Goodbye Danny: Penthouse Dream

Goodbye Danny: Penthouse Dream

AN EXTRACT

FROM

GOODBYE DANNY

We drove thirty minutes along the north coastal road from Durban. In Umdloti, in front of a large block of apartments – directly over the road from the beach – he parked his Mercedes. Out came a gym bag from the back seat, and he led the way. Up a few stairs, into the lift and all the way up to the top floor, I followed closely at his side.

‘Danny, why are we here?’

‘Don’t be so impatient, Pickle.’ The way he said Pickle so deeply made me giggle.

Exiting the lift, we turned left and he unlocked the door to the most stunning apartment that I had ever seen. He referred to it as the penthouse. There was an identical one on the other side, he told me.

‘So then, what do you think?’

‘It’s – lovely.’ I didn’t have the words to express the opulence blinding my eyes.

‘Don’t you like it?’

‘Of course, I do. Who wouldn’t like it? But, Danny, why are we here?’

‘I’ve just put down a deposit for it but wanted your approval first. Could you imagine living here and doing it up however you desire?’

Silence stunned me. I fumbled for something to say, but nothing came.

‘Sophia, you okay? Talk to me, Pickle. Something. Ja. Anything. I can’t handle this silence.’

‘Sorry, it’s just that this is better than I’ve ever dreamed a place could be. And yes, I could definitely imagine doing it up exactly how I’d want, but I don’t understand.’ I looked up into his small green shiny eyes, as shiny as a lick of oil on the tarmac caught by the sun.

‘I want to buy this place for you, for us, and obviously, I need your honesty. Can you handle sleeping here every night?’

I loved the place. I had never seen anything more grandiose. But living together, with this man I barely knew? How do I do such a thing? Girl, it’s beyond madness.

Eventually, I said, ‘Wow! Danny, I can’t get over this place. Can’t believe you’ve bought it for us. Isn’t it a bit soon to be living together? I’d need to speak with my parents. Somehow, I don’t think they’ll approve.’

‘I don’t think it’s soon enough. I love you, Sophia, my precious Pickle. I fell for you the moment I met you and my feelings have intensified every day since. I want to spoil you every day and treat you like you’ve never been treated before. I want to make you the happiest woman alive. Let’s talk to your parents together. They like me, don’t they?’

‘It’s not a matter of them liking you. It’s more to do with my age. I’m still at college. Besides, we hardly know each other.’

‘I know enough about my Pickle to want to spend the rest of my life with her. I’ve never felt this way before. Not a single woman I’ve met – and there’s been a few, trust me – has ever caused such a stir within as you.’ He briefly placed his hand over his belly. ‘You amaze me, Sophia. Everything about you fills me up with ecstasy. Who needs drugs when they’ve got you, the most intensive addiction? I need for nothing more in life except to make you the happiest your heart could handle. Please allow me the honour. Please, Sophia.’

Once again, Danny stunned me.

‘But, it’s only the beginning. Everything’s good at the beginning. What about later on? When we really get to know each other and perhaps find out that we don’t work? There’s so much —’

‘Sophia, you can’t think this way. Don’t you know negativity breeds doom? Take a chance with me.’ He pulled me to him. ‘Live on the edge and enjoy the ride. What do you have to lose? You only live once and sometimes the scary parts in life turn out to be the best parts about life. Come here.’ He grabbed my hand and led me out onto the balcony again. ‘Maybe this will sway your decision.’

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