Ekse, Khusta, where are you man?

Come on man, Lunga is waiting for us.

I texted Khusta hastily, on WhatsApp.

Eish! Dude, Nosipho just came in the house uninvited. And you know how far she stays, bro. I can’t just send her back home. You can go with X, I’ll meet you later gents. Save a few cold ones for me.

Khusta responded.

Nah, forget it, you’ll get them from Nosipho.
Besides, X is also with his girlfriend.

What’s up with you guys? Come on, it’s a Saturday!

Ha-ha! Just go and get yourself a chick Tiza dude.

Khusta teased.

I had been single for more than a while. Even though I did not want to admit it, I was feeling lonely. To avoid being ridiculed by my buddies, I behaved as if I was single by choice. The truth was too embarrassing for me to tell.

I was 21 and I’d only dated once in my life. She was actually the one who came to me and proposed a relationship. If it wasn’t for her bravery, I would’ve still been a virgin. My family decided to move from Khayelitsha where we had lived for years, to settle in Nyanga. It was heart-breaking for me to leave my ‘virgin breaker’ behind. We promised to visit each other but we never kept that promise. She moved on to someone else not long after I’d left.

Within a few weeks of my arrival in Nyanga, I became close friends with Khusta, whose birth name was Khululekani and X, whose birth name was Xolani. They had a reputation of womanizing and drinking every weekend. In no time, I found myself in their midst. In that trio, I was the only one without a girlfriend.

The other day Khusta had mockingly said, “Dude, you dress in expensive clothes and you are far from being ugly, yet you don’t have a girlfriend. What’s up with you dawg?”

“I have a girlfriend in Khayelitsha,” I lied. And as if my friends could tell, they never bought it.

The truth was: I was truly terrified of rejection. I would stammer when I was talking to a beautiful girl. I wanted to ask my friends to teach me how to talk impressively to girls, but I never did. They would’ve laughed their asses off first.

On that Saturday, Lunga, a geek who was desperate to hang out with us ‘Cool Guys’, was going to fill the table at Tar Billy’s tavern with a bottle of Viceroy Brandy and Castle Lites.

I was angry at Khusta and X for not going to Tar Billy’s tavern with me. That meant I had to drink with Lunga, alone. What would people say? Wouldn’t they say: ‘Look at the geeks drinking their singleness away’?

I had a choice though. I could’ve bailed out. But damn! I couldn’t say no to those Castle Lites. I was thirsty. And who was I to decline free booze?

When I got to Tar Billy’s, Lunga was sitting alone nervously against the wall at a table that was in the corner.

“Eita Lunga, mfowethu!” I greeted him, “How’s it my man?”

“All’s cool dude,” he stood up, “Where’s Khusta and X?”

“They are on their way. They’ll be here soon man,” I lied. If I had told him the truth, he wouldn’t have bought as much booze.

Lunga bought seven Castle Lites and a bottle of brandy. We drank, Tar Billy was playing Gqom music, and girls began flooding in. Lunga and I adjusted our chairs so that we could feast our eyes on the girls who were dancing on stage.

A song ‘Kuthi angshone phansi’ was playing when I noticed a girl whose beauty the likes of which I had never seen before, dancing on stage. Her short hair was dyed maroon. She was a ‘yellow bone’ with a curvy body. When she turned her back on me, I was filled with lust from the sight of her butt.

I couldn’t resist. I found myself on the dance floor, with my hand on her hip. I could hardly dance, but that day I felt like a professional. We danced until the song was over. She was about to sit on her table when I pulled her closer.

I spoke in her ear, “You are a great dancer, where are you from? Coz it’s my first time seeing you.”

“I’m from Philippi, close to Sunduza,” she smiled.

“Well I live close by,” I looked at my wristwatch, “it is 10:30 pm now. Where are you going to crash at if you stay so far,” I asked, trying to speak louder to overcome the pitch of the music.

“I was going to sleep at my friend’s place but she left with another guy. If she is not back by eleven I will walk home,” she said.
“Nah, it’s too dangerous. If your friend is not back by eleven come to my table and I will take you to my place. You will go home in the morning,” I crossed my fingers as I said this.

“Hum, Ok,” she hesitated.

I went back to my table. Lunga had passed out. I did not blame my geek companion, six beers and a bottle of brandy is too much for two people. The girl came to my table and told me that she was ready to go. I wrapped Lunga’s right arm around my neck and picked him up. We staggered to his home with him. I knocked on the door but his mother did not open. We left him outside, against the house door.

I took the girl to my shack, behind my mother’s house. She became the second girl I engaged sexually with, after my ‘virgin breaker’.

She was still asleep when I woke up the next morning. We were naked and she had her head on my bony chest.

“Hey, babe, you are awake,” she said, kissing me on my lips.

Then it hit me, I did not know her name and she definitely did not know mine. As I took a close look at her, I realised that she was not the beauty I thought she was the day before. She was missing one front tooth – a turn off for me.

“Hey, babe, put your clothes on. I will walk you out before my mom wakes up,” I wanted her gone.

She put her clothes on. Her pink top had wine stains that I did not notice at the tavern. When she was fully clothed, she wasn’t far from a tramp. I took her out of the gate hurriedly, and let her walk home alone. I was too embarrassed to accompany her to the taxis. I never saw her again.

Tell us: Do you think peer pressure played a part in the narrator’s behavior?