The car was speeding towards Langa. K8 and Sbu didn’t look at each other as the highway slid away under the wheels. Silence hung over them, making the mood heavier and heavier and heavier until K8 couldn’t stand it anymore. 

“What’s your problem, anyway?” she snapped. 

“My problem? How about my problem is that you didn’t ask!” Sbu retorted. 

The HIV test had not gone well. In fact, the test hadn’t happened at all. When Sbu had realised what was going on, he’d stopped dead in his tracks. They’d nearly had a screaming match in the middle of the road and eventually K8 had agreed to drive him home, but only after he threatened to walk. 

“Well, sorr-ee, Mr Big-Shot-I-Don’t-Need-An-HIV-Test! Obviously you have no respect for our relationship!” 

“Mna!? How about YOU’re the one with no respect! In a relationship, people, you know, relate. They talk about stuff. They don’t just make stupid assumptions.” 

“It’s a stupid assumption that we should have safe sex?” 

K8 was driving recklessly. She overtook a Mercedes, zooming past it in the slow lane and then ducking back into the fast lane. 

“It’s a stupid assumption that you can just sommer drag me to have an HIV test without discussing it with me.”

K8 flicked her headlights impatiently and the car in front of them quickly got out of the way. 

“Discuss this, Sbu: you’re obviously not mature enough for this relationship,” she said. 

“Oh really? I’m the immature one? Says the person risking our lives driving like a lunatic because she’s pissed off!”

“I’m perfectly in control,” K8 said. But she eased off the accelerator. 

“That’s the problem… You want to control everything! And sometimes you can’t.”

“So, what, you want to be spontaneous and carefree. Just do it, don’t worry about the consequences?”

Sbu had a terrible thought. “It’s because I’m from the hood, isn’t it? I bet you don’t ask your white boyfriends to go for HIV tests.” 

K8 gasped.  “Are you kidding me?” 

She slammed on the brakes and pulled over into the emergency lane and stopped the car just outside the cooling towers. A truck barrelled by, making her little car rock in the backdraft. 

“What are you doing? Are you crazy?” 

She turned to face him. He’d seen her angry before, but this was different. She’d gone very calm and cold, but her hands were shaking with anger. “You really think that about me, Sbu? Seriously? Get the hell out of my car.” 

“We’re on the highway!” 

“You’ll be fine. The Bhunga Road offramp is only about a k away. You can walk, easy. I’d say call me when you get home safe, but actually, don’t bother. I don’t want to talk to you. Maybe ever.”  

Sbu climbed out of the car and slammed the door. “Suits me!” he yelled as the Hyundai pulled away, tyres screeching. 

Image: Frerieke, CC-BY

WHAT DO YOU THINK: What was the biggest fight you’ve had with your boyfriend or girlfriend? How did you resolve it?