“Park by the side of the road,” ordered David, “let’s do this first.” David pulled his backpack from the car boot. They all clambered out of the car. Peter watched David light up. The joint went round the circle.
Peter breathed in. He did not know what he was going to do when his turn came. When the joint reached him, he hesitated. Then he stretched out his hand. He held the joint between his thumb and index finger and pressed it to his lips. He drew in long and hard. He did it again.
“Hey! You’re supposed to pass it on after one puff,” Busie giggled as she spoke. He laughed with her.“I like you,” Busie whispered into his ear.
In that moment, Peter knew he could do anything. Anything. He could drive. He could dance. He could fly. When he leaned forward and kissed Busie’s cheek, she didn’t pull away.
As he took another puff, he watched the smoke disappear. Along with it went his plan to abandon his friends. All that mattered was that everyone there knew he was no wimp and of all the boys Busie could have liked, she chose him. Peter didn’t want to go into the party. He only wanted to spend time with Busie.
“Go ahead, Tshepo. We’ll find you in there,” Peter said.
“Cool, man,” Tshepo and Busie’s friend went ahead, leaving him behind with Busie.
“So, where do you go to school?” he asked her.
“Oh….” Peter felt disappointment stab him. She was at school far away. “What are you studying?”
“I’m in grade 11. I’m going to be a vet. You?”
“I want to be a pilot.”
Peter smiled. Now she was calling him cool. This girl, the prettiest girl with the prettiest brown eyes. He searched his mind, frantic for something smart to say. Busie had to carry him in her heart when she went back to school.
“Do you do this a lot?” he asked her.
“Party and stuff?”
Busie looked at him then. “Truth?”
“No?” Peter looked at Busie.
“So, what happened today?”
“I guess I thought you’d think I wasn’t cool. I thought… I don’t know what I thought, really… Actually, I want to go home. I’m going back to school tomorrow. I told you.”
Peter took Busie’s hand. He thought of how silly he had been to think that he had to impress her. She was a little like him, really.
“I’m going to look for David,” he said, “I think it’s time we all went home.”
Tell us what you think: What will happen when Peter finds David?