Lola was extremely beautiful. But she didn’t have much in the brains department. She sat there beside Tshepo in the red Range Rover, going on and on.

“Oooh, this is so romantic! Two years apart and now you guys are seeing each other again for the first time. Will you fall in love all over again? Will your passion for each other re-ignite? It’s like a fairy tale in real time.”

What did she think? That she was watching some romantic drama on the TV? Some ridiculous soap opera? Some African Magic Movie Channel movie?

Well, the movie turned out to be a horror film!

At Joy’s front gate, we were met with police cars and police tape. And a body bag on a gurney, sliding into an ambulance. I kept forgetting to breathe.

Joy’s mother was in the yard, tearing at her dress. She attacked me with her fists like a mad woman, crazy with grief.

“You did this, Daniel! My beautiful, bright daughter – and now she is dead! There is blood all over her new jersey. I only bought it for her last Wednesday.”

I didn’t even ask if it was a pink jersey.

“And her beautiful bright face smashed in. He smashed her face in, Daniel. All because of you. Because she told him she could never stop loving you.”

I didn’t even ask if the weapon had been a hammer. What did it matter if the minor details were correct? The most important fact of the vision, the only part that really counted, had turned out to be a lie. A falsehood. I was not the murderer.

Whatever Joy had said in her last moments, it was not, “Don’t hurt me, Daniel.”

But I may as well have been the killer. By trying to stop the vision coming true, I had made it happen. By leaving Joy, I had caused her death. And how was I supposed to live with that knowledge?

That is the true horror of seeing into the future: you can never know the full, complete story. No! The future is another country, blanketed in mists, filled with hidden valleys and shadowy forests.

The police led him out in handcuffs, this man who was supposed to become Joy’s bridegroom.

The Chief Constable said, “Daniel Nkumbula, you are charged with the murder of Joy Shilowa.”

“Daniel!? His name was also Daniel!?” I stopped breathing until my lungs felt as if they would burst.

“Yes,” said my friend Tshepo. Beside him, the beautiful Lola was silent and shocked. “Yes, I think that is the only reason she chose this man. Because this man reminded her of you. Because this man had the same name.”

Like I said: the future is another country, filled with mists and hidden valleys and shadowy forests and dark, dangerous gullies. And not even the flames of a sangoma’s fire can light your way.


What do you think about visions? Did you enjoy this story?