The world we live in today shouldn’t be taken for granted. The metaphor “Don’t judge a book by its cover” means that one should not make conclusions based on the outside appearance of a book. Looking at something from one perspective can be dangerous and may obstruct one from seeing the wider perspective.

I still remember very well. It was on a very hot day that my friend Themba and I were coming from school, on our way to the bus terminus. We crossed the main road to get to the other side, where the bus terminus was. Themba and I lived in the same township and we were also best friends at the time. Before the bus arrived, a stunning Polo GTI approached us, stopping next to the bus terminus. A beautiful dark-skinned lady got out and greeted us politely. The scent of her perfume was so captivating that it stunned us for a minute.

This lady told us that she was from the neighbourhood where our school was situated. She asked if we could go to her house and help her with a few boxes she needed to deliver somewhere. On that day, we had read a newspaper article about someone who was wanted by police for murder, but that person’s identity was unknown. The lady promised to drive us to the township when we had finished the job. We got to her house and opened the boot of the car and the garage door to load the boxes inside the car. As I packed the boxes properly, I noticed a black plastic bag that covered something which looked like a person, but I didn’t take it into much consideration.

By the time we finished delivering the boxes, it was getting dark and the strange thing is that we never knew what the boxes contained. All the doors of the car were locked and the lady suddenly started driving faster than she had before. I could see that we were in a cemetery. Themba and I started panicking when she pulled a gun from her handbag. She told us to do as she said or she would kill us like she did her husband. Now I knew what the plastic bag in the boot had covered. She instructed us to dig a deep hole in the ground, then she took the plastic bag that contained her husband’s body and we buried it. We were so scared because we had never seen a dead person before. I also knew that the article we read earlier that day at school was describing her. She instructed us to lie next to the body. We refused and she came next to Themba and shot him in the head. I couldn’t believe that Themba was dead. As she came to me, I closed my eyes…

I woke up from my bed and realised that I was late for school and that it was just a terrible nightmare. We judged the lady in the dream by her outside appearance, without knowing the danger she posed. The charm of the lady made us vulnerable so she could use us to execute her evil plans. Never make your mind up about something or someone you have very little information about. Don’t judge a book by its cover.