By Johannes Adriaan Snyman

“So how about it then, Miss Arlington? Do you not think we should muse this one over?”

It was Markus Duvenhage speaking in the most casual manner possible, amid the slight restlessness he felt as he looked upon the fine figure of a tremendously smartly dressed lady in front of him.

“Come now Mr Duvenhage, this is not at all like you, now is it?” Miss Arlington said, turning about in the two bedroom apartment which was meant to serve as their home for the following year.

“What, my dear,” she continued in a most distinct manner, “could be your objection to this fine place we found ourselves? Oh! Would you look at that!”

Sliding over the floor of the living room, her voice almost went into the high pitched notes of a soprano singing, “Dark wooden floors, white walls, high ceilings and windows tall and wide!”

She stopped and frowned, jestingly, tightening her elegant red lips, pretending to be serious.

“Miss Arlington! You know very well that is not what I’m referring to. The apartment is most surly a splendid place indeed,” Markus said while moving to the middle of the empty room, as if to give his manly prominence more meaning. “A splendid place indeed, I say!”

“What is it then Mr Duvenhage? Tell me this instant, what it is that troubles your mind!”

“You have to understand, we’ve been working together now for, how long? Over three years now?”

Miss Arlington jokingly widened her eyes, but let him continue.

“I think…”

“You think?” she teasingly interrupted him.

“I’m serious!” he said, raising his voice only a bit.

“Oh go on, darling, I’m listening.”

“Don’t you ‘Darling’ me! We are colleagues, and must be committed to a professional work relationship at all times. Any way…

“Wait a minute,” Miss Arlington said raising her eyebrow while pulling her mouth to one side. “Why on earth would you feel threatened by me calling you ‘Darling’?”

“That’s not the point!” Markus responded more quick than he meant to utter the words. “I mean… Oh you have me all confused now… wait,” he said while shyly looking down to the floor in front of him.

She smiled softly when she said; “Darling, we are just moving in together, it’s not like we are getting married or something.

Markus kept his gaze on the floor, and hesitantly started verbalizing his collection of thoughts.

“I know, but we’ve been colleagues for over three years now. We know each other pretty well, and we work together better than any of the other colleagues in our department. We know each other so well.”

“Mr Duvenhage?”

“Yes Miss Arlington?”

“May I inquire as to where this discourse of yours is leading to? And if indeed it will be complementary to our moving in together under one roof?”

“Miss Arlington, that is what I’m trying to tell you…” Markus said no longer looking at the floor ahead of him but rather at his shiny polished black shoes now.

“I hope you understand,” he said, “there might, and I don’t say that it will… but their might come a time when I take an interest in you more than what the current state of affairs reflect.”

“My darling!” Miss Arlington exclaimed with a healthy mixture of amusement and excitement.

“You have your tenses all mixed up!” she cried even louder. “You mistakenly believe that, as you say, there might come a time. But I can with all the joy in my heart say that you are already, madly in love with me! You can’t fool me Mr Duvenhage, and with that said, I am thrilled to have a fine gentleman such as yourself take an interest in me! Now come, come. We’ll find you some decent accommodation this very afternoon, and you can make yourself ready for an evening to remember.”

Inwardly sighing with a great relief, he knew the words coming from her were of an absolute truth.

She decided there and then, that an evening to remember, will no doubt include a night to the theatre.