One in particular became a friend. Will: trained at Cambridge University and working for peanuts at Baragwanath-Chris Hani Provincial Hospital. As the chief of gynaecological surgery nogal. But Will was a wannabe. He loved the concept of being a soldier even though the only time he fired a weapon, a 9 mm, he hated the feeling and the noise, and he hated the idea of people getting hurt. We used to meet often for breakfast at a café in Melville: the Full Stop Café. He often brought work mates: other doctors and nursing sisters. I have never met a pretty nurse, only on TV.
One day we were all sitting down to breakfast and a beautiful, dark-haired woman walked up to our table and plonked herself down, demanding orange juice and complaining in a very sexy accent about a hangover. Thus, I met Maria. Will was going on about military matters and I was sitting quietly listening, always quiet when first meeting people, with woman that attract me, even more so. And I liked this one. The olive skin, long dark hair and a Hispanic accent to die for, what wasn’t to like? She downed her orange juice and demanded food, moaning about a terrible hangover. Will was still holding court and as I was wearing a cammo cut-off shirt and sporting a military tattoo, this volatile woman zeroed in on me. She went off about how ignorant, stupid, and a few other non complimentary things soldiers, and mercenaries in particular, were. My very first words to Dr. Maria Jose Fernandez were, ‘Fuck you, don’t put me in a box.’ She got ready to leave shortly after; as she was leaving I gave her my business card and told her to call me. This did not happen. What a surprise.
One morning when I was having breakfast with Will and co. Maria arrived in much the same fashion as the last time. I told her she was very rude not to have phoned me. In her broken English and very sexy accent she apologised and I left it at that. Later that afternoon she called and asked if I would like to join her in Melville for coffee. Yes! It was a forty kilometre drive from my house but I would gladly have travelled twice as far. We met and chatted, just getting to know one another. She was in South Africa in order to give lectures at various universities, on Chemical Engineering for heaven’s sake! So she was not a medical doctor like the majority of the Melville crowd. This clever girl had a life-time position at a university in Alicante, southern Spain. She also had a boyfriend, Corrine, in England. She was supposed to be hopelessly in love with this chap; further investigation showed it was not a two way street.
We wandered around Melville and stopped at a bar that featured a band; she drank beer from the bottle, I was on coffee. During the course of the evening Maria was dancing in her chair, very upbeat. She reached over and took my hand. Huh. Mixed signals here, what about Corrine? Never mind, this was one sexy lady and physical contact with her set my toes, and some other things, tingling. We left in the early hours, she to a commune full of foreign doctors and me to my large house, alone. I received a hug and a kiss on the cheek, very confusing. The next day she called again, asking me to meet her in Melville that evening. We met up and Will joined us. As both of these foreigners liked the bush, I suggested the three of us go on a camping trip at the weekend. I had all the camping equipment we would need.
To be continued……..
From the Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief II.
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