At five o’clock the buzzer on the gate sounded. Thabi was thrilled to see Motso and Sim standing there.
“Come inside,” she called. “Come see my house.”
“Hey babe,” said Motso, as she opened the gate. “You’re looking cheerful.”
Thabi pointed to Trevor and his friends wheeling away the last load of recycling for the day. “These guys helped me. They’re coming again tomorrow. We got the passage clear. Come and see.”
Sim and Motso followed her into the house. Motso wrinkled her nose: “It smells bad, babe.”
“I know. But at least we can see what we’ve got. Look: there are three bedrooms, and a lounge and a kitchen and bathroom. You could move in here with me. Once we’ve shifted the stuff.”
“Really?” Motso’s face lit up. “I’d love to move out of Khayelitsha.”
“Me too,” said Sim. “I’ll tell you what – I’ll get all my nieces and nephews to come help clean this place up on the weekend.”
“My mom and sisters will come too,” said Motso. “It will be fun. We’ll have a cleaning party.”
Thabi felt a load lifting off her shoulders. “Thanks guys.”
“We need to get going,” Motso said. “My mom has invited you for supper, and you know how cross she gets if we’re late.”
“Awesome,” said Thabi. “And soon we’ll be able to invite her for supper here too.”
“We can build a braai right here,” said Sim, pointing to the front garden. “Have a couple of chairs…”
“I’ve always wanted a swing hanging from a tree, like in the movies,” said Motso. “Sim and me could cuddle up.” She nudged him and pointed at the tall oak tree that near the fence. “We could hang one from that branch, hey babe?”
Motso and Sim were in the car and Thabi was just locking the gate when a strange car pulled up. A tall skinny man in a suit got out. He marched up to her.
“Thabi Malebane?” He had an Australian accent.
“I’m Warren Katz. I’m here to inform you that I am disputing my late father’s will. There’s no way I’m letting some little gold digging waitress take everything that is rightfully mine.”
“I…I…I…” stuttered Thabi. “But he left it to me…”
“I know that, stupid. But he was not in his right mind. He was sick. Any judge in the land would agree. So expect to hear from my lawyer.” He got back into his car and roared off.
“Did you hear that?” Thabi said, jumping into the back seat of Sim’s car. Her heart was thudding. “That’s Mr Katz’s son. He says he’s going to get everything. Everything!”
Motso turned around and patted her friend’s knee. “Eish, he can’t do that,” she said. “The old man left everything to you.”
“But that’s his son. Surely you have to leave your money to your child?”
“I don’t think so,” said Sim. “I think you can leave your stuff to anyone you like. My mom worked for an old lady who gave everything to the SPCA in her will. Her children went to court, but they didn’t get anything.”
“Phone Mr Pritchard,” Motso said. “He’ll tell you what to do.”
With trembling fingers Thabi dialled his number.
“I’m afraid Mr Pritchard has taken a few days leave,” his secretary said.
“Can you give him a message?” Thabi asked. “Could you ask him to phone me?”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible. He’s on a hunting trip. He’s out of cellphone range.”
“Thank you,” said Thabi. Her heart was in her boots as she put the phone away in her bag. Was her dream over so soon?
Tell us what you think: Will Warren take the house from Thabi? What should she do next?