Short Stories, Tale Africa

Rebabedi (10)


By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa

It’s been a week since that disaster date with Kagiso’s parents… a week since I was banned from seeing Kagiso by my own parents… a week since I last spoke to the guy I’ve grown to love. I haven’t been sleeping or eating much this past week. All I think about is how stupidly wierd my life has turned. How can one person just barge into my life and turn it upside down like this? How did I fall for Kagiso so easily? Why can’t I just let go? He clearly has since he haven’t contacted me at all since…

“Thabi you need to stop with the tears now.”

My thoughts are disturbed by my mother whispering over my shoulder. I’ve been in bed almost the whole time since last Sunday; I only go out to shower, I even take my meals in here since S’tha has been sneaking it in. My father instructed the family to let me sulk and kill myself in the process. If you’d ask me why he hates Kagiso so much, shame I also wonder!

“Thabisile…” mom calls out and I slowly turn around the face her. My stomach feels so hollow.

“Ah my baby, look how skinny you look! You miss a few meals and you become so skinny, aw my child!”

“Mom” I want to laugh but this hole in my stomach won’t let me. Hell I’m starving!

“I bought you pizza,” she says waving the box infront of me. I quickly sit up straight, pizza is my weakness. “You need to let go of this whole thing babygirl. You’re young and beautiful, you can have any boy you want.”

“I want Kagi” I say with a mouthful.


Mom is disturbed by Poni’s sudden scream. We both look up to see her standing by my door, looking seriously startled.

“What’s wrong with you?” Mom shouts

Poni; “Thabi you look horrible!”

“Mxm” I go back to my pizza. This child is too forward.

“Stop fooling around Poni maan! You’ll scare me” my mother says irritably and gets out of the room.

Poni takes mom’s position on my bed. She looks back to check the door and then whispers; “Kagi called me.”

“Where did he get your number?” I’m not even interested in her little lies.

She looks back again before saying; “Okay, I stole yours.”

I shake my head in disbelief, I don’t even know what to say to her.

“He told he that his parents have also commanded him to break up with you..” emphasis on ‘commanded’. “… but he doesn’t want to. He wants you. So…” she looks at the door again and then comes closer to me. “He wants you to run away with him.”


“Why are you shouting?” She asks sternly, still whispering.

Do I really love him that much though? Do I really want to leave my family for a guy?

“Are you still thinking about it?”

“Poni, this is…”

“Look Thabi, I know you’re scared but come on, you’re still young. Be crazy! Run away with the love of your life and you can always come back if things don’t work out.”

“Dad will kill me” I say slowly. Why am I even considering this?

“No he won’t. He won’t even know where to find you. Only I will know where you are and you know I don’t tell…”

And she’s the best when it comes to keeping secrets. Poni is the one that told me that Kagiso’s mother is father’s ex, and that mom accussed my father of having feelings for his ex. We never told mom that we had this information, even after they told me to break up with Kagi.

“… Kagi is waiting for you in the next street. Go and be child for once…”

“How old are you again?” I interrupt

“Eleven,” she says with a smug. “The smart age. Now go fix your face.”

I get out of bed and rush to the bathroom. I can’t believe I’m listening to a child of 11 years. I take a quick shower and go back to my bedroom to find Poni helping herself with my pizza. This is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my whole existence. It makes me feel stupid and excited at the same time. I’m a yellow fool, but heck I’ll be a happy yellow fool. Like Poni said; if it doesn’t work out I can always come back home. S’thabile walks in just as I finish dressing up. I’m wearing jeans and a hoody, nobody will suspect anything with a dull outfit like this.

“Where are you going?” S’tha asks.

“For a walk” Poni answers quickly. “Don’t you think she deserves some fresh air shame?” She asks the poor child.

S’tha nods sympathetically. She doesn’t even understand what is going on. “You look nice again, but you’ve lost so much weight.” She says.

“I’ll eat right from on now, my flu is over.” I say. That’s the lie we told her when asked why I’m not getting out of bed. She kept sneaking in food so ‘I can be healthy again’. My poor sister… A flush of guilt runs through my system. Am I really doing this?

“She ate half this pizza. She’s already recovering S’tha don’t you think?” Poni says.

S’tha takes the remaining slice of pizza as she says; “Wow! Thabi you’re going back to normal now.”

I smile as I touch my jean pockets. I am confirming that I really did put my toothbrush and some cash in there. I only have R500 from my allowance, I hope it’ll be enough to buy essentials.

“I’ll see you girls just now.” I say as I leave my room.

“Let me walk you out.” S’tha says getting up.

Poni quickly takes her hand as she says; “Let her be, she needs some time alone.” She looks at me, I can’t read her expression but she suddenly looks wise, and says; “Enjoy.” She just sounded like mom – so wierd. I nod and quickly walk out.

I hear mom humming a church hymn in the kitchen and I rush out through the dining room entrance. The afternoon sun seems so bright, I close my eyes briefly as I walk out of the gate. I run towards the passage that leads to the next street. The moment I enter the street I see Kagiso in his bike. He gets off and runs towards me. Before I could gather my thoughts, he hugs me so tight I feel like my ribs will break.

“I love you so much.” He whispers.

My goodness! What am I doing?

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