5. Rori

Thank god. Sir Dickens’s math season comes to an end and me and my classmates are tired way past the point of even getting up to leave his class. If we could just nap. It’s a struggle, but we are able to get up and drag ourselves out anyway. I slip out my Samsung as me and Kiki talk during the learners going to the next class. 

“Is it Life Sciences?” She asks, her black braids cover her forehead. 

“Yeah. Another bore,” I say. 

“Fuck,” she mutters and sighs. I think she also slept through the last quarter of Sir Dickens’s lesson. 

“I got some smokes if you wanna bounce,” she says to me, opens her white blazer to show me a pack of cigarettes and two bags of green stacked there. Smile on my face.

I look around and see the classmates disappear into a corner ahead. “Let’s go,” I say. Me and kiki sneak into a vacant classroom before any teacher sees us. Good thing there’s no snitching in my class so Mrs. Pule, our Life Sciences teacher, will only mark us absent like Zinhle. I’ve forgotten for how long I ain’t seen Zinhle here at school and I’ve forgotten when was the last time I saw her in a uniform. 

Kiki takes out the stuff and we begin to roll. We are in Mr. Mabaso’s class, the guy who taught me English grade eight. Since grade eights don’t attend Saturday classes it means his class is now ours. It always is when we don’t feel like attending the next period. Today it’s just me and Kiki. 

“I swear only Dickens kills my insomnia,” she says. I laugh with her, crush the weed on my palm the way Shalla taught me to. She’s also the one who showed me how to roll but it’ll take some major practice before I can roll as quick as she does. 

“How was Liyabo’s party? Mandisa told me you was there with Lera,” Kiki says. 

“It was alright. I couldn’t stay all night, though.”

“Why?” That flows out to my face with cigarette smoke. I tell her about what Lera did. 

“Fuck her, tell her I said that,” Kiki says, returns the cigarette to her lips. 

I only shrug. It’s a relief that Mandisa didn’t tell her about all the puking I did. “Why didn’t you come?” I ask, as I carefully transfer the weed to the paper. 

“Liyabo didn’t invite me,” she smokes, “he still mad I dumped him,” smoke exhales out when she talks. 

“That’s a bummer.”

“No, he’s a bummer. Anyways, when are you and Shalla releasing a new video?” 

“I don’t know, maybe next Tuesday. We recording one today after school,” I say, as I straighten out the joint. 

“I think I finna join you guys,” Kiki says. 

“For reals?” 

“That’s right. But I’ll put on a mask just like you,” she says and smokes some more. It’s only her, Shalla and Fresh who know that the pink masked girl who appears in these videos made at fun house is me. Lera would kill me if she finds out, I don’t expect her to understand. She has never understood me, never bothered to. So why would I care?

“I need the money,” Kiki says.

“That’s what we do it for,” I hear a beep of my phone as it vibrates in my pocket. A WhatsApp text from Shalla.


Shalla: ur sis got shot @ the fun house. Blinx dead

Rori: What!!!

Shalla: M srious 

Rori: Shot by who? Where?

Shalla? U still there???

Shalla: yes babe

Rori: Who shot them?

Shalla: some niggas. But they hit her near the shoulder she cool

Rori: Where is she??💔

Shalla: paramedics jus took her

Rori: OMG!! NO!

Shalla: she be fine babes don’t stress

Rori: Wht happened

Shalla: long story. Will tell u when u get here.we need to shoot. Clive on his way. 


Really? Now? Kiki looks at me. 

“What’s going on?” She asks. 

“It’s Shalla.” 


Rori: Sorry but I can’t shoot the vid Shalla. I’m don’t feeling good

*I’m not feeling good

Shalla: u made a promise. I know now’s not a good time but we have 2 do this. 

Rori: U seriously asking me that after you’ve just told me my sister got shot. Wtf!!?

Shalla: R U pulling out? Yes/No. Remember Clive pays a lot. 

Rori: Yes. No I mean no


Shalla: wat are u saying????

Rori: I think I know someone who will take my spot for the video

Shalla: who

Rori: Kiki. She wanna join. I’ll hold the camera


I tell Kiki what happened then we get out of the school premises through the back, where there’s any unidentified open patch at the gates, perfectly blocked by the thick bushes. 

Every school has a secret exit that is only known to some learners.

Once Kiki and I crawl our way out, after making sure that no one sees or follows us, I make a phone call to aunt Joyce. She picks up after the third ring. I tell her that Lera got shot.