Bongiwe drives away from the scene, her mind a whirlwind of emotions. The echoes of her past resonate in her thoughts, intertwining with the present as she tries to make sense of the choices she has made.

She had once believed in the promise of a different life, a life away from the judgmental eyes of her family and the stifling expectations of her community. Thulani had been the embodiment of that promise, a fleeting escape from the suffocating reality she had known. But now, as she sat in her car, the weight of her actions bearing down on her, she couldn’t help but confront the harsh truth.

The encounter with Thulani had been a stark reminder of the person she had been, the person she thought she had left behind. Yet, there she was, drawn back into the same shadows that had once ensnared her. The touch that had once felt like solace now burned her skin, a painful reminder of the prison she had willingly walked into.

As she drives through the bustling streets, the memories flood her mind, unbidden and unwelcome. Her thoughts drift back to the day she had met Sihle, the man who had become her husband. He had offered her stability, a sense of security that she had longed for. But even as she had stood at the altar, her mind had wandered back to the days spent with Thulani, the days filled with an intensity that she had mistaken for love. But now, as the reality of her choices unfolds before her, she realizes the gravity of her mistakes. Sihle, the man she had promised to love and cherish, had trusted her with his heart. And yet, here she was, seeking solace in the arms of a man who had led her astray.

She drove a few kilometres before arriving at the location. She steps into a shady place, with bouncers in black apparel standing at the entrance. Everyone welcomes her as warmly as the sun. Her courage is a blend of pride and shame. She looks around and immediately sees him.

Thulani has just been sitting there, waiting. He is like a ghost of her former life. Her lungs labour as they pump oxygen into her tiny body. She had seen silhouettes that strode their way to paradise and offered a hand to her. Different shades of grey shadowed the same man with eyes like a storm piercing through her, and she realized that this paradise lured naïve creatures like her.

“Hi, finally you have arrived,” says Thulani, looking at the frightened Bongiwe.

“H…h…Hi,” Bongiwe says with a smile, putting an end to her fears.

“You sounded so serious over the phone. What is going on,” asks Thulani.

“It’s….umhhh. I need…” she responds in a loud, shaky voice.

“Lower your voice… relax,” Thulani says as he touches Bongiwe.

The touch feels like raindrops that burn her skin, and before she knows it, she is surrounded by fire. In Thulani’s field, she is imprisoned, and the bail costs her life.