Catching feelings

“Do we have to do this right now?!” Swartskaap exclaims from his seat at the long table, rubbing his belly. “I’m so full from the feesmaal!”

The whole family laughs. “Jislaaik,” Kleinboet teases, “did you eat too much on purpose, to get out of the dance-off?”

“Um … no,” Swartskaap protests. “It’s just that the food Skoonma and Kaalvoet Meisie made was beyond lekker.”

Kat leans back in her chair, chuckles. “Why are you afraid, Swartskaap? Do you think I’ll challenge you to something difficult? Like a tango? Or a salsa? Or a boeremusiek-wals?”

Swartskaap gets up. Or, at least, he tries to – weighed down by the delicious food. It takes a minute or two.

Everyone takes the gap to check their social media on their phones. “Oh, look,” Bloos says. “Swartskaap’s video got another share.”

Kat sneers. “More like, another stare! In disbelief, about how uncoordinated he is!”

Swartskaap (slowly) steps up to Kat. “That’s it, Kat! I don’t care how overfull of potjieskos I am! I’m going to dance you under the tafel, right now!”

Kat scoffs. “I’m not the one dancing against you! I got a real fundi for the dance-off. Someone who will truly toets your skills.”

Kat makes a flamboyant gesture to the kitchen entrance. Soon, a mysterious figure – robed and hoodied – enters, marches silently to the middle of the room.

The figure disrobes. There, not quite in a leotard, but not quite not in a leotard either, stands the most beautiful being Swartskaap has ever seen.

“Hello, um … beautiful being,” he stutters.

The being smiles. “Hello, Swartskaap. I saw your video, and I liked your liedjie.”

“Tsk!” Kat interrupts. “This is a kompetisie, not a ken-mekaar-sessie!” Kat turns around, snaps her fingers in the air. “Music! Right away!”

 “Um, Kat,” Kleinboet says, “we don’t have a DJ or anything like that. But … I can beatbox!”

Kleinboet starts beatboxing … clumsily.

Skoonma gets up, shushes him: “You have many talente, Kleinboet. Especially with the Bordeaux blends. But music is not one of them!” Skoonma turns around. “Bloos! Do you still have your flute?”

All eyes turn to Bloos. She blushes, as she does. A moment, then she puts her lips to the mouthpiece … And out rings a mesmering, hitherto unheard tune. Swartskaap and the beautiful being lock eyes. Soon, they are enthralled by the melody, improvising their steps and moves, completely in sync with one another.

It ends in a crescendo, with Swartskaap placing his hands on the being’s hips and lifting her high above his head, amongst wows of awe from the onlookers.

The beautiful being looks down – ecstatic, but worried. “Your arms are trembling. And you’re sweating like a Bulls-rugbyspeler before a game against the Stormers. You can put me down.”

 “I’m … fine,” Swartskaap huffs – determined. But his arms give in, and the two dancers collapse into a heap. All the onlookers gasp – worried, rushing over.

Kat remains calm as she takes in the scene. She claps slowly.

 “I know every dance from here to Tokyo, and back over to Santiago,” Kat says, “and I’ve never seen anything like daai gedoente. Bravo!”

Swartskaap and the being get up slowly, amidst growing applause from all present. They enjoy the moment, take a little bow.

Swartskaap turns to the being. “What’s your name?” he whispers.

She shakes her head, whispers in his ear: “I’ll tell you eendag.”

With this, she takes her leave, without looking back. Swartskaap is stunned. He turns to Kat, who simply shrugs.

“C’est la vie,” Kat muses … and winks.




Best guess of “What are they up to next" wins a mix case of 6 wines.
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