For a week the trio of friends keep a watchful eye over Mr Hill’s movements, in between classes and during break times. He does sneak smoke breaks at the back of the boy’s toilets, and isolates himself in the class during break times. But otherwise he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing – teaching.

Another week after the incident in the library Khanyiswa starts to worry about her poetry assignment. She needs the book, but the past week she’s been alone during their breaks because Cebisa and Portia are warming up for netball season. After school, when they are together, the classroom is locked and Mr Hill’s car quickly gone.

The next Wednesday, during first break, Khanyiswa notices Mr Hill heading to the toilets and decides to sneak into the library. She knows he spends about five minutes on his smoke break, and doesn’t lock the lab door. That gives me enough time to grab the book and disappear, she thinks.

When Mr Hill ducks behind the toilets, she sprints to the classroom. She darts into the library and is just reaching for the volume – when she hears his voice.

“Khanyiswa, I was wondering when you’d come back.”

Where the hell did he come from? I didn’t even hear him enter, she thinks, dropping her heels to the floor and her arm to her side.

Mr Hill had peered around the corner of the toilet block to check if anyone had noticed him, and had seen Khanyiswa enter the classroom.

Turning around slowly, her eyes searching for an escape path, she squares her shoulders, “I didn’t know you were out, Sir. I was going to leave a note.”

“No need for that,” he responds, shutting the door, then his long legs eating up the distance between them. “Let me get that book for you. I remember you couldn’t quite reach it before,” he says, licking his lips.

Khanyiswa moves aside as Mr Hill steps forward, his arm stretched out toward the shelves.

He just wanted to help, she thinks. It was an accident.

But before she can thank him, he turns in her direction and grabs her behind the neck and yanks her towards him.

“I’ve had my eye on you, Khanyiswa. Those exotic eyes of yours must drive the boys wild.”

“Please Sir, let me go. Please! I won’t tell anyone.”

“There’s nothing to tell. This will be our little secret and you’ll get an ‘A’ in physics without even trying,” he says, his hands fumbling at her breasts.

She slaps at his hands, scratching his knuckles in the process. He grabs her wrists with one hand, yanks off his tie with the other, then ties her hands up.

“You’re a wildcat,” he says, with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes.

“No, Sir, please stop! You don’t want to do this. Stop!” she shrieks.

“Too loud, much too loud,” he mutters, reaching into his jacket pocket and drawing out a handkerchief, which he stuffs into her mouth.

He slams her down, face first, onto the desk. Ignoring her muffled cries and thrashing, he tears off her panty.

* * * * *

“You’re a real woman now, Khanyiswa. The boys will be fighting over you,” he says afterwards. He laughs as he zips up his trousers before releasing her hands.

Bending down, he picks up her torn panty, sniffs it then hands it to her. “Sorry about that,” he says, extracting a R100 note from his wallet and shoving it in her shirt pocket. “Get yourself some nice new ones. And remember: don’t tell anyone. Or I will tell them you threw yourself at me to get a better test grade, and I rejected you.”

Khanyiswa grabs her underwear. Tears spilling down her cheeks, she gives Mr Hill one scathing look then hobbles from the library.

“Your book …” he calls after her.

***

Tell us: What do you think Khanyiswa is going to do?