Ravensklip Monday Night
They enjoyed their leisurely meal, the casserole accompanied with a fresh green salad and crisp homemade garlic bread, no wine as they were going out for drinks later on. The dining room faced west and they could see the sun, as it sunk slowly down over the horizon, painting the wispy clouds orange and gold from were they sat. They carried on their light conversation, the sound of the day’s early news broadcast from the TV in the lounge carried through to the dining room.
“Yet another cash heist with extreme violence, more hijackings and increase in rapes against woman and children together with a spate of senseless murders. Where will it end? They need to reinstate the death penalty”, stated Thomas emphatically.
“We need to look at upgrading the general security around here, you know”, interrupted Barbara as she went through from the lounge into the dining room and the to the kitchen, not waiting for neither a reply nor comment as she pushed past them..
“I agree mom!” responded Ann quite loudly, “Are you finished with your supper Blusie? As we need to get a move on if you are still up to going to your daughter’s”, Ann dropped her voice to normal speaking levels..
“Finished thanks, will quickly bung the dishes into the washer, while you do your freshen up bit, then we can be on our way”, said Thomas.
Barbara, who had now come back in from the kitchen, demanded; “now where are you going off too! You two shouldn’t be going out, it is practically every night that you are off somewhere, you know”.
“Off to my daughter for drinks”, was Thomas’s terse reply, this being now the third time that he had told her of the fact that they were going to see his daughter.
“You really should not be driving around at night; you know that they have just reported that there has been a dramatic increase in hijackings, in the surrounding suburbs”! Her double chin wobbled to emphasize her total dissatisfaction.
Thomas, now more than a touch annoyed at her attitude, “Yes we caught that bit of news, and yes we will be careful, besides which, Ann is an extremely competent driver, we are well aware that we should be alert to the possibilities of being attacked whilst driving”, he answered rather sharply, as he resented that she treated them as if they were still children.
Ann, all freshened up, emerged from their bedroom, picked up the car keys “are we ready and can we be off, then Honey?” she queried.
Thomas, who had finished with the dishes and cleared it all away, replied “just off to wash my hands and then we can then be on our way”.
They left the house, Ann climbed into the drivers set while Thomas released the gate that separated the front lawn from the back garden, thereby allowing for full access to the entire property for the three large dogs. He settled into the passenger seat. Ann turned the car around and proceeded down the drive, opened the gates with the remote, slowed down fractionally, as they approached the gates, once fully opened, accelerated through them as they closed directly behind them. Stopped momentarily to listen for the dogs as well as to if any of the motion detection security lights came on, satisfied all was normal she entered the road a headed out to cross the bridge.
They left Ravensklip, and headed north towards Johannesburg, climbed onto the M1 motorway and settled down to the speed limit. Thomas gratefully left all the driving, when the where together, to her as he had a long time ago admitted privately to himself, that he did not see all that well at night and his reflexes had slowed down a tad bit over the years.
They carried on with their light general bits of conversation regarding the trials and tribulations of her daily routines and other happenings at the office, which they had started at dinner, Thomas’s hand lightly stroking the back of her neck, Ann’s hand rested on his thigh. Familiar and comfortable as when they first met and started dating, all those four odd years ago.
That really all time great hit of the Beatle’s, “Hey Jude”, interrupted the conversation, as it played out on Thomas’s cell phone, this caused Thomas to smile. As It identified that the caller was indeed his daughter Lucy. He slide up the front panel of his cell and casually answered the incoming call. “Hi there baby, we are not all that late really, as we are only five to ten minutes away, just about to climb off the highway, actually”, slightly defensively, as they had really dallied over their meal and running late, should have already been there.
“Dad, could you do us a favor and please stop off and pick up a cold two liter bottle of soda water, for me”, was her request.
“Right you are, that will only take us a few minutes, and then we will see you, bye for now”, with that he disconnected, turned his head to face Ann’s profile, “situation normal, she needs a soda water this time! You know I can not remember when last we did not have to stop off and pick something up for them on the way there. We need to pop into the local café or at the garage and pick it up for her”.
Ann’s responded “well we needed to stop anyway! As we need to put in some petrol, so we will stop at the petrol station, where you can quickly nip in and get the soda water for them, while I fill up”.
They turned off the highway and swung right at the traffic lights then proceeded straight up the through a Jacaranda tree lined avenue which went on heading east towards the suburb of Norwood. “Nearly your birthday and the Jacaranda’s have not started to bud, the late rains have caused this”, commented Ann.
Past that prestigious Old Boys Club which is one of Johannesburg’s most elite private schools. This boasted an extremely well managed championship golf course, down the hill and up the other side arriving at the robot controlled intersection. “Strange, even the most elite of schools, are having to find ways and means to subsidize their continued lifestyles. Look golf club membership to non old boys, a Virgin gym being opened to all! Times are definitely getting tough, fillet steaks only once a week now”, shrugged Thomas partially
They pulled off into the petrol station, Ann popped open the protective flap off the petrol tank, then locked all of the car doors as soon as Thomas opened his door and got out to go and pick up the soda water. He returned to the car with the soda water and unlocked the car door with his spare key, then placed his purchase on the floor once he had climbed into the car and relocked his door. “All this constant having to lock and watch always check on who what and where is around you all of the time. Makes you wonder if we are not actually imprisoning ourselves in the end”!
“Rather safe than sorry Blusie, we are not getting any younger and are defiantly easy targets, the crime reports in this area has trebled and has become very high risk, not like we lived here, up the road. Look, there are even security guards outside practically every one of the restaurants in this road. It never was that six years ago and it was quite bad then”.
“Well we have to remember that we are practically on the border of Alexandra township, they have had that terrible influx of practically every one of the African countries coming in and settling in those makeshift shanties, that you see further up Louis Botha avenue.
They pulled out off the petrol station and drove the short two kilometer distance to Alan’s and Lucy’s house a few minutes later; Thomas got out, pressed the intercom, and was immediately buzzed in by Alan, Lucy’s fiancé, who greeted them cheerfully. Lucy emerged from the kitchen smilingly said, “You are just in time to make those Famous Irish Coffee’s of yours, while I tidy up in the kitchen”.
They all went through to the spacious, well-organized kitchen, which was the most used room in the house. Lucy and Ann pulled out the prepared snacks, transferred them to the well stocked bar. Alan placed the coffee pot and lightly whipped cream onto a tray, and like wise took them through to the bar where Thomas busied himself, as he prepared to make the Irish coffees.
They sat at the bar while Thomas assembled the Irish Coffees. “The first thing to do when you making that perfect Irish Coffee is that you must use one or two teaspoons brown sugar, to taste and a good strong coffee and of course a good healthy tot of Irish Whiskey. These must be well stirred and once they have settled The cream which must be lightly beaten so that is thick and pour able, is gently poured over a back of a spoon which is resting barely in the coffee. Not to fast so that the cream does not start to mix or sink into the bottom of the glass”, rambled Thomas even though he now on his own as Alan had momentarily left alone, while he went through to kitchen to bring back the last of the snacks. Alan had heard the description before as Thomas always made the coffees this way.
When Alan had returned with the ladies as well as some imported cheeses which he had brought from one of his suppliers, Thomas was busy putting the final touches to the coffees, a light dusting of ground cinnamon on the top of the cream which he presented to each of them each with a flourish, as the soft white cream floated on the dark richness of laced sweet coffee, perfect!
They fell into easy general discussion drank the coffee and nibbled at the excellent prepared snacks which Alan had prepared for them, mostly Asian in origin but with a strong South African flavour he and Thomas discussed food and wines as this was there common shared passion, whilst the ladies discussed decoupage dress making and of course teddy bears.
“I would seriously like to set up a small Bistro in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, where I can produce amongst other things some really fine deep pie dishes. Only work business hours and no weekend work”, stated Alan.
“There is a nice spot in a nearby office park, close to the highway, where, if you could get the sole retail rights, you would make an absolute killing. Only problem is you would have to provide a take away service as well”, was Thomas’s reply.
“Wouldn’t have liked to do the take away side though, it needs to be small and friendly fifteen or so tables. That, you know would provide me with an adequate income”.
“Agreed, but the prices out in the north, are prohibitive, and of course the current escalation in the basic prices of food, is getting out of hand”, stated Thomas emphatically.
“That is because the all the farmers are now finding it better to send their produce out of the country and receive dollar and sterling, then they want to charge the locals those prices”, Lucy added. “Especially with the meat, and fruit”.
“I, still blame the Americans, for their mass consumerism. The supermarkets, which have killed off all the mom and pop stores, dictate what the masses want, and not what the consumer needs. Have you tried to buy straight minced beef? You cannot get it! They have special lean, ultra lean and extra lean, but straight mince? You cannot get it. However they had charge an extra Rand or so a kilo difference for the various degrees of leanness. When asked about it, they say that what the customer wants. I am the customer, I want straight mince, I just don’t get it”, rambled Thomas.
“The biggest joke is, the mince usually has the same fat content, only been put through the mincing machines several more times to ‘hide’ the fat”, was Lucy’s reply. She had, until recently, worked in an a very up-market butchery for seven years. “If you don’t believe me, take the same quantity of each grade of mince, cook it in a microwave, and measure the amount of fat left in the saucer”.
“I can believe that! You end up with a plate of mush rather than firm loose granules of meat when you fry them up. I try and avoid mince dishes unless I can ground it myself”, said Alan.
The discussion went on and changed from topic to topic as the level of wine decreased in the second bottle of wine and a pleasant evening passed swiftly. Ann and Thomas started to prepare themselves for their departure, collected their cell phones and the other paraphernalia, accruements of our modern society. Bade their hosts’ farewell, and pulled out of Lucy and Alan’s driveway, checking that they had closed the gate before heading back south to home.
The relatively short drive some twenty minutes, accompanied with the usual frustration of drivers not capable of driving on highways, Thomas muttered and complained the entire distance, quietly relieved that Ann was driving.
They left the highway, then proceeded down the winding roads that led to their suburb, Ann, without indicating took the opposite fork to their turnoff. Thomas immediately alert to the changed pace and direction glanced into the passengers driving mirror. “What is up, are we being followed”?
“Do not know, will see now”. She entered the neighboring suburb to Ravensklip and turned into the next road, again not indicating. The car behind went on passed the intersection, Ann turned left and stopped, lights off, within the deeper shadow of an overhanging branch of a tree. They waited, no cars passed, the street silent. Ann retraced her route and headed back to the Ravensklip access route, no cars followed.
They pulled into the dark driveway; Ann came to a complete stop at the security gates. Activated the remote and entered the sanctuary of home, immediately shutting the gates, both Thomas and Ann, kept a watchful eye to see that no one was lurking in the tree lined driveway. The spotlights in the drive only came to life when the “girls” bounded up to greet them. All was normal.
“Thomas, did Lucy tell you about their next door neighbors who was hijacked outside his driveway last night”?
“No, I don’t recall her or Alan saying anything.”
“Well it happened at twenty past seven yesterday evening. She said that in future, we must not get out of the car, but rather give them a missed call when we get to their gates”.
“We all have to take such extreme measures these days, look, lock and listen, seems to be our credo, coupled with ‘be prepared’, it is a sorry state of affairs.
Thomas dialed Lucy’s number, counted three rings and disconnected an old habit to inform her that they had arrived safely home.
Thomas, as they had several glasses of wine, did not pour his customary nightly glass of Port, prepared for bed, performed the nightly ritual, checking on doors and windows, let Barbara’s dogs out for their evening constitutional. Once the dogs returned, Thomas closed and secured the back door, switched on the flood lights in the back garden, went into his and Ann’s private sanctuary, closed the doors.
He switched on the bedside light and turned down the duvet, as being summer they usually slept on top of the sheet, without the duvet covering them. Ann came through from the bathroom, settled onto the bed and took off her nightie, revealing her Rubenesque full figure in the pale orange light of the bedside lamp. She lit a stick of incense, sandalwood, and settled in on her side of the bed. The play of light and shadows over her full breasts and plane of her belly and thighs sent a warm hardening feeling into Thomas.
He lent over and kissed her gently on her mouth, while his hands gently, softly stroked and caressed her ample breasts, her nipples firmed and hardened to his loving manipulation. She groaned happily from the back of her throat. They lay close together and increased the intensity of their foreplay. With Thomas on his side and Ann on her back they lay united their breathing synchronized and their senses only attuned for each other. They glowed as they settled into the familiar slow deep penetrating strokes, free hands touching and stroking each other.
They shared, that warm consummate experience, of a simultaneous climax. They turned over to their sides, still united, and lay in each others arms. Stroking and touching each other in the warm afterglow of love making. They drifted of to sleep happy warm and together and safe, muttering sweet nothings and deep sighs of contentment, as they drifted off into a contented deep slumber..
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