
“Hi Sindi,” Thabo said, smiling into her face. She smiled back, showing a set of strong white teeth. Gosh – she was just so beautiful!
“Can we meet later, Sindi?”
“Yes, straight after school.”
“I have soccer practice then, but I’ll get out of it.”
“That’s terrific. I’ll be counting the minutes until I see you.”
She reached over and gave him a quick kiss on the face.
Thabo thought a moment, then went to find his brother. He spotted Joseph sitting with two of his friends, eating their lunch.
“I need you to do me a favour, Joseph. Will you tell Mom I have extra soccer practice today. I’ll be a bit late getting home.”
“Sure brother, but you be careful,” Joseph said. He was two years younger than Thabo. They covered for each other whenever the occasion arose.
“Try and get home for six as you know how upset Mom gets if we’re not all sitting around the supper table then.”
“Thanks Joseph. Don’t worry. I’ll be there. I owe you one.”
Tell us: Have you ever been in a situation where you start with one lie then find you have to carry on telling more and more lies?