She was leaning against the house she lived in with her parents when he drove up. The first time he saw her it was at the hospital when her father went in after he got into an accident at work. Neither he nor her mother spoke much English so she was there to translate. She was a very beautiful girl, probably eighteen or nineteen years old although she seemed more mature.
He quickly tended to her father who had a fall in their home and hurt his head. They called an ambulance because they were afraid to move him in case they made it worse. He was rushed to the hospital and he was brought in to examine him. It turned out that it was a minor head injury.
He said to the girl, “Your father will be all right. He suffered a minor head injury. I’m going to discharge him so you can take him home. He should make a full recovery in a few days. I have written a note for him to take a few days to recover.” He gave it to her. “The symptoms of a minor head injury are usually mild and short-lived. They may include a mild headache, nausea, mild dizziness and or mild blurred vision. If your father’s symptoms get significantly worse, bring him straight to Emergency or call an ambulance.”
“Yes, Doctor. What do we give him for the headache?”
“Paracetamol which you can get at the pharmacy or the supermarket. I have given him an injection which should last for a while.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
“What is your name?” he asked her.
“That’s a pretty name. What does it mean?”
She smiled. “It means rejoice.”
“Jabulani, it is very important that for the first 24 hours after the injury for someone to stay with with your father to keep an eye out for any new symptoms which may develop, okay?”
“I’m on call 24/7. Here’s my number where you can reach me.” He scribbled it down on a page torn from a prescription pad and handed it to her. “Don’t worry, your father will be fine. He’s very lucky. Tell him to make sure that he wears a safety helmet at work.”
“I will,” she promised. “Thank you, Doctor.” She helped her father to his feet and she and her mother helped into the wheelchair and they rolled him out of the room. Jabulani turned and waved at Doctor Klein who smiled in return before he was whisked away to tend to another patient.
Here he was a week later paying a house call to Jabulani’s father. She seemed very pleased to see him. “Hello, Jabulani,” he said as he walked towards her. She was truly the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. After meeting her at the hospital that day, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her.
She smiled. “Hello, Doctor.”
“How are you?”
“I’m fine, thanks.”
“Good. I came to see your father. Could you take me to him?”
“Yes.” She turned and walked up to the front door which she opened. Stepping aside, she let him in and then took him into the living-room where her father was. The older man seemed very happy to see him. He said something to his daughter. “He said that he’s happy to see you and to thank you for taking care of him. He said that his head is much better.”
“I’m happy to hear that. Tell him, I just want to do a quick examination to make sure that everything is all right.”
She told him and Dr. Klein examined him. When he was done, he said, “He should be able to go back to work next week.”
“He’ll be relieved to hear that. He misses working.”
Her mother came into the living-room and she smiled broadly when she saw him. She said something to her daughter. “She’s wondering if you would like to stay and have dinner with us.”
“I’m afraid I can’t. I have another house call to make and then I have to head back to the hospital. Maybe another time.”
She told her mother and she nodded, smiled and hustled out of the living-room, probably to finish preparing dinner. Whatever it was, it smelled really good.
He waved to her father and then followed her out of the house.
“Jabulani, how old are you?” he asked when they were standing outside facing each other.
“Are you still in school?”
“Yes, but I’m graduating in June.”
“Do you have any plans to attend university?”
“Well, I want to go to university but I can’t. My parents can’t afford to send me. So, I’ll have to find a job.”
“Jabulani, I can sponsor you through a program offered at an organization called FACES Africa.”
“I’ve heard of that organization. One of my friends is being sponsored by an American couple.”
“I can sponsor you and you can study here or anywhere you like.”
“I’d like to study at the University of London.”
“You can, if you let me sponsor you.”
She stared at him. “I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything right now. Think about it. Talk it over with your parents. Call me at this number when you have made a decision.” He scribbled his cell number on the back of his business-card and gave it to her.
She took it. “Thank you, Doctor.”
He smiled. “You’re welcome, Jabulani. Goodbye.”
“Goodbye, Doctor.” She watched as he climbed into his car and drove off. She looked at the card with his private number. She went inside the house. Over dinner she told her parents about his offer to sponsor her.
A short time later, Dr. Klein left his young patient in very high spirits, got into his car and drove off. He was starting to feel hungry now, so he decided that he would stop somewhere along the way to the hospital and buy a snack which would keep him until he got home–whenever that was. It was just after six.
Ahead and above him the sun was setting. He pulled over to the side of the road to just admire the sunset. It was absolutely breathtaking. It looked like God had used a paintbrush to paint splashes of indigo across the sky. He wondered if Jabulani was standing outside and watching it too.
He hoped that she would agree to let him sponsor her. It was too good an opportunity to turn down. And he was happy that she wanted to study in London because in a couple of months he and his wife, Avianna were moving back there permanently.