As Thabo began to walk back to his class he suddenly thought of the many lies he had told his mother since yesterday. He had had no idea up to now of how one lie could so easily lead to another lie.

Telling lies was really a vicious cycle. Because it seemed once you started telling lies you had to keep on doing so. Now he had also told his brother to lie for him. And he next he had to tell more lies to his soccer coach so he could get out of soccer practice.

Thabo barely listened to his teachers for the rest of the morning. All he could think about was spending more time with Sindi.

He forgot about everything as he saw her waiting for him by the school gate. They linked arms together as they happily walked the distance to the river. Every now and then Sindi would stop walking and kiss Thabo on the mouth.

Thabo enjoyed the kisses but at the same time he wished Sindi would wait until they got to the river. He had spotted Gogo Penny walking down the road in their direction. She lived on his street and always kept an eagle eye out for children who were not behaving. The last thing he wanted was for her to report back to his parents that she saw him kissing a girl in the street.

Finally they reached the river. Thabo breathed a huge sigh of relief. Here he and Sindi could be all alone.

They sat down on the big rock they had sat on yesterday. Sindi opened her bag and took out a drink. Thabo nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw that it was a half jack of brandy. She must have brought the brandy to school. Thabo couldn’t make his mind up whether she was very brave or just plain silly to carry alcohol in her school backpack.

She opened the screw cap and began drinking the brandy. Thabo had a feeling that she had done this many times before. Then she offered the bottle to Thabo.

He shook his head.

“Don’t you like alcohol?” Sindi asked.

“Yes, I do like brandy,” he lied.

“Then have a drink with me. A girl shouldn’t be left to drink on her own,” Sindi teased.

She pushed the bottle into Thabo’s hands. He took a small sip and forced himself to swallow it. He didn’t like the taste of the brandy one little bit.

Sindi watched him. She had a funny look on her face.

After a few more hits the brandy began to make Thabo feel peculiar. Sindi kept coming in and out of focus. But he swallowed more and more.

“I like it here down by the river,” Sindi said in a faraway voice. “It’s lovely and quiet.”

“Mnnn,” Thabo mumbled, feeling like he could fall asleep.

“You’re very special, Thabo. You’re not like the other boys at all.”

Thabo wasn’t sure if he liked being told he wasn’t like the other boys. But before he could think of anything else, Sindi leaned over and began kissing him.

Thabo struggled to keep his eyes open. He was feeling very drunk.


Thabo’s eyes shot open. He had no idea how long he had been asleep. Sindi lay curled up next to him. She was fast asleep. He looked at his watch and groaned. It was nearly 6.15. It would be dark soon.

“Wake up, Sindi,” he gently nudged her. She just lazily opened one eye and smiled at him. Then she fell asleep again.

It was then that Thabo saw the empty half jack of brandy lying on the ground. He didn’t remember drinking that much.

Finally he managed to waken Sindi and walked her home. He knew he was going to get into trouble – but Sindi was worth it.

“What do you think you are doing coming home at this time of the evening, Thabo Ntlanti?” his mom demanded as Thabo came into the house.

“I’m sorry, Mom. The coach kept us very late tonight.” Thabo looked down at the floor.

His mother just shook her head. “I sincerely hope you are not overdoing things,” she said with concern. “I’ll go heat up your dinner so you can get started on your homework.”

Thabo breathed a huge sigh of relief. He knew he was very lucky to have a mother like her. She really did not deserve to be told so many lies. But Thabo had no idea what he was going to do – all he could think about was Sindi.

Mom encouraged her children to bring home their friends so she could meet them. But he had a funny feeling that his mother would not like Sindi at all.


Tell us what you think: Why would Thabo’s mom not like Sindi?