Friday, 26 December 2014


Next morning saw Simon out of bed at day break. He brushed his teeth, and stalked into the kitchen ready to give Pearl a piece of his mind. She wasn't there. No Pearl.
This was odd. Pearl was ALWAYS there...

Monday or Sunday, rain or shine, the first person out of bed was always Pearl. Pearl was always at her post in the kitchen presiding over a pot of hot tea and a gentling steaming pot of creamy porridge. The table would be set, and there would be Pearl...

No Pearl, no tea, no porridge; instead at the table sat a disconsolate Isaiah with a bowl of cereal and milk.
"Good morning Isaiah. How are you this morning?"

"Good morning Papa Simon, I be fine." Isaiah spooned up the cereal and chewed it up  with an expression of suffering.

"What is the matter?"

"I wanted Mama Pearl's hot porridge with honey."

"Oh! But yesterday you were complaining about how you wanted those chocolate rice puffs!"

"I wanted them yesterday. Today I wanted porridge." explained Isaiah reasonably.

"I see."

"I went to Mama Pearl and told her so, and she said it is her day off."

Simon gaped at him. "Her day off?"

Isaiah frowned, "Yes. She said: It is my day off, I am sleeping in."

"Oh!" Simon frowned back. "I hadn't thought of that. She's never taken a day off before. What about Thali?"

"Thali is sleeping in too. I told her to get up and come play and she said "VOETSEK"."

Simon and Isaiah looked at each other. "This is how it begins Papa Simon," Isaiah warned darkly, "This is only the beginning..."

"The beginning of what?"

"The conspiracy. That Rat-shit started putting ideas in Pearl's head. She's dressing up, and getting pretty and happy, and going out dancing and sleeping in late, and not making breakfast; and next thing you know he will ask her to marry him."


"Yep. And she will go and he will give her flowers and kisses and tell her she is wonderful and she will never come back. That," sighed Isaiah gloomily. "It is what happened to a friend of mine."

"Well, that will not happen with Pearl! She is NOT going to go off and be happy. I give you my word, Isaiah! I will soon put an end to that! Now, go get dressed, you and I are going out for an English breakfast."

"Yes Papa Simon!"


Two hours later Simon and Isaiah walked into a scene of pure feminine self indulgence. On the big couch were Thali and Pearl curled up in their bathrobes eating chocolate ice cream and watching a Barbie musical.

"Morning Ladies," greeted Simon, and was instantly hushed.

"Shhhhh Papa Simon, this is the good part!" Thali cried.

"Yes, this is where the Prince gets rescued by Barbie and tells her she was right, and he loves her..." added Pearl.

"And he promises to wait for her while she goes launch her singing career!" sighed Thali, "It is so romantic!"

"And after we are watching "Sleepless in Seattle". Channel 21 is having a special Romantic Movie of My Life Day." Smiled Pearl, "And all we are doing today is girl stuff. We are taking the day off, Thali and I."

Simon looked down at Isaiah who sent him a telepathic "told you so!". The two walked into the kitchen to confer in privacy.

"Do you think there will be lunch?" asked Isaiah.

"Somehow I don't think so. But don't worry, I will make us all a tuna omelet. I do a great tuna omelet."

Isaiah looked up at him and winced. "Papa Simon? You cooking?"

"Isaiah, I was an independent man, long before Miss Pearl Chabalala came along I was living alone and doing it most successfully! I can feed this family as well as she can, and I am about to prove it to you!"

Just then the phone rang. Simon walked into the hall and picked up the receiver.


"Good morning," said a male voice on the other side, "May I speak to Miss Chabalala, please?"

"Who is this?" asked Simon quite rudely, "And what do you want."

"Well Sir, I wanted to speak to Miss Chabalala. I am afraid the matter is confidential, so if you would be so kind as to call the Lady to the phone?"

"PEARL!" Screamed Simon, "Phone for you!"

Pearl traipsed in light as you please and took the receiver from him.

"Hello? Yes ,this is she?" There was a long pause, then she replied, "Thali too?" Pearl frowned. "Just us two then. Yes, at 11:00 Monday. Please tell the Doctor we will most certainly be there. Thank you for calling. Goodbye, and have a nice weekend."

Pearl slowly replaced the receiver. She was still frowning when she turned to Simon.

"It was the receptionist from the Doctor's office, he said the Doctor wants to discuss some of the results from the children's blood-tests." Her dark eyes were filled with a foreshadowing of fear. "Oh Simon...he said not to bring the children, just us two are to go in, as Thali's care-takers and guardian."

She shivered, "Oh Simon, I think our babies may be ill!"



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