Goodbye Danny: I Spy

Goodbye Danny: I Spy

An Extract

From

Goodbye Danny

 

Directly behind Ma, to the right, stood a familiar looking man talking animatedly to a waitress who caught my attention. She was smiling up at him. They seemed familiar with each other, talking loudly in Zulu. I then realised who the man was: Shaka, the cop who I stayed with during the drug raid at Danny’s old house.

Ma peered over at me from behind the menu. ‘Sophia, are you sure that you’re okay? It now looks as if you’ve seen a ghost.’

‘Sorry, Ma. Just recognised somebody, somebody Danny isn’t too friendly with.’

‘Oh, dear. That doesn’t sound good. Has he seen you?’

I looked back at Shaka. As I was about to answer Ma, Shaka looked at me. He smiled, took a step forward, hesitated and then swaggered in our direction. I averted my gaze down to the tablemat in front of me, and felt my cheeks flush, shooting heat down my spine. No, please, do not come anywhere near us, I silently repeated until he ended up standing right at the side of our table. So much for thoughts becoming things.

‘Hello, Sophia. How are you?’ He bowed at Ma and nodded his head. ‘Hello, madam, hope you do not mind me saying hello.’

Ma smiled her gorgeous hearty smile. ‘No, not at all. I’m Veronica, Sophia’s mother.’

Before Shaka could speak, I glared at him and said: ‘Shaka, what can I do for you?’

His smile faded. ‘I really must talk to you, Sophia, only for one minute.’

‘Can’t you see I’m busy? If you have anything to say best you say it to Danny. Don’t involve me with your clash.’ I looked back at Ma. ‘As I said earlier, Ma, Shaka is an acquaintance of Danny and they’ve had some sort of dispute, which I don’t care about.’ I looked back up at Shaka. His skin seemed darker, smoother; only then noticing his handsomeness for the first time. I almost reached up and slapped myself.

‘Sophia, please. I do not ask to speak to you if it is not important.’ Desperation masked his eyes.

‘Ma, will you excuse me?’ I placed both hands on the table and used them to push myself up, scraping the chair backwards. ‘This should only take a minute.’

The waitress Shaka had spoken to earlier watched us beadily as I followed Shaka out of the coffee shop. We rounded the first corner leading to the toilets, and stood where fewer people bustled about.

I folded my arms beneath my breasts, scowling. ‘Shaka, what do you want?’

‘Sophia, I must talk to —’

‘Are you crazy? If Danny ever finds out about this, and he seems to have a knack for that sort of thing, he’ll kill us both.’

‘Sophia, you need to listen —’

‘Shaka, I’m not interested.’ Then a thought popped into my head. ‘By the way, what car do you drive?’

‘A BMW…’ His frown was deep, slightly distorting his good looks. ‘Why?’

‘What colour is it?’

He bent his left knee, and shifted all his body weight on to his good right leg. ‘What is the point? Why you asking this?’

‘I’ll ask again.’ I felt a ball coated in impatience rise within my throat. ‘What colour is your BMW?’

‘Calm down, Sophia – it is red.’

‘I knew it.’ I placed my hands on my hips. ‘You wouldn’t make a very good private investigator. How long have you been following me?’

‘Sophia, you must understand. I have been trying to talk to you for many weeks. I must talk to you about Danny.’

I raised my voice. ‘There’s nothing I want to hear so leave me alone.’

I turned my back on him, and scanned the faces of the nearby shoppers to see if anyone I knew saw me with Shaka. He called out my name. I ignored him, returned to Ma and answered quite a few of her questions.

‘This country, no longer ours, is definitely changing,’ she said.

I agreed with Ma.

‘How does Danny feel that there’s a Shaka on his case?’

‘A little less than happy,’ I said.

I didn’t end up purchasing a single thing. All I could do was wonder or rather worry about Shaka. Girl, how can you talk to him or listen to what he has to say? If Danny finds out, which we don’t doubt, he will slaughter you after he’s slaughtered Shaka. Depending on the amount of drugs he’s used, his paranoia would get the better of him and he’d assume I was revealing all his dirty little secrets to the coppers.

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