“Basta! Enough!” My husband barks out.
I’m startled by his outburst. He immediately apologises. “Cara, mi dispiace. Darling, I’m sorry. Forgive me, I’m just disappointed. The lawyer said we have to leave South Africa for a month whilst our immigration application is considered.”
We walk along in silence, both of us digesting this unexpected turn of events. Eugenio suggests we sit on a bench under the shade of a large leafy tree. We had both thought it was going to be easy to stay in South Africa.
Above our heads, I watch as an aeroplane climbs into the bright blue sky. “Where do you think that’s going?” I ask.
“I don’t know, but the thought of going back to Italy is very tempting.”
Suddenly, I’m overcome. It’s been such a stressful meeting, and now my husband is talking about Italy. I feel homesick and scared. My tears come so thick and fast that my husband hands me his handkerchief. “Non piange, cara. Don’t cry, darling. You’re going to make me cry too!”
I gaze up at him through watery eyes, and true enough, he seems to be struggling to keep composed. “Oh Eugenio, have we done the right thing?”
Although I sense a slight hesitation, my husband’s voice is forceful as he states, “Certo. Of course! This is just a hiccup. How about we go and visit with the Avanzos in Southern Rhodesia? It’s the perfect opportunity, hmm?”
“Oh, what a lovely idea!”
“Alright then. Let’s pack up and return to Johannesburg. We’ll have to collect the bags we left with the Bisognos and bring them up-to-date with our plans.”
Back in Johannesburg, our friends are sympathetic to our disappointment.
“I’m not too surprised though,” reveals John. “A lot of people are arriving in South Africa. It makes sense that a more formal immigration process is now in place.”
Everyone agrees that going to Southern Rhodesia for a month is a good solution.
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