Busi’s parents tossed and turned in their bed. Later they would tell each other that they had both been dreaming about Busi when they woke up. Neither of them would remember the details of their dreams, but the dreams had made them restless.

Then Busi’s mother’s cellphone woke her up, vibrating on the bedside table.

“Hello,” she said sleepily, her voice slurred.

“I received a missed call from this number.” It was a voice she didn’t recognise, a man’s voice, deep and soft.

“A missed call?” said Busi’s mother, confused, now propping herself up on her elbow, and rubbing her eyes.

“Yes,” said the man. “This is Pronto Taxis. Did you phone for a taxi?”

“Hang on,” said Busi’s mother, suddenly feeling very awake and gathering her wits. “You said Pronto Taxis?”

“Who is it?” said Busi’s father, now sitting up beside her in the bed.

“Pronto Taxis say they had a missed call from this number a little while ago,” said Busi’s mother.

Something was beginning to seriously bother Busi’s mother. Something was beginning to tell her that she should not just dismiss the call, turn over and go back to sleep.

“Okay,” she said to the man on the phone. “We don’t need a taxi now though. Thanks.”

Busi’s mother put her phone down on her bedside table and looked towards her husband in the dark. They said nothing for a few moments. Busi’s mother clicked on her bedside lamp. A cosy yellow light filled their bedroom. She pushed back the duvet, swung her legs off the bed, and stood up.

“Where are you going?” asked Busi’s father. He had begun to re-arrange his pillows, thinking of returning to sleep.

“I’m just going to check on something,” said Busi’s mother.

She padded down the soft carpet in the passage in her bare feet. She paused at the door of Busi’s room and listened. She leaned forward and listened again, and then she pushed the door Busi’s room wide open. She reached for the light switch and flicked it on.

“Jakob!” she cried out. “Jakob!”

“What is it Nolitha?” said Jakob, as he leaped from his bed, and in a moment was by her side.

The two parents stood in the doorway and stared. There were the empty beds. There was the open window, and there was the make-up bag spilling its contents of lip gloss and false eye lashes onto the floor. There were the discarded shoes, and the opened bottled of perfume.

Shocked, they turned and looked at each other.

“I took Busi’s phone away,” said Nolitha as her mind figured out just what had happened here. “She was chatting when she should have been studying…” her voice trailed off.

“So we can’t phone her,” said Jakob, beginning to move back to his bedroom. He was already unbuttoning his pyjama top.

Nolitha followed him, half running now, her light summer nightie flapping around her.

“We must find them,” said Nolitha, allowing her nightie to slide to the floor, as she grabbed at her clothes from the previous day, folded on a chair.

“Of course,” said Jakob, angrily pulling on a shirt. “And we will. I always knew that Nomsa girl was bad news!”


Tell us what you think: How did Busi’s parents feel? What are they going to do now? Is it right for Jakob to blame Nomsa?