Around nine in the morning Danny knocked on Kathleen’s door a few times. He was met yet again with total silence.
He stood back a little puzzled, wondering if some crisis was holding her back at the hospital.
They haven’t spoken to each other on the phone for more than two months now and he didn’t really know if he had done the right thing to have been so quiet from his side.
The longing for her had taken over now, and if anything had changed it was his own love and yearning for her which seemed to have grown even stronger.
Two days ago when he had turned off the computer he had known the time for him to make his move was now. And the first part of his “hunting” strategy would be to catch her by surprise – with the ring. Whatever her reaction would be he would plan his next move from there, but one thing was certain: He was not going to give up on her. She was going to be his and he knew that because she loved him too.
The neighboring door swung open and the little old lady stuck her head around the doorframe.
“Aha!” she exclaimed. “I thought it was you! Kathy came in but left again. You won’t find her here. Not ever!”
Danny stepped up to her and stared mystified at the wrinkled face. “What do you mean, Ma’am?”
“You’re Daniel du Preez, right?” she shot back at him.
“And how would you know that?”
“I told her about you this morning and she asked what you looked like. After that she took off like a rocket. Still had the nurse’s uniform on and all. Why did she do that? Why’d she run away? You stalking my poor Kath?”
Danny wished he could laugh once more at this straightforward old girl, but he could not. He only stared and stared at the woman, shaking his head slowly and sighed.
“You tell me, Ma’am!” he then said. “Why do you think she ran away?”
“Beats me! But between you an’ me, let me tell you somewhat…” She leaned further out the door and eyed him conspiratorially. “This one is not up for grabs. If ever I saw one who doesn’t want to be tied down, that’s her! That woman is friend to everybody, possession to none, and happy as a lark. She won’t marry. Not ever. You here to ask her, aren’t you?”
Danny kept on staring while she babbled forth. “Thought so. She guessed right also, so she ran.” She slipped right out of the door now to stand before him and looked up at his face. “You’re a real handsome man and I can see you are an honest citizen, a good man. So, you’re going after her and tame her?”
“Tame her?” he croaked. “Oh, hang, what the heck is all this you’re telling me? That Kathleen is the very epitome of what she thinks I am? The wild and free thing she always hammers on?”
The old lady nodded delightedly. “Exactly! And you know something more? She ran because she likes you. She likes you too much and that put the fear in her feet, made her run away. This is the first time she took off like that. The others, she just faces them and says no.”
“Good heavens!” Danny thought bewildered. “I never read her right! What I jestingly in my mind called ‘hunting Kathleen down’ has become reality! Now I truly have a hunting expedition on my hands! But where to start?”
Wait here? Maybe go to the hospital tonight and see if she had turned up for work? Hang around Pretoria until she rocked up again?
The old woman stared at him oddly, trying to read his mind and accidentally hit the nail on the head when she opened her mouth.
“Kathleen has an erratic way of life. She would just suddenly take a few days off work and disappear like it’s nobody’s business. If I were you I’d start looking for her out there, you know, in some or other part of the great blue yonder! Or you can wait till she comes back who knows when. Sometimes a week, other times two weeks, even a whole month.”
Danny smiled as he looked down at her. “You’re quite the romantic, aren’t you?”
“Gmmf!” she said.
To be continued.