Sitting in my car the Cape Town winter rain started falling again. As I tried to plan the next move I rubbed my eyes as though the circumstances would be different when I stopped and saw things in a different light. It felt so good, I couldn’t stop rubbing them and it did help me think. I would Call her sister Bronwyn and hear if she had possibly fetched her from campus and gone somewhere. There had to be a simple answer to all of this.
My eyes still blurry I looked for Bronwyn’s number. I stopped before I could dial as I saw Jess’s Honda drive by with a stranger behind the wheel. What the heck! Adrenaline kicking in, I turned the ignition key and accelerated out of my slot after him. There was no need to rush as he was in no hurry ambling through the boom gates and easing into the traffic towards the city. If he was stealing the Honda, he was very calm about it, or did not want to attract attention by speeding away. I kept a car between the Honda and me as I followed; trying to figure out what was going on. At least I was doing something constructive, even if it was just to stop a thief. A surprisingly cool, calm and collected thief.
Thankfully the rain stopped and I could put the wipers off. I was very surprised when he turned into the Crescent Clinic entrance. I had driven past these gates hundreds of times and wondered about the goings-on there. I had heard many stories and never dreamed that I would be driving in here one day. I had no option now if I was going to solve some of the Jess puzzles today. I parked a few cars down from the Honda and fidgeted with my phone to give myself some time to decide if I would follow this guy into reception, or wait until he came out again. He didn’t get out of the car. Straining to see what he was doing, I could see him talking on his phone. I would have to make a move soon to avoid him thinking I was following him. Before I had to make a decision there was a tap on my window. He was standing with his phone still on his ear. I switched the ignition on and rolled the window down. My heart was pounding in my chest. I watched his hands waiting for him to pull out a gun or a knife and threaten me.
Instead, he stooped down and passed me the phone.
“She wants to talk to you.”
I let out a sigh that almost blew my windscreen out. He wasn’t stealing her car, he knew her name and she wanted to talk to me.
“Kyle, please stop trying to follow me. Forget about me. I’m just trouble. Please!”
“What are you talking about? I need to know what’s going on. Are you in trouble? Is this guy doing this to you?”
“Please Kyle, just go away.”
He reached in and took the phone and walked towards the Honda. He walked past the car and into the clinic.
There was no sign of him in reception as I stepped through the revolving doors. Assuming that he worked at the clinic I asked the girl at the counter what his job was. The look on her face told me what she was thinking and she shook her head in answer to my question.
“He is here to see a patient.”
A short conversation followed made up of me asking questions and pushing her to give in reluctantly to provide answers. I found out that Jess was the patient that had been brought in by ambulance a few hours earlier following a suspected drug overdose. It was not her first visit and the guy was Claude, a cousin. I was not allowed to see her as visits were only allowed for family and partners. Had I have known that earlier I would not have told her I was just a friend, although it was pretty obvious from my lack of knowledge that I was not intimately involved with her life.
My phone buzzed. Josh tore into me before I could say a word. He needed his laptop now. Where was I? If I wanted to keep my job, I needed to get my ‘a’ into ‘g’ and get it there pronto.