She woke up just as the alarm went off. As she opened her eyes she reached out to get her phone and switch the alarm off. She always battelled to get up. She looked at the time and let out a huge sigh.
It is not that Rosalinda was unhappy with her life. But it was with much contention that she realised that the time had come when she was past the time in her life when she could be something new. Get a new career or study to be a veterinarian like she always wanted.
Ever since she was a child growing up in the Free State, she had loved animals. Her father had raised cattle and farmed. Rosalinda was able to see first hand how cattle bore their young and she was there when animals died. None of it had bothered her, life and death meant the same thing. It was a time to celebrate as some things begin and some end. As Rosalinda grew older her father had seen her potential to care for animals and he had let her deal with ailments and general care around the farm. It had been a great time for her. However, Rosalinda was not a gifted child or even average in class. She did badly at every subject. It was not until much later that they discovered that she was dyslexic amongst other things. She had managed to go through school on the bare minimal. When she matriculated, her marks were not good enough for her to go and study further.
Her father did not agree with the school system at all, he thought his only child had been cheated. He had raised her himself, her mother had died shortly after child birth. He thought Rosalinda to be bright and intuitive child. She was able to identify plant species anywhere in the bush when he would let her go hunting or fishing with him. Although he was angry that Rosalinda would not be able to be a Veterinarian like she wanted, if he was being honest with himself, he knew that she had never been able to read well, spell or do maths. He had never been discouraged by this when she was a child but as she grew older he was content that she managed to pass a grade. He had told her all of this when he had been on his death bed, lung cancer and he had never smoked a day in his life.
She turned over in her bed and stared at the empty space besides her. Her husband was already up. She would start the day with a hearty breakfast and she would call her husband to join her. She was a woman with a huge appetite, especially in the mornings. She always had to have a good fried eggs, fried potatoes nests and bacon sausages. Maybe she would eat a fruit every now and then. She was not worried about her figure anymore. She thought herself lucky that she was able to at least stay the same size for over ten years. If it aint broke why fix it, she would tell herself.
She went into the kitchen and got pans out on the ready. As she made the breakfast, she stared out of the window every now and then, she noticed just how isolated she was and she wished they would get better security. Not only was it not safe but their animals could get out of their enclosures and cause them serious harm. They had been at this farm now for ten years. They raised and rescued cheetahs. So she was able to work with animals like she always wanted. Except her husband never really let her do much work with the animals. He thought she was not smart enough to handle as he put it ‘complicated stuff’. He had always treated her with contempt and had once told her that he had only married her for her father’s farm. That was when they had lived at her father’s farm.
She had met him at a braai a few months before they had gotten married. She had been swept away with the attention he had given her. He had brought her to meet his friends after their third date and he had gushed about how he had found the best boer woman in the Free State. She had been impressed at the kind of attention he got from everyone and had agreed to marry him straight away.
The marriage, a disaster, and yet he had never divorced her. Even after they lost the farm. They had settled into a quiet rhythm and somehow managed never to be in the same room at the same time except when she cooked. He seemed to enjoy her cooking.
When she had set the table, she called him in. He washed his hands and sat down to eat. They ate in silence. When he was done he looked up at her.
“Don’t forget. A few people are coming for the cheetah tour today. You are doing the presentation. Do not mess it up. It is a big group and we are getting a lot of money for it.” And he left.
She looked down at her food and scratched her varicose veined legs. She continued eating and thought about how she was going to survive this day.