Busi looked around for Nomsa. With relief she saw her friend pushing through the crowd towards her, carrying two bottles. The two young men were now standing very close to Busi, and beginning to dance around her. Busi waved at Nomsa nervously. Nomsa smiled broadly, pushing a bottle into Busi’s hand. Busi took it and took a deep sip from the bottle neck. She spluttered as she swallowed. The taste of alcohol burned its way down her throat. It was all she could do not to spit it out. Hastily she checked the label. An alcoholic cooler.

Busi’s parents never touched alcohol of any sort and Busi had never so much as had a sip of wine or beer before. Now, the disapproving faces of her parents suddenly flashed through her mind as she took another sip.

Nomsa was drinking deeply from her own cooler, and smiling at the two young men, who had turned their attention towards her. She began dancing with one of them, moving her body close to him, and laughing at Busi over her shoulder.

The other young man moved closer to Busi, picking up her hand in his. Busi smiled shyly and began to dance slowly in time to the music. She had never really danced with anyone before, and the magic of the music that she had felt when she was dancing alone was suddenly lost to her. She found it difficult to relax with a man moving so close to her body. He was so close that she could smell his wonderful aftershave, and see the pattern of his awesome six-pack under the tightness of his T-shirt.

Busi breathed deeply and tried to relax. She took another sip of the cooler, and, frowning for a moment, managed to swallow. She was sure that she had read somewhere that alcohol helped one to relax. Well, she wasn’t feeling any benefits yet, and so she took another sip. By the fourth sip Busi noticed that it actually didn’t taste so bad. In fact, it tasted rather like peaches.

The young man she was dancing with had placed his hand against the tight fabric of her dress, at her waist. To Busi his hand felt so hot against her body that she almost could not bear it. She wanted to push it away, but she didn’t. Instead, she took deep gulp of her cooler.

Nomsa was dancing really close with the other guy. Busi could hardly believe her eyes. Where had Nomsa learnt to dance like that? The guy’s hands were all over her, and Nomsa was so close to him, that not even a tiny beam of light could flash between them as they moved round the dance floor.

Now the lights were swirling. Busi put her hand to her head to stop them. A wave of nausea passed over her. She stumbled. “I need to sit down,” she muttered. The young man she was dancing with moved closer.

“What?” he shouted into her face.

“I need some air,” said Busi softly, and then louder: “Air! I need air!”

Busi pushed back out through the crowds, clinging to the hand of the young man, as he led the way outside. She felt the cool night air outside wash over her like a wave as she stumbled through the door of the club. She had abandoned the cooler she’d been drinking on some table they had passed on the way out.

With relief Busi felt her head beginning to clear. She became aware that Nomsa and the other guy had followed her out.

“It’s too hot and crowded in there,” said the guy she had been dancing with. “We should leave this place and go somewhere else.”

Busi looked towards Nomsa. Nomsa was leaning against her dance partner, who had her in a firm grip.

“I’m Themba, by the way,” said Busi’s dance partner, offering Busi his smooth, ringed hand, and a charming smile.

“Busi,” she replied, suddenly feeling shy.

“You are an incredible dancer Busi,” said the guy with Nomsa. “I’m Mondli.”

He smiled at her too, flashing a row of perfect dazzling white teeth. They almost competed with his diamond ear studs.

“You certainly kept your ability to move on the dance floor a well-hidden secret girl,” said Nomsa, and Busi wasn’t sure if the look in her eyes was surprise or something else.

“I’ve always danced,” said Busi, smiling shyly.

“Well, I think we should go to this place we know where the dance floor is a little less crowded, and we can really enjoy ourselves,” said Mondli.

Nomsa stroked his cheek. “Okay,” she said, smiling up at him, “whatever you say, Mondli.”

Busi frowned to herself. That feeling of panic was rising in her again. She glanced away from Nomsa into the crowd. Looking directly at her was a girl who she recognised. The girl was frowning back at her. It was a Matric student from her school. A girl who knew exactly who Busi was, and who her parents were.

Quickly Busi ducked her head, and looped her arm into Themba’s.

“Okay,” she said. “Let’s go then. Let’s go now.”


Tell us what you think: What was happening to Busi on the dance floor? Should the girls go with Jake and Themba?