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Thursday, 31 October 2013 13:31



I look in my drawer for the engagement ring, the one with the hole like a gaping tooth where the diamond fell from it at a mall years ago. I want to replace the missing stone. You wait downstairs and talk to my husband, who shares me. I find only the brooches, the gifts from my husband, his inheritance. You put in an offer for a house, which is beautiful, in an area that is not. I am running out of time to persuade you to wait a little longer. I loop around the arguments, wanting to support you, but needing to feel safe without electric fences and sensor beams. You point out the plaque from the national monuments committee. I explain that I do not want to crouch for a view of the mountain. You will speak to the estate agent tomorrow, ignoring my pleas. I want you to buy in the street where I live with my husband a couple of days a week. You are colour blind, unconcerned that the Nigerian crawl is infiltrating the area. You treat me like a kitten. I am sniffy, you say, which I suspect means snobbish. You hold my hand and drive me back to your flat with the incomparable view of Table Mountain. I ring the jeweller and order a replacement diamond. You are a foreigner and my friends are baffled that you want to invest pounds in South Africa. You came alone, smelled like money. I carry a magnifying glass, looking for holes in your story. Just three days after arriving in the city you knew you would never return to England. I want a ticket out of here, a secure passage into a better future. You want to sink roots. You have no way back. I wonder if the maid stole the ring. If I voice this, you’ll think me racist. You call out to me, walk upstairs. I want a trio not a threesome. You want a duo. You want a home. You promise a ceremony on top of the mountain. I point to Devil’s Peak. I know those rocks. Climbers fall from them in the mist, fall to their deaths. You hold my hand. You say there is no path that goes all the way.

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