Skipping Reels Of Rhyme
Her life in Cape Town went on as usual. If it had not been for the fact that
she missed John and his frequent letters so much. She hoped he was all
Her studies progressed at a satisfactory pace, and she kept staying in the
old house with Cecil. He was also doing well in his studies and they would
complete their respective degrees at about the same time. Their love and sex
life was also going along nicely, and once they had both obtained their
qualifications, they would get married.
They went out on weekends as they always did, and she came to love her new
home in the mother city more and more. It was such a beautiful place with so
much to see and do. The beaches were clean, well kept and plentiful. The old
wine estates were spectacular if out went out to them in the early morning.
And Table Mountain itself was also a nice place for the two of them to spend
the day. From up there the view of the entire city and the surrounding ocean was
spectacular. Today was no different, and the two of them were relaxing on the
summit at a public picnic place. They ate lunch and had some light Cape wine
with it. Then they wondered about the area a while admiring the view, and the
Then they drove down the mountain in Cecil's new four-by-four, and stopped at
the bottom of the mountain, at the t-junction. Her window was rolled down, as it
was a hot summer afternoon. As if from out of nowhere a 'bergie' (Hobo.)
approached her from the bushes alongside the road.
"Spare a pittance so that a man can buy a half-loaf, please madam? he begged
Cecil had no time for 'bergies' and considered them the dregs of humanity; he
sped away in his luxury vehicle.
"Never give money to a bum, he told Natasha "they only use the money for
Oh it wouldn't have harmed to give him a rand or two. She said in
"No way, he said, "that only encourages them. And with that the
conversation seemed at an end.
They both received their degrees in mid 2003, having taken a bit longer than
they should have to obtain it. He was now a qualified accountant, and she had
earned a degree in journalism.
He went to work for his father and the firm was renamed 'Rabinovic &
Son'. He and his father got along well and there business continued to flourish,
as the father's one had over the years. She got a job at a local newspaper 'The
Cape Tribune', in the department for human-interest stories. This meant that she
spent a lot of time on the streets among the common people of Cape Town.
In the middle of 2004 they got married in an interdenominational ceremony,
because he was Jewish and she a protestant. Her parents wanted her to convert to
the Jewish faith, but she stubbornly declined. She said Cecil should take her as
she was, and that she did not see the need for changing her faith. Cecil agreed
and supported her in this regard.
After the wedding they went for a two-month honeymoon in Knysna, for which
Cecil's father paid. It was wonderful romantic days for them, as they played on
the beach and among the shallows. At night they would go out to a local
restaurant, and thereafter would follow a night of passionate lovemaking in the
chalet they had rented. It was her dream honeymoon come true, and she hoped and
believed it would be her ideal marriage as well.
She had caught Cecil getting over friendly on one or two occasions, but let
it pass without much comment, because she had grown to trust him over the years.
As he was lying next to her in the bed, she knew she loved him, and she was
happy, but then her thoughts would wander back to John again.
She thought about John often, she thought about him because she knew deep
down inside she still loved and cared for him. Why did they grow apart, why did
she let him go?
She wandered frequently if he was doing all right. Had he met someone else?
She hoped he had, he should move on with his life as she had done. Did he still
care for her? She knew she still cared for him. She hoped he was taking good
care of himself. She wondered if she would ever see him again.
And did he still cherish their love, and her letters. Did he still have the
book she gave him so long ago? Did he remember their young days together, as she
did? She hoped he was not lonely. He should not be alone; he was a good man, a
fine man. And yes, if she had to honest with herself, she did miss him. She
wished things had worked out different for them. That they could have been
together as they had dreamed when they were young.
And if had met someone else, did he still think of her occasionally and smile
at the love they shared. Would he forget her and forsake all thought of her
completely? How she wished she could just talk to him one more time, to
straighten things out, to say 'no hard feelings', to say 'I did love you, and I
know now you loved me'.
If she could just speak to him a final time that is what she would say. That
and, 'take care of yourself, be happy, and remember, I will always miss
Time had passed quickly for her these past years, with studies and love life
with Cecil. She was happy, and she looked forward too a prosperous career and
Cecil's father helped them to buy a small two bed roomed flat in Rondebosch,
close to their offices. They settled quickly in the routine of young working
couples in their first year of marriage. Cecil went off early in the morning to
the accounting office close by, and she headed off to the office of 'The
Tribune' in town. By six o' clock in the evening they were both back, and Cecil
would have the take away diners with him that he purchased on his way back from
work, at a small cafÃ© cum restuarant, run by an elderly Jewish gentleman.
She would light some candles, and they would have diner by their dim light,
switching off the electric ones. Afterward they would watch satellite, or a DVD,
on the television, and usually make love at least once before retiring for the
night. Yes, her life was good and she was happy, her future looked bright. And
she was happy in love.
But sometimes in the small hours of the morning, her heart would yearn for
the other man in her life. The one she had left behind and forgotten, or who had
left her behind and forgotten her, she was not sure which. She would lie there
alone in the darkness, and wonder if John was all right.
Did he still remember and love her, as she still loved him? Somewhere far
away the sea roared softly in the darkness, lulling her to sleep.
It was early in January 2005, and John was sitting under the shade of the
tree outside his rondawel, when McDonald brought him the letter. He had to nip
the joint he was smoking when he saw the old man come down the path from the
When McDonald handed him the letter, he recognized the familiar brown
envelope immediately. It was from Natasha, the girl he had loved, and will
always love. He could not help but smile broadly with joy and saying; "Thank
you, Mister McDonald.
He held the envelope to his nose a he always did, and smelt the delicate
fragrance of her perfume. Then he opened it gently with his small wooden letter
opener, and unfolded the pages carefully. He read once, and then twice more
thereafter. He would read again several times over the next few weeks, as he
always did with all her letters.
She said in the letter the letter that she hoped he was doing well, and that
he was taking care of himself. She said that she was doing well. She had
obtained her degree in the middle of last year and had found work at a local
newspaper. She was happy with her work, and was doing well in it.
She and Cecil had also been married last year, and were staying in nice flat
in Rondebosch. He was working for his father, and they now run an accountancy
firm together. It seemed as if their business was doing well. She said that she
hoped he understood.
It was nice in Cape Town and there was always plenty to do. She told him a
bit about the city and its people, and how she now had more contact with them,
with her job at the newspaper. She was happy here, and would never think of
leaving, or returning to Gauteng.
She said she was sorry for breaking contact, and that she had missed hearing
about him and whether he was doing all right. She hoped that they might restore
their friendship, as it had meant so much to her in her youth, and she knew it
did for him too. She would really like to hear from him again, and hear if he
was making out all right. It was signed 'Natasha' in her familiar
As he read the letter over a few times, he marveled at how happy her letter
made him. He did not even care all that much about her marrying Cecil. He tried
to put it from his mind and succeeded, because all he could think about was her.
Her and the letter.
What did it imply? That she still loved him and cared about him? That much
was obvious to him. That she still missed him? Yes, he knew she did, and he
missed her. With all his heart and being. Screw Cecil, that won't last, and then
she will come back to him. But how would he compete with Cecil, and his father's
He would worry about that later. First, he had to win back the heart and
affections of his girl. He had too win back the love of Natasha. He sat down and
wrote a letter. He tore it up soon after reading it, and wrote another one. It
had to be just right.
She received his letter in the standard white envelopes that he had always
used. She new it was from him, because of his unmistakable handwriting.
Semi-neat, she called it. She smiled to herself, she was so happy he had written
back, and so soon.
She sat down on the red leather sofa, in the lounge of their Rondebosch flat,
with the birds chirping merrily in the tall trees, outside the window in the
garden. Her heart was as light as their song, as she cut the envelope open with
a thin stake knife. Then she sat down to read the words of her long lost
He said that he was very pleased to hear from her. He had thought that she
had forgotten him, and had moved on with her life, without him in it. He was
very happy that things were going well with her, and he hoped that she would
prosper in her job and marriage.
He said he was still working at the same job; for McDonald in the re-roofing
business. He said the he had learned a lot about the trade from the old man over
the past few years, and had become quite knowledgeable in the trade himself. He
was earning a decent wage, and still had free accommodation from the old
He was still staying in the rondawel by the river, nothing had changed. She
wished she could be there with him. He said he was still single and that he had
no intensions of getting involved with someone. This made her wish even more
that she could be with him. But she would say nothing of the sort in her
replies, unless one-day things turned sour between her and Cecil.
John said in the letter that his favorite pass time was fishing, and that he
did quite a lot of it down on the south coast. Apparently this is how he spent
most of his free time; fishing. His only other interest seemed to be reading,
and he bought books from a small secondhand book dealer in the main street of
Margate. He mentioned some books he had recently read, and she noticed there
were one or two among them, which she had also read over time.
He said he would keep on writing if she did. He told her he had written long
ago, and phoned when they were still in the old house, all to no avail. He
chastised her a bit about this in the letter, and the subtle way in which he did
it, made her smile.
He said that she should continue to take good care of herself, and that he
hoped they could see one another again face to face, one day. His last line
read; 'Remember that I love you, and I always will, John'. She read it again and
again. He still loved her, and this made her realize all the more that she loved
She tucked the letter away in a safe place where Cecil was never bound
to find it. She would hide all of her and John's letters here. She had to take
care that Cecil never found out the truth about her and John. That the flame had
never died, and never will.
Over the next few months John and Natasha corresponded regularly by mail, and
rebuild the relationship of their forgotten love. The letter became more
personal and passionate as time progressed.
They both discovered that they were still as deeply in love with one another
as they had been all those years ago. He understood that she was now married,
but if anything should ever happen in her marriage, which should cause her to
change her mind, he would be waiting.
She asked him in one letter if he still had the book she had given him back
in high school. He said that he did, that it was his most prized possession, and
that he read it frequently. He had even bought himself the other 'Alice' book at
the bookstore in Margate, which was also now in his small collection.
The waves of the mighty Atlantic crashed on the Cape shores, where she sat
and read the words of her true love. And where he was sitting far away on the
south coast, the Indian Ocean threw it waters upon the Natal beaches.