There seems to be a correlation between going out and ending up in trouble as a girl or at least that’s what we are told every day. You will be safe if you stayed in your room or you will be safe if you do not put on short skirts. That’s what they tell us and it’s not even true. There are no safe spaces for women in this country and everyday for us is like playing Russian Roulette where you are simply waiting for your turn to come. Zethu called her roommate back immediately. Her name was Andisiwe and I had never met her. Nthabiseng was not really close to me because she always seemed to have a life of her own even when she was around.
“Last night we came back with her and we dropped her off at the gate! I watched her walk in even.”
She told her. She put her on speaker I think for me to back up her argument but I was not sure of myself since I had passed out according to her.
“I woke up at 5 to go to the gym and she was not there. Her bed was not slept in. She never came back Zethu I am scared”
The roommate confessed. I was scared too because this was Johannesburg and things never go as you wish.
“I will find her don’t worry. Did you tell her parents she went out last night because you know they don’t approve of that?”
Zethu asked her,
“I had to tell the truth because now they are looking for her!”
Andisiwe told which in a case like this did make sense. Most parents don’t approve of the party lifestyle we live in university. Even my own parents should never know that I knew the inside of a club because to them it was as good as a tavern.
“Its ok its cool, its done. She will deal with it when she is back.”
Zethu told her calmly before she hung up. We were the last to see her and I could see why to Zethu we were the ones who were supposed to find her.
“I can’t lose her! I am the one who convinced her that we must go out and she did not even want to.”
Zethu told us when looking me straight in the eye. I had no idea what to say to her. There had to be a logical explanation but for now, I had none. I am not going to pretend that whilst my heart hoped for the best my mind feared the worst.
“Remember the guys we were with last night? Do you have their numbers?”
She asked me. I did not have them. I do not even have Abedi’s numbers. I had barely spoken to them as I was too busy terrorising Abedi.
“I don’t have them. I don’t even remember their names that’s how bad it is.”
I told her which was true. I am really bad with names something which usually annoys people when I forget who they are.
“Please call Abedi so we can find them as time is of the essence!”
She asked me almost pleading. I could see she really cared for her friend and I liked that.
“I don’t have his numbers. Why don’t you ask Konky, he would have them!”
I asked her because the only way for me to get Abedi’s numbers was to go through Ada.
“Yes you are right. Let me call him!’
She told me. She stood up to call him. I was scared. Often in South Africa, if you have to look for a girl its almost always too late. I could see they were arguing on the phone but eventually she came back to me.
“He didn’t want to give me their numbers and I had to threaten to go to the police to say she was last seen with him before the fool agreed!”
She told me. Konky had thought that she was interested in the other guys hence why he had thought it not wise to give her. She called the first guy and he did not pick up. She called the second guy and he said that he had no idea but he will find out for us.
“We can’t drive to her place because that will not help and we cant go to the police because they will say 48 hours and all that nonsense.”
Tumi said and he was right. In South Africa, the police have a way of making you feel like you are alone. We need them though no matter how useless we might think they are.
“We need to find her guys. I can’t lose her. You don’t understand!”
Zethu cried, tears running down her cheeks. She stood up and started pacing back and forth.
“We have to go. Sitting here is not going to help us. We need to look for her!”
I told the guys feeling helpless at this moment. I was not even sure what it is I was going to do but we had to do something.
“Go where because it’s not going to help us. You guys know where you left her. Tell the roommate to ask campus security to check their cameras. If she did not enter it will show what car she entered!”
Beloved advised which made sense to me. I took that advice to Zethu so that we could advise Andisiwe. She had the roommate’s number and we did not. She called her and asked her to do that. We had to wait another thirty minutes before she came back and told us that they had agreed to check. They needed to know what time we had dropped her and we told her. Armed with that information she went back to them and the wheels started moving.
“She was picked up by a red BMW number plate GP…”
The security said. Zethu insisted that I call Abedi meaning I now had to call Ada and ask him for Abedi’s number so we could track Nthabiseng. I sent him a WhatsApp and the message had one tick.
“The message has not gone through.”
I told ger possibly a bit relieved because it was weird asking him for his friend’s number. It’s never easy like that because things always get messed up when you start sharing friends’ contacts. As girls, we can’t trust our own friends with our men because its a dog eat dog out there.
“Can’t you just call him?”
She asked me anxiously. I am bit sure i can because he is in Nigeria.”
I her. Come to think of it i had actually never known anyone who was out of the country.
“Yes but most people port their numbers when they travel so you might be able to get him.”
She told me. Firstly I did not even know what to port a number was and secondly, I didn’t even know what i would say to him if he picked up. I dialled his number and it rang.
“What’s going on?”
Ada asked me in that accent of his. He did not even ask me how I was but I don’t blame him because I would be shocked too if someone called me I was not expecting.
“Hi Ada. Last night one of the girls we went with did not get home. Everyone is looking for her. We want to ask Abedi to track one of the guys we were with because he might know.”
I told him everything in one go so that i would not lose my nerve. He intimidated me.
“What did I tell you about never leaving one of your friends behind when you are out?”
He asked me immediately. This guy was not my man but he was already giving my orders. What’s up with that?
“Now is not the time for this Ada, please. We took her all the way back to her residence and the security says she entered and then was picked up by a red BMW, we are really scared for her right now!”
I told him but his response shocked me,
“Did you say a red BMW?”
He asked me.
“Yes. They have the number plates too which we are going to take to the police.”
I told him.
“Don’t bother I know whose car that is!”
He said sounding very annoyed.
“That’s is good. That’s is very good. Whose is it so we can go to his place?”
I told him beckoning Zethu to come closer. She did and I put him on speaker.
“Well, you can’t go to his place because he is not there!”
“What do you mean?”
I asked him.
“That’s my car!”
He said and he dropped the phone. His tone was one of anger and I was not sure what was going on at this moment.
“What the hell?”
Zethu asked me. I too was at a loss for words. A minute later he called back,
“Your friend is safe, I found her. I even spoke to her!”
He said and even though he was trying to mask the calm in his voice I could tell he was angry.
“Oh thank God!”
I exclaimed out loud.
“Where was she?”
I asked him what i think was the next logical question.