My mouth is dry and my head throbbing when I wake up the next morning. Memories of the night before pulse inside my head like flashing lights in a club. Dancing. Drinking. Smoking. Tripping and falling a few times. I turn my face into my pillow in confusion.
"Baby, get up and go and buy us asprin," says my aunt, as she shakes me awake.
It's a struggle to get dressed and walk along the dusty road to the spaza. I feel nauseous. I slow down when I get closer, remembering that Guy might be working at the spaza today.
My heart jumps. Kim and the girls are there. She opens a box of cigarettes, and offers me one. I take it, knowing that if I smoke it I'll puke, but grateful for the gesture.
Kim puts her hand out. "Money," she says. I notice her eyes don't smile. I use the asprin money my aunt gave me to pay for the cigarette.
I swing round to see Guy coming around from the back of the spaza, walking next to a smartly-dressed man. My heart starts pounding against my ribs. Gorgeous nudges me and whispers quietly, "See that guy in the suit? He owns dozens of spaza shops in Jozi. How hot is he? He’s the Minister of Finance!"
Lindi nudges me and says in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, "Isn't that the schoolboy you were kissing last night?" Then she laughs. The Minister of Finance stops and fixes me with a look that makes me go hot and cold.
"Ah, so are you the girl from last night? Guy’'s been telling me all about you." His eyes rake over me, and then he looks at Guy as if to say ‘Watch this.'
"We need to talk Baby," says Guy quietly.
I can feel Lindi's eyes on me, watching to see if I follow her advice from the night before. Watching to see if I have what it takes to be someone.
"There's nothing going on between you and me Guy, so we've got nothing to talk about." My voice sounds like it's coming from somebody else, and when I lift my eyes from the ground I look at the girls, not Guy.
"Well, if there's nothing going on with you and Guy, maybe you'd like to talk to me?"
The Minister of Finance has a smile on his face that reminds me of a crocodile.
I smile back.
The tension is crackling outside the spaza. Do you think Baby's getting herself into deep water flirting with the Minister of Finance? Or is this just the way it goes when you’re a teenager?