Goodbye Danny: Stop the War

Goodbye Danny: Stop the War

An Extract


Goodbye Danny

While driving Danny’s big silver Mercedes to meet Ma at La Lucia Mall a strange feeling kept nagging me. I repeatedly glanced in all the car’s mirrors. The traffic turned heavy because of roadworks. My eye kept drawing to a car two cars behind me. The red BMW was always there. At first, it didn’t register.

I took an earlier junction, turned off, thankful to be free from the stressful traffic jam. Next thing, through my rear-view mirror, I spotted the red car. My strange feeling bubbled into panic. Oh no. It couldn’t be. Not that cop, Shaka. I pressed my foot down harder on the accelerator. The BMW did the same. The car’s headlights then flashed. I looked into the rear-view mirror again, and noticed the driver frenziedly motioning, with both hands, for me to pull over. Eventually, after loud hooting from the BMW, I pulled over at the side of a quiet residential road. The red car stopped behind me. I stayed seated and watched Shaka, through the rear-view mirror, jog lopsidedly over to me.

I buzzed down the electric window. ‘How can you not get the message?’

‘Good morning, Sophia. It is important I speak to you. Just hear me, ten minutes.’

‘Don’t even have five minutes and besides, I don’t want to hear anything a cop has to say.’

‘Sophia, I know you do not have a driving licence.’

‘What? You’re blackmailing me? Nice touch.’

‘No. I just must talk to you, please, very important. You are in danger and I want to help you.’

‘Don’t you think I already know about the danger? Everybody knows that much about Danny and his lifestyle. There’s nothing I can do about it now. I want to live. Okay. I don’t want to be beaten to death. I want Danny to change and walk away from all of this so that we can live a normal, happy life. And I know that’s what he’s doing,’ I lied.

‘Sophia, I am not talking about the danger around small-time drug dealings and beatings. This is serious. A drug war is to happen anytime soon and they do not care who gets in the way. They will kill you too if you with Danny. They stop at nothing as long as they win the war.’

‘A war? Oh, come on, Shaka.’ I huffed. ‘For goodness sake. Tell me something, Shaka, how are you going to protect me? I leave Danny and then what? He hunts me down. Finds out that you rescued me. Hunts us both down. Blows us away at exactly the same time and then buries us inside the sugarcane field. How will you stop him? This is all so crazy – I can’t —’

‘He cannot just do that, Sophia. We bring him down and —’

‘What? You mean you and me?’ I laughed shrilly.

‘No. Durban’s policemen.’

‘Oh, please.’ I felt the anger churn my liver. ‘Why not do it then? Bring him down now before the war catapults into a killing field. I’ll tell you why,’ I gripped the steering wheel tightly with both my hands, ‘because you and the force can’t. No one can beat him – he’s untouchable. He knows it and you know it. Everybody knows it. He controls everything and everyone here in Durbs. And guess what? We’re moving to Jo’burg so that he can take over there as well.’ I should’ve thought more before I babbled. Damn, Girl! Sometimes you have a big gob.

‘Oh, Sophia, no. Tell me you are not following him. Please, Sophia, you must not.’ His voice turned into a whisper: ‘Do not leave with that Danny.’

‘You think I have a choice? You think he permits me to do whatever I want? That he doesn’t threaten me if I say I’m leaving – that I don’t have plaguing nightmares about my family being murdered?

‘I don’t know how this happened. We had fun in the beginning. I was falling for Danny after I thought he’d already fallen for me. But things change. He changed and now I’m changing. I’m going to do this or try – I’m doing this for me too. There’s an opportunity for me to work with a detective and that’s the main reason. Besides I know that he loves me. He’s – he is, I don’t know, sinking at the moment and I can save him but only if he wants to be saved. I think there’s a want from his side.’

‘You must not fool yourself, Sophia.’

I ignored him, and carried on: ‘If it doesn’t work or things don’t improve then that’s it. I’ll walk out that door and pray he doesn’t kill me in the process. Now I need to be on my way because I’m already very late to meet my mother.’


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