Matured Stories

Broken Promises – Episode 15

Broken Promises

Broken Promises

Episode 15

“I… just…” she stammered.
“Yesterday I asked you to be here.
Did I ask you today? Did I?”
“No.” She felt tears pricking her
eyes. She couldn’t cry. She wouldn’t
cry. All she could whisper was, “I’ll
see you tomorrow then?”
“Yes.” His voice went soft suddenly.
He shook his head. “It’s just – you
gave me a fright. If those guys had
caught you there…I was worried
for you.”
“What were you doing?” The
words came out before she could
stop them.
“Some business … old stuff …
something I needed to finish. It’s
over now.”
Then he was gone, leaving Ntombi
alone. She walked back to her
girlfriends who were walking back
to class. “What happened?” Asanda
asked Ntombi, seeing that her
friend was upset. “And what’s
this?” she pointed to the marks on
Ntombi’s arm that were already
bruising purple.
“I fell on the stairs,” said Ntombi,
then felt cold inside. It was the first
time she had ever lied to her
* * *
Later Ntombi was in the taxi,
sandwiched between the warmth
and comfort of her best friends.
The incident by the sports shed
was fading as they chatted. She
shouldn’t have surprised Mzi like
that, she told herself. He was only
protecting her from the other guys.
What was she thinking, stalking
him like that? And there were lots
of silver BMWs – it might not have
been Zakes hanging around
outside Harmony High.
The girls walked arm in arm from
the taxi to the school hall, where
the rehearsals for the Teen Voice
auditions were already in full
swing. They could hear one of the
guys singing the words to Michael
Jackson’s Thriller.
“Oh my God,” said Asanda. “Listen
to him. He sounds like a stuck pig”
“Yes. If that’s the competition we’ll
sail through.” It was so good to be
with her friends again, joking and
having a good time. It helped
Ntombi forget about the shed and
what had happened there. She
would think about it later. There
must be some explanation for why
Mzi was there, why those boys had
all that money, and who was in
the silver BMW. She would work it
out, but not now.
Once she was on the stage going
through the lyrics to Respect (a
classic by Aretha Franklin) she felt
so good. With the mike in her hand
she had the feeling that this was
the only thing that mattered to her
in the whole world, being on this
stage and singing. It made her feel
alive. So often she felt like she
didn’t belong, like she had been
given the wrong part – that there
was another life somewhere that
she was meant to be living. But
here on stage, singing, she knew
deep inside that this is what she
was meant to do. It felt so right,
and she was good at it. The other
students seemed to think so too,
because they applauded after she
“You go girl!” shouted Asanda.
Ntombi had been worried because
she had missed the week when
they had chosen their R&B song.
But Mr Masondo came up to her
after the rehearsal and handed her
a sheet of music. Ntombi looked
down: it was True, by Brandy.
“How did you know? I love this
song,” she enthused. Mr Masondo
“I hear you humming it all the
time, so it wasn’t hard to guess. If
you need extra help you’ve just
got to call. Here’s my number.”
Ntombi entered it on her cellphone
and couldn’t help noticing that
there were no new messages. The
thought that Mzi might never SMS
her again flashed through her
mind. She shouldn’t have gone
down to the shed to look for him.
Why had she done it, she asked
herself again.
“Make sure you call so I can help
you rehearse it,” Mr Masondo said.
“That way you’ll have a much
better chance in the auditions.”
“I promise,” said Ntombi. She
quickly put her cellphone back in
her pocket.
* * *
The girls walked through the
streets together on their way back
to Ntombi’s house. It felt like old
times. They stopped at the shop
and pooled their money to buy a
packet of Dentyne. They laughed
when a group of amarhuzu
whistled at them as they passed.
“Kancane ngani! We’re out of your
league, boys. Forget it!” Lettie
called back to them as they turned
the corner. They were princesses,
idols, even before the auditions
and they felt like they owned the
streets. Three best friends forever.
Nothing could get them down. Not
It was still light when they reached
Ntombi’s, and it was warm as well.
There seemed to be something in
the air because everyone seemed
to be in a good mood. Even Mr
Mashu, who normally cursed them
when they walked past his stand,
was giving out free sweets to the
kids. And for once Ntombi was
relieved that her mother wasn’t at
home. They would have the house
to themselves, as Zinzi was out
too. They put on the ghetto-blaster
and started doing karaoke to the
music, using a hairbrush as a mike.
They were onto their third song
when there was a knock on the
“That will be Hlengiwe. I told her
to meet us here to do your braids”

Also Read:   August Business Retreat (18 +) - Episode 24b
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