On Sunday morning Fanta and her sisters were having a late breakfast when the doorbell rang. It was Syafika. She burst in talking about how she didn’t know what to do about Anthony because he’d told her to call him but wasn’t answering the phone. Fanta asked Syafika to sit down at the table and poured her some tea.
“Have a crumpet” suggested Fanta before asking Syafika whether she’d like a bowl of fruit salad.
Nancy and Ruby knew it was a good time for them to sneak out to the backyard to finish their tree house, leaving Syafika and Fanta alone to discuss the mysterious Anthony.
“Are you sure you have the right number?” asked Fanta.
“Yes, here it is, in his handwriting” answered Syafika, and she showed Fanta the note that Anthony had left her.
“Let’s try now” said Fanta. Fanta dialed Anthony’s number and put the phone to Syafika’s ear. It rang a couple of times then a robotic voice announced that the number had been disconnected and that they should check the number and dial again.
“I don’t understand!” said Syafika. “He told me call him when I got home from the conference yesterday, so I did but there was no answer. There was no answer any time I called yesterday afternoon or evening. And now the number is disconnected! How am I supposed to contact him now?”
“Don’t worry, he will probably call you” said Fanta
“No he won’t. When I don’t call him he will think I don’t want to talk to him and I’ll never hear from him again!” said Syafika.
“You will see him again” said Fanta. “You always manage to see him again”.
This calmed Syafika down a bit. It was true. Anthony had disappeared from her life a couple of times before and she always ended up bumping into him again.
“It’s like it’s fate” said Syafika.
Fanta felt she should respond but didn’t get a chance because the doorbell rang again. This time it was John and D’arby.
John and D’arby showed Fanta their rental application form and John told her about his flat hunting. Fanta was not surprised at what had happened.
“Should we keep looking or take this place while we still can?” asked D’arby.
Fanta thought for a few seconds. She already knew it was hard to be a renter but hadn’t really realized what it would feel like until now.
“I don’t think rents will go down very soon” said Fanta. “But at the same time it seems ridiculous to have to spend so much money. That’s more than I pay for my mortgage. Why don’t you rent my spare rooms instead. You can have them for the same rent you pay now.”
And so it was decided that John and D’arby would stop looking for flats and when they had to move, they’d move in with Fanta. Everyone felt happy with this decision, except Syafika. She felt left out, but she was still too absorbed with Anthony to sulk about it.
“Hey, can I ask you two your opinion on something?” said Syafika to John and D’arby.
Then Syafika told John and D’arby about how Anthony had asked her to call but then didn’t answer when she did call. But that wasn’t enough information and so Syafika had to tell the whole history of their strange relationship.
“I think you should watch out” said D’arby. “Anthony seems to be playing some kind of game”
“Yeah, love would be more straightforward, I think” said John.
This was not what Syafika wanted to hear.
“Can’t you think of a more romantic explanation” asked Syafika. “Like that Anthony has social anxiety or something”
“Maybe” said D’arby. “I don’t think I’m qualified to answer really”
D’arby soon regretted having drawn attention to himself while romantic relationships were being discussed.
“Why aren’t you qualified?” Syafika asked D’arby. “How many relationships have you had?”
“None” answered D’arby.
“Really?” asked John
“Really” said D’arby. He wanted to change the topic but couldn’t think how to.
“Why?” asked Syafika.
D’arby sighed and said “I don’t know why. Maybe I’ve just never met anyone I wanted to have a romantic relationship with”. D’arby didn’t like the incredulous looks he was getting and decided he wanted to leave. He looked at his watch then said “I need to go and work on my thesis now”.
John left with D’arby because he didn’t want Syafika to start asking him about his past relationships.
As Fanta closed the front door after John and D’arby she remembered something. She went and got the job application she’d written and took it to show Syafika.
Syafika was happy that Fanta had decided to apply for the job in her team at work – so happy she forgot about Anthony for a little while. Syafika read Fanta’s application and corrected the typos but otherwise thought it was very good.
“I hope you get the job! I think this application should get you the job. I think it is better than the one I did when I got my job” said Syafika.
“What’s the process? How do they decide who gets the job?” asked Fanta.
“I think someone from Human Resources goes through all the applications and removes any that aren’t complete. If there are still too many they probably have to pick out the ones they think best meet the selection criteria. Then they give the shortlisted ones to a panel and the panel interivews people and decides who is best.” said Syafika.
“Who do you think will be on the panel?” asked Fanta
“Not sure. Christine probably… and one other person from the team. They have to have someone from another team too – three people altogether, or at least there were three people on the panel when I applied.”
“Do you think Christine will like me?” asked Fanta.
“How could she not!” answered Syafika. She imagined how proud she would be to have her friend Fanta join the team.