Here is what you need to understand: Lazola’s parents have rules. Ja, okay, most people’s parents have rules. Ag, even mine have rules: wash face, brush teeth, go to school, make sure Jade gets there, do dishes, help Jade with homework, and do not back talk.

At least those are the rules when school is in term and it is not Friday night jol, or Saturday when they have a hangover, and, of course, Sunday is for God. Who, I’ve decided, is never working on Friday nights.

Lazola’s parents, however, have REAL rules, even on Friday nights. One of which is “curfew”. That’s right, she isn’t supposed to be out past 9pm and she is eighteen years old. But her parents have that whole, “Living in MY house, eating MY food, then you follow MY RULES,” thing going on. Ag, I can kind of see their point. Not like Lazola is paying rent. But this still made things tricky.

Because there I was phoning Lazola and she had to do two things:

  1. Leave with one of her father’s motorcycles and not her scooter.
  2. Get home before 9 and do it without them seeing that she was arriving back on a motorcycle.

All of which would leave me with a problem, too. Because after 9pm, all the good hiding places would be taken. But when I phoned her she said, “My parents said you could sleep over.”

Which, at the time, sounded like a perfect plan.

So I slipped out of the house––not like anybody would notice or care, anyway––and walked towards school. It was dark out, so not really the smart thing to be doing, I admit it. You hear stories of what happens to women and girls walking by themselves and, yes, I’ve heard them to. I know people that they have happened to. I’m not dof.

But you know what else isn’t safe?

  1. Staying at your home while strangers might be coming into your house when your parents are too drunk to care.
  2. Staying at your home when your drunk neighbours might stumble into your house when your parents are too drunk to care.
  3. Staying at your home when some “uncle” might stumble in to your house when your parents are too drunk to care.

Not like I don’t know what to do, hey? Walid, down the street, he’s a grade ahead of me and been teaching me self-defence and stuff. That, and I have a can of aerosol varnish out of my daddy’s stuff. He’ll never miss it.

I don’t think somebody my age can buy a can, because some kids do dof stuff with these things. But it isn’t like I’m going to find anyone to sell me mace or pepper spray, either. So aerosol varnish it is. I’m sure it isn’t what the police recommend, but no man is going to be happy! happy! happy! with an eye full of it either.

So I walked down the road, cell phone tucked into my bra, and the can in my hand to wait for Lazola. (What? You think somebody is going to wait for me to dig it out of a bag? “Oh, excuse me, nasty person, would you mind waiting a moment while I look for my spray so I can blast you?” No. That does not happen. Do not be that dof. I mean, I can’t say I’m the smartest girl in school. But I’m not dof, either. The can’s lid was off and my finger was on the trigger.)

And less than ten minutes later, Lazola rolled in, and I tucked my can into the waist of my jeans.


Tell us: What do you think about Ayesha’s choices? What advice would you give her, if you could?