The excitement in the dance hall was beyond compare. There were lots of lights. The music was pounding; people were drinking, dancing, shouting and screaming. It was lots of fun.

Mado and Sophia were near the Exit corner, dancing and talking at the top of their voices. “What do you reckon is Valerie’s problem? I have never seen her behaving like this before,” Sophia shouted above the noise.

“Maybe she is in love and she doesn’t want to tell us.” said Mado.

“The way they both separated this afternoon…Uh…Uh… I don’t think so.” Sophia shook her head.

“You’re her sister. She should tell you. As for me, maybe she does not have so much trust in me because I’m a foreigner!”

“You’re talking nonsense, Mado. We’re three friends who have just matricula….” She stopped suddenly, remembering that she did not know her results yet.

They were joined by a group of five other classmates. David was one of them and he really smelt drunk. “Where is Valerie?” he slurred his words.

“Aren’t you supposed to know?” Mado replied.

“Never mind her. Let’s party!” And he swung his hips from right to left and snapped his fingers, nearly losing his balance.

Valerie had just arrived. She watched David and her friends from the opposite corner of the hall. Sophia looked like she was having so much fun. She didn’t know how she was going to spoil it for her.

It was getting close to midnight, and the countdown of seconds began…Three, Two, One. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! More lights flashing and noise and high fives and kissing. Amid all this, David grabbed Sophia and kissed her and Sophia kissed him back.

Alone in the corner, Valerie watched them. Her anger boiled. Then she forced her way through the crowds, grabbed David, pulled him away from Sophia, and slapped him hard. She turned to her sister. All thoughts of breaking the news gently were gone.

“You loser, you’re a big failure and now you want to steal my boyfriend! Yes, you’ve failed. The secretary phoned me. Shame on you!”

Sophia stared at Valerie and then ran towards the toilets crying. All the people around turned to stare at her, wondering what could have spoiled her evening.

Mado was caught in the middle, and she did not know what to say. She took Valerie’s hand and pulled her away from David, through the crowds. David tried to follow. He was begging Valerie for forgiveness.

“Sorry, I wanted to make you feel jealous. I saw you there in the corner. I thought you had broken up with me. It was my only way to get you back. Sorry, Valerie. Forgive me. Can’t we just be good friends again?” He was catching up with them, just before they entered the Ladies.

“Friends! You’re drunk! You are still a boy David. What didn’t you understand when I told you I was pregnant?” she shouted. “And you want to be friends!”

“Pregnant!” Mado turned to Valerie when they were inside the Ladies. Sophia looked up through her tears. They both stared at Valerie.

“Yes, pregnant.”

“I had no idea…” Sophia took Valerie’s hand. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I was going to… I just…”

“What are we going to do? You’re pregnant and I’ve failed. And, about David. I’m…”

“I don’t want to talk about him,”

“Look, whatever happens, let’s not let this split us apart. Let’s not ruin our friendship.” Mado said quietly. “We’ll work it out. We always do…”

And they hugged each other.


One year later:

Mado has done well in her first year of Pathology at UCT. Her mom still wants her to go out with a boy from the Congo. What she does not know yet is that Mado has met Shaun, a third year student, who is very much in love with her. Mado loves him too.

Valerie’s little boy is bubbling with energy. She took some time off before he was born, but when she came back, she had no problem catching up with her studies. Her mom and a nanny help to look after the baby.

And David? Well he still has a lot of growing up to go before he can give Valerie what she needs. But he is enjoying the time he spends with his baby boy. It remains to be seen if Valerie and him can work things out.

As for Sophia, she has repeated Grade 12 and she is expecting a very good pass this time around.

New Year’s Eve at the end of this year will be a true celebration!

Tell us what you think: Did you enjoy this story? Which character do you relate to most in the story?