Matured Stories

Broken Promises – Episode 20

Broken Promises

Broken Promises

“Where are we going?” she asked.
“Somewhere special. One of my
favourite places,” he said, smiling
at her. “I wanted to show you. It
means a lot to me.” That was so
romantic. It was the kind of thing
that Ntombi had read about in
books. She smiled to herself.
Perhaps he just wasn’t good in
crowds. It was going to be alright.
The evening was going to end
well. But when he turned off the
tar onto a dirt track that led down
between tall trees to a small river,
Ntombi felt anxious again. It was
so isolated, so dark and remote. He
stopped the car and they sat in
silence for a minute.
“Look at the moon,” he said. “Let’s
get out. It’s still warm.” They got
out of the car and Mzi led her
down to an old bench next to a
trickle of water. Not so much a
river as a polluted stream with
litter washed up on the bank. Mzi
put his arm around her. Ntombi
leaned back and looked up. She
would just forget the rubbish and
look at the moon and stars. At
least nobody could pollute them –
not yet, anyway.
Mzi pulled her closer. Then he
started kissing her. At first gently,
and she felt herself melting in his
arms. But then his kissing got more
frantic and rougher. And his hands
had pushed under her top and his
fingers were busy trying to undo
her bra. She pulled away. But he
stood up and pulled her back
against him. He pulled her bra off
in one jerk and his hands were
fumbling over her breasts. Then his
hands were under her skirt. This
was getting too heavy. Way too
heavy.
“Mzi!” she tried to push away. “Mzi,
stop!” she said louder. “Stop… stop
or…”
“Or what? You’ll scream? Nobody
will hear you. Besides, I know that
trick. Girls always say ‘no, no, no’
when they really mean ‘yes’.”
“I do mean no.” But the words
came out as a whisper as he
started kissing her neck again.
“Okay, we’ll take it more slowly
then,” he said. Then he stopped
and looked at her with a look of
what – scorn – on his face? “You’re
not going to tell me this is your
first time?” he asked. “Please don’t
tell me you’re a virgin still.” Her
silence gave him the answer.
“I’m only fifteen,” whispered
Ntombi.
“Fifteen! What’s taken you so
long?” Mzi laughed.
“I just… I just… I’m not ready…”
said Ntombi.
“You just think you’re not ready.
What you need is a guy like me. Do
you know how lucky you are to
have me for your first time?” She
looked at the moon. She couldn’t
look at his face. “Do you know how
many girls…” he stopped. “Ok,
look…” he stepped back. “Maybe I
came on a little too strong… it’s
just that I find you irresistible,
girlfriend. You’re the sexiest…”
* * *
Ntombi didn’t know afterwards
what would have happened if a car
hadn’t driven down the track
towards them with the headlights
beamed straight at them. They
were caught like startled animals
in the beam.
“Shit,” said Mzi “Let’s get out of
here.” They ran to the car, jumped
in, and he reversed at speed back
along the dirt track. There was a
squeal of tyres as he spun the car
on the tar and headed back
towards the township. He turned
the music up really loud, but
Ntombi didn’t mind. She didn’t
mind how fast he drove either,
even though she knew it was
dangerous and that he was way
over the drunk-driving limit. The
faster she could get home the
better now. It wasn’t that she
didn’t want to be with him, she
just didn’t want things to move so
fast. Did it have to be all or
nothing?
When they pulled up outside her
house Mzi killed the music and
took her hand.
“Ntombi. You’re a great girl, but …”
There it was: that but, the word
every girl dreaded. “Okay, so
maybe tonight wasn’t the right
time.” He took her hand and kissed
it. “But I hope you’re not going to
hold out on me for too long,
because those kind of girls get
really boring after a very short
time. Those girls don’t deserve
boyfriends like me. Do you get
what I’m saying?”
Ntombi looked at him. He was
smiling at her gently. She was so
confused: how could he be so
moody? Aggressive one minute,
sweet the next? She smiled back at
him. “I had a good time,” she
found herself saying. “Thank you.”
He stroked her cheek and then
kissed it, gently.
Then he walked her to the door.
“I’ll SMS you,” he said. She waved
as he drove off into the night.
When she went inside her mother
was sitting on the couch. “What
time do you think this is?” She was
angry. “And who was that guy?”
“Mzi, Mama. Remember, you met
him already. Has everyone gone
crazy? You knew I was going to
the party.”
“I thought you were meeting up
with your friends.”
“I did,” said Ntombi. It was partly
true. She really didn’t want to get
into this now with her mother. All
she wanted to do was sleep. “And
anyway,” Ntombi couldn’t stop
herself, “who are you to ask me
where I’ve been and what time I
think this is?”
The slap came so fast it took
Ntombi by surprise. Her cheek
stung.
“Don’t forget who is the adult and
who is the child here!” Her mother
was furious.
There were tears in Ntombi’s eyes.
All she wanted was for her mother
to hug her, and say it would be
alright. Instead her mother was
attacking her. She’d almost had
enough for one night – but there
was still a little fight left in her.
“Anyway,” Ntombi said, “I saw
Zakes at Mama’s Tavern.” This
wasn’t quite true, but she was so
sure that it was his laugh she had
heard.

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