Short Stories, Tale Africa

Rebabedi (2)

By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa

 

My week has been going smoothly because I’ve completed the bursary application but I’ve been so focused on the upcoming exams that I haven’t fulfilled the promise I made to my mother last week. Exams will be done in two weeks so I’ve decided to go home then. I’m honestly dreading that but I miss my mother and sisters. I am at the library now going through my notes of  Delicts and Motor Vehicle Accidents. I’m writing the exam day after tomorrow and I’m already panicking. I also don’t know why I chose this field!

“Hey there,” I hear a familiar voice whisper in my right ear. I frown because I cannot remember where I heard this voice before.

“Want a break?” He continues.

I turn around to find Kagiso looking at me with his big eyes and has a goofy smile glued to his face. Kagiso looks unnatural. I smile awkwardly as his face is too close to mine for comfort.

“Coffee?” He asks.

I nod, quickly pack my books and follow him out of the library. I don’t really like coffee but I do need a break.

“Let me take your bag” Kagiso says the moment we step out.

“Ow? Thank you.” I say as I hand him the backpack.

“What do you have in here?” He exclaims, “Do you carry rocks to school?”

I laugh.

“Laughter suit you, I hardly see you laugh.”

“I wouldn’t just laugh alone now would I?”

“Come to think of it; you are always alone. Don’t you have friends?”

I shake my head.

“Can I be your friend?” He asks as he raises his left eyebrow.

“Ha ha ha” I imitate Mbali’s sarcastic laughter.

“I’m serious, it would be great to get to know the woman behind the beautiful face.”

“Charming”

He throws his one hand in the air as he says; “What can I say? It’s a Kagi thing.”

We both laugh. We are now entering the canteen. He roughly stops at the entrance. “Let’s go out”

“Outside the school?”

He shrugs, “Yes, to a real coffee shop.”

“Oh, I may…”

“Kagi maan! You’ve found yourself a yellow cinderella! What girl haven’t you done man?” A guy says patting Kagiso on a shoulder.

“You’re a fool” Kagiso says softly.

The guy turns to me and says; “Enjoy the ride ausi, it’s going to be epic.”

Kagiso looking annoyed; “Stop it man. Where is my jacket?” The guy starts to stutter and Kagiso continues; “Geez you’re wearing my sneakers!”

“Hade boy, later!” The guy says and rushes off.

Kagiso shakes his head and turns to me; “Going out?”

“Sure” I say slowly. I’m still confused about what just happened. Yellow cinderella? I see I’ve graduated from yellowbone to yellow cinderella…

I follow Kagiso towards the car parking. I never imagined him to be owning a car, he must be from a rich family.

“Huh?” I am awestruck when he hands me a helmet he just took out of a motorbike.

“Hop on and hold on tight.” He says with that goofy smile of his.

I silently pray for safety as I slowly put on the helmet and get on the bike behind Kagiso. I hold him firmly on the waist and close my eyes.

“Open your eyes Thabi…”

He knows my name? Wow!

“… you need to see the view and feel the adrenalin.”

I slowly open my eyes but I’m too scared to smile.

“Ready?” Kagiso asks with extreme excitement.

“Yes” I whisper holding on tighter.

The motorbike engine starts running. I am suddenly excited about this brave venture I’m taking. I’ve never been this open to strangers, even if it’s someone I have a crush on. I usually curl up and run away, why am I even doing this with this guy? He is probably a player like his friend said. ‘Thabisile you’re a sucker for punishment.’

I shake my head to move away from my negative thoughts and just enjoy the ride. I don’t think I’ve ridden to town so fast before and I have to admit it is seriously relaxing. I am loving the breeze and the adrenalin rushing through my system. I feel like I’m a child on a merry-go-round. I eventually close my eyes and enjoy the ride until we come to a stop. Kagiso helps me out of bike.

“So, did you enjoy it?” He asks as we walk inside a resturant in Hatfield. My father works in this area but I doubt I’ll bump into him at this hour. It is just after 2 pm, I’m sure he is stuck in his office looking angry.

“I did.”

“Table for two?” The hostess asks and Kagiso answers. He is talking to her so freely, it’s as if they know each other.

We sit at a table in the corner of the store and I can’t help but think we are hiding. Maybe he doesn’t really want to be seen with me. I can feel my self esteem decreasing.

“I work here. I’m just waiting for my collegues to come and bother us.” He says excitedly. He has a childlike expression, like there is someone dazzling candy infront of him.

“Oh?” Okay I didn’t expect that.

“My mother makes me work for my money.” He laughs and then continues, “She says I’ve wasted enough of their money. But I love it here. I’m sorry I had to bring you here though, my shift starts at 3.” He puts his hands over his eyes and laughs.

I can’t help but smile. “It’s okay, your mother sounds like a good woman.”

“Yuuu…” he takes out his phone and hands it to me, “please give me your number.” He blinks several times exactly like my little sister Poni when she’s making her puppy face.

I take the phone. “How do you know my name anyway?”

“Thabisile Mvelase from Mamelodi,” he smiles and continues; “First born of three girls, lives with both parents and is a dedicated Paralegal student. Need I say more?”

“You’re such a stalker!”

“Don’t act like you haven’t looked me up”

I laugh as I type in my number and save it. I did my little research on him just today and I found out that he is a twin and is single. I only looked at his social media profile. His phone rings in my hand and the incoming number is saved ‘My Queen’. I guess he lied about being single on social media… I hand him his phone silently and stare at the menu infront of me.

“Rati” he answers. He listens for a while and then bursts out in laughter. “That is so you my love… I’m not around campus… I’m a hour early for work…”

Laughter.

“I am actually in the presence of your future daughter in-law… I’m telling you ma… yes yes I know… love you too bye.”

When he puts the phone away his eyes are still glowing from all the happy tears pouring from them. I just realized when he laughs too hard tears come out. I feel embarrassed for the jealousy I felt there, the queen is his mother. It’s sweet – I’m attracted to a mother’s boy. I know Mbali will enjoy hearing this.

“My mother sends her love.”

I nod. There is some silence so I carefully start a topic; “So can I order food as well? I’m hungry and you’re the one who took me away from the free food at the canteen.”

“You can order whatever you want, but you’ll pay for it. I’ll only pay for the coffee”

He looks serious, I feel a flush of embarassment once again until he laughs and says; “I’m joking man! You should see the look on your face right now.”

“Very funny.”

The waitress comes and takes our orders. She makes fun on Kagiso, as expected, and promises to bring the food fast. Everyone seem to be highlighting the fact that he is with a girl with light skin, what’s the issue with that anyway?

I finally decide to ask; “What did your friend mean when he said I should enjoy the ride? What are you, some infamous player?”

He rubs his ear with his thumb as he responds; “Childhood nonsense. You should really not mind that guy he needs some growing up. And he is not my friend just a person who likes the benefits that come with hanging out with me.”

The food arrives. It really was fast; the pizza is still hot and looks so apetizing. Kagiso ordered a large chicken pizza with extra cheese while I asked for a chicken salad just so I appear ‘healthy’ and lady-like. I’m scared of making an impression that I eat too much, even though I actually do. My mother always tease me about this because I eat a lot but don’t gain weight. She goes as far as saying I need some fat on my bones, we just don’t know how to get that fat.

“Are you sure you’re going to be filled by that?” Kagiso asks with a mouthful and a slice of pizza on his hand. “We can share my pizza.”

I take a moment to think – compare the two meals – and the pizza wins. I can put off being shy for this one moment, it’s not like I’m going to die. I do not answer him; I simply take a slice of pizza and bite. He smies in satisfaction.

“Tempting I know” he says.

I reply; “Delicious too.”

“You’re beautiful” he says this with a serious tone that makes me blush.

“Thank you.” I whisper and then it hit me: I’m on a date with Kagiso Motaung – the handsome, giggling freak with a dimple and big eyes. Mbali will not believe it, I also don’t believe it, but what does it mean? He likes me too right? Oh my goodness! This is the best day of this year, the best I tell you.

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