It is 11:15 pm, over four hours after curfew, and Nina is still at the bus stop. She feels like she has gone mad, waiting outside the Singer’s house hoping he will help her and her family get American visas. She hadn’t planned on sleeping with him, but when she saw him naked on his balcony eating fruit she took off her clothes and joined him. Kimmy is dating Ras Trent, a bass player and son of the Minister of Tourism.
Throughout the novel, Nina struggles to control her own desires in order to conform to the expectations of how a “respectable” middle-class woman should behave. Sleeping with the Singer and standing outside his house late at night are decidedly not “respectable,” but Nina still can’t help doing these things.
Nina doesn’t want to leave Jamaica because of the crime, but rather because she feels like life in Jamaica just involves endless waiting. Across the road, a white Datsun pulls up and a driver gets out, and Nina immediately runs away, breaking one of her high heels. She runs into six policemen, who ask what she is doing out past curfew. They tell her that she should get in the car so they can drive her home. Nina refuses, but the policemen insist, saying otherwise they will put her in jail. They begin driving in the opposite direction of Nina’s neighborhood, claiming that they are taking a shortcut.
By this point in the novel, it is clear that running into the police is likely to put Nina in more, rather than less, danger. Nina’s flight from the Singer’s house and encounter with the police reveal how incredibly vulnerable she is. In a world of extreme violence and corruption, women in particular often end up powerless, left at the mercy of the ruthless men around them.