It was a moonless night and beyond the walls of the club, a cold night engulfed everything in ominous darkness. The nightclub was teeming with life and animated revelers, the alcohol in their system controlling the rhythm of the night. Dancers danced and the singers sang along off-key to the rhumba blaring from the speakers. The DJ was God-sent that night.
At 3am, when the devil hovers, Sheila and her friends had had enough for the night and tottered out of the club into the night. The nippy wind felt immaculate against their dampened bodies.
Sheila had only had a few glasses of wine and wasn’t drunk as the rest of her posse, just a little tipsy. And because of this, she felt her whole body complain of exhaustion and decided not to wait for a taxi with them; she would instead drive home and sleep.
She fumbled with the key a bit before she finally put it in the ignition.
The late Hugh Masekela seduced her with his trumpet, and with her window rolled down, it was all very calm – so calm that she started dozing off. She was able to wake up a few times but the necessity of sleep overwhelmed her and Zzz she went.
A loud bang and shattering sound awakened her. Her left headlight went blind and the left side mirror was missing. Under the floodlights, she could see what looked like blood on the left side of her car’s bonnet. She had hit someone.
The car came to a suddening halt when she applied the emergency brake. The smell of burnt tires grazed her nose.
It was never a good idea to stop your car and assist an injured pedestrian, especially if you were the one that injured them – or worse, when you’re a girl alone at night. The stories went of how taxi (motorbike) guys fatally beat up drivers who did this. If you were a girl, it was worse, they would rape you first. Sheila knew all these, but still alighted to help the unconscious woman who lay unconscious on the sidewalk, seemingly dressed as a prostitute.
And then she saw them, the nduthi guys, rushing towards her like a pack of hungry wolves. They were obviously not coming to help her from all the incessant honking, their war cries; they were out for blood. She glanced at the almost naked lady and jumped into her car and fled from the wolves, crying and sobbing with guilt.
In the distance, she looked at her rearview mirror and saw the group of men surround the unconscious lady. She pictured how bare her thighs were and realized what they were doing to her. And when one of them emerged from the centre buckling up his belt, she was now certain they were not helping her.
A safe distance away, she stopped and sobbed bitterly at what she had done.