At the police station Zandile’s colleagues marvel at the engagement ring. Some of the females look at the diamond and are spellbound. Some seem confused – because they simultaneously marvel at and criticize the size of the stone!
In the detectives’ room her partner, Detective Gloria Zulu, finds Zandile staring out of the window. She looks troubled. Gloria stands for a minute, watching her friend. Zandile is so deep in thought, in her own world, she is not aware. Her face does not have the smile of a woman recently engaged.
“What’s wrong, Zee?” says Gloria.
Zandile doesn’t answer; Gloria has to ask her twice. “Zee, my friend. What is wrong?”
“Nothing,” Zandile exhales. “Why do you ask?”
“You seem distracted, like your thoughts are far away.”
“Nothing’s wrong. I’m just thinking.”
“Come on, Zan. We’ve been friends for more than a decade. You can’t fool me. I know when something is troubling you.” Gloria makes eye contact with Zandile. “You know you can talk to me, whatever it is.”
Zandile exhales. “It is Bongani. Now that we are engaged he wants me to stop working.”
“Surely with his wealth he’ll be able to take good care of you. You’ll be a rich housewife, Zan.”
“Like everyone, I dream of being rich. But being a housewife is definitely not my dream. Being a good detective and progressing in my profession is my dream. He says our job is dangerous.”
“You have to agree in part that our work is dangerous, and depressing sometimes. The things we see can stay in your head,” says Gloria.
“That’s true, but I can’t discard everything I’ve worked so hard for – just like that.” Zandile shakes her head. “I’ll only leave the force when I believe I have given my all and done my share.”
“Look, Zan, I’m sure if you guys sit down you can reach middle ground.”
“I just hope he understands my point of view. He has to respect my feelings because if he doesn’t … then this whole marriage deal is off the table.”
Station Commander Ncube walks in. His usually serious face has a rare smile today.
“I have an announcement to make,” says Commander Ncube.
Zandile and Gloria turn to him and pay full attention.
Tell us what you think: Is Zandile being foolish by threatening to call off the engagement over her career?