“So, did you do it?” was Asanda’s first question as Busi got off the taxi on Monday morning. Busi nodded. “And?”

“It was the best,” Busi said, and hoped she sounded convincing. All weekend she had thought about it. She had gone over it in her mind. She had felt Parks’s hands, his kiss. That was nice. But she had also felt lonely and cheap. She had tried to push that part away and only remember the good things. And then there was the woman waiting in the black car at the hotel. Who was she waiting for? And why did she stare at Busi? Part of Busi wanted to tell Asanda these disturbing thoughts. But she couldn’t. She needed them to think she was still flying high from her night with Parks …

“So, you’re bringing Mr Parks to the school dance on Friday?” Lettie asked. Busi had forgotten all about the school dance. She thought how different her life was now from her friends’. They wouldn’t understand how small and childish a school dance seemed. But she didn’t want to disappoint them. And she could see that some of them didn’t believe that Parks existed. She would show them.

“Of course,” she said. “He’ll add a bit of class.”

“That’s if Mr Khumalo lets him in,” said Lettie.

“He’s old enough to be your father,” Unathi added. “And you’re still a minor – until next week, is it?”

Busi wished he would stop saying Parks was old enough to be her father. She didn’t want to think of him like that. Nobody wants to think of their father like that. It made it all wrong! It wasn’t like that. Parks was her boyfriend.

“It won’t be a problem,” Busi told Unathi.

“Wait and see.” But she wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t even asked Parks if he would go to the dance with her. He hadn’t met any of her friends, and she didn’t know if he would want to. Besides, they might embarrass her in front of him with their stupid girlish talk.


“She definitely has the love bug,” joked Asanda quietly in Chemistry. Busi had caused a minor explosion at the back of the class because she wasn’t concentrating. When the air cleared of smoke, the teacher went with Busi to get a brush and pan to clean up the mess. Left alone, the class could talk more freely.

“More like the Parks bug. It’s incurable, so I’m told,” said Xoliswa.

“What do you mean?” asked Asanda.

“Xoliswa means she isn’t the first schoolgirl Parks has taken for a drive,” Vuyo chipped in. “He took a friend of mine’s sister from Brookland High for a drive one day. Luckily she jumped out of the taxi before he got his dirty hands on her. That’s why he’s moved on to cruising by Harmony High. The principal at Brooklyn found out about him and threatened to have him arrested.”

“They should have arrested him,” said Unathi. “That’s why this shit keeps happening. People turn a blind eye. We have to do something.” He looked at Asanda.

“Busi is our friend and she needs us now.” He sounded worried and angry.

“Busi only wants one person in her life now,” Lettie said sadly. “Mr Parks.”