Hi, I’m AB de Villiers. None of the stories about me and the Spice Girls are true. Until a week ago my life made sense. I was a cricket superstar making extra pocket money from my YouTube channel. Now I’m the biggest Christian-Rock-slash-crossover artist in the world and my Proteas are being led by Kevin Pietersen.
Right now, right now-now I am trying to talk to Pietersen while my brain and liver discuss their murder-suicide pact. A week ago – or whenever time and reality still made sense – I didn’t choke. I hope I don’t choke now.
“Who is this? Is this Andy Flower? Andy, I told you to never call me again or I would-”
“Kevin, it’s me, AB.” I slump upwards and peer over the parapet of pink bikinis. Steve is snoring away on a chaise longue, his hand fused to his chest by an ice-lolly stick. His white linen shirt is a riot of tie-dye pastels, courtesy of the dearly departed and decomposed ice lolly.
“AB? I don’t know any AB.” But he pauses too long before replying. Steve’s shirt is doing the butterfly stroke in front of me and I have to will my stomach not to join in.
“Listen to me Kevin.” The words shuffle out of my mouth with difficulty, like old people exiting a bus. I hope that he will mistake my fatigue for menace and gravitas. “Kevin, I will fly to Australia and burn your hotel while you sleep. If you don’t help me.”
I let him marinate in my words while I give my throat a rest. Not bikinis, I think sludgishly. Sluggishly. They’re not wearing bikinis. What exactly are these bargain-basement bordello blondes brandishing?
“-okay AB”, says my usurper, in a much smaller voice. “Catch a flight and come see me tomorrow. It’s the only time I’ve got to chat to you before we play the semi-final.”
“Who are you playing”, I ask. Picking at the scab, twisting the knife in my own gut.
TO BE CONTINUED