Deb was pacing up and down in her apartment, a crazy look on her face. It was a few hours after Andrew’s call, and she couldn’t relax. Her hair was messed up, mascara smears on her face, but she didn’t care at all. She had a plan, and she needed to get the ball rolling. Yes, it was going to cost her money, but she didn’t care. She just needed a washout that needed money urgently, and then she should be fine. But how to get someone desperate enough to agree with helping her? Matt was out of the picture, she knew it that night at the bar when his conscience unexpectedly kicked in.
She sat down on her couch, grabbing for the file lying open next to her. Quickly she paged to where he wanted to be. She read a page again, smiling. This was going to be easy, like stealing candy from a baby. She went to another page, writing down an address. Satisfied she got enough, she put the file away. Oh, how convenient a police file could be with providing information. She glanced at her watch. It was half past two, pitch dark outside. She knew she was risking her own life, but she didn’t care. All she wanted was to get Abi away from here, to scar her so badly that she wouldn’t be able to move anywhere else but a mental institution. She read in Abi’s file about how suicidal she was after the attack. Deb was hoping she could ignite that feeling again. She made her way to her safe, taking out 10 bundles of R1000. What was the use of owning a business if you couldn’t use the money?
She grabbed a black sweater, not even looking in the mirror. Rushing out of the front door, she jumped into her car. She drove like a maniac, not minding red lights and stop streets. The streets were virtually deserted this early in the morning. As she approached a more dodgy area, she started to slow down. Here and there she could see small gangs of people sitting around, watching her. This was the kind of place no self respecting woman would go on her own. The shacks were crushed together, the stench of fire overwhelming. A veil of smoke almost covered the location. From sjebeens she could hear laughing and cursing, drunk people staggering across the road. It was never quiet here. Those who were unfortunate enough to live her, lived in fear. Gangs were the order of business, murder and rape was nothing new to them. Holding her breath, she kept on driving. Scanning the roads, she was looking for something specific. And then she saw it. A lone figure, walking with his head down, hands in his pockets. She drove towards him, lowering her window. The man kept on walking, not looking at her.
Deb was praying that he was the type of person who would help her. He paused, and looked up at her. He was still relatively young, probably sixteen, seventeen. He already had the look of a grown up about him.
Deb gulped, nervously leaning towards the open window.
“Do you want to make R10 000 cash?”
For a moment the kid just stared at her, and then he glanced around, warily. Nodding, he moved towards the car.
Deb could feel her heart in her throat. He was maybe too young, but she didn’t care. Here was someone who would help her.
“It’s not legal.”
She eyed him, waiting for a response. He looked down at his feet, clearly weighing his options. She could tell he really wanted the money.
“Is it murder?”
Deb was momentarily shocked. This kid sounded like he got this kind of propositions on a regular basis. Life in the location is clearly not the kind of life she was used to.
“Would you mind if it was?”
“Would you pay me more?”
Cold, bargaining. Deb hesitated for a moment, and then she opened the passenger door.
Abi spent the whole day at home. She didn’t feel like going anywhere. She wanted to lock herself inside, and never worry about anything again. Yesterday was the worst day in the past 2 years. After she spoke to Deb, she came immediately home. She ignored all phone calls. She needed time to think. Even Tiny couldn’t cheer her up. After her conversation with Andrew that night, she couldn’t sleep at all. Lying in bed, eyes dry, staring at the ceiling. She felt betrayed by him. She trusted him, believed in him, but in the end Deb won. Abi didn’t want to listen to the voice of reason. She was hurt. She knew that it happened months before she told him. She knew he was allowed to be freaked out, and that he had a lot of time to get used to the idea. But she didn’t want to be rational. The thought of Deb standing there, a self righteous expression on her face, telling her that she had to convince Andrew that there was nothing wrong with her, Abi, hurt her the most. The thought that Andrew still had contact with Deb, even after he told her he was done with her, was killing her. Yes, maybe she didn’t have to break up with him, but she was hurting so much, she couldn’t think of any other way to react. If he was here, she would throw him with keys again, and hopefully draw some blood