In the car, once we got out on the road, Bonolo took my hand and kissed it. Then he kept hold of it as we drove. I closed my eyes and tried to remember every detail of the night so that I could tell Poppy all about it. I didn’t want to forget any little bit. I sat back and felt Bonolo’s hand in mine; I listened to the music and lay my head back on the soft leather of the seats. The car turned and I opened my eyes.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“There’s a place I wanted to show you. It’s beautiful on a full moon, like tonight.”

We drove along a narrow dirt road that climbed up into some rocky hills. At first there were a few houses, but they soon thinned out until they ceased altogether. The car bumped around a bit and then turned sharply and we were on a sort of plateau looking out over a valley. The moon hung full and white in front of us. He was right, it was gorgeous.

“It’s nice,” I said.

He said nothing and reached across the seat and kissed me. He kissed me deeper and then started kissing my neck. It felt amazing.

“This gear stick is in the way. Can we move to the back?” he asked, smiling.


We got out and moved to the roomier back seat of the car. Immediately, he started rubbing my breasts. I pushed his hand away. I had thought we were just going to kiss; now I felt like everything was going too fast for me.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I … I just don’t want to … you know, like … go so fast.”

“OK, baby,” he said, but continued exactly what he was doing. Then he started pushing my dress up, pushing his hands underneath and grabbing at my panties.

“No, I don’t want that.” I moved away, closer to the door, pushing his hands off my body.

“What’s wrong? Are you a virgin?”

“No, I’m not a virgin. I just don’t act like this on my first date with a guy; I don’t like everything to move so fast. I hardly know you.”

He smiled at me. “What do you mean? You live in Nokeng. Everyone knows me.”

“Not like this.”

“Come on, what did you think? Why do you think I asked you out?”

“I thought because you liked me.”

“Sure, baby … I like you.”

He moved close to me, pushing me against the door. He pushed his tongue in my mouth. “Oh that’s nice…” he said.

I pulled my head away and he grabbed it with both hands, forcing me to kiss him. I pushed him off and tried to open the door to get away. I had no idea where I was and I hadn’t seen a house for some time as we drove up here. But I could run. I’d run as fast as I could. I’d get away from him. He was not going to do this to me. He was not.

I tried the door, but it was locked. I searched around for the button to unlock it, but I couldn’t find it. I turned back and he had his pants down and his penis in his hand.

“You might as well accept that this is going to happen. Lie back and enjoy it. No need to fight, baby.”

But I did. I fought and kicked and scratched him. And then he punched me hard in the stomach. I lost all my air. As I was trying to get my breath back, he pulled out a rope and tied my hands together. Once I was tied he pulled a small, sharp knife from under the seat and held it close to my face.

“Now listen bitch, this is going to happen. You can fight and I cut you, or you play nice and we finish and I take you home from our lovely little date.”

I lay still as he finished what he started. I lay still as he pulled up his trousers and tucked in his nicely ironed shirt. I lay still as he cut the rope from my hands and threw it out the now open door.

“Stand up and get in the passenger seat. We don’t want the lovely folks of Nokeng thinking I made you ride in the back on the way home from our date. You know they liking watching everything I do.”

I stood up and pulled my dress back into place. I saw Aunty Resego’s pearl necklace had broken. I bent down and scooped up the two parts of the strand, and the few loose pearls, and put them in my handbag and I sat in the passenger seat.

I watched out of the window as we drove back down the rocky hill, along the narrow winding road. The number of houses increased, and then he finally turned onto the road to Nokeng. I watched it all out of the window. I wanted to remember every detail. I needed to tell Poppy.


Tell us: Sometimes people say a woman wearing a miniskirt wants to be raped or a woman who was kissing a man wanted to be raped. Might people say that about Vivian? What do you think about that?