Lesedi is a young handsome boy from the city of gold, Johannesburg in Gauteng. He’s from a town called Braamfontein but popularly know as Braam.

2020: This was his last year in primary school. He was extremely excited to go to high school and identify as a “young adult”. Even though he knew about the challenges that the new grade 8s face in high school, he promised himself to be the best version of himself and be as brave as he can. The 2020 year went by fast, and it wasn’t an easy year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The whole of term 2 they didn’t attend at all. It was nice and worrying at the same time because he thought they would have to repeat the grade because of the pandemic.

Sooner than he expected, the grade 7s and 12s resumed with their studies since they were going to new and higher institutions. He felt very special and respected and also proud of himself. Lesedi was a very smart boy. He was a school prefect, among the class top 10 and a nominee for the presidency position.

Fast forward, he graduated to high school and he was awarded for his academic excellence throughout the year 2020. Lesedi’s mom made sure she applied to every school Lesedi wished to go to. Lesedi is from an unfortunate family, so he knew his limits when coming to demanding since he knew his mother didn’t have a well paying job. His daily prayer was for him to be successful as early as he could so that he can also change his home situation and spoil his mother while she was still alive.

All the schools accepted him but his mother missed the dates of paying the registration fees because she forgot the acceptance letters in the mailbox. When he saw them, he thanked god his mom missed them because the registration fees were expensive, with one having a fee of R1000. It was January and he knew he needed new uniform and everything.

Soon he was with his friend Lizzy under the assembly roof of Brandon Secondary waiting for class allocation. He was the happiest person at that time but a bit of nervousness was there in him. A week later he was in grade 8A sitting at the corner with his fabulous friend, Lizzy. The very same week, Lesedi and Lizzy were accused of mocking a new girl in their class.

The girl’s name was Kylie, and she had a nice English accent that she even claimed she was from Los Angeles. Kylie came to class during third period and there was no teacher in class. She offered to sing for the class because everyone adored her for her pretty face and nice accent.

She sang Irreplaceable by Beyoncè. Lesedi and Lizzy didn’t hear her since they were back sitters, so they didn’t show any reaction to her singing while she sang. Kylie was mad at them for not showing any affection to her singing, she even called them “The bitter couple.” She confronted Lesedi and Lizzy about the issue and all they did was to tell their truth, moments later Kylie was in tears and Mr Schoeman, the racist class teacher entered the class. He was there for the absentee list.

Mr Schoeman didn’t like the class they gave him because he complained that why would they give him a Sepedi Home class while he was coloured and taught English Home not FAL. Seeing his new favourite girl crying got him fuming in the nose. The class RCL, Mokgadi, didn’t like Lizzy because all her crushes liked Lizzy instead of her, so she was the first to lie that Lizzy and Lesedi actually didn’t just be bitter to Kylie, but they also swore at her and threatened to beat her for being too forward.

Mr Schoeman summoned Lesedi and his friend to the staff room with immediate effect. The duo was extremely scared and they didn’t even look at each other in the eye on their way to the staff room. There were multiple teachers in the staff room and one happened to be one of Lizzy’s mother’s friend whom Lizzy’s mom asked to look after Lizzy and her actions at school. Lizzy was very furious and that made Lesedi to also tremble as he will be the one to be accused for putting Lizzy in this whole situation.

Kylie didn’t even deny the lies that were told by Mokgadi and that lead to Lizzy and Lesedi getting a hiding and warning letters for bullying Kylie. On their way to class Kylie told the two that she was going to force them to love and like her no matter what and she rushed with an evil laughter alongside Mokgadi. Lizzy and Lesedi didn’t speak to anyone and even themselves that day. The weeks went by.

Soon it was the 14th February 2021 and it was the school’s first casual day, celebrating Valentines day. It was third period again and the EMS teacher was out to make some copies. There were 5 boys who sat next to Mokgadi in class and she crushed on 3 of them. The boys were Karabo, Kgothatso, Timothy, Maredi and Thato. These boys all crushed on the clean, tall and shy Lizzy but unfortunately she had no interest in each one of them.

On this day Timothy had been brave enough to tell Lizzy that he liked her. Lizzy was so shy she asked Lesedi to tell Timothy that unfortunately she was too young to date. Lesedi did as told because he cared for his friend. Timothy took that as an insult from Lesedi because he thought Lesedi was jealous of Lizzy dating.

Timothy swore at Lesedi so bad and loud that the whole class heard him. Lesedi was tired of being so nice to everyone, so he also exchanged the same vulgar words that Timothy uttered to him. His promise to self of being brave in high school hit him, reminding him of what he promised himself. Timothy was now angry at Lesedi for disrespecting him. Lesedi, with confidence stood up boldly and told Timothy to man up and face him face to face so that they can see who the bull was. Timothy was now speechless because he thought Lesedi was just a foolish faggot who couldn’t stand for himself.

Lesedi once more repeated what he said to Timothy and took three steps towards him. Timothy also took three steps back, but before he could lay his foot down, Lesedi pulled him by his hand so hard that he nearly fell on a desk. Now the class was cheering with excitement. Before Lesedi could lay a hot, bold left slap on Timothy’s skinny face, Karabo quickly stopped them.

Break time Timothy and his squad approached Lesedi to ask him for forgiveness and Timothy even requested friendship from Lesedi, but Lesedi was very unsure of that and just accepted the apology.

Later that evening, Lesedi found texts from Timothy and Karabo in his Facebook inbox. Timothy was still apologising while Karabo wanted Lizzy’s username but Lesedi consulted with her first and she denied since they wanted to attack her only friend.

As the days and weeks went by, there was tension in class between Karabo, Kylie and Mokgadi whom were all fighting against Lesedi and Lizzy. The friends just ignored them and that made the three to get even more mad and angry at them. Lesedi and Lizzy had a lot to worry about like Mathematics since they got new teachers almost every 3 weeks, so they didn’t adapt to any teaching style. That made it tough for the whole class during Maths period.

This other week towards the june exams, Karabo decided to shame Lesedi in his inbox, telling Lesedi how much he hated him, how Lesedi is easily influenced by girls and that he hated gays and wanted them dead. This terrified Lesedi. At this point, Lizzy changed seats to move away from Lesedi because her school “guardian” told her mom about the incidents and that she should get away from Lesedi and anything that involved Lesedi in it.

Lesedi started having anxiety from everything he faced at school. He started to hate high school and remembered the good old days in primary school. The whole Karabo squad started threatening him, teasing him and even stalking him at school. Mokgadi on the other side had Lizzy and Lesedi topping every misconduct list even when they were absent and this ruined their profiles in the staff room and the principal’s office. Lesedi started losing focus on his studies and the june tests were just around the corner. His marks dropped drastically.

Before they started with their mid year tests, Lesedi was summoned to the principal’s office alongside some of his classmates including Lizzy. Mokgadi made sure she and Kylie lived up to what they said to the two friends. She even noticed that they were no longer even speaking to each other and that made her the happiest evil class rep.

This was Lesedi’s first time entering the administration building, he was even shaking. He bumped on the Principal on the passage while she was on her way to a meeting and she was pissed by Lesedi’s behaviour, she was even frowning at him and she told him to go see the acting deputy principal. Lesedi went to the reception and they granted him access to the deputy’s office. He found her sitting in her large chair in front of her large, brown, shiny table that was filled with papers and a laptop.

The deputy gave Lesedi a very stong chat, warning him that he might get suspended from the school or even worse, he might get expelled. Lesedi started thinking of his mom’s reaction to all this. His anxiety levels went up and he started breathing heavily. He tried defending himself but his reasoning wasn’t valid enough and he left the office holding a bundle of suspension letters to issue others to his classmates.

Lesedi’s mood was down for the rest of the week. Some nights he would even have suicidal thoughts but he made sure he woke up in a very good mood every morning.

Lizzy on the other side, had missed chatting to her friend. Lizzy didn’t like chilling with other girls because she thought girls always have unnecessary drama. Lesedi made peace with everything and accepted everything that was happening to him. He respected Lizzy’s decision of distancing herself from him and he thought it would be a benefit to both of them.

The mid year exams came and passed like a bullet train running late. Obviously Lesedi didn’t do exceptionally well cause he was very distracted during the first half of the year. Term three came and Lesedi and Lizzy were now back to speaking to each other. A lot of new teachers were introduced to them. One was their new English teacher, Ms Manaka. She was a short, light skinned and slender female, a whole model in a classroom.

On her first day, the class was so astonished by her beauty. Lesedi finally came down when he saw the new young teacher, knowing that she will easily relate to their youthful ideas and thoughts.

After a week, Lesedi was in trouble again. The boys,Kylie and Mokgadi had told the new English teacher that Lesedi said she looked deformed and she was hiding that with her weave. They even told her that he gave rude and shameful comments about the shape of her body. Ms Manaka was extremely angry at Lesedi and she took the matter to the principal’s office, and that also put Mr Schoeman in trouble for not disciplining his class.

Lesedi was once again requested at the principal’s office without his mother’s knowledge. He was given a final warning letter and detention. He promised to improve his behaviour and again tried raising the fact that the class rep. didn’t like him but that wasn’t accepted . Lesedi kept on crying constantly when he got home everyday. He extremely hated high school and didn’t tell his mom about everything that has been happening to him at school. This made him even stronger at school. Soon his marks improved a lot, he was even in the top 3 of the class and top performer in Maths, Technology and English. The English teacher still didn’t like him but she was proud of him.

The boys squad made peace with Lesedi and asked for apologies. Funny thing was that they also wanted Lesedi to help them academically. Lesedi was now the class tutor and everyone’s friend. Lizzy also managed to be friends with the boys and they accepted that she had no intimate feelings for them. The term three awards were issued and Lesedi didn’t receive any due to his ruined profile in the office.

Term four came and it was all joyous and good for grade 8A. The class attended the last minute extra classes consistently and that’s what drove their Maths teacher to drive to school every Saturday to feed them with the knowledge they lacked. The exams went smoothly but a bit draining for the two friends, but they overcame them and soon they were celebrating and cherishing every good thing the year had brought for them.