“Shhhhhh…” said Busi, reaching for her dog, and picking it up to silence it. The dog licked her hand, gave a soft little grunt and was silent. In the meantime Nomsa had reached for the light switch and clicked it off.
The two girls froze. Busi gently opened her bedroom door. It was her mother, sleepily calling out Busi’s name.
“Yes Mom,” answered Busi, making her voice sound as if she had just woken up.
There was silence.
Busi leaned into the dark passage. She heard her mother turn over and mutter something. The two girls looked at each other in the dim light, and then Busi closed her door again.
“Stupid dog!” hissed Nomsa, adding. “We’ve got to go. The taxi will be here by now.”
Moving silently in the dark, Busi leant over her bed and opened her window. In order to do so she had already had to disable her parent’s house alarm. She offered up a silent prayer to a God who she hoped would listen: Please God, don’t let anyone want to break into our house tonight.
Busi scrambled onto the window ledge and swung her legs through the window. She paused for a moment and then jumped down. She landed in the flowerbed outside, her high heels sinking deep into the soft sand. She cursed softly, and, lifting her feet high, made it onto the grass.
Nomsa followed shortly after her. She landed heavily.
“Damn these wedges,” Busi heard her muttering, and then, “Damn these rose bushes!”
Busi and Nomsa composed themselves for a moment. Standing still on the dark green lawn they turned their faces towards the high wall surrounding the property. Both girls tugged at their short skirts and shook the loose sand from the flowerbed out of their shoes.
“Tell me again why we just couldn’t go out of the front door?” asked Nomsa, clearly irritated by a pebble lodged in the sole of her very high wedge heels.
“The front door leads onto a gravel path remember?” said Busi, beginning to move quickly across the grass. “The whole neighbourhood would hear us walking on that!”
“Well,” said Nomsa, glancing back up at the half open window, “it’s going to be interesting getting back in.”
“Never mind that now,” said Busi, grabbing Nomsa by the arm. “Come on!”
Busi slid the large steel gate at the bottom of the garden open. She had also disabled the alarm linked to the gate so that she could manually open it. She prayed silently that it would not creak.
Oh God, she thought again, please don’t let anyone want to steal my parents’ cars tonight.
Busi and Nomsa huddled together under a street light. The empty suburban road was silent and dark. Both of them shivered, even though it was a very warm summer night.
A moment later a car swung around the corner and came towards them. Its headlights lit up the street, and surrounded the two girls with a pool of bright white light. It slowed down, and pulled up next to them.
The vehicle’s taxi sign glowed at them in the dark. The girls peered nervously through the window, not moving while they watched the window rolling down.
“You girls called for a taxi?” came a voice from within.
“Yes,” answered Nomsa, suddenly smiling, and Busi felt her own nervousness melting away.
“Well then,” came the deep voice from the darkness of the taxi cab, “you’d better get in.”
Busi glanced back towards her home. The large wall around her house was blank and high and silent. The gate was quietly closed. Nothing moved.
Nomsa reached for the back door and opened it. She climbed in and, after a moment’s hesitation, Busi followed.
Tell us what you think: Do you think it is safe for the girls? Where do you think they will ask the taxi to take them?