He was on his way home when he got the call. He eagerly answered it, his heart racing. “Hello, Jabulani.”
“Hello, Doctor. I’ve decided to accept your offer to sponsor me.”
He didn’t realize that he was tense until he felt himself relax as relief washed over him. “I’m so happy to hear that. When you’re ready we can meet to make arrangements for your flight to London and–“
“I’ve decided that I’m going to study at the University of Johannesburg.”
His heart sank. “But I thought you wanted to study at the University of London.”
“I do but…”
“May I come and see you so that we can talk about it face to face?”
It was late afternoon when he went to see her. She was waiting outside for him. His eyes traveled over her slim figure in the black vest top and jeans. They went to the side of the house and stood in the shade.
“Would you like something to drink?” she asked. “I made some Peach Punch.”
“That would be nice, thank you.”
She went inside and soon returned with two tall glasses of the refreshing drink. She handed him his. He took a couple of sips. “This is very good,” he remarked and she smiled.
“Jabulani, why do you want to study here in Johannesburg instead of in London? Is it because of your parents?” he asked.
“No, Doctor. They are encouraging me to study in London.”
“If they don’t have a problem with you studying there, why have you changed your mind?”
“I want to be here in Johannesburg.”
“I want to be here because of you.”
“You want to study here instead of in London because of me?”
“Yes. I want to be a nurse and maybe work at the same hospital with you when I finish my studies.”
“Jabulani, I’m flattered that you want to stay and study in Johannesburg because of me but, I’m not going to be here after August. I’m moving to London.”
“You’re moving to London?”
“Yes. I was offered a job there. I’m going to be the physician of the Duke of Rutherham and his family.”
“Oh.” She had read of the Duke’s son’s accident and how Dr. Klein had saved his life but she hadn’t read about the Duke’s job offer. Now that she knew that he was moving to London, she didn’t want to stay and study in Johannesburg anymore.
“Do you still want to study at the University of Johannesburg?”
“No. I will study in London. Will you be working at another hospital there?”
“No. I’ll have my own private practice.”
“Maybe when I finish my studies, I can work with you”
“Maybe. For now, let’s concentrate on you applying to the university, getting accepted and then, moving to London.”
“Do you know how to cook?”
“Yes. My mother taught me since I was nine.”
“Good. I will set you up in an apartment close to amenities and not far from the university.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
“You’re welcome, Jabulani.” He glanced at his watch. “I have to go. Please call me when you’ve applied to the university and have received an answer.”
“I will,” she promised.
“Goodbye, Doctor.” She looked forward to seeing him again.
He got into his car and drove away.
Weeks later, he got a call from her letting him know that she had applied to the University of London and had been accepted. She sounded very excited. He was excited too but for a very different reason.
He told Avianna about it. “That’s wonderful,” she said. “She made the right choice, although the University of Johannesburg is an excellent one. It would be good for her to experience a different culture, way of life, meet new people and so on. She might decide to stay in London after she has finished her studies.”
“Yes, she might.”
“Just think that in a couple of weeks, we will be in London. Are you excited about it?”
“Yes, I am. I think it would be a good change. And it’s closer to Heidelberg.”
“Yes, it is. I would love to visit there again.”
“Perhaps we can go there for Christmas.”
“That would be lovely.”
“Well, I’d better go and wash up, have something to eat before I head back to the hospital.”
“All right, Darling. I’ll see you later.”
“Oh, I meant to ask you. How did the interview go?”
“Very well. Bill Whittaker is a very nice guy. He made me feel so relaxed.”
“Good. I’m looking forward to watching it.”
“We can watch it together.”
“Yes.” He smiled and then excused himself.
As he got undressed to take a shower, he thought of Jabulani. They shared an unspoken language. That was the “conversation” they were having where their lingering glances and body language conveyed what they were truly feeling inside even as they talked about her future, her father, his move to London, etc. They didn’t have to come right out and say that they were attracted to each other. It was implied. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before they gave into that attraction.