6. Picture Perfect

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet 
And so are you

But the roses have wilted
The violets are decayed
The sugar bowl's empty
And I'm on a midnight raid

Papa, I didn’t.. I haven’t… I would never touch drugs. I promise. Please believe me,” I pleaded. The palpable uncertainty that surrounded him made my heart feel heavy, as if someone had dumped a watermelon on it. A huge, round, heavy watermelon.

I waited patiently, waiting for him to say that he believed me but.. 1 minute passed….another.. a third, before Apa Aaisha broke through the thick suffocating silence, “Haalah, we really hope you are speaking the truth, I really do but it’s just that all tangible evidence points to the opposite, so can you see the dilemma we’re facing?”

Annoyance surged through me like a crashing wave as I answered her, “Fine! You really want to know? Okay then, I’m hooked on coke, marijuana, cocaine and dagga. Nothing major, just the hard stuff. Oh, and I also have complete access to papa’s bank account, have exhausted my university savings fund and am almost bankrupt. But who cares about all of that, my biggest problem is that my LSD supplier died.”

She stared at me with blatant disapproval, her mouth open in shock. She clearly disapproved of sarcasm. I stifled the urge to laugh, she looked so.. I struggled for the word… matronly. Yep, matron described her perfectly. From now on, I am going to call her matron I decided.

Not to her face of course, I didn’t want to get any more forbidding matronly looks. But no one could deny that it suited her perfectly. Any reservations I had about it being rude to call her that behind her back vanished when she turned to Papa and asked him what punishment I was getting. It’s official, I hate this woman.

And that is how I ended up grounded, bored out of my wits with nothing to do. Well, not exactly nothing but waiting for Papa to go sleep so that I could retrieve my cell phone from his room. But he just wasn’t going to sleep. I waited… and waited… and waited while he calmly took his own sweet time.

I heard the sound of the toilet flushing then of toothbrush bristles against his teeth, then silence. I strained my ears trying to deduce whether he was in bed yet and almost screamed when I heard his footsteps shuffling around the room. Oh my word! Go to sleep already.

Needing to distract myself before I spoilt everything, I lowered myself into plank position. After all those soft drinks I’d drank tonight, I’d have to put in some extra hours exercising. I definitely couldn’t allow my shape to go.

I paused and strained my ears checking if there was any sign of Papa being awake. I slowly began edging out of my room feeling my adrenalin levels spiking. I gently eased Papa’s room door open and the sound of Papa’s soft snores filled me with relief.

I spied my phone on the dressing table and smiled. I should have known, I love Papa.

He was gullible but not so gullible that he wouldn’t notice if it went missing so with a devious smile, I yanked of the cover, shoved a notebook into it and placed it back into its original position. Yep, papa was so gullible that I’m sure the thought of opening it to check would never cross his mind. Gotta love wallet phone cases.

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