Day ten of the starvation diet began like any other. However, Busi was late coming back from lunch and had to sprint to class before Mrs Shandu returned from lunch. She wasn’t too far from class, just turning the corner of the building, when suddenly the building in front of her began to multiply. She looked around and everything was doubling, there were even multiples of her. Busi’s knees began to buckle. She grabbed the railings for support and then everything turned into blackness.

“Busi, wake up. Can you hear me? Wake up.” Busi’s eyelids pushed halfway open. Through the haziness, she made out a figure hovering over her. She realised she was lying on a hard concrete floor.

“You fainted, fortunately I was right behind you.” Busi heard a guy’s voice beside her. “You could have been badly hurt.”

The fog lifted from Busi’s eye. She immediately recognised Thabo. Her body shuddered. She closed her eyes thinking she was hallucinating. “Can you see me?” Thabo asked, fanning her with a book.

Busi tried to move her lips but no sound came out. This was not happening to her. She hadn’t just fainted in front of a boy she liked. No, she was in a bad dream. She turned her head away, not wanting to make eye contact with Thabo. How embarrassing.

Thabo patiently sat next to her, slowly fanning her. The school’s corridors were empty; everyone was in class. After a few minutes Busi lifted her head and pushed herself up to a sitting position. She averted her eyes from Thabo. She could feel the weakness in her body; the headache was intense. She wanted to cry, she wanted her mother. “I’m thirsty,” she whispered.

“Here, let me help you.” Thabo held her arm to support her. He then opened a can of cooldrink and held it out to her. “Try to take small sips.” Busi sipped obligingly. It was good to have something in her stomach. She finished the can. She felt a little better.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it,” Thabo said. “How are you feeling?” He asked with genuine concern.

“Much better. I don’t know what happened,” Busi started. “I remember being late and trying to get to class before Mrs Shandu, then everything started to…”

“Shh, don’t try to say too much, you’re still weak. When was your last meal?”


“When did you last eat, you look really hungry and you’re shaking,” Thabo said. “I do have an uneaten sandwich here if you want it. I was playing soccer at lunch and I didn’t get a chance to eat. My mother won’t be impressed if I show up with an uneaten sandwich. She insists on making me school lunch every day. Can you believe that?”

“No thanks,” Busi responded.

“I really think you should eat just a little bit.” Thabo opened his lunch box and took out a sandwich wrapped in foil. He unwrapped the foil and handed the sandwich to Busi.

Busi had to admit the sandwich looked yummy, she could see fancy cold meats, cheese and lettuce. Her stomach growled. She shook her head, no. “Tell you what, you eat half and I’ll eat the other half.”

Tell us what you think: Do you believe Busi will eat the sandwich?