It’s early morning and the train isn’t really in any hurry. It has no desire to make up for the five minutes delay. At Vasco station, with its unique ambience, commuters hurriedly get on board. A lady who looks like she is in her late twenties elegantly walks in and makes her way to the other side of the carriage. She finds herself a space, leans against the chrome frame, crosses her legs and sighs softly. She is dressed in a knee-length skirt, a slim-fit jacket, a white shirt, a fine gold chain with a cross hanging just above her cleavage. She immediately attracts the attention of her fellow passengers. They have a “shouldn’t you rather Uber or at least travel in Metro Plus” look on their faces.
One gentleman in particular shows a keen interest in her and indicates to the guy next to him to keep the space open. “Give me a minute. I’ll be back in a flash,” he says.Without waiting on the reply he jumps up and walks towards the mysterious lady. She stands at a slight angle facing the window.
“Excuse me, sorry to interrupt your thoughts, but you are welcome to use my seat,” he politely offers.
She turns to face him looking surprised as if her thoughts were a million miles away.“Oh thank you; sorry I was lost in my thoughts,” she says with a smile.
“No problem, it’s all good,” he says with a smile, “allow me to usher you to my seat.”
“Thank you again,” she whispers while walking towards the empty seat. As she settles in the guy gets his laptop bag from the overhead shelf and thanks the guy next to her. He glances at her for a second.
I know this chick from somewhere, he thinks while positioning himself against the support pillar.
What a gentleman, they are quite rare, she thinks while crossing her legs.
How am I going to do this now? he contemplates.
The train reduces speed and enters Goodwood station. The guy next to the lady gets up, grabs his bag, and walks towards the door.
The guy leaning against the support pole looks around for a moment and sits in the vacant space next to the lady.
“When you give you shall receive,” he says to her with a pleasant smile referring to the newly vacated seat.
“Oh yes, that was quick too,” she replies smiling back at him.
“Um… I’m Larry by the way,” he introduces himself as he reaches out his hand.
She offers her hand saying, “I’m Jen. Pleased to meet you.”
“Likewise,” he replies not leaving her gaze.
Soft delicate hands, he thinks while slowly letting go of her hand.
“I’m almost sure I know you from somewhere and it’s not my opening line,” he continues still smiling sheepishly.
She looks at him for a few seconds, looks down for a moment and whispers through her deep thoughts, “Larry?” Suddenly she asks a little louder, “Larry who?”
“Larry Johnson,” he replies, his words almost overlapping hers.
She looks down thinking hard and deep.
“And what is your surname?” he asks looking at her shiny curly hair.
“Jenny-Lee Williams,” she answers in an almost uncertain tone, as if he’s not supposed to hear or know it.
His eyes light up and a radiant smile appears in a flash.
“Yes,” he says. “I know you. You’re a pastor’s kid. We were at primary school together more than twenty years ago. Djy’s darem mooi groot nou.”
With a surprised, almost shocked look in her eyes, she manages to smile and look puzzled at the same time.
“I remember you now. Ek wiet djy het my gesmaak, but we were what twelve, thirteen? You came to our house a lot. You were Thomas’ friend I remember, yes,” she explains looking at him, now very composed and calm.
Ek smaak jou somma wee, the thought rushes through his mind.
“But what happened to you? The last time I heard your family had moved to Joburg. That was long ago?” he asks as he quickly gathers his thoughts.
“Yes, I came back to study, got married; divorced with a four year old son,” she explains looking down at her folded hands.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” he responds sympathetically while at the same time thinking: mmm… another opportunity to finally have a bite at the cherry.
He interrupts his own thought by asking: “How are your parents doing? Where is Thomas? What’s he doing with himself?”
“My parents are both retired. Thomas is still in Joburg; married; three kids; very happy. My son is living with my parents while I’m studying part-time.
That’s my life in a nutshell. How about you? What have you been up to?” she asks looking at him, smiling.
“I never married, but I do have a son of seven. Things didn’t work out as planned unfortunately, but life goes on. I’m doing IT; live on my own and basically enjoy life,” he answers in short.
But djy kan ’n weeken’ kô spend, no problem, the thought races through his mind.
“I also live on my own in a security complex. I don’t have much of a social life because of my studies, but I also don’t have much of a social circle. My ex-husband wanted people around him all of the time that cost him our marriage,” she says with a concerned look on her face.
“I’m getting off now. I assume you are going to town. Can I give you my number? Let’s get together, have coffee and chat about things in a more relaxed environment. Would that be fine with you?” he asks and without waiting on her reply he offers his business card.
“Yes sure, Larry. I’ll text you later. Really nice seeing you again,” she assures him.
“Same here Jen; looking forward to hear from you,” he replies looking at her while they gently shake hands as a parting gesture.
Her warm smile confirms that she’ll make contact again. He gets up and walks to the door as the train drastically slows down.
Nogal not bad, she thinks looking at him.
The train stops and a second later the doors open. Larry looks over his shoulder, smiles at Jen and waves her a goodbye.
Is this finally another opportunity to have a bite at the cherry? Most definitely yes, he thinks while dreamily walking towards the subway.
Meanwhile Jen is saving his number on her phone after which she slips the business card into her bag.
darem – The Afrikaaps word related to the Afrikaans word
“daarom” which means “therefore” but as in this case can
also mean “rather” or “after all”.
wiet – The Afrikaaps version of the Afrikaans word “weet”
which means “know”.
smaak – An Afrikaaps word derived from the same Afrikaans word
which means “taste” but in this case it means “to fancy
someone in a romantic way” or “to have a crush on
somma – The Afrikaaps version of “sommer” which is an
Afrikaans word for “just ” / “rather”/ “out of the blue”.
kô – The Afrikaaps version of “kom” which is the
Afrikaans word for “come”.
nogal – An Afrikaans word meaning “after all”
“Djy’s darem mooi groot nou.”
“You are rather beautifully grownup now.”
“Ek wiet djy het my gesmaak.”
“I know you fancied me.”
“Ek smaak jou somma wee.”
“I have a crush on you out of the blue again.”
“But djy kan ’n weeken’ kô spend, no problem.”
“But you can come spend a weekend, no problem.”