The story of a young black man Chapter 8 - Mzansi Stories

Wednesday, January 20


The story of a young black man Chapter 8


Leeto: The story of a young black man

After school is after school

Chapter 8

“Leeto, are you done?” my mother called out for me as she answered the door, “Your friend is here”. I grabbed my school bag and went to the door. To my surprise, it was only Tshepang waiting for me outside. “Morning Tshepang”, I greeted him, “Why are you alone this morning? Where’s Samson?” Tshepang didn’t say anything to me; he just appeared to have been very nervous. “What is wrong with you, buddy? Are you sick or something?” I asked him. “No”, Tshepang replied, “I’ve been to Sammy’s place, it’s locked, this time around, from the outside. I think he’s already left for school”. “Oh shit!” I said, “Are you thinking what I am thinking?” “Yeah buddy”, Tshepang answered with a nervous and shaky voice, “Sammy boy has left early for school so that he can see Ntombi before the school starts. We better hurry; maybe we might be lucky enough and catch him before Ntombi gets there”.

We started walking very hastily however ended up running as we wanted to stop Samson from making the biggest fool out of himself. On our way we saw Vincent, an eleventh grader we knew from soccer so that we could ask him if he had seen Samson or not. “Vincent, have you by any chance seen Samson?” I asked him. “Yes”, Vincent said, “I saw him about 20 minutes ago getting into a taxi; I wondered what had happened to you guys when he took a taxi to school today instead of walking with you”. “Okay”, Tshepang said, “thanks man”. We continued to run to school with the desperate hope that we would get there just in time to tip off Samson about the lie.  It was a bit of a difficult run because we were simply not geared up for the task; first of all, we had school uniform and school shoes on, which made running seem impossible in them; and secondly, we were both carrying school bags full of thick textbooks, which made running extra tough.

It must have taken us about ten minutes to get to school because when we got there it had just passed 07h10. “Shit”, I said to Tshepang, “Can you see that big gathering of learners at the school gates, Tshepang?” “Yeah buddy, I can see it”, Tshepang said, “I only hope Samson is not getting beat up or something”.“I think we’re too late, man; I really fucked up this time”, Tshepang said, in shock. When we reached the crowd, the learners seemed to have made some kind of a circle. Tshepang and I moved closer to see for ourselves what the gathering was all about and alas! It was Ntombi telling Samson where to get off. Poor Tshepang was just sitting there, defenceless, while Ntombi’s friends and other learners laughed at him.

“Excuse me! Excuse me!” Tshepang and I said as we pushed our way into the middle of the circle of learners. “Aha!” Samson said, relieved to see us, “Guys, please tell everyone what you told me yesterday”. Tshepang and I looked down in shame and said nothing. “Ntombi”, Samson said, “Didn’t you ask Tshepang and Leeto yesterday about where I was after school? Well, didn’t you?” Ntombi looked at us, with her beautiful, angel-like eyes and said, “What did you, losers, tell your friend? I mean, I don’t even know you, why would I bother talking to low-lives like you?” “Come on guys”, Samson said in a desperate voice, “Speak up now! Didn’t she ask you about me yesterday?” Tough as it was, Tshepang answered and said, “No, Sammy boy. We made up that story so that we could cheer you up; we hated seeing you as devastated as you were yesterday and had to come up with something to cheer you up with”.

Samson’s face had now turned ash-grey from Tshepang’s answer; he had just been humiliated. By this time, the circle had gotten bigger as more learners who were coming into the school also joined-in the circle to see what was going on. “And you, stalker”, Ntombi said, pointing her finger directly into Samson’s face, “I don’t know how you got hold of my cellphone numbers but you WILL delete them from your cellphone this instant”.  “Well missy”, Samson said, in one last desperate attempt to save his, already, tarnished pride, “You can’t tell me what to do with my phone; I’ll keep your numbers as long as I want to”. As the circle grew bigger and bigger, so did Ntombi’s boyfriend and his friends join-in. “Hey B”, one of the boyfriend’s friend said, “I think it’s your girl who’s been bothered in there, man”.

“Ntombi”, a big, baritone voice called-in, as the speaker entered into the circle, “What’s going on baby? Are these morons bothering you?” “As a matter of fact”, Ntombi replied, “they are, baby”. Now this guy was huge; he was about 1.85 metres tall and had even earned himself a nickname in the whole school as Batista, the famous American WWE wrestler. Batista deserved his nickname because he was one of the few boys who lifted weights in school. As Batista was approaching us, we heard a car horn, hooting at us, making the crowd disperse immediately. It was Mr Mpanza, the Biology teacher. “What’s going on there? EVERYONE, TO YOUR CLASSES NOW!” No one replied; all the learners just ran into the school yard, every learner running to their classes, as instructed. In the midst of all the noise that the learners were making, I could make out Batista’s big, baritone voice, saying to Samson, “After school is after school, boy”.

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