Andisiwe’s head was a blur. She struggled to remember exactly what happened the night before. She remembered phoning Jacob out of fear of the man lurking in the garden. She remembered Jacob taking her in his arms … she remembered…
Where was Jacob? Maybe Thabo had come back later the previous evening and he and Jacob had had a confrontation. Maybe Thabo had somehow broken in and stolen the clock and Jacob had woken up and…
Hurriedly Andisiwe found her phone on the floor next to her bed and phoned Jacob.
She tried again.
Andisiwe left a voice message. “Please call me back. What happened last night? That is…,” Andisiwe said, feeling herself blushing, “apart from the … you know…”
Andisiwe dropped the phone, covered her face with her hands, lay back on her bed and groaned. Then she heard the front door suddenly open, and before she could scream, she heard the voice of her aunt.
“Andisiwe!” called Aunt Mimi, and the next second, “What on earth have you done with my precious clock?”
Aunt Mimi reached the door of the bedroom in a few quick strides, so Andisiwe was not even able to pick up her clothing from the floor. The older woman stood for a moment taking in the scene in the bedroom. Before Andisiwe could say a word a second woman joined her aunt.
It was Siya.
“Surprise!” said Siya joyfully, her words dying in her mouth as her eyes settled on her friend.
A moment later, Andisiwe burst into tears. Both women rushed into the room, and soon all three were settled amongst the pillows on the bed.
Aunt Mimi explained that she had been away organising Andisiwe’s surprise birthday party. “You hadn’t forgotten your own birthday tomorrow had you Siwe?” she asked in surprise. “And I went all the way to fetch Siya as your special present?”
Between her tears Andisiwe explained what had happened the previous evening, leaving the two women to fill in the details.
“But how did Thabo get into the garden? Only you and I know the code. No, I think that guy Jacob just couldn’t wait to get you into bed. He slipped a little something in your drink then he stole my clock on the way out. As for Thabo, well there are many strange sounds at night and when you are here by yourself it is easy to mistake…” her voice trailed off as she stared out into the garden, as if she was remembering something.
“Shame my friend,” said Siya, leaning over to give Andisiwe a hug. “Looks like city life just chewed you up and spat you out.”
“But Jacob wasn’t … it was Thabo who was the con…” cried Andisiwe. “I’m sure Thabo is behind this. We can’t just sit here when Jacob is in real danger. I just know it. I heard him speaking to Thabo on the phone. He said Thabo was threatening him. And I did see Thabo in the garden. He is the one who stole the clock … and now he has Jacob,” she cried.
Just then the intercom buzzed. Andisiwe jumped up, her heart pounding. Her aunt moved quickly to answer it.
“Hello. Yes this is Mrs Mvete. Yes I do have an Andisiwe staying with me, Sergeant Pokela.” She pressed the buzzer to let the police officer in.
“Auntie?” Andisiwe said, looking at her aunt in terror.
“It’s OK my child. Sergeant Pokela just wants to ask a few questions. It seems like they’ve caught the culprit.”
“Oh, thank God. Did they say anything about Jacob? Is he safe? Did Thabo kidnap him?”
But Aunt was already letting the Sergeant inside.
“I do believe these are yours,” he said, handing over the gold clock and a bag full of priceless jewellery.
That’s not all the Sergeant had for them. He had a tale that would leave them speechless.
“Yes … do you see now that Thabo is a small-time crook compared to Jacob? Oh, he used Jacob’s car and his penthouse. And perhaps he helped himself to the petty cash now and then. And I am sorry he lied to you my dear, and made you pay the bills.” he said, looking at Andisiwe. “But Jacob – now he was in another league. He was playing with the big boys. He is a big time criminal.”
Aunt Mimi shook her head and clicked her tongue. “Oh yes,” she said. “Now I remember. That’s exactly what I heard the bitchy ex-girlfriend say about Jacob. That you never wanted to cross him. A friend of hers had once and…” her voice trailed off.
Andisiwe looked at her aunt in horror.
“It was thanks to Thabo that we have Jacob in custody now,” nodded Sergeant Pokela. “It seems like he really was concerned for your safety when you started dating Jacob. You see Thabo found something in the boot of Jacob’s car. Jacob had been careless and left some evidence that is proof that he is in league with a ring of criminals we have been after for months.”
“Well, Thabo is on his way here I believe. He has come to apologise. Seems like he has decided to turn over a new leaf. Tell the truth … come clean.”
When Aunt Mimi shut the door behind Sergeant Pokela Andisiwe burst into tears. “I didn’t mean to end up … to sleep … I was just so frightened.”
“Never mind those two losers,” said Siya, snuggling closer to Andisiwe. “Cheer up girl. Your aunt has invited tons of amazing guys to this party. She told me.”
Andisiwe smiled faintly. “What will I say to Thabo? Do you think he really will change his ways?”
“He must apologise first,” said her aunt firmly. “He treated you badly. On the other hand, he did try and warn you about Jacob, and that must have taken some courage, standing up to and threatening a man like Jacob.”
“And to think I didn’t want to listen to Thabo…”
“That was understandable. How were you to know?”
“But what if Thabo wants … you know … to date again?”
“Well, he will have to work really hard to get you to even consider going on another date. And even then…”
“There are many more fish in the sea,” said Aunt Mimi. “And some of the most beautiful ones will be coming to your party. Just wait and see.”
“I think I’ve still got a lot to learn about guys,” Andisiwe said.
When Thabo arrived he was holding the biggest bunch of roses Andisiwe had ever seen. But this time she didn’t feel giddy and overwhelmed. She just took the roses and the chocolates and put them on the kitchen table.
It wasn’t how many roses a guy gave her or how expensive the chocolates were that mattered. That much she knew for sure.
She would listen to Thabo’s apology. But she would keep an open mind and not make any hasty decisions.
* * *
Tell us what you think: Siwe has had a few lucky escapes. Should she trust Thabo and give him a second chance? Is Siwe ever going to be able to survive in the city after all?