Sbu put his hands up, and got down on his knees.

“Down!” said the policeman, and shoved him the rest of the way to the floor. He felt one of the police dogs snuffling around his body, then going away.

“This one’s clear!” said a voice.

Sbu moved to get up, but felt a boot on his back.

“Didn’t I tell you to stay down?” said the cop.

Sbu waited. Outside, he could hear Mfundo back-chatting the cops, and one of them telling him to shut up. He twisted his head to look out the door. Some guys from the party were being lead out the gate with their hands behind their backs.

After the cops searched everyone they filed back out, dragging their dogs with them. Sbu got up and rubbed his arms. Then he ran out, looking for Adelle.

She wasn’t by the pool, or near the dance floor. He ran out the gates. There was a police van being loaded with partiers. Sbu looked inside, but Adelle wasn’t among them.

Mfundo came out, feeling his swollen cheek.

“My mother’s going to kill us for this,” he said.

Mfundo’s mother didn’t like him going to parties with Sbu and K8, and only let him go because Sbu had promised her that he was perfectly safe. When he came home with a face like this, both of them were going to be in trouble.

K8’s car pulled up outside the gate. She rolled down the window.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

Mfundo told her about the raid.

“Well, come on, let’s go,” she said.

Sbu went inside for one last look for Adelle. He had to see her again. When he got back to the car, Mfundo was already asleep in the back seat.

“Come on,” said K8. “You can sleep at my house.”

“Won’t your parents mind?”

“Nah. My brother’s away at university. You can sleep in his room.”

As they drove, the sleeping Mfundo kept sliding onto Sbu’s shoulder, and Sbu had to keep pushing him away. He thought about the evening. Adelle had been impossibly beautiful, and he didn’t know anything about her. It was like she didn’t exist. She could have been a ghost, or a dream. Except… Sbu took out her cellphone, and turned it over in his hands.

They drove into K8’s driveway just as dawn broke over the city.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? What do you think of the police in your area? Would you ever want to be a policeman?