Myra fiddled with her scarf, it just didn’t seem to sit right. She moved about in her seat, and accidently bumped the old man sleeping in the seat next to her. She was on a bus to the women’s clinic, the one furthest from her home. Why? She didn’t want anyone recognising her...not when she was thinking of aborting a baby she thought she might be having. I’m not ready to have a baby...I’m not ready for motherhood...-these thoughts kept slipping in and out of her mind. And she was all alone, too ashamed to tell any of the many people who cared about her.
“Why didn’t we use a condom that one time? I should’ve known better!” tears dribbled down her cheeks. “You’re up next Miss Rankete,” the receptionist said, smiling and pointing the way.
Hangovers! A terrible experience, especially when you need to be alert and ready for a teachers' meeting that really is a waste of my time, thought Rika, annoyed. Rika teaches high school students at Wynberg High. It’s a well-renowned private school, and she’s been teaching there for almost seven years now. She absolutely loves it! Very different from the genetics honours degree she majored in, but much more fulfilling!
No one had arrived yet, and it was already 7.30 am! An entire hour passed by and Rika became increasingly agitated. The headmaster Mr Parker walked in smiling from ear to ear.
“Well he must’ve got it all this morning, late bastard! Eew bad images!” she thought.
“Miss Raboo, you’re here very early, there’s till fifteen minutes till we start”, he said, pointing to his Taguer wristwatch still smiling.
“Fifteen??? Whaaa...” She looked at his watch and then hers and went mute, she had been there all of 45 minutes earlier! That’s extra sleep-in time I really could’ve used!” she thought to herself.
The rest of the staff arrived, on time and the boring-as-usual meeting commenced. Mr Golden complained about the tenth graders, as usual, Miss Martinez flirted shamelessly with Mr Greyling, Mrs Coulter and Miss Elken were arguing about something that made no sense at all to anyone else in the room. Mrs Ngubane, or Thandi as she was called, brought in coffee and right on cue too! This was going to be a long day!
Alden Hoben was startled by the neighbours’ dog, again! He turned over quietly, trying not to wake Peyton, who was sound asleep, probably because her earplugs were on. Things with Peyton were good; the sex was great, really great! They got on well, Sarah seemed to like her, and so did his friends, but something was amiss. He could never sit in complete silence with her, and feel totally comfortable. “Was he being too fussy?” he thought as he watched her sleep. “Am I just comparing her to Liv? How much better would it get anyway?”
That stupid dog started barking again, louder now, and waking Sarah up. Alden got up and went to her, “Hey my Sarah-kins, it’s ok,” he picked her up and cradled her in his arms. “Daddy’s here now. You’re ok now, did Axle’s barking scare you hmm,” he smiled, trying to reassure his daughter and get her back to sleep. It was 4 am, and he was wide awake now. “Maybe I can use this time to work on the Rellman project,” he thought. The Rellman project had been giving him nightmares, ever since he accepted it.
Being an architect was something Alden had dreamed about ever since he could remember, and with jobs being tight in Cape Town, you really couldn’t afford to be picky. Especially if you own a farm, another dream of his. Every fortnight he and Sarah would go out there and spend the weekend, sometimes with friends, sometimes just the two of them. Peyton had yet to spend a night there, she was always so busy. Sarah loved helping her dad feed the ducks in the huge pond he had erected just for her. They would wake up early each morning; get fresh milk from the cows and fetch eggs from the chicken coop, and after he making some delish breakfast, they would have a picnic and watch the animals. She quickly learnt colours and shapes and of course the names of animals. The farm was good for her, good for them both. For Alden, it was his haven.
It was now 7.30, and Peyton and Alden were having breakfast in the kitchen. Juanita, Sarah’s nanny, was bathing her upstairs. “I’m going away for two weeks from tomorrow, the company is sending us on a team-building retreat to Hermanus”, Peyton said, without picking her head up from her Elle magazine.
“Tomorrow? And you’re telling me now??? Geez Pey!” Alden said, pretty annoyed. Peyton worked for a cosmetics company, Beauté, which is French for beauty. She’s a top dog and loves her job, a little too much though, she’s always trying to sell us her “foolproof” products which will “change our lives forever” and make us as beautiful and flawless as she is. Have I mentioned how vain she can be? “So I guess you won’t be coming for Sarah’s party on Wednesday...” he said sarcastically.
“No I guess not, I have to go babe,” she kissed him on the lips briefly, “don’t know if I’ll see you before I leave, will be busy packing, but I’ll call you k.” She checked her make-up in her yellow compact mirror, threw it in her Gucci bag and walked out briskly.
“I don’t understand, you said they would be ready by today!” Hana argues on the phone with the agent, “Urrrgh!” she slammed the phone down. “Incompetent fools!” Hana was head of her forensic department and partly responsible for the ordering of chemicals and specialized equipment. She was super pissed today because she had been waiting almost ten weeks now, for a machine that should have been ready in three. To add to her stress, she had recently cheated on Will, her mechanical engineer boyfriend of two years, with Michael, her chef friend of three months. They had met when she was called to the Ritz Hotel, where he works as the head chef, to investigate a murder. They became close, and well, shit happened. She wondered what has possessed her that night. Could it have been the slow, romantic music, or the candles? She craved romance. Will was away in Durban, as he is most weekends sorting out various problems for various companies, and it had taken a strain on their relationship. She still loved him ever so dearly, he was her high-school sweetheart, after all. She knew she would have to tell him eventually, she just had no idea how!
Her phone rang, it was Michael. “Hey, you’ve been scarce.”
She took a deep sigh, “Hi, I know, I’ve just been trying to digest everything. We should probably talk... how’s tomorrow sound? Dinner at 7 pm La Piazza on Seventh Street?” Michael paused for a second, “Sure, pick you up at 6.30 pm?” “I think it would be best if we meet there Mike, see you tomorrow, she hung up. She knew what had to be done, and no matter how much her hormones would protest, her heart would sort the matter out for sure...
Kellan Andrews was not a happy chappy. On reaching the fridge in the common room, he realised that some fool had stolen, yes STOLEN his lunch, from the fridge. Nevermind the label, that clearly stated ‘Kellan Andrews, Do not touch!’ He had brought left over chicken salad from last nights’ supper and was really looking forward to tucking in. Gary Simmons walked passed with the lunch cart, “looking glum there chum, fancy a beef sandwich?” “Yeah, I’ll take one Gar.”
He walked out on the patio and took a seat on the wooden bench, across Nina Falcon. She smiled politely and then got back to her Cosmopolitan magazine. He caught a glimpse of the page, just enough to see the title of the article she was clearly engrossed in, ‘How to catch a guy and keep him!’ “All you have to do is be yourself and be honest, it’s as simple as that,” he thought to himself. After battling with the lunch-wrap, he managed to free his sandwich, and took a huge bite. He was starving. Kellan was a chartered accountant and enterprise manager for Engen Petroleum. He earned a lot, and I mean A LOT of money, but remained modest. He loved his job, and it took up most of his life. He submerged himself in his work shortly after his wife had passed on in a tragic accident almost three years ago, they were married only two months before. Judy. He missed her so much. Could never bring himself to dating again. It had been two years, though it felt like it had happened just the other day. He remembers every detail of that day, the passionate love they had made the night before, the cute dance she made, teasing me to the shower, the way she smelt like fresh daisies when she had changed. He remembered how she crept up behind him while he fried the bacon, and held him tight, telling him “I want your bacon, baby,” and he carried her to the bedroom and made love to her again, but this time for the last time ever. He whipped away a tear from his eye, and cautiously looked to see if anyone was watching, only to realise he was now alone.
“Mrs Naidoo, you may go through,” Lizzie, the receptionist said politely. She had been working for Reecy ever since she had opened up the physiotherapy practice, and they were more like sisters now, than employer and employee. Mrs Naidoo was a regular visitor. A lady in her late thirties, she prided herself in keeping fit and fabulous, and never missed her weekly appointment for a full body massage and detox session. Her long black hair was neatly tied up in a bun, and her beige suit fitted her really well. She walked into the massage room, her high heels making a klop sound as she took each step. Reecy was waiting inside.
“Good afternoon Mrs Naidoo, you know the drill,” she said, smiling.
The day had felt extremely long today, longer than usual. And Reecy had felt that familiar pain her lower back, ironic, physiotherapist with a back pain. But physiotherapist or not, menstruation was not holding back. She had completely forgotten it was almost that time of the month, but for the pain. She’d pop some Myprodol when she got home and all would be well. Dinner was at Nedson’s tonight. He was having a few friends over to watch the rugby. She was a little disappointed now though. She wanted to spend time alone with him, and seeing that she’d have her period soon, she was even more agitated. “Oh well,” she thought, “guess I’ll have to pounce him tomorrow.”
Nedson ran his last lap around the basketball court. “Maybe it was a bad idea inviting everyone over,” he thought, “man I’m bushed!” He had been training his Taiwanese ass off for the upcoming tournament. His team, The Cape Giants, would be facing their biggest rival, Stellen Stallions, and they sure as hell weren’t going to draw like the last game. No, this time they would show them!
On the drive home, he thought about his family, and how they would react to his relationship with Reecy. He loved her, so technically they would just have to deal, but could he live without their blessings? His parents were set in their ways. He was Tai, so he should marry a Tai, and that was that. It had been almost two years that they’d been dating, she was the woman he wanted to settle down with, the woman he wanted carrying his babies. This was IT for him. So he convinced his family to have a dinner and meet her, he just hoped it would go as well as he didn’t think it would...
“Dr Siba, Dr Siba to theatre 5,” the nurse called over the P.A. system.
Wayana had been up all night, reading up on new procedures, she liked being up to date and knowledgeable like that. So it’s understandable that she would ever so often pass out in the cafeteria during lunch breaks. Lucky for her and her patients, not only was she a top notch surgeon, but she was also a light sleeper! The announcement woke her up promptly and she hurried to the theatre, scrubbed in, and worked her magic. She loved her job, just hated losing patients. She cleaned up and punched out her time card. “Just one and a half hours to get ready!” Tonight would be a rather interesting one, she was going on a blind date. Ordinarily, she would have kicked up a fuss and not gone! But I managed to persuade her, by agreeing to meet a friend of hers on the weekend. She had initially wanted me to meet up with him for happy hour at Joes, the Wednesday coming, but it would be Sarah’s birthday party, and I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
Way got home and took the quickest shower ever. She had already decided on the outfit she would be wearing, which definitely saved time! She sprayed on some of her favourite scent, White Satin, and put on the black knee-long cocktail dress. She zipped it up and put on a pair of silver heels, and placed her hair in a neat plait. Some make-up, and she would be ready to go!
She walked into the Italian restaurant, still nervous, looking for a guy with a black coat and silver tie, and a pink rose, his identifiers. And then she saw him, sitting at the far side of the restaurant, and now smiling at her, and her identifier, a pink broach above her left breast. As she approached him, he got up and walked towards her, then shook her hand gently, “Hi, I’m Jason, you look beautiful.”
There was so much left to do for the party and we had day left! Alden had sorted out mostly everything, except the main and most important part, the CAKE!!!
“Alden! Seriously??? How do you forget to order a cake! For your daughter’s birthday no less!” I snapped.
He had a lot on his mind, so I did feel bad after giving him hell. Sarah loves fairies, so we had decided to order one, but seeing that her dad had forgotten, we were sitting with a dilemma.
“Okay! We can phone the caterers and ask them if they can whip up something awesome in just short of a day, I mean the party only starts at pm, so there’s still time,” Reecy said, trying to be optimistic for all of us.
“No-one will be opened at this time and they sure as hell won’t get a cake done, well not at a normal rate anyway, Alden said despondently.
I sat quietly now, arguing with myself, I hadn’t baked for a special occasion in ages, I mean, I was capable, I knew it, but I sure didn’t know if I wanted to take the happiness of child into my hands. A cake is a big deal for a child, a HUGE deal, especially for one who had never met her mother. Reecy and Alden were arguing now, and Nedson and Iris were adding their opinions, trying to be as helpful as possible. Finally, I got up, took a deep breath in, and said softly, “I’ll bake the cake. If it’s a fairy garden my Godchild wants, well then that’s what she will get!” Alden smiled at me, and mouthed a thank you. It was going to be a long night, and I would have to hit the shops before they closed!
I managed to get the ingredients and decorations I thought I would need, there was no time to look for bargains, I just picked what I needed and got out. Iris, Reecy and Juanita took turns to stay awake and help with the cake, and by 6 o clock the next morning, we were done! We decided to stay over at Alden’s and surprise Sarah when she woke up. We hid the cake for later though. After cleaning up and having some toast and scrambles eggs, as well as three well-deserved cups of strong coffee, I left, and shortly after, so did everyone else. Thank goodness I had taken the day off. I drove home, set the alarm, and took a four hour nap!