I remember that night because it turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve ever made.

I remember the heavenly scent of freshly charred meat on the grill, and the rowdy roars of laughter around us. Merriment, pure and utter merriment.

The first time I laid eyes on him, he walked across the room, seemingly uninterested in the night’s events. I had made up my mind about him – he was cold and unwelcoming. I didn’t expect anything from this stranger, a simple hello would have sufficed; it was a braai amongst friends.

Silento’s ‘Watch Me’ played on the stereo and a few of us danced our hearts away, all except him.

“Okay, you’re really being a stiff now,” I thought to myself. I was always taught to be friendly and welcoming.

I didn’t pay him much attention until he butted into a conversation that did not involve him, but didn’t stay to defend his frivolous statements. When he walked past again I told him that I wanted to speak to him concerning what he had said. A naïve 18 year-old, I knew not a thing about how diabolical one man could be. I had unknowingly welcomed the devil into my life of innocence.

After my sister and I had told him that he seemed full of it, he laughed and defended himself. I should have just stuck to my original judgement but I didn’t. I was fascinated by his conspicuous indifference to the party and I was attracted to him.

We managed to break away from everyone. It was just him and me now, beneath the starry winter sky. Suddenly he was full of words. We spoke about all sorts of things, from interests and hobbies to future plans. I remember his eyes lighting up when he spoke of wanting a daughter someday, that was sweeter than a lullaby.

I felt the strength of his biceps. His words dripped out of his mouth like golden honey. He was beautiful.

People’s eyes pierced our bodies, cries and calls shot through the air like bullets; however we remained unfazed, our souls locked to one another.

Even though he was older than me, I didn’t see it as a problem. I had never experienced a connection like that, prior to that night nothing had even come close. I had never been so attracted to someone… It was deeper than his rugged handsome look or the contour of his muscles, it was in the way he spoke. Little did I know that it would become poison to my soul.

He offered me a lift home and of course, I agreed. His reckless driving would become synonymous with the way he handled my heart.

When we pulled up at my house, he asked me a question that any girl would love to hear from their crush. “Can I get your phone number?” I gave it to him without hesitation because I really wanted to see him again.

Before we parted ways, he hugged me. I felt this warm embrace for a few moments before he pulled away. I had unknowingly welcomed the devil into my life.

His smile was the most serene and gorgeous thing I had ever laid eyes on.

Motioning to my head, he asked, “And now, what is this?”

“It’s a bun,” I responded.

He went on to let me know how much he disapproved of my hairstyle.

“It was loose earlier, but then I became hot and tied it up,” I explained.

And there it was, the first sign of control.