A New Chapter 3/3

By Drum Digital
19 March 2014

Winnie and Vuyo had been childhood sweethearts but she had never forgotten him.

Vuyo watched her leave through the side gate. To be quite honest, he was surprised she hadn’t demanded he hand over his work. Perhaps she was being polite when she said she would go through it for him.

The following evening, Winnie settled down to read her new book. She’d been reading for about an hour when the door¬bell rang. She wasn’t expecting anybody to call at this time.

“Sorry to drop in like this,” said Vuyo, hovering in her doorway. “But if your offer still stands, I’d like you to take a look at what I’ve written so far.”

“Come in and sit down,” Winnie said. “I’ll make us some tea.”

Somehow or other, the tea led to a bottle of wine and shortly afterwards Vuyo was tucking into left-over chicken pie. As he ate, Winnie told him about the naughty pupils she’d taught and the shenanigans they’d gotten up to.

Vuyo listened attentively, smiling at her stories, and his face reminded her for a mo¬ment of a long-ago afternoon when they were sitting together under the jacaranda tree in her back garden.

They’d been friends since pri-mary school, and had remained friends all through high school. But then Vuyo had gone to Cape Town to study medicine. By the time he returned to the village, Winnie had settled in Joburg.

“You don’t like it,” Vuyo greet-ed her a few days later as she rang his doorbell.

“Well, if you’d let me in, we could chat about some of the changes I’ve highlighted. It’s windy out here!”

“Sorry, Winnie. Of course, come in, I’ll put the kettle on.”

“Tea would be lovely, thanks.”

“Vuyo, you’re a fine writer! And I think this is such a great book you’ve put together – it’s going to save lives. Well done.

“I also like all the anecdotal material where you tell stories about patients and how you saved them.”

Visibly relieved, Vuyo thanked her and they started talking about the past. Vuyo told Winnie he’d been married to a nurse, Ayanda.

“Ayanda was a fine woman.

I think the two of you would have become good friends if you’d met.”

Then his broad grin came back as he said: “Now, let me get this straight, Winnie. You’re actually saying you seriously think that my little book is worth sending to a publisher? You’re not just saying that to let me down gently, are you?”

“No,” she assured him, “As a matter of fact, I think you ought to make the few changes I’ve indicated, and then we can send the manuscript off to Freedom Books in Joburg which has pub¬lished some educational mate¬rial of mine – with an enthusias¬tic recommendation from me!”

“You weren’t upset when you read in the opening pages about us growing up together, were you?”

“No, not at all. At my age, I’m happy to be reminded that I was once a clever young boy’s childhood sweetheart!”

The book was published 18 months later and was well received by both the media and public.

A month later Vuyo and Win¬nie followed that success with their own triumph. They got married in Dutywa, where much had changed, but not the way they felt about each other.

-by Daisy Pakana

The end.

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