It seemed to fill the entire second floor. It looked like a marshmallow factory had exploded in the corridor.

“Hello?” Lola asked the huge pile of lace and satin. “Is someone in there?”

“I’m here,” a small voice deep inside said. The heap started to move and from the side popped Bonang’s head. Slowly she stood up, but you’d hardly have noticed. The dress was so massive it was only the repositioning of Bonang’s head that gave you any clue at all that she was now standing.

“It’s … um … not … so… ” Lola looked at the dress and could not lie. “OK, it is hideous. I cannot believe any human wore this – let alone for their own wedding!”

“You see? But Jomo just doesn’t get it. He thinks it’s beautiful.”

“Maybe you could take it to the tailor and he could trim most of it away.”

“I’ve said that, but Jomo insisted no tailor would touch this dress.”

“But did you put it on for him? Did he see this?”

“I did. He admits it is large, but he can’t bear to see any of it cut away by a tailor. He said I must see how I can make it work.”

“OK.OK. We just need a bit of time. Take it off and leave it with me. I need to think on it a bit. I’m sure we can find a way forward that leaves everyone happy.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Yes I do.”

Bonang took the dress off, and with Lola’s help they managed to squeeze it into a very large suitcase. “Jomo’s helping me with a case tonight. I’ll speak to him about the dress. I know that since his mother is dead he’s very sensitive about the issue, but we’ll find a solution, don’t worry.”

Bonang gave Lola a hug. “You’re the best friend ever!”


Jomo was a man of his word. At 4:30 sharp he pulled up in his 1988 Corolla. “Get in!” he called out of the open window.

“We need to wait here until he comes out, then we’ll follow.” Lola was alone tonight. Amo was working on a research project on black holes which was due the next day.

They sat quietly for a bit, watching the door. “So I saw the dress, the wedding dress,” Lola said.

“It’s a beauty, neh?”

“It’s a bit old fashioned.”

“Well of course it would be. My mother wore it when she got married. But it’s OK. It’s retro. Everyone’s going for retro nowadays. Look at that last fashion show down at Martie Jaankie’s House of Style. People wearing clothes from way back, from the 1920s even. It’s fashion nowadays. That’s what fashion is all about. Bonang likes being trendy and all, being a model and stuff. It’ll work out perfect.”

“Yes, OK, you make a point. But the dress is so … big.”

“Yes, you’re right. It makes a real statement like that don’t you think? A bride should make a statement on her wedding day.”

“It certainly makes a statement.”

“Bonang wanted to take it to a tailor, but of course I can’t agree to that. That would ruin it completely.”

“But still, it is Bonang’s only wedding. You should give her a bit of leeway.”

“Sure, I told her she can pick any veil she wants.”

“But I mean with the dress. What if we could get it tailored for the wedding and then the tailor agrees to sew it up exactly as it was, after the wedding?”

“I don’t know … maybe. But I doubt there is any tailor in Nokeng who can promise that. Once you cut up a dress it’s over.”

“But if we find one? If we find one, will you let Bonang tailor the dress to fit her better?”

“I suppose so. But only if they promise it gets put back exactly like it was. Exactly, exactly.”

“Yes, of course, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Just then Lola spotted Mr Mmope coming out of the door. Again he waited to the side. And just like before, the attractive older nurse came out and they talked for a minute and walked to the parking lot.

“OK that’s them. Get ready.”

Jomo tried to start the car but it refused, and for a moment Lola thought they’d lose the couple. Then it suddenly coughed to a rattlely start and they were off.

They followed Mr Mmope and the nurse back into town. After leaving Main Street, Mr Mmope, who was driving, turned onto a residential street. Not the street on which he and Blossom lived though. They stopped in front of a modest house and got out of the car. The nurse walked to the door and unlocked it, and Mr Mmope followed her inside as if it was something he did every day.

Lola’s heart sank. Was this enough information to confirm to Blossom Mmope that her husband was indeed having an affair with a nurse? Nearly. But then Lola heard Ronnie Ron’s voice in her head: “Lots of things happen behind closed doors and not all of them are bad”.

Yes, it was likely Mr Mmope and the nurse were up to no good, but it wasn’t certain. She needed to find out what they were doing in that house first.

Jomo’s cellphone rang. “Hello,” he said. “OK Mr Wang, see you just now.”

Jomo turned to Lola. “Sorry Lola, Mr Wang needs me. A truck has arrived late and we need to offload it.”

“That’s OK, Jomo. I’ve got everything I need for tonight.” Since she knew the house now, the next night she’d just wait for the couple there and try to find out what they were up to. She hoped it was not what it appeared to be. She wasn’t sure she had enough tissues to sop up all of Blossom’s tears if she had to tell her that bad news.


Tell us what you think: Is Jomo being fair about the wedding dress?