Saturday, 27 September 2014

PAWNING PEARL - A Serial Novel - Chapter 4

Strange how easily Simon Thambisa fell into the comfortable and comforting rhythms of life with Pearl Chabalala...

Mornings he woke to his usual shower, followed by a plate of good creamy porridge and a steaming mug of tea, served with a sunny smile. Then at lunchtime, Pearl would materialise at the Polite Pawn Shop carrying a covered tray with his lunch.

After work, would be dinner and unravelling the day’s doings over his  mug of sweet tea. Then after dinner she would get up, move quietly around the kitchen, tidying up, and say goodnight. Simon would sit at his kitchen table nursing his tea, with nothing to do.

The house was impeccably clean. His clothes were washed, pressed and neatly put away. Simon would get up, go to his lounge, sit on his couch and play with the TVs remote control, switching channels, feeling paradoxically lonelier than he had ever felt before.


Simon Thambisa hummed contentedly as he arranged a row of watches in a display case. A thunderous roar issued from Gideon's stomach.

"My Boss! I am so hungry!"

"Go eat Gideon, I will call you if I need you."

Gideon got up and moved to the back room where Simon had set up a hot-plate, a micro-wave oven and a mini-bar fridge, leaving him in the delicious solitude of the Polite Pawn Shop. Simon Thambisa's contentment was soon disturbed by the tinkling of the door-bell.

It was Pearl Chabalala with the tray of delights she called lunch. She set it on the counter, and instead of singing out a cheery "Have a good-lunch Sir!" and bouncing happily away, she carefully folded her hands on the counter and turned those huge eyes up at him.

"What is it Miss Chabalala? Is there a problem, do you need anything?"

"No, Sir, I am coming to you, asking for your help on behalf of someone else, Sir. Someone most worthy."

Simon cringed. "Is this going to cost me money, Miss Chabalala?"

"Oh no Sir! Not a cent."

"Go on, Miss Chabalala," he smiled gallantly, "Anything I can do to help the worthy..."

"Oh Sir! I knew it! It's Mr Ratsika, Sir. From upstairs? NÂș 4C?"

Simon frowned "Mr Ratsika? He is a good young man, very quiet, pays his rent on time. Is he in trouble?"

"Well, Sir, you see, Mr. Ratsika is a very talented violinist. Very. He won first prise at the conservatory in Cape Town and everything!" Her lustrous eyes shone, "But now, here in Johannesburg, he cannot get an orchestra job, because he does not have his own violin, you see. It is very, very expensive, Sir, and he is working in a shoe-store, and there is a big audition in a month's time for the Johannesburg Orchestra and he could win the job, Sir, but he can't because he does not have a violin and I though...Sir, you have a violin, Sir, right here on the wall gathering dust while one of the most talented young violinists in Africa lives in your building Sir, and I thought: it is Fate! And I knew, if I had the courage to ask, Sir, you would help, because that is how you are. So kind, so generous, with such a big heart."

She stopped breathless, and gazed up at him, and under her admiring eyes, Simon Thambisa heard himself saying "Yes, of course! I will help, I insist!" He moved to the wall took down the violin and the bow and handed it to Pearl. "Wait, there is a case in the back, and a stand for the music..."

"Sir!" Peal's' eyes were stars, her smile the sun. Simon Thambisa watch her leave with a 22.000 Rand violin under her arm with a song in his heart and a smile on his lips.


Three weeks later he opened the door to his house, and walked in to find Pearl standing in the hallway with two children. A ragged boy about 10 years old, and a little scrawny girl that could not be more than 4 or 5.

"Mr Thambisa, Sir, I am so glad you are here! I found these children sleeping in a doorway, and I though, we have so much room, Sir, and you being such a good man, you would want me to bring them home."

Simon Thambisa fainted.


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