Yes, there was the silver Jaguar, parked in a VIP bay at the airport. With an airport car guard watching over it. And it wasn’t even nine-thirty yet.

And yes, there was Jabu sitting in the Arrivals hall. He was wearing another suit, charcoal grey this time. The dark material made him look more handsome, more wealthy. I wanted to run to him, to ask him to put his arms around me again. The way he had done last night on his balcony.

But I hid myself away behind a stand of sunglasses at one of the airport kiosks. “Control yourself, Zonke,” I whispered to myself. “You need to know the truth. That’s what you’re here for, girlfriend!”

In fact I was beautifully dressed myself. Lindi had lent me a soft lacy pink top and some designer jeans. She isn’t always a wicked sister! Sometimes she is quite kind.

“Can I help you, madam?” asked the kiosk assistant. Like I would be interested in buying these cheap, ugly sunglasses!

So I moved to hide behind a stand of postcards. Mostly photos of hippos and lions and baby baboons, all saying, “Welcome to Sunny South Africa”. But now I had a good view of the people coming off the planes through the ‘Arrivals’ sliding door.

Quarter past ten exactly, a woman walked through. She was tall and even more beautiful than her photos in Jabu’s Clifton house. She was dressed like a super-supermodel, with a designer bag to die for!

My heart was thudding. I watched Jabu get up and walk towards her. And what now? Would they fall into each others’ arms? Would they kiss as though they were alone in some exclusive garden? It would break my heart to see that! Was my Cinderella dream going to smash to pieces on the tiled airport floor?

But no! Jabu and the woman didn’t even smile at each other. He stopped some distance from her. She said something. Jabu nodded. His sister! It must be his sister! Or maybe some cousin. There wasn’t any warmth between them.

“Can I help you, madam?” It was another kiosk assistant.

I moved back to the sunglasses stand. Such ugly, cheap sunglasses. But I was so happy! The woman from the photos was no danger. No threat. My Cinderella dream was back on track. Oui!

Now everything would be fine. I would wait patiently for two weeks until Jabu was back from New York. Until he phoned me. And then – maybe then – it would be happily-ever-after time. Imagine!

A man appeared through the Arrivals doors. He was short and middle-aged, pushing a trolley piled high with designer luggage. Amazing luggage! He put his arm around the woman. Like she belonged to him, and no one else. What was she doing with such an ugly man?

I moved closer, hiding behind a concrete pillar. Jabu had taken the trolley now.

“Get the cases in the Jag, Jili. Chop! Chop!” I heard the man say. “We’ve got an appointment at the Mount Nelson Hotel. So move it!”

Then I heard Jabu answer, “Yes, Mr Majola, sir!”


What do you think? Why is Jabu calling this man “sir”?