“Fuck you!” Rose’s snarl silences the whole house. The rest of the diners turn to look at her. She chucks wine to Jay’s face from her glass and proceeds to storm out of the house, pushes some people out of her way. “What are you looking at?” She clucks as she reaches the door and yanks it open.
“Rose, wait,” Jasmine rushes behind her, leaving Susan as she attends Jay’s wet face with a cloth.
“What was that all about?” Jasmine asks, tries to keep up, feet almost tangle. They are out of the house now, marching towards the gate in the night.
It was a nice little gathering of people invited by Susan to celebrate Jay’s thirtieth birthday.
“I really don’t want to talk about it, Jasmine,” Rose says.
“Okay, but was that really necessary? “
“Actually, no it wasn’t,” Rose says. “I should’ve slapped him.”
Just then, Violet, Rose’s twin sister, emerges fom the house with a gass of champagne in each hand. she cannot stand on her own, she is balanced against the wall near the door. “Where—” she burps. “Where you two going? Dining’s not over yet.”
“For us it is. Can you drive us back home if you don’t mind?” Jasmine says.
” I don’t think she can. Look at her. She’s not fit to drive,” Rose says. They both walk past the gate to the street, as Violet drops one glass “oops” and groggily gets back inside the house while laughing.
The two ladies eventually find a cab. “I honestly think you and Jay should try to resolve you issues. He’s your friend’s husband after all,” says Jasmine as they settle in the back seats. The driver puts the car in motion.
“There’s no fixing of this,” Rose says.
Last week Susan, Jay’s wife, had planned to help Rose by lending her money to pay off her debt. But Jay stated otherwise, even got mad at Susan for thinking of the idea, got madder at Rose and accused her of taking advantage of Susan’s kindness. He and Rose ended up in a screaming argument and they’v detested each other even more ever since. And Susan inviting her over for his birthday gathering was just her trying to make them reconcile.
“How’s your book coming along?” Rose asks, changing the subject.
“It’s coming along well. But the research is drainimg me. I’m on chapter four,” Jasmine says.
“Research about what?” Asks Rose.
“Chemistry. Biology. My antagonist is one of those mad evil scientist but with a nuanced flare to her,” Jadmine says.
“Now that’s a first. Yeah, I think the chracterization will be nuanced enough if it’s a female. A lot of evil mad scientists are men,” says Rose, but Jasmine can see that the excitement of her words doesn’t match her face. Something else is bothering her.
Rose pulls out a piece of paper and a pen from her bag. “There are some guys I know who specialise in the field you doing research in. It’s been a while since I last saw them but I think they are around… I think they can help.”
“Oh, thanks. Thank you very much. The internet isn’t helping, especially for someone my age,” Jasmine says with a giggle.
Rose writes the names with her left hand, then hands the piece of paper to Jasmine. “Just ask them anything. Tell them you were sent by me if they ask. The fourth one,” Rose lays her finger on the name, “Katrina Jacobs, is a varsity student enrolling in similar courses. She rents a flat in the same building I’m renting in.”
“Oh, that’s nice. I shall start with her, then.”
“How far are you with that debt?’ Jasmine asks, taking a risk in dwelling back to a topic Rose hates but she merely asked to show that she cares.
Rose sighs at the question. “I’m very far,” she exhales heavily and looks down.
“But, Rose I’m sure you can do something. Get a loan or sell a few things…”
“I’ve been blacklisted, Jas. And no there’s nothing to sell. Even if there was, it still wouldn’t …” Rose trails off and looks down again.
“You know if I had money I would have given it to you, right?” Says Jasmine.
“I know, Jas, I know. And I don’t doubt that for a second,” a sad smile from Rose.
“What’s going to happen? How much money you have now?”
“Not enough to cover a quarter of what I owe,” says Rose. “My stuff will get reposessed. That’s the only way.”
The driver stares at them via the rear view mirror for a second.
“Rose. What about…what about your twin sister?” Jasmine asks.
Rose shoots her a look at once. “I thought we talked about this,” she says.
“I know, but think about it. Violet has more than enough money. She can just wipe out all your debt.”
“Jas, I don’t want her money. How many times do I have to say that?” Says Rose, her voice getting sharper with every word. The driver looks back at them again before tutoring for a corner.
Jasmine settles back on her seat, allowing seconds to go by and water down the flame of anger which she had sparked in Rose. Finally she tells her, “you know there’s nothing wrong or shameful with swallowing your pride. Absolutely nothing wrong.”
The taxi reaches the building where Rose’s flat is. The flat close to getting emptied by Sosa’s men. Sosa, the loan shark Rose owes, has been hinting on paying her a visit as of late. She says good night to Jasmine before stepping out of the taxi.
“Good night to you too. The new hairstyle looks good on you by the way. You and Violet are real twins now. Beautiful,” says Jasmine with a smile, a try of easing the tension which was escalating but Rose doesn’t smile back or say anything. She closes the taxi door and leaves.