My day began with a call from one of the botox crows I met when searching for an apartment. ‘Sweetheart,’ she says to me, as if she really cares, ‘I’ve found something perfect for you.’ Don’t call me sweetheart I growl at her as she begins to tell me about a secluded, charming flatlet with close access to parking. In real estate speak she was in fact describing a damp, converted garage with a window facing the back concrete boundary wall. I realize I make a mockery of the single life, but sleeping with only a thin wall between myself and my car is pushing my standards pretty far away from my aspirational self. When I told her I had found a beautiful apartment in Hyde Park there was dead silence on the line. ‘Whose property?’ she asks me and like the fool I am I tell her about Fungal Peter.
‘Peter Angelov-? Are you mad? Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with?’ She’s screaming at me down the phone, and then just as suddenly as she starts yelling she seems to catch herself, calms down and wishes me every happiness. ‘I apologise and please don’t mention my little outburst to Angelov.’ she cautions, her voice as smooth as butter.
Angelov? Fungal Peter is Peter Angelov? That’s a foreign name and now that I think about it, he does speak with an accent. Good looking, tall, strong with an accent and a rental contract, what more can a girl ask for? I thought an angel had been watching over me and I suppose I was right, Fungal Peter is my angel. So he may have a wart here or there, but a disgraced girl can’t expect perfection.
I’d hardly finished brushing my teeth when my mother calls me. ‘Sweetheart’, she says, which should now explain my irritation with the estate agent. ‘How are you and where are you? Daddy’s so upset and your lawyer won’t tell us a thing. I’m terribly worried.’
So worried about me that it’s taken her about a week to call? I suppose I couldn’t remain hidden for long. If I really wanted to stay out of sight I should go live in Maun or Windhoek. Hiding out in Hyde Park, Sandton is a bit like agreeing to play hide and seek, and then hiding behind a curtain with one’s feet sticking out. So, truthfully, I want to be found, I don’t want to completely disappear. I just want to slip off the radar long enough for the scandal to die down. This is what I tell my mother, who laughs bitterly and tells me; ‘Sweetheart, this story won’t go away. Last week in Seapoint about three women from Fresnaye stopped to say hello. What they were really after is more juice. I was too embarrassed to tell them I had no idea where you where. So I said you were lying low. That’s it.’
At this point a good girl would tell her mom where she is, but no one thinks I’m a good girl at the moment so why disappoint? I lie and tell her I’m moving around a bit, not yet settled. As we speak I’ve flipped open my laptop and google all the furniture stores in Joburg. By the end of today I want furniture. By the end of next week I plan to be sleeping in my new place.
Fungal Peter calls, and for the first time I focus on his accent, I can hear it now but I can’t place it. Maybe Russian, he does look a bit like Putin now that I think of it.