Her father’s sins


I miss telling stories about the people I’ve known in my few years on this planet, or rather my few years in university. My varsity experiences were made better by the diverse people I got to meet.

A girl I know was going through a lot. For someone many considered blessed, she was going through things a girl should never go through. Her strength was in her cold heart. A heart that grew cold long before she’d had any say in the kind of woman she wanted to be. It was these things that brought us close. In a lot of ways we shared a common sadness.

It was the beginning of the school term. Everyone was excited to be back after a long holiday. That first week of term is a lot about friends catching up on all the events that happened over the holidays. I usually have the least exciting anecdotes, so I find a simple joy in listening to everyone else’s tales. Little did I know that I was in for a somewhat of a scandal when I visited Kagiso’s room for a quick catch up.

A few months before the holidays, Kagiso found out that her mother’s cancer had returned. While we were excited about going home, she just wanted to be home for her mother. We’d IM over the holidays about her mother’s illness. Although she was weak at times, she was responding very well to treatment and the prognosis was good.

I knocked on her door with so much glee. She opened the door and gave me a big warm hug. We held on for a few seconds longer than usual. This setting a tone for what was about to come.

We started with a bit of small talk. The usual-you’ve lost weight, your skin’s looking good-frivolous things that don’t matter. I could tell that she was anxious to tell me something. I figured it was about her mom’s illness. So I asked how she left things.

Without mincing her words, she jumped right into it.

This is Kagiso’s story

When I was younger my father had an affair. My mother is the kind of mother who believes in protecting her children’s innocence so she’d always cover for him. Yes he was a businessman and he travelled a lot. But there were many nights where my home was without a husband. Not because he wasn’t there in presence, rather he wasn’t there in a way that I could swear on a bible that he was a loving and caring husband to my mother. Although he adored his children. I never questioned that for one bit.

It is for this reason that I resented my mother as a little girl. I felt like she was the one driving him away. I was a child then, it only made sense. I’d often think ‘Why doesn’t mommy kiss daddy hello. He’s been gone for so long. She’s so mean to daddy’.

One night, I walked in on her talking to him on the phone. She was in tears, weeping, begging him to come home. Saying how much she missed him and how much she loved him more than she (the other woman) did. This was a rude awakening for me. Unnoticed, I walked back to my room. I felt heavy and empty at the same time, almost lethargic. After what felt like a great deal of effort, I made it to my room. I couldn’t sleep.

I felt like an awful child. All those times I’d bombard her with questions ‘Mommy, where’s daddy, when’s he coming back. Mommy I want daddy’. Those memories played over and over in my head. I felt real guilty for the first time in my life. I learnt how to hate for the first time in my life. I felt remorse, compassion and empathy. I cried myself to sleep. I aged twenty years on that night.

I said nothing about this to anyone. I kept this to myself. I decided to be everything I can possibly be to my mother.

Fast forward ten years later. I go home for the varsity holidays. My mother was doing better than I could’ve ever hoped for, considering what I’d seen the last time she was ill. Everything seemed normal on the home front. It was home and glad to be back.

A week into the holiday, I get a phone call from Kirsten. Her parents had bought her a new car. She wanted us all to drive down to KZN. I obviously didn’t want to go, but I told my mother about it and she insisted that I go have fun with my friends. I was skeptical. But I went anyways.

We left for St Lucia on a Friday morning. We got there in the afternoon and jumped right into action. Did the things that juvenile girls do on a juvenile weekend away. On the Saturday morning everyone was hung over. But I drink like my father so I could function. I seized the opportunity to drive Kirsten’s new car and I drove to the local grocer for supplies. I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for me.

I see this man, pushing a trolley a man who resembled my father. A man who was my father. He was with two boys, twins, not much older than my youngest sister.

You often hear people talking about near death experiences, how your whole life flashes before your eyes. The same thing happened to me. Everything I’d buried and masked through the years greeted me in that moment with insolence and spite. I was suspended in time. Everything in front of me was moving so slowly. My subconscious was taking in every single visual element of the cruelty before me. My eyes were fixated on those boys, and yet it was like I was feeling more than seeing. My cold heart was breaking. I could almost hear it over the sounds of cash tills, beeping scanners and trolley wheels.

I just stood there and watched as it became clearer that those boys were his. It was in the way they looked, there was an undeniable resemblence. The way he looked at them was another like a stamp that would forever seal what I felt for my father, nothing.

I watched them walk away as a tear rolled down my cheek. I just then realised that I’m my mother’s daughter. Every time my father walked away, she’d helplessly watch with a broken heart. Nothing can prepare you for anything like that. There was no comfort for me. I felt a loneliness I hope to never feel again. All the company in the world left the store with my father and those boys.

This middle-aged lady briefly saved me from my initiation into hell by coming up to me and asking if I was okay. I don’t know how much longer I would’ve just stood there if she didn’t come. She had such kind eyes, I suppose in that moment Charles Manson himself would pass for someone with kind eyes too. I opened my mouth to speak, but I somehow found myself deep in her bosom, weeping. I didn’t care, I couldn’t care. I’d just lost my father. I needed to mourn him. I was inconsolable. She was rubbing my back and stroking my hair. It was like a granule of sugar in my bathtub of lemon zest, and I couldn’t be more grateful. She kept saying something in Zulu, but I couldn’t hear her over my sobbing.

Slightly embarrassed, I eventually stopped. I thanked the lady, left her clueless and rushed out of the store.

The sun was blinding, but it was different. It felt different. It wasn’t as warm as it was before. I became clear to me that things had changed again in my life. Once again I had aged.

I got into the car. It then dawned on me that I still had things to buy. But I just didn’t want to. I also remembered that I was with four other people, who I so desperately didn’t want to be around anymore. ‘Ah fuck, those fucking perky bitches’, I though to myself. That’s when my good friend Obi called, it’s like he knew something was a miss. He asked me how everything was. I knew I couldn’t handle another episode, so I played it down and told him how much I hate those fucking perky bitches. His advice ‘drink them away’. Just like that, I decided that’s how I’m going to survive the rest of my weekend. It was the only way.

With my head slung low, ashamed for such an extroverted display of emotions, I walked back in the store. Grabbed everything we needed. Then I rushed to the bottle store and bought enough gin and tonic to sedate me until I got back home.

As I was driving, a part of me kept hoping I’d get involved in a freak accident. I just needed a little distraction, some else to suffer through, anything but this. But I had to think about my mother. This triggered another emotional reaction. I hadn’t at all considered her. ‘Did she know? Oh my God, this is why she has cancer again. That bastard is making my mother sick’. My mind was like a network of trains with multiple collisions. I had murderous thoughts. I was fuming! ‘He gave her cancer, he gave her cancer twice’. Over and over again in my mind.

Before I knew it I was outside Kristen’s holiday home. I sat in the car for a bit. Had a croissant and washed it down with a massive gulp of gin. Braced myself to face everyone.

The girls were barely awake. This was a grace I was truly grateful for. I was to get sauced before I could have a conversation with anyone. I fixed myself a good shot of GNT went outside and lit a cigarette.

And so the weekend continued. Juvenile! Most of it was a blur, as per my intentions.

It was Monday morning and time to go back home. It suddenly hit me that I wanted one of them to see that something wasn’t right with me. I wasn’t going to say anything obviously, but not at any moment did one of them come up to me and ask if everything was okay. These are girls I’ve known for over ten years. Couldn’t they tell that I was going through hell? I found this quite disturbing.

As we were driving home. I contemplated the kind of person I was. Questioning if I was perhaps acting normally to my friends. Was this who I was? Maybe I was going through hell long before I saw my father in that store. I was already there. I mean, hell is hell right? How much hotter can it really get?

The girls dropped me off first. We had a quick chat reminiscing about ‘the good times’.

Before I walked in the house, I took a deep breath, as if to channel some divine being into me. And just like that. I decided to be that little again.

With my new discovery unnoticed, I walked into the house. I said nothing about this to anyone. And again I vowed to be everything I can possibly be to my mother and now my sisters too.

As for my father. I don’t have one.

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An afternoon with Cynthia


When I was still in college I had a flat mate who changed before my very eyes, in a short period of time.

She was a very sweet and timid girl. She always kept to herself and was careful never to bother anyone. Every time something shocking would happen, she’d have this classic and endearing “deer caught in headlights” expression on her face. Everyone adored her and her life was close to perfect, until she fell in love.

His name was Collins. Not the most charming fella, but he was okay you know? He broke a girl’s heart.  But this story isn’t about him. It’s about the girl. This is about my old flat mate, Cynthia.

 

An afternoon with Cynthia

So there I was, chilling in my room on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I was putting the finishing touches on my Gender Studies assignment. In walks Cynthia with an offer to take me out for ice-cream. I was quick to put on my flip-flops and off we were. We walked to ice cream parlour then she insisted we take a stroll to the park, which I didn’t mind. When we got there, she seemed restless and uneasy. I figured she wanted to talk to me about something important. ‘Maybe she wants me out of the flat’ I thought (I was such a slob back then). Little did I know that I was a part of a covert mission to stalk someone.

We were having an unmemorable conversation about Janet Jackson’s fading music career. I had funny things to say, so did she I guess. Suddenly she changed the topic, and looked at the opened field.

“Obi do you know that girl over there”, as she signalled to a group of “free spirits” who were relaxing under a tree. I looked and I knew one girl in the group. Stella, an acquaintance I was on friendly terms with.

“Um…I know the one girl, Stella. Party animal that one, she’s probably recovering from a hangover”, I joked. I then looked to Cynthia to acknowledge my joke. No such luck! Cynthia gave me a stern look instead. Which confused the shit out of me and made things a bit tense too.

“Yes, they told me you know her” she said, in a solemn tone. At this point a million things started running through my mind. I looked at her, with as much evidence of astonishment that I could possibly muster in one facial expression.

‘Did she here something about me and Stella? What did Stella do? Oh God, has she gone lezzy for Stella? Mmmmh, if I knew we were doing this, I would’ve gotten three more scoops of this delicious ice-cream.’

She soon stopped the bullet train running through my mind, “Obi, she’s been sleeping with Collins”.

You know I thought I was a good friend/flat mate, but all I could say to her was “Oh”. ‘Oh’ was really all that I could offer her, because I had million questions to ask her dammit! Why the hell was I doing in the park, eating ice-cream and stalking an alleged mistress? Why am I getting dragged into this shit? Why didn’t she tell me about this when she first suspected it?

Needless to say, my meek ‘Oh’ didn’t deter her. She wanted me to divulge every single thing that I knew about Stella. Which wasn’t much, but she was so dynamic in her efforts to get intel, I even felt compelled to embellish a few things. Which I didn’t, I would’ve under ‘normal’ circumstances (being the eccentric I am), but the whole thing of stalking in the summer time was crazy enough.

We got into the whole thing, and I was pretty convinced from everything she told me, that Stella was indeed sleeping with Collins. It had all the clichés of the tales of a cheating boyfriend. Denial, we’re just friends, people are lying, I love you, she’s crazy, etc.

Which again begged the question, “Cynthia, why are we here? Why am I here?”, so I asked her.

“I want you to introduce me to her”, I nearly choked on my last scoop of ice-cream.

“Um, are you sure? Why? Does she know you? What do you want to say to her? Shouldn’t you be speaking to Collins? I mean this is about you two. You’re in a relationship with him, not her.” I replied in a bit of a panic, trying to change her mind.

All her faculties were surprisingly in order as she picked up on my discomfort and vehement protest of this confrontation.  Cynthia put my mind to ease. She explained that she’d been coming to this spot in the park for a very long time before she even knew about Stella. That she only found about Stella once she started sleeping with Collins. She even made farce at how she knew how crazy the whole thing seemed to me. She called it prima facie feeble duplicity (law students). She confessed that if she told me before hand, I might have disagreed, and that she didn’t have the nerve to walk up to Stella alone.

I was convinced, yet I was still sceptical. My curiosity took over and I wanted to see the story unfold. So I walked over to the shaded tree and hollered Stella’s name. Stella was infamous for her zest, she was quick to respond.

“Obi! How you doin’ doll? Come over here and gimme a hug”, I conceded to her hospitable charms and hugged her with my tail between my legs. I felt a bit dirty. But this feeling was quickly watered down by how she reeked of weed.

“So Stella, can I have a quick word with you buddy”, I smirked sheepishly. I motioned her towards Cynthia’s direction. I then realised that she might know of Cynthia, which didn’t matter to me anymore. As we took the short walk towards Cynthia, I told Stella that my friend wanted to meet her.

“Oh, that’s Collins’ girlfriend isn’t it? Is she the friend who wants to meet me? I’m shagging him. Oh fuck Obi, what is this bitch shit trap you’re drawing me into?” she laughed! Then I couldn’t help but smile at her bizarre behaviour. ‘I should hang out with this girl’ I thought.

“Stella, this is Cynthia, Cynthia, Stella”, I was very curt and eager to end this.

Without skipping a beat Cynthia went straight into it.

“Hey Stella. I’m so sorry if you feel ambushed, but I don’t know what the protocol for doing this kind of thing is. I’ve been thinking about this confrontation for a few days now and I thought it was best to do it in person. “

Stella, tried to interject. But Cynthia was determined to finish. She sounded like an automaton, programmed to confront the other woman with as much tact as possible. She continued as if she she’d never stopped.

“A few days ago, Collins ex-girlfriend contacted me. She told me that she’s HIV positive and that she’s not sure where she got it from. Apparently she told Collins and he’s been ignoring her since then. So she got desperate and contacted me. I’ve been trying to get a hold of Collins too, but he’s phone has been off since I told him that his ex called me.”

Tears started rolling down Cynthia’s cheeks, and just like that it felt like the end of summer. I took off my sunglasses and held Cynthia’s hand. Stella stood still like a marble statue. Her face looked gaunt like something inside of her had decomposed instantly. I didn’t know how to comfort her, hell, I didn’t know how to comfort Cynthia.

As if she had a potato stuck in her throat, Cynthia resumed with her monologue that now sounded like an ode to the end of a young life. The most human and most real thing I’ve ever heard spoken.

“I’ve been going to Collins’ place to try to speak to him, find him, to get some sort of explanation. I’ve since found out that he’s run back to his hometown of Orange Groove. I got tested for HIV yesterday and I’m negative. I suggest you do the same.”

At this point tears were rolling down Stella’s face too. This provided me with some sort of relief. At least now Stella was showing some feeling. And she wasn’t being the belligerent sassy girl. She was processing everything and taking it all in. Stella then gestured to hug Cynthia.

Cynthia stepped back. Wiped her tears and then there was fury in her voice.

“You don’t get to sleep with my boyfriend and then have me comfort you. Your God does not love you that much. You have a reputation Stella. For me to do this, I had to think of you as a human being and not a contemptible whore.”

I don’t know if it was the weed, or if this is who Stella really was. But she didn’t respond at all to Cynthia’s scorn. She wiped her tears, told me to take care and walked away back to her friends under the tree.

I immediately held Cynthia in my arms. She was shaking; all I could do was stand there in the middle of the park and hold her as she wept. When she regained composure, we walked home and stopped at Mirror Tables, for a late lunch. We ended up having a liquid lunch and we had a conversation about the whole thing drunk and loud. We both cried and said all that could’ve possibly been said. We had a few comfortable silences, which would end up in more tears and hugs. Occasionally we sang along to a few songs that were played on the radio.

We literally crawled home and both passed out on her bed.

The next few weeks were hell. I’d hear her crying every night, and when she wasn’t crying she was drinking. Sometimes I’d tend to her, but on other nights I pretended not to even hear her. She was not prepared to draw anyone else into this. I suppose then I was expected to carry her through this whole ordeal. But all was prepared to do was that I could possibly do, listen. I listened to her anger, confusion, regret, pain and hope. All the while I was speaking to my mother for some grown up guidance.

She got tested again for HIV and again she was negative. We were both jubilant. But it had become obvious that something had changed about Cynthia. There was nothing neither sweet nor timid about her anymore. She was now firm and a little more selfish.

Somehow she found the strength to graduate and instead of getting work as a legal intern, she decided to go teach English abroad. Her next test was scheduled for just after graduation. But I had moved back to Southville. It’s been three years, and I still don’t know if she took the final test or not. I didn’t care to ask or bring it up. I didn’t think it mattered then and I still don’t think it matters now. What nearly consumed her, saved her in a way. We email each other every now and then and she is the poster child for carpe diem. I couldn’t be more proud.

 

Collins was never heard of again.

I actually heard about Stella a week ago. She married a Muslim Doctor.

As for me…well, I’m just the guy telling the story. It’s not about me, lol.

Call Girl Princess


So I’ve been studying! Bleh! It really sucks! I haven’t blogged in ages, and I needed to take a break to relax. I wrote a lil story. I’m actually going to try to finish this one in between my study breaks. Here’s part one of God knows how many parts.

She knew what she was and sometimes it would bother her, but on most days her life felt normal and beige, as unbearable as could be at times. When she’d reflect on her earlier years, she’d get hit by acute stings of depression. These days were like bitter cold winter days for which she’d always have a warm coat for. And when it got colder, she’d find new ways to keep warm. New ways to desensitise her heart. New ways to feel less. New ways to separate herself from herself.

Thembisa would convince herself that everyone is selling something and that she is no different. This offered her little comfort, but as the last thought before she passed out from binge drinking, it was something. The truth was however inescapable and no amount of alcohol or cocaine would change that, no matter how hard she tried. On a good night she was a prostitute and she didn’t mind. It was those nights when she was a whore and felt like even less that bothered her. She felt trapped and helpless. Like a victim of circumstance always rehashing how she found herself in this vile place. At her lowest moments she’d often thank God that her parents passed away when she was younger, she knew how much they loved her. The thought of her being a prostitute would kill them.

Things were however about to turned around for Thembisa. She was to become a professional. What had seemed as a way of survival was to turn into a career.

It was a night like any other. She was pulling tricks on the corner of Yvette and Troy. A car rolled up in front of Thembisa and she was solicited for her services. She thought nothing of it and jumped into the car when the door was opened for her. They exchanged greetings and the man introduced himself as Tshepo. This came as a welcomed surprise to Thembisa as she’s not used to anyone introducing themselves so openly without asking for a price list first. “Maybe he’s a newbie” she thought to herself, but it was odd, he was a little too confident for someone who’d never done this before. She was quick to respond, so not as to seem like she’s coy and can be taken advantage of. “I’m Daisy Tshepo, what can I do for you this evening?” Tshepo looked at Thembisa and smiled. His smile put Thembisa at ease, although she was still very alert as these men never turn out to be what they appear. Tshepo proposed that they go to a hotel. Thembisa was thrilled as this only happened once in a blue moon. Usually she used the Blue Shark Motel three blocks from her working corner.

On their drive to the hotel Tshepo was very quiet, which came as a surprise to Thembisa. In her experience men who chose to use a hotel wanted the girlfriend/mistress experience. She didn’t mind the silence though. She was enjoying the music Tshepo had playing on his radio. He was playing R’nB hits from the mid to late eighties. They brought back so many memories for Thembisa. As she stared out the window, she reminisced about how much her father loved playing the very same music as he’d do the garden at her old home in the township of Midupi. “I’m a long way from home” she thought to herself. She gathered herself and decided to engage Tshepo in conversation to avoid any romanticized feelings.

“So Tshepo, tell me what you do”, she said coolly, playing the role of Daisy. “I’m a businessman” he replied, in a rather curt fashion that threw Thembisa off. She didn’t know whether to believe him or not. He was placid enough to appear to be a businessman, but then again there was something sleazy about him that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. He was after all soliciting her for sex. That had to be it. She regretted initiating conversation, but she had already gotten the ball rolling and she wasn’t going to sit in an awkward silence which made her feel defeated. She knew she had to respond.

“Everyone is a businessman these days. I too consider myself a businesswoman” she retorted with a sneer. Tshepo took his eyes of the road and looked at her with an intrigued smile on his face. Thembisa knew she had him. She’d broken the proverbial ice. Tshepo let out a little chuckle. “I think you’re more of a saleswoman, than a businesswoman. Oh and look, we’re already here. Can’t wait to see what you’re selling”. They drove into the parking lot of a decent F1 hotel she had been to before. For the girls of Yvette and Troy an F1 hotel was as good as it got.

Thembisa’s fun was officially over. Tshepo’s comment got her feeling like the commodity and she knew it was time to go to work. They got out of the car and walked into the hotel. Tshepo had already checked in, so they headed straight for his room. On the way there Tshepo suddenly became very chatty much to Thembisa’s chagrin, but she had to keep up with him. She contributed enough so as not to seem cold and withdrawn, but also not too much because he didn’t want to encourage Tshepo. When they finally got to his room Thembisa was glad that it was almost over. She’d collect her money, bed him and find her way home.

At this time she’d realised that Tshepo was yet to ask her what her rates were. She placed her bag on the first chair she saw and said “So Tshepo, let’s get to business”.

To be continued
Off to study now! Fml!!!

More and less than


Everyone thought Carol Masilo was beautiful. She however paid herself the greatest compliments in the privacy of her own thoughts. Success breeds success was her mantra, and her supermodel good looks were evidence of it. She excelled in most to all of the things that she’d attempted. Life was great to her. She knew it, celebrated it and was only modest when confronted with a compliment. She valued herself primarily on a superficial level because it was easy. She was of the opinion that it’s best to see herself as the world saw her seeing as she was revered by so many, it worked out perfectly. Her mental state of grandiose was further exacerbated by how proud her parents were of her. It was better than public opinion, it was from home.

As superficial as she was, she was extremely conscious of it. It would bothered her at times when her “lesser” friends spoke of love, positivity and finding a soul mate. When there were self improvement conversations Carol would shut down and think “These things should come naturally to you people, there should be no need to talk about them as a means to find inspiration”.

She was however by no means a cold person. A part of her couldn’t help but show kindness to people. In fact, every act of kindness would haunt her with a little guilt. She’d second guess herself asking herself, “Am I being courteous because I’m a decent human being or am I do it to be liked?” Nevertheless she acted appropriately and it had to be worth something.

She often found that dating or rather having a boyfriend was something of a convenience. She’d often go on dates and entertain the advances of men she deemed to be of good pedigree. They were, or at least appeared to be, as superficial as she was. The thought of being with someone who’s like her sickened her at times. But the rhetoric and the shared interests were alluring, and an undeniably good way to further explore her relevance with male counterparts.

Carol was however in for a rude awakening. Her entire introspection was about to change.

To be continued, coz I’m tipsy and I can’t see beyond putting my protagonist in a terrible car accident.

Andrew and Pepper


I have another short story for you. This one isn’t as bad as the first one I told you. I was extra inspired that night.

This one time in varsity I knew these two kids. Pepper and Andrew. Andrew was allegedly abusive towards Pepper. I’m not one to believe rumours, since I do tend to start them. But there was some truth to this one.

This here rumour was confirmed by yours truly this one night when the whole res was drunk and I was unfortunately damaged when I for the first time in my young life witnessed “domestic/res violence”…amongst peers. Imagine!

I was coming back from my room. I was previously in Jabu’s corridor (where the best party was), but the music was less than satisfactory. So I decided to get a different kind of music. Something that would appeal to everyone else whose not from Durban.

Along the way I encountered Andrew and Pepper. Before I could say hello I witnessed Andrew push Pepper to the floor. She fell violently.

Andrew looked up and saw that I witnessed the whole thing…but for some or other reason, he pulled Pepper up and pushed her against the wall and insisted, pointing to her face practically accusing her, “you fell by yourself”. This was very odd to me since I was tipsy but very lucid. I suppose he thought I missed him pushing her. I paused and stood there for a while. Flash drive in one hand, vodka and sprite in the other.

Pepper was helpless shaking and sad. It broke my heart. I didn’t know what to do. She looked at me, as if to say “save me”. But Andrew was a huge biltong eating Eastern Cape boer, and I was tipsy and rushing back to the party with music and the promise of weed later. I looked at the both of them, dead in the eye, said “hey guys, lovely evening. You should come to Jabu’s room.” And I went on with my business. As I walked away I could feel the tension in that scene leave my shoulders. I was glad to say the least.

I didn’t tell anyone about this, seeing as I only spread rumours. The truth is stranger than fiction, and I don’t want to be THAT person spreading “the truth”.

The next Monday, Pepper was wearing shades at 8 o’clock in the morning. Which isn’t rare…but still very suspect. I, being the nonchalant person I am, coolly greeted her like nothing ever happened. I suppose she appreciated it as she responded in kind.

A few weeks later I found out that she had a miscarriage. It shocked me to the core of my soul. I kept hoping it didn’t happen on the same night I saw her in. But apparently it was a blessing in disguise.

They called it quits and both found happiness with other people. Ironically both ended up dating friends of mine.

I saw a light and it wasn’t love


I saw a light

A short story.

She always thought of herself as a very passionate person, but on this morning Lesedi woke up feeling as though her soul was a decaying corpse. She knew that something had to be done. Life could not carry on this way.

It was a November morning like any other. The sun shone into her bedroom with rays of light coming through the cracks between the curtains, swiftly hitting the foot of her bed. She looked at them with more appreciation than ever before as they echoed the perspective she needed. “This light” she thought to herself, “I need this light”.

Lesedi then felt the darkness in her life moving. She moved to greet it with a smile which she’d been lying about for a few months now. “Good morning my love” she said to her boyfriend of three years Themba. He greeted her back. She hesitated to kiss him, which didn’t matter because Themba always kissed Lesedi every morning when he got up. The kiss resulted in an unsentimental indifference she’d never felt before in her life. At that moment Lesedi knew that it had to end. She was going to break up with him.

She quickly looked at the foot of her bed again, to see the light that she had now decided was a symbolic of what she needed to do. She felt herself drifting back to the place she was in before Themba woke up. A place of perspective. A beautiful Aurora Borealis that she wants her life to be. The light reminded her of a much more jubilant Lesedi. A lighter Lesedi.

Themba Gumede was a good man and an even better boyfriend. He had his flaws, but he adored Lesedi and loved her like she was his only hope at happiness. Lesedi knew this and every time she experienced this love she’d die a little more inside. She was however grateful for Themba. He had helped her grow up as a person in so many ways. He’d been a witness to all her trials and tribulations, without ever skipping a beat. He was the kind of man who a lot of girls would kill for. Yes, he was great, but it felt like it was a convenient love. Most of the time she felt like a trophy and an Italian sports car, she had fallen prey to her vanity. But she’d reach a point where she felt hollow and empty like the very trophy and car.

She would often think of all the things her friend Palesa had been through with her alcoholic boyfriend Meshack. She’d thank God she’s not like Neo, who was a mile away from her wedding aisle but found out her boyfriend had multiple affairs. Her friends didn’t have much luck with love. She was the envy of all them. Little did they know that making love for her felt like being an expensive blow up doll at the best of times and a masturbatory tool at the worst of times. So she decided that she was not going to discuss leaving Themba with any of her friends. She knew exactly how it would go.

Neo had the best theory about how women left men a theory that would derail her. According to Neo women are nature’s forensic auditors, they scrutinize everything before leaving a man. They assess things over extended periods of time. Once they feel comfortable with the information gathered, they start leaving the relationship emotionally. Then only once they are sure of all things do they officially break up. Woman need to be sure before making any move. She backed this up through several scenarios. She was indeed toasted that night. The girls were all sold on this theory. Lesedi felt that she needed to fast forward everything and get all her empirical audit evidence today and leave today.

Themba got out of bed and took a shower. Lesedi lied in bed lifeless for a minute. She gathered her thoughts and all the strength she could muster to start her day. At least he didn’t try to have sex with me, she thought. She laughed at the idea of giving him one for the road as she put on her gown to go make breakfast. On her way to the kitchen she contemplated exactly how she was going to do it. She kept wishing it was a working day. The logistics of leaving Themba would work so much better if his day plans were set in stone. She however had no intentions of waiting for Monday. This had to happen today.

Just as she was about to crack the first egg, Themba walked in the kitchen. She immediately asked him if he had any plans for the day. The last time she need a yes in her life so badly was when she applied to Wits Business School. Luckily he had errands to run. “How long do you think you’re going to be” she asked sounding as calm as possible, as not to raise any suspicion. “I won’t be long honey, don’t worry” he responded. “Do you want something to eat before you go?” she asked. She realised that by trying to sound cool, she ended up sounding flippant. Themba felt like there was a right answer to this question. He got nervous, he didn’t understand why. Little did he know.

Themba decided to grab a bite to eat and he hugged her with the love and affection she’d grown accustomed to. She felt like such a delicate flower in Themba’s arms. For a split second she felt insane for wanting to leave the man who was clearly her Adonis. The hug ended, but the feeling of doubt stayed with her for a little while as Themba let go and walked out.

Lesedi prided herself in being the kind of young woman who always had a plan. She was what her best friends called organised chaos. Her impulsiveness came in ideas which had to be flawlessly executed. But this was different, this was about a man she did indeed fall in love with. She poured herself a glass of orange juice and moved to lounge for some serious reflection.

To be continued