Dressed for success 2/3

By Drum Digital
04 January 2014

Linda longs for her high school sweetheart whatever life was.

Linda had got up from  the table without another word to Justice and she and Roger had danced the night away, having a wonderful time. Once she had looked across at the table where Justice and his friends sat in misery. She noticed that a girl had gone to sit beside Justice ? a rather quiet, boring girl called Patience. Patience was stroking Justice's arm, whispering into his ear.

But Roger grabbed Linda and held her close. ??Forget that loser, baby doll. He's not the kind of guy you should bother with. You stick with me instead. I'm one of life's winners and I'm headed for the big time, I guarantee you. Stick with me and I'll make all your dreams come true.'' Then he twirled her around the dance floor under the disco lights.

Linda had followed Roger's suggestion. She had stuck with him.

For the next few years she forgot all about Justice. It was as though she'd never known him. Life with Roger was just so fast and exciting she barely had a chance to think straight.

They'd got married and moved to Joburg.

??Hey, if you want to be a winner this is the place,'' said Roger. ??This is where the money flows and I'm going to make sure it's flowing my way. You stick with me, baby doll.''

Roger had done well, very well. His first business flourished and he began a second one from scratch. They were invited to all the best parties and social events where they rubbed shoulders with celebrities.

They moved into a beautiful double-storey house which Linda never had to clean.

Roger paid for a cleaning staff of three plus a cook. ??No wife of mine will ever get her hands dirty,'' said Roger. They took expensive holidays at exotic locations.

But then Linda found herself getting more and more irritated with Roger's loudness, his constant bragging and his endless arrogance. More and more she found herself remembering Justice. She was surprised at how the thought of him made her heart ache with longing. Did Justice think of her at all? Did he long for her? Or had he married that quiet, boring girl, Patience?

Once Linda wrote a letter and sent it to his mother's home. The letter came back unopened ? she was no longer at that address. She phoned an old school friend from her Sacred Heart days. But the friend couldn't tell her anything except that Justice and his family had moved away soon after the matric farewell.

And that's when Linda's headaches began. Life with Roger became more and more unbearable despite the luxury cars, despite the parties and three domestic workers. How much longer could she stand it?

With the boutique packet rustling, Linda walked across the parking lot trying to remember where she'd parked her Audi.

That's when she saw the homeless woman standing beside a rubbish bin.

Linda shivered. She hated seeing homeless people, down-and-outs, and the vagrants of the city. They always made her feel afraid, as though she might end up like that one day.

This homeless woman was quite young, yet already bowed down by her hard life.

Her hair was a mess, half-hidden by a grubby scarf. She wore a ghastly orange jersey with one sleeve badly ripped. Her green tracksuit pants were baggy and dusty. And she held up a cardboard sign with dirty uncared-for hands.

It read: Unemployed. Husband sick. Please help us.

The woman looked up into Linda's face. ??Please madam,'' she begged. ??Please, can'tyou spare a little for us?''

Linda stared in shock through her Gucci sunglasses. She knew this woman! She recognized her despite the dirt and the years.

This was the quiet, boring Patience from Sacred Heart Secondary. This was the girl who had stroked Justice's arm that night 10 years ago. What on Earth had happened to her? What terrible events

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