Steve sat next to Kamvi again at supper time. He chatted to her happily all through the meal, oblivious to the glances that Nikita was giving Kamvi from across the table.
Sipho meanwhile, was watching Nikita winking and smiling at Kamvi, and he was frowning.
Nikita flung open Kamvi’s door after supper and came in and sat down on her bed.
“I’m going to start locking my door Nikita–”
“Never mind that,” interrupted Nikita. “But you better tell Captain America to stop chatting you up at meal times, before Sipho does something drastic!”
“Steve can talk to anyone he likes, and Sipho is only angry with you, Nikita. He thinks you are flirting with me. He hasn’t given ‘Captain America’, as you call him, a second thought,” said Kamvi, beginning to take off her school uniform.
“You know what I mean Kamvi,” said Nikita seriously, before turning to leave and slamming the door behind her.
Kamvi locked the door behind Nikita and finished dressing. She went into her bathroom and checked herself in the mirror then put a touch of gloss on her lips. She turned around and looked at herself from all angles. She smiled at herself, then went back into her bedroom and sat at her desk.
Kamvi was just paging through the book from Steve when there was a knock on her door. She sighed heavily.
“Go away Nikita!” she called out loudly. The knock came again. Kamvi pushed her chair back and moved to the door, unlocking it and opening it angrily.
“Leave me alone Niki–”
Kamvi stopped mid sentence.
“Hiya,” said Steve, smiling broadly.
Without thinking Kamvi reached out, grabbed Steve by the arm, and pulled him into her bedroom. She quickly shut the door behind him, and locked the door.
“You shouldn’t be here!” whispered Kamvi desperately.
“Ssshh!” whispered Kamvi, putting her hand to Steve’s mouth, and then hurriedly pulling it away.
Steve was smiling. “Why not?” he said again, whispering softly this time.
“Did anyone see you?” Kamvi could feel herself blushing.
“I don’t think so,” replied Steve, chuckling a little as he spoke.
“It’s not funny…”
Just then there was another knock on the door and a voice called out: “Kamvi.” It was Nikita.
“Go away,” said Kamvi loudly, her voice trembling a little.
“Are you okay?” called Nikita. “I am sorry if I upset you.”
“You didn’t,” said Kamvi from behind the door. “I have work to do. Studying. And so do you.”
As matriculants Kamvi and Nikita were allowed to work in their rooms in the afternoon. All the other students were in the study room.
Kamvi and Steve stood silently until they heard Nikita walking away, and then her door further along the corridor opening and shutting.
Kamvi sat down heavily on her bed.
“How am I going to get you out of here?” she said, dropping her head into her hands
“Hey I’m sorry,” said Steve light heartedly, sitting down on Kamvi’s chair. “In the States we are not nearly so uptight about this stuff.”
“Well, here, girls are not allowed to have guys in their rooms. And especially not guy teachers!”
“We could just tell them I am giving you extra lessons,” said Steve, grinning broadly.
Kamvi could not help herself, she shook her head and smiled at the same time.
“You come from a different world, Sir,” she said.
“Steve. Call me Steve. Anyway, seeing as I am here, maybe we can talk about that book you are reading.” Steve indicated the book, open face down on her desk.
And Kamvi could not resist. Because they had to speak in low voices Steve came and sat next to her on the bed, and they bent their heads together over the book, and turned back and forth through the pages. She had a lot to say and ask, and Steve answered all her questions.
Time passed. Suddenly the bell rang.
“Supper,” said Kamvi with surprise. “I can’t believe it.”
Steve was sitting close to her and she met his eyes as she said, “You’d better stay here until all the kids are at the table.”
He lifted his hand and ran a finger softly along her jawline. “I have never met a girl quite like you before Kamvi,” he said gently.
Kamvi thought to herself that she should stand up then. She should stand up and make Steve go and hide in the bathroom and wait, while she left. She should go to supper and be friendly and chatty and she should eat, and talk to Nikita and Sipho, and carry on as if everything was normal.
But she did not do that.
Instead she closed her eyes and felt her heart fluttering and she felt Steve’s hand on her face. And then she felt his lips touch her lips, ever so gently and so lightly that she could almost have dreamt it.
Kamvi opened her eyes. Steve was watching her, but he was very close, and his mouth was very close … and before she knew it she was kissing him back.
Steve responded and then Kamvi couldn’t stop. She didn’t want to stop. She felt herself wanting more and more of him. His hands were all over her and her hands were on him, and they were lying down now, rolling around on her bed.
Tell us: What does this chapter make you think about Steve?