I completely forgot about Gabriel Rockerfellar and the important detective work I had waiting for me on Google last night. Jack and I sat down to watch an animation together with a bowl of popcorn between us. I felt like someone needed to spend some time with the kid since mother dearest is on planet Elle Vollenhoven for the time being. So I totally forgot that I was going to Google the Rockerfellars.
When I got to school this morning there was a hullabaloo. Reporters where hanging out outside our school gate like hungry vultures. And there was Gabriel, looking like he was about to die a panic stricken death. It was like watching a certain disgraced athletes’ trial, whom shall not be mentioned here due to the fact that I’m kind of hoping that in fifteen years time we have all moved on. He, Gabriel that is, walked off in the general direction of our school field and I followed after at a distance waiting to see whether our serial bitch Sara was going to tag along but when there was no cloud of vile wafting in I took it as a safe bet that I could have a private word with our senior without the fear of becoming a mini voodoo doll or whatever black magic Sara was into.
‘Come to gawk?’ he asked so beautifully draped against the basketball pole in the morning light.
‘Not my thing.’ I shrugged. ‘What is that out there? I’m new to this whole media circus school so you’re going to have to give me something to work with.’
Gabriel looked at me as though he were trying to figure me out. His staring, made me super self conscious but I figured it was now or Google and I didn’t have the time.
‘I can’t figure you out Miss Vollenhoven. I’ve heard you’re from that elite private school in Hout Bay. What are you doing here, at Cedar?’
‘Funny that you should ask… ‘ I said, not impressed that he had this knowledge. How did he know? ‘I heard that you were at Bishops, what are you, doing here?’
He did a type of funny shrug and the smug look left his face and he walked off again further away from me. Totally infuriating that he was actually going to make me walk after him but I did it anyway. Something about Gabriel was off. I guess I always felt that something about him was not exactly kosher but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. He didn’t dress in expensive labels or drive about in a flashy car or have a weird attitude. He was kind of helpful. Even if I didn’t want his help. I had it. So what was it? What had him looking so defeated?
‘It’s my dad.’ Gabriel mumbled. ‘He just brought my grandfather to school.’
I still didn’t understand what the crime was.
‘So you really haven’t googled me huh?’ he actually looked surprised. I just shook my head because I wasn’t going to feed his giant ego anymore than I already had by following him about like a lost puppy… And for a minute I thought about Sara and wondered if she was watching and if the voodoo doll thing was real and then Gabriel said…’
‘My grandfather is the legendary Simon Rockerfellar concert pianist from Austria. He is blind now so he doesn’t play much but … there you have it. When he leaves the house that shit out there happens.’
I lost all feeling in my legs as I realised that the piece I had been trying to perfect for two months had been altered by Simon Rockerfellars grandson. His own flesh and blood. The grandmaster himself. In fact he was in this school right now. Sitting in the principals office. Quite possibly in the very chair I sat in when we applied to this school. This school I loathed until seconds ago when it became hallowed ground.
And by the time I realised the bell was ringing for class to begin Gabriel was well off into the distance and then someone called my name and when I turned around everything went black.