After school. Amanda and Thabo are sitting together in an empty classroom. Amanda has been helping him catch up with the work he missed.
AMANDA: And that concludes our lesson for the day.
THABO: Already? Wow, time flies.
AMANDA: Yeah, right, you couldn’t wait to get out of here.
THABO: And what gave you that impression?
AMANDA: I don’t know, maybe the way you were fidgeting the whole time. I mean, your leg couldn’t stop shaking. And you didn’t ask a single question.
THABO: You got it all wrong. I was nervous – that’s why I was fidgeting.
AMANDA: You don’t strike me as the nervous type. You were so full of confidence this morning in class, delivering a speech in front of the whole class, advocating for us not to take the test.
THABO: That was different. I get nervous around smart, pretty girls.
AMANDA: Nchoooh, sweet. Does that line work for you a lot?
THABO: Actually, never.
They both laugh.
THABO: Honestly, though, I haven’t enjoyed studying in such a long time. You’re such a natural teacher; I see why Mr Koza picked you for me.
AMANDA: (blushing) It doesn’t seem like you need my help. You know all of this already – all your answers to my quiz were correct.
THABO: I tried. But it doesn’t come naturally to me like it does to you. I must work at it.
AMANDA: So what does? What comes naturally to you?
THABO: I don’t know … Sports? I love basketball and cricket. I love the rush and the fitness that comes with training your body and pushing it to its limits.
AMANDA: It shows … I mean, you’re buff … I mean, healthy.
THABO: (blushes) Thanks, I look after myself. But I need to exercise my brain too. I can do none of the physical stuff without it; it’s my best muscle.
AMANDA: And what do you do to exercise that muscle?
THABO: I love to read, play chess and do crossword puzzles. What about you?
AMANDA: What about me?
THABO: What makes you tick?
AMANDA: Books. I’m a simple girl – I just love books. I love words and numbers. I can get so lost in them.
THABO: That’s what makes you so special. I could feel it immediately.
AMANDA: I don’t know about being special …
THABO: You wouldn’t see it. I was watching you. When you work out a problem your whole face comes to life. It’s beautiful to see.
AMANDA: (blushes) That’s me, your typical nerd.
THABO: It’s a rare thing; to love both words and numbers. Most people think one has to choose. I love that you love both fully.
AMANDA: Why choose? They’ll both come in handy for me in the future.
THABO: Beautiful, brilliant and practical.
AMANDA: (blushing again) You know what they say, “I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”
THABO: Eleanor Roosevelt.
AMANDA: How do you know that?
THABO: Well, Miss Amanda – I too am a lover of words.
They laugh. Then Amanda reads a text that has come through on her phone.
AMANDA: (getting up) I’m sorry, but I have to go.
THABO: Just as our conversation was getting interesting. I should’ve known a girl like you was spoken for.
AMANDA: Oh no, not like that. It’s only Kelly. Remember her, the activist from class?
THABO: Oh yeah, she sure did her best to get out of that test.
AMANDA: And you did it for her?
THABO: Shame, man, she was trying so hard to get out of that test and I just couldn’t let her fight alone.
AMANDA: Her own fault. Kelly is always unprepared. She cares more for her sports than she does anything, unlike you.
THABO: Sounds like the two of you are close.
AMANDA: We’re like sisters – and we often fight like sisters too. I better go, else she’ll hate me if I miss her whole match.
THABO: I’ll walk with you.
Thabo and Amanda walk to the sports field together.
Tell us: do you think Thabo is interested in Amanda?