After 18 months of being ill, Nolari was finally on her feet, she was excited that she could do even the most basic things without pain or discomfort. She had finally kicked cancer to the curb. Despite all the money spent from her treatment, she managed to save some, as a treat she bought herself an old maroon Peugeot 505 like the one Daddy used to drive. It was all about celebrating the good all times and the new life ahead.
Nolari loved the car, she bought it from a Peugeot dealer who restored old models in to solid working order. And even had a trick he played on engines to help reduce fuel consumption to more reasonable levels. Nolari didn’t care, she was just happy she got “Daddy” back. Dad had died 20 years ago from fatal car accident while he was on his way back from the airport. A trailer rear ended him and he fell into a ditch at 80kph. He died on impact in the ditch. Nolari had always loved her dad, it was tragic.
So here she was having lost her Dad, almost died and now she got it all, well almost all of it back. She had her Mum and her kid brother Milya who loved her to bits. Nolari had begun to take up the art classes she had dismissed almost 20 yeas ago after Dad died. She had pottery class and fine arts. The past week had been practicals with a lot of evaluations in school culminating in a mini xhibition. Nolari had packed her work in her boot. The plan that Wednesday morning was to take her work to school and then show Mum the town. Mum seemed bored and lonely. She had just retired six months prior and was getting a new rhythm to her own life.
All was fine up until she bumped into Aunt Ruth who had also taken a year off her business. Mum was ecstatic, some peer fun for her, with her sister. Who was Nolari to stop that? The day was going to be a blast. They all took a quick detour for lunch at one of Mum’s favourite spots, they had some fresh fish from the lake with some delicious salsa and Ugali, washing it down with some delicious smoothies. Mum and Aunt Ruth weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere, so Nolari opted to explore the rest of the mall that they were in. Nolari left Mum with the car keys and reminded her to give her a call when and if they were leaving.
“I am just roaming around, if you need to leave just let me know where you are headed and how long you’ll be. I still need to drop my art work at school.”
They were in mid conversation, haf listening to Nolari when she said it and they waved her goodbye laughing and high fiving each other. Nolari smiled shaking her head and went off to roam. She came across a private gallery in the mall and then spent what seemed like 30 minutes finding ways to showcase her work.When she finally wrapped up with the curator and looked at her watch she realized she had been gone for almost 3 hours. She went back to the restaurant and Mum and Aunt Ruth were gone.
Nolari called them and went to where they were by bus it was about an hour out. She now had to dash to school. On arrival, she had an odd feeling. Mum and Aunt Ruth were still chatting on a bench near a soda kiosk. “What are you doing here Mum?”
“We thought we would get your car cleaned? It is the least we could do.”
“But why here mum? There was a car wash at the petrol station across the road?”
“Oh! I didn’t realize that, sorry love, well he should be done….” Mum’s jaw dropped and she fell silent.
“Ruth did you see where that boy went, the car, was just here?” Aunt Ruth shook her head as she sipped her water from the bottle.
Nolari’s heart began to race and she bagn to perspire, “Mum? Once you opened the car, did you leave the keys with the man or did you keep them?” Nolari began to raise her voice.
“I am not quite sure,” Mum began to rummage through her bag. Then she stopped and looked up at Nolari apologetically.
“Mum, no! Mum!” Nolari began to yell, as she clasped her hands on her head, she felt faint and was about to begin crying. No one seemed moved by the wailing and hysterical woman. Nolari was now running from end to end of that Garage demanding to know where her car was.
And just like that her joy, her new found love for art and learning was stripped from her again.