I still remember that day six months ago when Edwin walked into the counselling office. His face was solemn but his eyes were bright. He was wearing his old brown t-shirt which was getting much too small for him. He held his back straight and walked with confidence.
“Good afternoon,” he said. “My name is Edwin Mabaso and I am a hero.” His face split in a rare grin. “The sign outside said you help people. Well, my friend and I need help…”
Robert came into the room after him. “We need help to finish this chocolate,” he said, holding out a 200g slab. He laughed his naughty laugh. I knew who had planned this whole surprise.
“We are a team here,” I said, playing along. “Together, I am sure we can help you.” I went down the passage and gathered Pastor Elijah and Norma.
Robert told us all about the events of the day, handing over to Edwin now and then. Norma excused herself after one small piece of chocolate saying she had work to do but Pastor Elijah was enthralled by the story.
It wasn’t more than three weeks before Inspector Maloi and his team arrested the rest of the drug gang. One drug ring has been busted but there are more in Alex. No doubt their business will grow as a result of Sipho’s downfall. The rape murders stopped however. For now.
Eight months ago, my life was a mess. I could scarcely drag myself out of bed in the mornings. Now life is so busy, I barely have time for chocolate, or reading, although I certainly make time for them both.
Dora has retired. She and her sister have gone back to Zimbabwe to claim their parents’ farm and make it a working enterprise. I gave her a pension equal to two year’s salary and I think they have plans to raise chickens and sell eggs.
Edwin and I decided we could do the housework ourselves. We have got into a comfortable routine and he does a better job than I do. His speciality is washing dishes and cleaning. His mother trained him well, even though she only had him for the first nine years of his life.
It is Sunday today. Sundays are our busiest days. In fact, we can’t do everything we would like to. Last Sunday we went to visit the graves. It was Peter’s turn. Next month we’ll visit the memorial garden where Robert’s wife, Ruth, is commemorated. Edwin says it is keeping contact with the ancestors. The boat in the bottle looks perfect on Peter’s grave. We’ve had the bottle cemented in to a paving stone with a little plaque with the date and “Coming of Age” inscribed on it.
Inspired by the whole idea and a visit to Robert’s contact at Leeukop, Edwin has made two bottles for his parent’s graves. For his father, he’s built a car, using a long-nosed tool to position each piece meticulously together after he had roughly assembled them next to the bottle.
In his mother’s bottle is a rolled-up book of “The Lion and the Mouse,” together with two carved wooden animals, a lion and a mouse. It is important to Edwin that his parents can be proud of him and I’m sure they would be.
Two Sundays ago, Edwin and I went sailing. We have joined the yacht ...