The story of a young black man Chapter 7 - Mzansi Stories

Tuesday, January 19


The story of a young black man Chapter 7


Leeto: The story of a young black man

When days are dark…Tshepang will lie to cheer you up

Chapter 7

After the whole class turned him into a laughing stock, Samson stormed out; he didn’t even take his school bag with him. I suppose Ma’am Sefate and the headmaster thought that maybe he had gone to the restrooms or something, that’s why they didn’t even bother asking about where he was (the school bell rang fifteen minutes after his incident to signal that the school was officially out). Tshepang and I looked up for him everywhere however he was nowhere to be found. “Shew, I knew Samson was ashamed of his middle name”, I said to Tshepang, “but I didn’t know he was this ashamed of it”. “Who wouldn’t be?” Tshepang jokingly said, “Kolobjana, after all, means piglet or little pig in English, you know”. “Yeah”, I said to Tshepang as we began our walk home, “but don’t you think it would be a good idea to check up on him at home? Maybe he had an emergency; that’s why he rushed home without even waiting for us”. “I think so too”, Tshepang said.

When we got to Samson’s house, the house was still locked. We took turns knocking on the door however there was no answer. I told Tshepang that maybe Samson had decided to take a different route home, walking one of his ‘girls’ home. “Yeah, maybe”, Tshepang said, “but wait, the kitchen door is locked from the inside; can you see the key through the key hole?” “Yes”, I answered as I leaned over the door to get a closer look into the key hole on the door handle, “I think I see it too”. We walked around the house and straight to Samson’s bedroom’s window. “Hey Sammy boy”, Tshepang said, as he knocked on the window, “.  Are you in there, buddy? It’s us, we came to see if you’re okay”. “I am fine”, Samson answered with a sobbing voice, “Please go away!” “Not until we see you first”, I said to him. “Okay, hang on; I am coming”, Samson said as he began making his way to the kitchen door.

When Samson opened the kitchen door, his eyes were red from all the crying he had been doing that afternoon. “What’s wrong, Samson? Why are you crying? Did someone in your family die or something?” I asked. “Yeah”, Samson replied. “What?” I asked, out of shock, “Who is it?” “It’s me”, Samson replied while wiping tears and snot with his hand, “I did. Tell me! Which girl would be stupid enough to go out with a guy named after a baby pig?” “Are you still on that name thingie from the class today?” Tshepang asked, as we began to laugh. “Sammy boy, had you stayed a bit longer, you would’ve heard that your name is nothing compared to those of other people’s”, Tshepang said, “Do you know what Ofentse Diale’s other name is? Constable. Like really? Who names their child that? ‘Excuse me, what’s your name, sir’ ‘Oh, my name is Ofentse Constable Diale’” I laughed and so did Samson. “That was not the worst of them”, I said, “There was also, Terrence Raditsebe Mmutlane, Kefilwe Hairbrush Manyaku, and lastly, Richard Tšhukudu Kgoadi. So, you see; you’ve got nothing to worry about”.

“Anyway”, Tshepang said to Samson, “that new chick with the plaited hair was asking about you”. “Really?” said Samson, appearing more excited than he had ever been that whole afternoon. “Yes, of course she did”, Tshepang replied. I wanted to tell Samson that Tshepang was lying to him however Tshepang winked at me, signaling for me not to blow his cover.  Samson was very pleased to learn about this delightful news. If there ever was anything that could cheer Samson up was when he was told that a pretty girl had a thing for him. “So, what was she asking about me?” Samson excitedly asked. “Nothing much, she only asked what had happened to our ‘charming’ friend, that’s all”, Tshepang continued to lie. The thing is, Tshepang didn’t want to make up lies that were so far-fetched even Samson himself would not believe in any of them hence he kept his lies short and simple. “YES! YES! YES!” Samson said, basking in a glory of his pride and vanity, “I knew Ntombi liked me; I could tell from the very first time we made eye contact me and her”.

“Well Sammy boy”, Tshepang said, “Now that we’ve seen that you’re alright, we’ll make our way out”. Before I could say anything, Tshepang grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and said, “Come on partner, let’s get out of here; I have dishes waiting for me at home”. “Okay, Samson”, I said, “see you tomorrow, pal”.  As we walked out, I told Tshepang about how I didn’t think his way of cheering Samson up was such a good idea. “Can you imagine how embarrassing it will be for him if he ever runs onto Ntombi before we tell him all this was one big joke? He’ll never forgive us, I promise you”. “Relax”, Tshepang said, with a playful voice, “I’ll tell him myself first thing tomorrow morning. I just could not bear seeing him like that”. “Well, if you say so”, I said to Tshepang as we parted ways.

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