Since her last encounter with Jenny, Jodie had done some digging. She didn’t plan on letting Jenny, or her plan to run her out of town, get the better of her. By the time the local Snoek Festival started a few days later, Jodie had her plans well on track.
With the times being as bad as they were with the international economic crisis, and local interest rates that had skyrocketed, Jodie managed to find a desperate house owner, who needed to sell fast, or lose his house. It was a beautiful, three storey house, with a swimming pool, built in braai, double garage and it was right on the beach, and not very far from where she was staying at that moment.
Paying more than was required, and arranging for the old man to stay in the flat let on the property, after the sale had gone through, she gained the seller’s word that he would not reveal her to be the buyer, but at the same time, she also gained a new friend.
Chris Masterson had lived in Yzerfontein his whole life. He met, and married, his one true love there, but lost her to cancer after forty-eight years. Although his house was paid off many years before the property boom in Yzerfontein, he had mortgaged it to help his son.
When things started going wrong in the economy though, he had stopped hearing from his son, and had to deal with the situation on his own. Jodie’s offer was God sent in his time of need, and still being able to live there with some money in the bank, made it even better.
Jodie now had somewhere else to go in Yzerfontein after the three-month period. She fully intended not to leave until she was good and ready to do so, but she also didn’t think that she had made a bad property investment. Later on she could use it to take clients away for a weekend, or to have a few wild weekends away with whomever she was around at the time.
The second part of Jodie’s plan was to be in Jenny’s face as much as she possibly could be. She needed to work that naked image of Jenny out of her system, and the best plan for that in her mind, was to allow Jenny to do what she did best, which was to annoy Jodie. That, Jodie believed, was the answer.
Jenny kept out of Jodie’s way, but being part of the organizing committee of the Snoek Festival, and on the judging panel, forced Jenny to be at each of the events. Jenny, however, didn’t expect to see Jodie at any of them, so she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the name, Jodie White, on the crayfish entry form that was placed in front of her.
Jenny slowly removed her sunglasses as she looked up at the person in front of her. ‘That self assured smile can only belong to one person,’ she thought, as she glared at Jodie.
“So, you obviously don’t listen,” Jenny said through clenched teeth.
Jodie just kept on smiling, as she also removed her sunglasses.
“You do realize this is not a sunbathing competition?” Jenny went on saying.
“I’m perfectly well aware of that.” Jodie smirked as she handed over the entry fee money.
Jenny took the money Jodie handed her, and quickly gave her a receipt before indicating to the next person to step forward. She still felt like strangling Jodie after their last encounter, but tried to keep her composure.
‘Please God let the next three months go by quickly,’ Jenny silently prayed as she watched Jodie walk away.
Jodie met up with Chris and his friend, Robert, on whose boat they were going out to sea. “So,” she said with a smile, as she got onto The Lazy Fisher, “Does the name indicate that we’re not going to catch anything?”
The two old men laughed as they got on their way. “Quite the opposite,” Chris said. “Robert over there took first place last year. That crayfish he caught was huge, but this year we are planning to catch that one’s daddy.”
“These youngsters of today have no idea where the big ones are, nor do they have any patience to catch them. Catching crayfish is like wooing a beautiful woman.” Chris stared dreamingly over the water as he spoke.
“Wow,” Jodie couldn’t help but say with a smile, “and how does that work?”
Chris turned around, and looked Jodie up and down before talking. “I might be old, but I’m not blind. I am very sure that you are perfectly well aware of how that works. You’ve probably already had your fair share of beautiful ladies warming your bed.”
Jodie couldn’t believe that she actually blushed, and looked away, although she saw nothing more than admiration in the old eyes. “Yes, I have, but I’ve never found what you had, and I don’t think that I ever will, as there is just no time for that.”
“Oh my dear, there is never time for that, but it’s not up to you to make that choice, as it will be made for you, by your heart,” Chris said as he gave Jodie a fatherly look.
“Oh no,” Robert threw his hands up in the air. “No serious talk now, it’s drinking time.” He opened up the cooler box as he spoke. “It’s another fifteen minutes before we get to where we have to be. Enough time for at least two beers.”
“Hey, are you supposed to be drinking and driving?” Jodie asked with a smile.
“Look around, who’s gonna stop us? Besides, it’s part of the tradition. While we’re out here waiting for the big one, we have a little something to quench the thirst, and a little crayfish pot with some of the smaller ones we catch.” Robert took out a number seven gas bottle, an old, beaten up pot, some spices and a bottle of water, which was strictly for cooking purposes.
“I hope you remember that I’ve never been on the sea before.”
“Don’t worry. It’s a beautifully calm day. You’ll be fine.” Chris gave Jodie a reassuring pat on the arm.
“I can’t believe you talked me into doing this.”
“I can’t let an opportunity to have a beautiful woman on board slip by, even if she’s batting for the same side as me, and besides, you wanted to be part of the Snoek Festival.”
“Yes, I know, just get me home in one piece,” Jodie said laughingly as she settled in for the rest of the trip.
The three of them kept on bantering as they made their way to where they wanted to be. Once there they dropped two ring-nets and explained to Jodie how catching crayfish worked.
It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day and the water was calm. Jodie was glad to see that many of the other boats were doing exactly the same thing, as everyone fished on the front side of Dassen Island.
“Well, now that my stomach is full, it’s time we go and get the big ones,” Robert said as he started packing away.
“You mean we’re not at the right place?” Jodie asked with a lifted eyebrow.
“Of course not,” Robert said. “We have to give those impatient youngsters a chance to spy on us until they think they caught the biggest one, before we can make our way to where we need to be.”
“And where is that if I may ask?” Jodie said with an uneasy feeling in her stomach.
“Don’t worry; it’s just on the other side of the island,” Chris said reassuringly.
“I’m sure I heard that a ship ran onto the rocks on that side of the island,” Jodie said nervously.
“Yes, it happens now and then,” Robert said casually. “But it’s always been people who don’t know these waters. That side of the island is always rough, but don’t worry, we know what we’re doing.”
Jodie held onto the side of the boat as they entered the rough waters where the two old men dropped their ring-nets again. After about ten minutes of bobbing around on the water, Jodie felt her stomach flipping before she felt the terrible sensation of everything in her stomach making its way back up her throat.
“Let it all out, it will go away,” Chris said sympathetically.
“There’s nothing…more…to come…out, but…it won’t…it won’t stop,” Jodie got out in between convulsions. “Can…can we…go back…now?”
“You’ve come this far, are you sure you want to go before getting a big one?” Robert asked while getting up.
“How much…longer must we…wait?” Jodie asked while dangling over the side.
“Maybe another twenty minutes. Can you hold on?”
“Oh God…I think I’m dying…but let…it not be said…that I…didn’t try…”
“That’s my girl.” Chris wrapped his arm around Jodie’s shoulder and helped her to straighten up as it looked like the convulsions were less. “Do you want something to drink?”
Jodie looked like a deer caught in headlights, as just hearing the words made her stomach flip again.
“Are you insane!” Robert shouted at Chris. “Don’t mention food or drink in front of her now. It’ll just make it worse.”
Chris slapped his head lightly with his hand while scolding himself out loud, “Idiot.”
The two old men were like broody old hens around Jodie. “I think we should leave,” Robert said as he took hold of one of the ropes after another five minutes.
“No!” Jodie shouted as best she could, while hanging over the side.
The two men didn’t say anything else while keeping one eye on the waves and the other on Jodie.
After fifteen minutes however, they pulled up the first net. They found three decent size crayfish in it, but when they pulled up the net closest to Jodie, they couldn’t believe their eyes. In it, was the biggest crayfish they had ever seen.
“Funny… but just get…get me home,” Jodie said as she tried to smile in between the convulsions. “I can’t believe…that you can …keep on vomiting…while there’s…nothing…nothing more to…come out.”
Jodie stayed on the side of the boat all the way back to the harbor. The convulsions got less, but wouldn’t stop. They entered the harbor about ten minutes before the closing time of the competition.
The moment the boat touched the jetty, Jodie stumbled out. Once on solid ground, she felt better, but the convulsions still would not stop. She fell to her knees and kept on vomiting into the sea next to the boat. The two men quickly tied the boat down and got out to help her.
The Netcare ambulance paramedic quickly made her way down towards them. Once next to Jodie, she took over from the old men and led her towards the first aid tent.
The paramedic was a short girl in her early twenties. While Jodie was short herself, the paramedic was at least a head shorter. She had a bubbly personality and quickly gave Jodie something to calm her stomach, while talking to her. “First timer?”
“Is it that obvious?” Jodie tried to laugh.
“You couldn’t have been too bad if you only got back now. By the way, my name is Sonja.”
“Thank you. My name is Jodie.”
“Well, great to meet you Jodie. Your friends seem to be waving at you to go down to the judging area. Are you feeling ok to go?
Jodie smiled at her. “I got this far, so I’m sure I can go down and see how they’ve done, but I do feel better.”
“Great, I don’t seem to have any other patients, so I think I’ll walk down with you to see who won.” Sonja grabbed Jodie by the arm and pulled her out of the chair. She didn’t let go as they walked towards the judging area.
“It’s so seldom that we have new blood here in Yzerfontein. I sometimes wonder if there were more available women in our town, my boyfriend would even have looked twice at me.” Sonja talked as if Jodie and she have been best pals since forever.
“Don’t sell yourself short Sonja. You need to believe in yourself and then other people will do the same.” Jodie couldn’t help but respond to this girl. She was a bundle of energy.
“Thanks, it means a lot coming from you. I heard you are some big shot in the city.”
Jodie couldn’t help herself. She had to laugh, even though she still didn’t feel a hundred percent. “Has anyone ever told you that you are good for the soul?”
For a second time that day, Jenny couldn’t believe her eyes. The name, Jodie White, was once again in front of her in a very unexpected place. It was written on the tag of the largest crayfish.
Jenny pulled her fingers through her hair as she looked up thinking that she would have to deal with Jodie again. She had to announce the winner, and hand over the prize. She saw a laughing Jodie walking towards the judging station with young Sonja Julies on her arm.
‘My God, is no woman safe in this town?’ she thought as she felt herself getting upset all over again. ‘That woman is an absolute slut.’
Before she could think anymore, the festivities started. Each of the judges had an opportunity to announce and hand over a prize. The third prize went to Chris. By this time Jodie and Sonja were standing next to Robert. “So, you two decided that you would be walking away with the grand prize this year again?” Jodie asked Robert over the loud crowd who was congratulating Chris.
“No, you are,” Robert said as he smiled at her.
“No!” Jodie said. “I didn’t pull it up. I didn’t have anything to do with the fishing part.”
“Yes you did, you baited it.”
“No, that’s not right. You two were the fishermen.” Jodie tried to convince Robert to change his mind.
“We made up our minds young girl. That there is your crayfish,” he pointed at the large crayfish in the tank with the number one on it.
Jodie realized it was useless to argue with the old man. She applauded the second prize winner with the rest of the crowd as she watched Jenny coming forward on the stage. She knew what was going to happen and smiled. Suddenly her whole ordeal seemed to be completely worth it. She had only intended to be around Jenny, but she never expected this part.
As Jenny announced the winner, Jodie walked up the stage. She turned to the crowd and waved at them before turning back and facing Jenny with a smile. “I’m sure if looks could kill, I’d be dead right now,” Jodie whispered so only Jenny could hear.
“Don’t flatter yourself.” Jenny couldn’t believe the arrogance of the woman in front of her, but she also couldn’t deny what she said, but she would. “You are insignificant and not worth the bother. I’m here doing my duty.”
With that, Jenny lightly pushed Jodie out of her way before addressing the crowd. “As the winner of the crayfish competition, Miss White has won a five day stay for two at the Sodwana Game Reserve, all meals included.” The crowd went wild for a while congratulating her, before scattering around to find the next entertainment.
When Jenny turned around, Jodie was still standing behind her, but very close. Being taller than Jodie, Jenny couldn’t help but look down into her cleavage, before she met her eyes.
Jodie once again had a self assured smile on her face. “Seeing something you like?” she asked in a low, husky voice. “You could always join me on this trip.”
Jenny stared at Jodie in absolute disbelief. “You’re the most annoying, self absorbed, womanizer I have ever met! What on earth would even give you the faintest idea that I would be interested?”
“You never know. Maybe you want a little taste of something different.” Jodie had to bite down very hard not to start laughing at the indignant look on Jenny’s face.
“That will be the day!” Jenny almost shouted as she stormed off. She felt very upset with herself for allowing Jodie to get to her like that.
Jodie laughed out loud as Jenny stormed away. “That will teach you, you overbearing snob!”
“Why on earth would you call Jenny an overbearing snob?” Sonja asked as she walked up to Jodie.
“Unfortunately we have a bit of history, and it’s not pleasant,” Jodie explained.
“Well, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Jenny, besides that Bridget bitch from the bar. Maybe you guys just got off on the wrong foot?”
“Unfortunately Sonja, I don’t think there’s a good foot between us, but don’t be too harsh with Bridget. There’s nothing wrong with trying to defend your rights. I’ve got to run now, my bird needs dinner, but we must definitely meet up for drinks one of these days. It was great meeting you.” Jodie was on her way before Sonja could even respond.
“Well, if anyone was ever misinformed, it has to be you Jodie White,” Sonja said out loud, but no one was listening.
To be continued.