She was running late again. She’s always late so I might as well order. William slumped into the sit at the café as he waited for the lady to come take his order. He already knew what he wanted, an omelette with extra cheese and peppers, and a large ice tea. He was half way through his breakfast when she waltzed in and he got up to greet her.
“Sasha.” He said her name kissing her cheek, almost wishing she hadn’t come. He was enjoying his breakfast in silence.
“William darling, you seriously need to eat healthily. All this can’t be all good for you.” She looked disapprovingly at his plate. He ignored her comment and offered her the menu.
“Anything you’d like? I’m sure they have something healthy and fruity, a salad maybe?” she took the menu and flipped through it, tossed it aside and sighed. He didn’t have the energy for her whining this early in the morning. I am on holiday for Christ’s sake. He fished out his blackberry and checked his email avoiding conversation.
“Is there anything healthy on your off-side menu? Scratch that, may I speak to the manager and ask for myself.” She gave the girl who came to take her order an assessing look, up and down and then looked around the establishment. It was quite cosy and classy for a coffee shop. Whoever owns it has taste, she mused to herself.
“Certainly, ma’am, I’ll get her right away.” The girl quickly disappeared into one of the doors at the back. A minute later a stylishly dressed young woman came to the table.
“Good morning, I’m Lu. You requested to see the manager?” Lu stood looking squarely at the young lady who was the rude and difficult customer disrupting her morning. Just what I don’t need, Americans!
“Yes, are you the manager?” Sasha smirked.
“No, I’m the owner. What can I do for you?” Lu gave a cold but all South African smile, to her surprise Sasha smiled back.
“Do you have anything healthy on your menu, I’m a model and I have to watch what I eat.”
“Sure, we do cater for all types. What will it be, vegetarian, dairy or just high fibre fruits or maybe light breakfast, fish, boiled eggs, I could whip you a breakfast you’ll never forget.”
“Sounds good, surprise me. Nothing heavy, sweet and light will do.”
“And to drink, anything specific?” Lu was on top of her game and she wasn’t batting an eyelid.
“Uh, an ice tea will do, thank you. Darling, re-fill?’ She looked at William, whose mouth was open from the time Lu walked in. His ability to speak seemed to have escaped him for a while.
“Two ice teas coming up, will that be all?” Sasha nodded and William remained mute. Lu turned and walked to the kitchen and felt Will’s stare on her back.
“Well, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you like her. You couldn’t take your eyes off her, and the way your mouth was gapping, seriously flies could’ve had a party in there.”
“She just looks familiar, that’s all.” He managed to save himself and gulped the last of his ice tea. Owner? Wow, Lu owns this place. That means Lindy is around, they never were too far apart from each other. They finally did it! They opened the café Lindy always talked about. Where is she, what is she up to? I have to ask Lu, she has to know. I must see her, if she wants to see me.
Then his memory went back to the day she left him, the day his world fell apart. Everything after that was just moving in slow motion, he was a zombie. He arrived in New York two months later and immediately buried himself in his work. And for four years straight he worked himself up and built his IT Empire. Though he was still a representative of the South African embassy in New York, he owned his telecommunications company and it was doing rather well. He owned properties in China, New York and now he was looking to buy one in Cape Town and part of that decision had everything to do with Lindy.
“Did you enjoy your meal, ma’am?” Lu enquired when she noticed Sasha sitting alone in front of an empty plate.
“Yes, thank you. It was delightful.” She had smoked salmon diced in Greek salad, with grated Cheddar and seasoned with citrus juice and lemon zest. Delightful indeed. Lu was a master in the kitchen. Investing in her was the best thing a best friend could do for a pipe dream.
“We aim to please. What brings you to South Africa, Cape Town?” she wanted to find out what she was doing with Will.
“I’m here for a magazine launch. Estelle is covering the fashion spread of this magazine in New York and I’m modelling the range.” She was forthcoming with the information and before Lu could ask further she offered some more. “I saw the designs, beautiful. I chose which gowns I wanted to wear. If I could wear the whole range, I would.”
“So who is this designer, David Tlale?” Lu couldn’t help the smirk on her face.
“Lindy Cele, I hear she’s a publishing chick, so don’t ask me what she’s doing with a range. You know Will, my boyfriend; he only came because he used to live here and he needed a holiday. Three weeks of absolute beauty, he said. But he doesn’t even want to attend the launch, not his scene.” She rolled her eyes, typical men.
This is too easy, thought Lu. “I heard about the magazine launch, I’m catering for it.”
“Oh great! I hope you’ll be making that salad again. I think I’ll eat here every day for the three weeks I’ll be here. Do you deliver takeaways?”
“Yes we do.” She saw William making his way back so she got up and cleared the table. “It was lovely meeting you, Sasha. Hope you have a wonderful stay in the Mother City. See you Saturday.” She nodded at Will and walked to the kitchen.
“You two seemed friendly, talk about clothes and food and girls’ stuff?” He tried not to sound curious.
“Yeah, turns out she’s catering for the magazine launch I’m modelling at on Saturday night. She knows the designer too, Lindiwe Cele, Lindy, she’s a regular here, can’t wait to meet her.”
His mouth opened, and then he thought wisely and closed it again. He had to see her and Lu was the only way. Lu would kill him before she’d let him see her. Gawd, this was by far the biggest challenge in his life. He paid the bill and they left.