Sanette Joubert took the last of the books from the bookshelf and packed them in the carton. Just a good dusting and the shelves would be ready for the Abrahams', the next occupants of their house.
Fifteen years ago, Sanette and her husband John had bought this small starter home. Now they were moving to a big modern house on the edge of town, with four big bedrooms and a double garage.
Twelve year old Mike couldn't wait to move. The nine year old twins, Ellen and Bailey, had been packed for weeks, thrilled at the prospect of each having their own room at last. John was already planning how he'd fit the garage with his woodworking tools and his golf gear and his fishing equipment. Sanette joked there wouldn't be room to park the cars.
She knew she should have been thrilled about this new house but every day she was feeling more and more miserable about leaving. John said it was just 'seller's remorse' but her feeling of sadness was very real.
"Are you thinking about your garden? I know you've put a lot of work into it, love," said John. "But you'll have three times the space when we move."
"Susan? Frikkie here."
Her heart leapt. Was this the phone call she'd been waiting for all week, where he would apologize?
"Just checking on my boy. How's Toby doing?" Apparently not.
How do you think he's doing when his father figure has walked out on him?
"Fine," she said. "Well, he misses you, of course. But we're fine."
"I'll come past over the weekend and take him out. If that's alright with you."
Why not take us both out? Oh no, I forgot, it's the male bonding thing.
"He'd love that," she said. "I need to tidy my cupboards this weekend anyway. It's impossible to do that with Toby around, he needs so much attention."
"It's his age," said Frikkie. "Is he still playing with that Action Man I gave him?"
"That boy's pretty rough on toys," she said. "I think the head's lost. But he still carries it around."
Ginny is a South African writer who lives in Cape Town. Besides her books, she has over 400 short stories accepted by magazines, anthologies and high school text books. She is the on-line tutor for short story writing on the SA Writers College,(www.sawriterscollege.co.za) the NZ Writers College and the UK Writers College. Any day now she will write the next big South African novel.