I sat down at our small table. “Tell me, Mama. What has happened to Farai?”
I confess I was keen to hear the bad news. I had stopped feeling tired. I didn’t mind that I was wet and stinking of chip oil.
But just then my cellphone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognise.
“Hello? Who’s that?”
“Hello, kiddo! Have you missed me?”
Jeremy! How did Jeremy know my number? I was sure I’d given him a wrong one there at the lake.
“So kiddo? How about that date?”
“Sorry, Jeremy, I am really busy right now,” I said and disconnected. All I wanted was to hear about Farai. Nothing else interested me.
I listened to my mother in amazement. Farai’s rich and famous husband was divorcing her. He was in love with his theatre nurse. In fact he had thrown Farai out of their mansion with just the clothes on her back.
“Imagine!” said my mother. “He just slammed the door in her face!”
I thought of all the times Farai had slammed her bedroom door in my face. I said, “Shame, poor Farai!”
But inside, my heart was singing. Yes, I confess. I felt happier than I’d ever been. What justice! What a perfect payback! Without her husband, none of the celebrity friends would stick around Farai! She would have no-one to giggle and gossip with.
Yes, she was getting a taste of her own medicine at last. Let her see how it felt to be excluded!
Was it evil of me to feel so overjoyed?
My cellphone rang once more.
“So, kiddo? Have you got a moment now? Can we arrange our date? I promise you it will be a real larney, expensive restaurant. Only the best for my beautiful Neo.”
I was too happy to refuse. After all, there was no chance Farai would see me. She wouldn’t be going to expensive restaurants any longer.
And yes, I confess this too: I was wondering if maybe Jeremy’s gift had something to do with Farai’s divorce. He’d said bad things happened to people who hurt those he loved. Well, a bad thing was happening to Farai right now. And she had definitely hurt me!
It was a very fancy, very expensive restaurant that Jeremy took me to. Candles and shining silverware and glittering crystal glasses. And frightening prices on the menu. Very different from the take-away where I worked, that’s for sure!
But I hardly saw any of it. I hardly even noticed Jeremy’s fishy eyes and fishy mouth there in the candle light. All I could see was a picture in my mind of Farai all alone and friendless.
A pianist was playing in one corner, his fingers flying across the keys just as Keletso’s fingers had done. But I hardly heard his music. All I heard was the slam of the mansion door in Farai’s face. Over and over.
“You look so happy tonight, my love,” said Jeremy. I let him take my hand. “That is all I want in the world, to make my special girl happy.”
I told him about Farai.
He said, “Funny, that. One down and two to go. You stick with me, kiddo. All your wishes will come true. So, where would you like me to take you next weekend?”
Tell us what you think: Is Neo evil to feel so happy about Farai’s misfortune?