As usual on their way to school Busi and Lolo talked about their favourite television soapie. Busi was not happy that one of her favourite female characters was falling under the love spell of a devious character.

“I don’t care that he’s hot and every woman wants to be with him, he is bad news,” Busi insisted.

They spoke about their dreams for the year ahead for grade nine. “I want to make it to the finals of the science fair and represent our school at the nationals. I hope I will have enough money for the necessary equipment,” Lolo said. “My dad’s business is not doing so well.”

“Everything will be alright,” Busi said. “You know I also have a steep target to reach this year.”

Thuli came out of the house as soon as she saw her friends approaching. She was wearing a bright pink silk scarf and big sunglasses; she looked glamorous. Busi and Lolo stared at her in disbelief.

“Surely you know you can’t dress like that at school!” exclaimed Lolo.

“I know, but we’re not at school, yet,” Thuli responded with a sly smile. “Iyo, gals, did you see Bonang’s dress at the party? It’s to die for. I’m going to make it; I know I can. Gogo has agreed to buy me material month end when she gets paid.” Contrary to her name, Thuli was everything except quiet. She was always the loudest with the loudest laughter; she had a big voice for someone as petite as she was.

Busi and Lolo agreed the dress was nice. The girls spent the rest of their walk discussing celebrities and fashion, they didn’t feel the two kilometre walk to school in the scorching sun. They arrived at Phumelela High School just before the school bell went. They spotted their other friends, everyone was talking about the festive season – those who had gone away dominated the discussions, yet those who had stayed behind were not to be outdone. Local businesses had organised a big music concert at the stadium on New Year’s Eve with big names. Everybody who went was still talking about it. It was agreed that it was the best concert Elethu Township had ever seen.


The girls bade each other goodbye as they moved to their classes. Busi quickly made her way towards her classroom eager to secure a place by the window. When she got there all but one good seat was available. Busi stood by the door and contemplated whether to sit next to the school’s gossip or find another seat. She chose a seat next to another girl, Pearl Shongwe, near the front of the classroom and closer to the door. Pearl was sweet and friendly; Busi didn’t mind her at all. They chatted briefly before the class teacher came.

Mrs Shandu, the class teacher, entered the classroom and everybody immediately became quiet. After exchanging holiday stories with the class, Mrs Shandu introduced a new boy who was seated at a desk behind Busi’s. “Class, we have a newcomer to our school, his name is Thabo Tladi. His family has just moved here. Please welcome Thabo and show him around. Thabo, if there’s anything you need we are here.”

Busi turned around to take a look at Thabo. She had been too pre-occupied about securing a good seat, she hadn’t seen the new boy. As she turned, her eyes met Thabo’s. Busi quickly lowered her gazed and faced the front. Her heart started to pump so fast she thought she was having a heart attack. Thabo was the most handsome boy in the world!

Tell us what you think: What should Busi do?