The first person Dineo phoned when she left the studio was Lame.
“Guess what?” she asked.
“I don’t know, tell me,” he said.
“I got it. I got a part in Lion King.”
“Oh my god! That’s amazing. I knew you would, I knew it! We need to celebrate. Wait where you are, I’m coming to get you.” Lame arrived, picking her up outside the studio, and they drove out of town to a cosy restaurant along the coast.
“I’m so proud of you. This is going to be the turning point for your dancing. I just know it,” Lame said. Dineo could see that he was genuinely proud of her. How was she so lucky to find a man like him?
After dinner he headed for her place to drop her at home, but she stopped him. “I thought, maybe, to celebrate … I could see your place … and maybe … spend the night.”
Lame smiled. “I’d like that. Are you sure?”
“Yes. I’m sure.”
Lame’s house was in a quiet neighbourhood. It was much like him, tidy but stylish. His love of South African art was everywhere as well as his love of books. Shelves and shelves of them. “So this is it,” he said.
He kissed her, first a light peck, and then longer and more sensually. “I can’t believe how quickly I’ve grown to care about you, Dineo. You’re the first woman in a very long time that I’ve felt like this about. You make me feel like it’s safe to love someone again.”
Though making love for the first time was amazing, Dineo felt sad in the morning. Why did all of this come to her, this wonderful man, this incredible love, just when she was going to leave South Africa for a year, touring with Lion King?
She and Lame had been together for such a short time. Would it be enough to keep him waiting for a year? She feared not.
“Breakfast?” Lame came back to the bedroom carrying a tray with coffee, croissants and fresh strawberries. He was already dressed for work.
“What a feast! Thank you, for everything. It’s been so lovely, really, Lame.”
“Ooo, that sounds like an ending, not a beginning,” he said. “I thought we were just starting things. What’s up?”
“Yes, but … of course getting the part in the production is great … but it comes with its bad side too. I’ll be leaving in a few weeks. Gone for a year. I’d never expect you to wait for me. I just feel sad we met at the wrong time, that all of this wonderfulness arrived at the wrong time.”
Lame sat down on the bed and kissed her. “Never. It’s the perfect time. And of course I’ll wait for you. You’re special, and I’m not going anywhere.”
Dineo was so happy to hear that.
Lame looked at his watch. “Except to work! I gotta go or I’ll be late. So listen, you leave when you’re ready. I left the name of my taxi guy on the table – call him. He’ll take you home, I’ll sort him out later.” He stood up and then bent down and kissed her. “We’ll talk later.”
She watched him leave and then ate her yummy breakfast. She had the lunch shift today at Claudio’s, so she could take her time. She showered and got dressed. She wandered around his house, checking out the art and his books.
Then, going through the titles on his shelves, she found a photo album. Lately she’d learned a bit more about Lame, but not all she wanted. She knew he grew up in Joburg, but knew nothing about his family; he always seemed reluctant to discuss them. Maybe the album would have some photos so she could see what they looked like at least? She took the album to one of the overstuffed chairs next to the big bay window and sat down.
At first she didn’t understand what it was all about. She could see it was a wedding album but thought at first it must be for one of his siblings, but why would he have it? Then she opened to the second page and read: “Lame and Melinda’s Wedding, June 2010”. She turned the pages as if in a haze. It was Lame, there was no denying that, and a beautiful light-skinned woman. They looked so happy. It was only six years ago!
Dineo couldn’t believe it; Mimi had been right – Lame was married. She grabbed her things and shoved them in her handbag and ran out the door. Of course a perfect man like Lame was married! How stupid had she been to think otherwise?
Tell us what you think: Are all the ‘good men’ already married as Mimi thinks? Is Lame using Dineo as a ‘side chick’?