Dressed for success 1/3

By Drum Digital
03 January 2014

Linda longs for her high school sweetheart.

Linda Ramgale stood in the upmarket boutique with an aching head. She looked from the red dress to the blue dress then back to the red dress.

??Oh madam,'' said the young sales assistant, “you should surely take the red dress!

It's stunning. It makes you look like a million dollars!''

Linda nodded. ??Yes, I suppose I should. My husband likes me in red. It's the colour of a winner, he says.''

At the thought of her husband Linda's headache turned into a full-blown migraine. Roger Ramgale was rich and successful. He had built up three excellent businesses in the past 10 years, bought a house in Rivonia and acquired four luxury vehicles. But Roger Ramgale was also loud and aggressive and forever bragging. He drove Linda crazy with annoyance.

Linda hated waking up each morning to the sound of him snoring on the pillow beside her. Her first waking thoughts were always: Why did I marry this man? How can I stand another day of living with him? Oh, if only I'd married Justice Ebony instead. Where are you now, Justice? What has become of you these past 10 years? Why don't you come and rescue me? Take me away from this terrible marriage!

The sales assistant was still holding up both dresses waiting for Linda's decision. ??I'll take the blue dress,'' Linda said. Yes, blue was her favourite colour. Who cared what Roger wanted? She was sick to death of Roger and all he stood for. She handed the assistant her gold credit card. Roger didn't care how much she spent.

??You knock yourself out Linda, my baby doll!'' That's what Roger always said.

??There's plenty more money where that came from. You stick with me girl and you'll live like a queen.''

With the boutique packet rustling against her leg Linda walked out of the shopping mall and into the brightness of the parking area. The sun made her headache even worse. So she slipped on the Gucci sunglasses Roger had bought for her last Christmas. ??Nothing but the best for my wife,'' Roger had said.

But all the Christmas presents in the world couldn't ease Linda's aching head. Or stop the desperate longing and emptiness in her heart. More and more she thought about Justice. Over and over in her mind she went through the night that she and

Justice had parted. It had been the night of their matric farewell party, 10 years ago.

How could she have been such a fool ? to dump someone like Justice? Justice was soft-spoken, courteous and gentle. Justice had never bragged on and on about how wonderful he was, even though he was the most intelligent student in the whole of Sacred Heart Secondary. His teachers gave him glowing reports and predicted that he would do great things one day. How could she have let him go and replaced him with someone like Roger?

That night of the matric farewell! The memories were always there at the back of her aching head.

She had been wearing a soft blue dress because Justice loved her in blue. She was sitting at a table with Justice and his friends and their girlfriends. But everyone round their table that night had been miserable and depressed despite the great music pumping out of the speakers, despite the flashing disco lights and the delicious food that the Grade 11s were serving.

??I feel so ashamed!'' Justice kept on saying.

??I have let everyone down.''

Justice was captain of the Sacred Heart Debating Team. They had got all the way to the final, but then lost the Debating Trophy to Spes Bona Secondary.

??Don't feel like that Justice,'' said Tupelo who was vice-captain. ??We were all to blame.

Maybe I should have picked another topic.''

Linda, meanwhile, was growing more and more annoyed. This was her matric farewell party after all! Her mother had worked late into the night sewing her beautiful blue dress! Linda knew she looked lovely. She was young. She was almost finished with school and tonight was supposed to be a celebration! She wanted to dance and party the night away. She wanted a night to remember forever!

But Justice wasn't being much fun at all.

He was being downright miserable and Linda was getting more and more angry.

At that moment Roger Ramgale walked up to their table and spoke to her for the first time. Linda had seen Roger around the school but she barely knew him. He was in one of the other matric classes. He looked very smart in a suit that was obviously expensive. Gold cuff links shone on his sleeves. His shirt was a silky red.

Roger looked down at her with an arrogant gaze.

??Hey, baby doll,'' he said loudly so Justice and all his friends could hear. ??What's a gorgeous girl like you doing with this bunch of dumb losers? Come on, come dance with me. Let's make this a night to remember!”

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