I called my parents before boarding my flight to Durban, I’ve booked myself in a self-catering lodge for two weeks then I’ll leave for Nelspruit and spend a week. Papa Ray was kind enough to take me from the office to the airport, He is nervous about the investigation, he warns me constantly to check my sources, make sure I’m not causing trouble and to not show up on Sean’s radar. I assured him that I’ll be discreet and safe. His last words were “make sure you use an alias name” he gave me a hug and an envelope with money with a note that said, “You’ll never know”. I called the third time and my mother eventually picked up.
“Yes, Ntombazane yami.”
“Hi, I’m going to away for business for the month, so if you want to dispose of Obakeng, you can send him to my apartment with the instruction he doesn’t go wild.”
“He’ll be so excited to know this, what type of business is this?”
“Investigative” then goes that long sigh and pause from my mom
“You know how I feel about those cases, Why…”
“That’s why I choose to tell you last minute Ma, you would have called Papa Ray and beg him to stop me, my flight is about to board, so I was letting you know I’ll be in Durban and Mpumalanga, don’t come looking for me please!”
“I won’t, be safe, and pray for God’s covering, love you pichuchunu” I smiled and hung up on her.
When I was at the boarding I felt, this is it, I’m going to my destiny, a big break in my career, I won’t fail, because success runs in my veins. The flight was good, I got to Durban international airport and headed to the lodge, settled in and decided that today I’ll just rest, enjoy my scenery and head to Gateway shopping centre later for supper. I got a call from Papa Ray checking in and informing that he has set up and confirmed meetings with a couple of local journalists, however, each journo knows me under the alias of Prudence Gumede and I’m from the Northern Cape, I could never say thank you to him for the opportunity, all he kept on saying was “Be safe baby girl”. After slipping into the off the shoulder dress, I went to Gateway, started with getting some basic groceries and look for some formal clothes after that I proceeded to have a late dinner for one. A lot of random guys tried to approach me, but I was not interested, I called for a chauffeur I was ready to cuddle up in bed with a good book. I pushed my trolley with everything and headed to the car. The irritating car guards helped me offload to the boot and I tipped him R10 and got into the car without even noticing the driver because I was busy in my bag looking for keys.
“Sawubona baba, Ngiya e- “
“Baba? Am I ageing that much?” I looked up and saw this younger, muscular built guy.
“Oh, sorry I just assumed”
“Clearly you were making an ASS out of U and ME”
“Oh, wow you are full of comebacks, are you like this with other people?”
“Non-observant, sure I’m.” this guy.
“Such a gentleman hey,” I told him where I am headed, and he drove directly, we got to the place he offloaded the groceries, I was looking for the money, but he said I shouldn’t, the second ride, I’ll start paying.
“I didn’t even get your name & your direct number”
“How about I’ll call you tomorrow morning Lindiwe and we will take it up from there.”
I arrived at Durban Mews office on time, Grumpy young has a name, it’s Mcendisi and he is two years old than me, he brought me breakfast when he fetched me at 07:30, it’s like he knew I skipped out on breakfast. He is doing his second undergraduate degree in BA: Communication Sciences, his first qualification is a BA: Sociology. Not married and no children which I was at first impressed but then I had asked him if he was gay, he laughed and said no, the last relationship he had was with his university girlfriend after the graduation she left for a nursing opportunity in Saudi Arabia.
“Ms Gumede, Mr Kheswa is ready to see you” I was accompanied by the assistant to his office.
“Oh, this must be Bra Ray’s angel Prudence, it’s a pleasure to meet you” we exchanged a handshake
“Thank you Bab’Kheswa, I’m grateful for you hosting me hoping I’ll be of good use and I can get my work done.”
“Bra Ray has sent me some of your pieces, I see you are a political journalist but a nosy one.”
“Investigative journalism does require one to play dirty or get dirty to come up with the truth but trying to remain objective”
“Why did that sound like a textbook answer?”
“I work by the rules that all.”
“So, do you have any leads or research on your case and prime suspect?”
“Not much, however, if there is anyone here at the D.M. who can help me, I am willing to work with them” He smiled at me.
“That’s great, we love a team worker. (He presses a button on the telephone) Yes Khaya, please come to my office now. Well, Khaya will be your new partner, he has been investigating the chief whip.” The door opened and walked in this tall, big built man, he looked like Dwayne Johnson. I was scared.
“Khaya, meet Prudence.” we exchanged a handshake
“She is tiny for investigative journalism” he laughed looking in the direction of Mr Kheswa
“Tiny enough to get the information that your big body can’t squeeze into.” He shut up after I said that.
“Well, will you see that she has sassy and won’t take nonsense, you guys will love each other. Khaya will take you on a tour of the office and show you your office space your first day”
It’s 4pm, Mcendisi is already packed downstairs, he called twice to notify me when he has five mins away from me and the second call was him in the parking lot, I thought I was going to be ready, but some admin work prevented me. I got out fifteen minutes later and rushed to the car.
“You on time” he such a tease
“Are you always this delightful?’’
“I’m delighted when you are wasting your time in an office when you could work from home”
“I left my parents in the Northern Cape so why am I being parented?”
“Open the plastic that’s on the floor, it’s yours”
“Wow a bottle of wine and an easy meal, how thoughtful of you.” The wine yes, Tv dinner is an insult.
“The Tv dinner is mine, I’m not sharing”
“So, I must cook a meal for myself after a long day at work?”
“That’s how you will get a ring, my child.”