‘Karabo!’ shouted a voice from in the house. ‘Karabo where are you?’
William burst onto the porch.
‘Come, we’re going,’ he said, relief flooding his face as he saw Karabo.
She looked up slowly and blinked at William.
‘What?’ she said. ‘Going? Don’t tell me what to do, Will. I’m chatting to your mom. I’m not going anywhere.’ Karabo replied firmly, folding her arms over her chest and glaring back at William.
Mzi walked in behind William and spotted Isla. Immediately regretting his decision to join William on his escapade, Mzi tried to backtrack and instead walked into Jez. He stood on her foot, stumbling, and nearly knocking her over. He began to apologise profusely as he tried to right himself. Jez, despite her squashed foot, seemed mildly amused and was being very nice about the whole disaster.
As William turned to see Mzi nearly fall on his mother, and then begin apologising, he seethed and threw his hands into the air. He stormed back into the house, past the blubbering Mzi and shocked Jez, before slamming the front door behind him.
Karabo carefully stood up. ‘Will?’ she called, her voice faltering.
‘He’s gone Karabo,’ answered Jez, her shoulders stooped. ‘Let me go and get us some water. We can then carry on with what we were talking about,’ said Jez, her voice faltering as she left the patio and went inside to the kitchen. Mzi looked around him, trying to understand what had just happened.
‘Come and sit Mzi,’ Karabo told him. He looked relieved at being directed and, avoiding Isla’s gaze, he joined Karabo at the patio table. Once seated, Mzi looked across the table and smiled nervously at Isla, who immediately smiled back, her cheeks turning pink.
Jez returned with water and glasses, and immediately began pouring each of them a glass. ‘You’re Cedric’s son?’ Jez asked Mzi, as she handed him a glass of water, before sitting down to join them. Mzi nodded. ‘Yes ma’am,’ he responded, ‘how do you know my dad?’ he continued, before she could ask another question.
‘I heard about what happened, to your family and your family’s treasure. The police found out about me and came looking for my husband, thinking that he would come and hide with me,’ snorted Jez. ‘As if that would ever happen! They quickly realised that I no longer have any contact with that man – haven’t had any for years. Edward English and I are married on paper only.’ She took a sip of her water and flicked her long straight hair over her shoulder before continuing,
‘Cedric, I think he wanted to be certain the police had done their job. He came and spoke to me too. He told me about what had happened, how William had helped you. I couldn’t believe it. I thought that Edward had poisoned all of our children — with his greed, lust for treasure, and obsession with Libertalia,’ she said looking down. ‘I told Cedric I would do anything I could to help him find his treasure and catch Edward. But I don’t know where to start. He cut me off completely, years ago. So… I came here in the hope that William and I could start over, try and reconnect, reunite and work together to catch Edward. But sadly, it seems William wants nothing to do with me,’ explained Jez.
The mood became sombre, and everyone shifted uncomfortably in their seats after hearing about William’s family drama.
‘But you left us first, mother!’
William was standing on the threshold between the lounge and the patio. Jez jumped at the sound of his voice; her eyes wide as she watched him walk towards the table. Slowly she stood up.
‘He made me. He made me leave you boys. He told me to walk away, pretend none of you existed or he would kill me,’ said Jez, her chin starting to tremble.
‘Rubbish!’ shouted William. ‘Dad said you left us for another man. He said we didn’t matter to you anymore, and you wanted nothing to do with us.’
Jez’s entire body began to shake in response to William’s words, and she stifled a sob as tears trickled down her face. ‘Is that what he said?’ she asked William. ‘Well, he lied to you, because he always lies, William. He’s a professional liar and thief. That’s what he does. What kind of a mother would abandon her children? I’ll tell you. One who doesn’t have any options!’ shouted Jez, and she started to cry.
Isla and Karabo looked at each other, not sure what to do; Mzi seemed to shrink to half his size in discomfort.
Karabo watched William’s face. His usually cool expression revealed a vulnerability, born out of deep childhood pain and hurt.
‘I didn’t know,’ he said, his words barely audible. Slowly, he walked towards his crying mother and before he could resist, she pulled him into an embrace. Carefully, Mzi stood up and signalled for Isla and Karabo to follow him. They got up quietly and walked into the kitchen, none of them saying a word. Mzi closed the interleading door and put the kettle on, muffling the voices outside.
Question: Why do you think William comes back?