Busi leaned her head back against the black leather seats and looked up at the black velvet sky. A million stars winked back at her like diamonds. The moon was still riding high in the sky, and she felt like the Man in the Moon was watching her. She found that strangely comforting.

Mondli was driving, fast, racing the car from traffic light to traffic light, between the high city buildings, with all their dark shiny windows reflecting the street lights. Busi was grateful that the roads were mostly empty and silent. Only an occasional car passed by them.

The warm summer air rushed over Busi and Nomsa on the back seat. Nomsa had her head back and her eyes closed. Her shiny red lips were smiling.

Busi clutched the arm rest. She wished Mondli would slow down. She wished she knew where they were going. Nomsa didn’t seem to care at all.

When Busi asked her in a hoarse whisper if she knew where the guys were taking them, she waved her hand in irritation.

“What does it matter girl?” she asked. “Have you seen the diamonds these guys are wearing? Wherever we are going – it’s going to be expensive. And that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?”

Busi opened her bag and tried to count her remaining money without anybody noticing. She thought she might still have enough money left to pay for a taxi ride home. Just in case. But she had no cellphone. And Nomsa, she knew, had no air time.

From the Hot Spot a taxi would have been no problem. They were pulling up all the time. But where were they going to now?

It wasn’t long before Mondli swung the car onto an on-ramp of the freeway. Busi clutched Nomsa’s hand tightly as she felt the car gathering speed beneath her. Nomsa began to laugh. So did Themba.

Busi wanted to scream for Mondli to slow down. She held her tongue.

The street lights and the white lines in the middle of the road began to whizz past at a sickening speed. Busi swallowed hard. She clutched at her extensions which had begun to whip around her head. She could just imagine them being torn off her hair.

Nomsa’s long braids were flying in all directions, but she just began to whoop as the car went faster and faster.

Busi began to pray. “Lord,” she whispered to herself, clenching her eyes shut, “I am too young to die. This can’t be how it all ends for me.”

Busi opened her eyes. She could feel the car slowing down. She realised she had been holding her breath, and she inhaled deeply as she felt herself relax.

Thank you God, she thought, gratefully.

Mondli turned the car off the freeway.

Busi began to recognise her surroundings. She could smell the sea, and now she could see it too, falling away from them, across a beach that appeared almost purple in the moonlight. A row of tall palm trees swayed gently in the breeze.

Okay, she thought to herself. Well, at least I know where I am.

Mondli slowed down as they approached a building, lit outside with blue lights. Behind large panes of glass Busi could see lights flashing, and people moving. Mondli turned the car into an underground parking area, the guard at the entrance shouting a greeting to him as he did so. He called Mondli and Themba by name. They were known here.

The car drew to a halt in a dimly-lit parking bay. Nomsa was eagerly sitting forward in her seat.

“Club Red,” she had whispered to Busi as they had approached the club. “We’re going to Club Red!” She was thrilled.

“Okay,” said Themba, opening up the glove compartment of the car. He took out a leather pouch, a credit card and a small square sheet of glass. A mirror.

“Let’s just get in the mood.” Themba laughed.

Busi slowly sat forward in her seat. She peered nervously over Themba’s shoulder, and watched him, as he poured out some white powder, and expertly shifted it into two thin lines with his credit card.

She wasn’t sure, but she thought she knew what it was.

Mondli smiled back at the girls over his shoulder. “This is the best there is,” he said, as he rolled a two hundred rand note up into a tube. “You want some?”


Tell us what you think: What should Busi and Nomsa do now?