I’m not disappointed it didn’t happen. I’m not. We’ve got more important things to deal with. In fact, it’s better it didn’t happen. It would distract me. Make me lose focus. Make me–
“Jazz? Did you hear what I said?”
Not a word. “Sorry, I didn’t get that last part.”
“I said,” Nate whispers with a smirk, “that we’ve got some unfinished business to take care of. But first, we need to get to those recycling bins.”
“Uh, Nate? Isn’t that a bit risky?” If someone’s in the library, they might see us or hear us hightailing it to the bins.
“It is. That’s why we need to be quick.”
Nate beckons me to follow him as he crouches and moves to the large Mondi bins just outside the library. It’s way too close to the library entrance for comfort, but I push down my fear and copy his movements.
Mrs Felder appears by the library entrance, surveying the area like an eagle looking for prey. Nate throws his palm over my mouth as soon as a gasp escapes my lips. Oh God, please let her not have spotted us. Please.
“I told you not to get involved with these youngsters,” Mrs Felder says to someone. “But you never listen to me, do you?”
“Come on, Ma. Cut me some slack. I had to do what I had to do.”
“Would it hurt you to be on the straight and narrow for once, Benjamin? I cannot keep bailing you out of these messes you get yourself into.”
Langley’s mother is Mrs Felder?! I sit up, trying to get a better look, but Nate tugs me back down.
“Ek’s jammer, Ma. Once I pay off this debt, it will be the end of all this. No more gambling. No more selling bubble. Sonja will hook me up with that teaching position in the Cape. Who knows? Maybe I’ll pop the question to her, give you some oulike grandbabies down the li–”
“You’re getting ahead of yourself. What about that blonde meisie?” Mrs Felder asks.
“I’ve just spoken to her. She’s not saying another word and she’s agreed to keep her meddling friend from opening her mouth.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“Don’t give me that look, Ma. Cheryl knows exactly what’s at stake if word gets out. Just trust me on this one.”
“Benjamin … ek weet nie. I’ve done my best for you. I’ve paid for your college tuition, your housing. I’ve put in a good word with Mr Mulder to get you this job. I’ve–”
“Don’t forget the part where you let your husband throw me out the house. I was barely 18.”
“You were out of control then, just like how you are now! You need to start taking accountability, Benjamin. Jy’s nie meer ’n kind nie!” Mrs Felder’s voice breaks on the last word.
“Miskien. But I was a kid when you married Hendrik, and put him and his kids first.”
“Benjamin, dis nie waar nie. I’ve always done my best for you, kind.”
“Whatever you say, Ma,” Langley says softly. “I need to get away from here, lay down low for a while. I’ll try and call you when all of this blows over.”
And just like that he walks away like the coward he is, a cardboard box tucked under his arm. Mrs Felder stares at his retreating back, and continues staring into the distance long after his silhouette has disappeared.
I let out a breath as soon as Mrs Felder goes back into the library and locks the door.
“Got it,” Nate says, grinning from ear to ear.
“I’ve recorded Felder and Langley. The recording probably isn’t the best quality, but Dad knows people who could clean it up.”
“OMG!” I say throwing my arms around Nate. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Maybe because you were too busy biting my palm.” Nate smirks as he flicks through his cellphone. “But I’m going to let that one slide because we’ve got all the evidence we need against Langley. We should take this to Ms Ngema.”
We really did it. It’s all there on Nate’s phone. Proof of Langley’s dealing. And proof of Cheryl’s involvement … What will this all mean for her?
“I don’t know, Nate. I think we need to find Cheryl first.”
Tell us: Do you feel sympathy for Benjamin Langley, hearing his point of view?