The next day, after English, we race to PT. Why are all PT teachers on the planet psychopaths? “Twenty laps around the field. If you’re not finished in ten minutes, slackers, it’s another twenty push ups! Go!”

After pounding around the field trying to look graceful, and failing, I pant back to the toilets. I try and squeeze my sweaty body back into my school uniform in two minutes. Then I realise I’ve lost my phone. I feel sick. My mother saved for a year to buy me that phone! I cannot go home without it and stay alive.

I try to remember the start of the day, and when last I had the phone. I realise I haven’t used it since the second period. I go to the office to report it missing – and it’s been handed in! Which is weird. No-one hands in anything missing, ever!

As I’m walking back to class I see Andile. My heart stops. I know ‘they’ say that, but actually, mine really does. He gets right up close to me. I hope I’m not going to say anything that’s pathetic, or embarrassing.

“Leave me alone Nothando. I’m not into you okay?”

It’s like the beginning of a nightmare. “Whaaat?”

He begins to move off. “Don’t act like you know nothing. You carry on with the messages, and you’ll be sorry.”

His friends snigger as he lopes off. If the sun exploded and the sky went dark, I would not be surprised.

I try to carry on walking as if nothing’s happened, except once someone’s accused you of being a stalker it’s hard to stay under the radar. People ignore me. Lerato’s got my back though and even pushes someone who makes horror movie noises when I walk past.

Lerato comes home with me. I tell her what I’ve decided. She’s not that impressed. “Thando, you can’t speak to him. That’s what the dude said.”

I’m angry. “How am I meant to sort this out if I don’t even know what the messages are? Like maybe if I see that they’re from a different number I can prove to him that it’s not me.”

Lerato throws her hands up: “Okay, whatever.”

The next day I ignore the stares and go right up to Andile. “Listen, I know you think it’s me, but I swear to you, it’s not. Please can I see one of the messages?”

He gives me a suspicious look, takes out his phone and scrolls down. Then he shows me. One message reads:


It’s hard not to blush. Another one reads:


Underneath it is a photograph of a naked chick, with my head.

“No ways is this me!” I tell Andile. He shrugs. I continue, “No seriously, a fool could see that my head’s been superimposed on this.”

Andile shows me another message:


Then he shows me the number, and it’s mine. All I can think about is trying not to vomit on his shoes.


Tell us what you think: How should Nothando deal with the accusation that she is a cyber-stalker?