Chapter Six is upping sticks

Both Vernon and Nsansa were in combative mood.

Both Vernon and Nsansa were in combative mood.

Section 111 gets Chapter Six off to a phoney start

Vernon woke up on Tuesday morning having gone to bed relatively early. He couldn’t be sure if he had resigned from the best job he’d ever had or been sacked; either way when he had phoned Nsansa it had been hard to explain. The conversation had begun with an examination of his interruption of her patient observation and declined in health from there on.

“Why did you call me at work?”

“I called your mobile and your mobile was at work… with you. I asked if it was okay to phone and you didn’t say no.” Vernon could tell Nsansa was cross but the edge to her voice was mitigated by a hint of patronising disbelief. She spoke to him the way one would speak to a child who has just flushed his favourite toy down the loo.

“Kutumpa. Waumfwa? You understand? Wasn’t the charade obvious; when I referred to you as a consultant, wasn’t that obvious?”

Vernon suspected that Nsansa had been put on the spot because she shouldn’t have had her phone on in the examination. She was still speaking…

“Mbelelako uluse, anyway I’m sorry but why did you ring to consult me on a decision you’ve now made without me? Nshumfwile, now I don’t understand.”

Vernon hoped he would stumble into a considered move.

Vernon hoped he would stumble into a considered move.

“You’d suggested I go. I was confirming I was going, and I’m going. There’s more you don’t know however… ” Vernon felt himself digging in his heels. “I resigned just before I was given the sack so I’m glad I took the Thailand job. It’s because the Nonsense Filter was a public fiasco.”

Though Nsansa didn’t know much about the Nonsense Filter she had developed an exasperated air that she deployed whenever it came up in conversation. “Oh that. Ulechita inshi, what are you doing? You ruin the success you have for the sake of a success out of reach. Lordy Gordy.”

All things considered he’d felt a fool, and though quite practised at feeling a fool, he ended the conversation feeling bruised and took his pain to bed. They agreed to talk again.

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