When I opened my eyes I was lying on the couch in the living room. Thandi and Sam were with me.
“Hey you are awake,” Thandi said happily
“What happened?” I asked, sitting upright.
They came to sit next to me. “You won the fight,” Sam said.
“Then you passed out, so Sam here had to carry you all the way home,” Thandi added.
I had a terrible headache and my abdomen was in pain. “Thanks buddy,” I said.
“No problem,” Sam said, bringing me a glass of water.
The way Sam looked at me showed that he wasn’t really happy with the outcome of the fight – I didn’t need him to ask me what was going through my mind when I had beaten Zakes.
“I had to do something, Sam. But don’t worry everything will be all right,” I said, looking at Sam. Sam nodded. “What time is it?” I asked.
“Almost 11 bells,” Sam said looking at his wrist watch.
“I think you should get some rest, Bongi,” Thandi suggested.
The next morning I knew that I would have to explain why I had a busted lip and a black eye.
Zakes and I were called to the principal’s office. I knew what it was about.
“What happened, boys?” Mr Mxolisi asked.
I knew I had to lie to get out of this situation so I started to explain.
“Well sir…we were playing soccer after school. Zakes and I were the team captains. We didn’t agree with a few things and it ended in fist fight but we have sorted things out.”
Mr Mxolis looked at me closely then turned to Zakes who staring at his shoes. “Is that right, Zakes?”
“Yes sir,” Zakes said in a squeaky voice, then cleared his throat. I didn’t blink.
“It’s good that you have sorted it out, boys, but don’t let it happen again,” Mr Mxolisi said when he send us back to class.
I breathed normally when I was out of the principal’s office. The first period had already started. I noticed that when I entered the class, Thandi wasn’t in her seat behind Lillian.
During short break I asked Lillian if she had seen Thandi.
“I was at her house this morning. She is sick with flu and she told me to inform Ms Jacobs that she will not be coming to school today,” Lillian said.
“Oh, OK – thanks,” I said and went back to class.
“Either you or your little girlfriend will be dead.” I clearly remembered Zakes’ words. She can’t be all alone like that, I thought.
At break I found Sam on the sports field.
“We gotta go now,” I said.
“Go where?” Sam asked confused.
I exhaled hard. I pulled Sam away from the field.
“To see if Thandi is alright. Remember I told you last night. That bastard is on the loose and Thandi is alone at home,” I said in a low voice.
“Let’s go then,” Sam said.
“Please be home,” I said over and over to myself as we ran towards Thandi’s house. Sam stopped to tie his shoelaces. I didn’t stop to wait. That would be time wasting. What if they had already kidnapped her and rap…. No, don’t think like that, I said to myself.
Sam took out his cellphone and called the police.
“Don’t play with me, boy!” the officer responds.
“But I’m not!” Sam shouted back. It took about a minute for Sam to convince him that he wasn’t lying.
“You say the old house with the brick fence thingy?”
“Yes, and please hurry,” Sam said and ended the call.
I knocked on the door but there was no answer. She’s not here, I said to myself. I walked back with my head down and stood in front of the yard and waited for Sam. I was standing with my back to Thandi’s house. I didn’t see and hear that the door had opened.
“Bongi, what’s going on?” Thandi asked as she came to me. I felt so relieved.
I rushed over to her. “Thank God you are OK,” I said hugging her.
“I’m fine,” she said. “What’s going on?”
I told her everything about Zakes , Zali and that Zali (Zakes brother) is the one behind the murders. They were here to hide from the police.
“Are you serious?” Thandi asked.
“Yeah,” I responded.
“What we going to do?” Thandi asked.
I shook my head. “I dunno,” I said.
I held Thandi’s hands.
“Since I’m here…there’s something i want to tell …” I paused.
In the corner of my eyes I saw a black BMW, with tinted windows, coming up the road. I couldn’t see who was inside the car.
“Yes, Bongi?” I looked at Thandi. I thought since we were all alone I might as well just tell her how I feel about her.
I continued. “I wanted to…” Again i paused. The car came closer.
Around the corner came Sam. As the car came closer I noticed that the backseat window was starting to roll down.
I turned my attention to Thandi.
“WATCH OUT!!!!!!” Sam shouted.
I turned around and saw Zali pointing a gun at us. I knew it was too late to run. I turned back to Thandi. She looked horrified. I grabbed her and hold her tightly to me.
The gun went off and three shots were fired.