The pain of a thousand piercings can never compare to the pain I felt when I saw the look on Thabos face. It was betrayal and more than that, it was a love lost turned to hate. He looked at me as I walked past and I felt as though the moment happened in slow motion. My face still tingling from that clap I had just received could not even betray my emotions as the wetness from the earlier tears left my face numb. I wanted a place to hide. As I walked through that quad I just prayed no one had taken videos which could end up online. I don’t think there is a bigger nightmare for a high school girl than to have a negative video of her going around. How many times have you heard of people committing suicide soon after a video came out? High school is vicious on most days but with this now i knew mine would be double. I don’t think i was worried so much about my crime I was worried about the all out on my social standing. I was well known because of my looks that much I knew but to that I am sure people where going to add horrible names. I was not mean by nature, to anyone, but people judge you on your last actions so they will find a way to make me feel low.
I didn’t know what to do. Some kids were even walking behind me laughing and giggling. I wanted to go to the girl’s bathrooms where at least the prying eyes would be less. I don’t know maybe my ancestors heard my plea for help as when I turned into the science block Mr. Phasha our physics teacher whom I once suspected of having a crush on me at some point called me into his classroom to get away from it all. He chased the kids following me and threatened them with detention. We all called him Tshepo for he was a young teacher and had said when he first came that he was nobody’s sir but a tutor and friend. Obviously the principal had put an end to that because he argued there must be a clear distinction between teacher and student. Anyway he sat me in his empty classroom and told me that I needed to compose myself for it was going to be one heck of a long day. He was right! Its funny how when you are know you are beautiful you expect every male to be after you. I don’t know where we get the mentality but all males are a suspect. He was not Mr. Phasha for now but rather the first friend since all this happened. Where was Sibongile? Was she gossiping about me? More importantly where was Thabo? Was he going to dump me? I had never been dumped before because my pride always made sure I got the final say. This time though I owed a man the right of allowing me to fall on my own sword. I was at mercy? Did want to be in the relationship further though?
That whole after break session was a nightmare. When I walked past the boys would cough out “slut” “skank” “bitch”. Thabo got into detention when he beat up two grade tens for laughing at him for having “a sfebe” for a girlfriend. To a certain extent that lessened the taunting for the rugby boys stood by their boy and anyone who was heard saying something bad that could affect Thabo was “dealt” with. That wasn’t about him though. It was all on me. The teachers where non sympathetic either. Normally I sit at the back but two teachers insisted for that lesson I sit in front and Mrs Mononela insisted I read an Othello scene. You know how Shakespeare is that one book that was just designed to make you look stupid? I had to read that. She insisted I not read into the book but rather express and enunciate myself to the class. I read that scene with tears running down my cheeks. Initially people were laughing but half way through some guy stood up for me and said that was not necessary of which the other students agreed. I sat down without asking for the teacher’s permission, and guess what that got me detention! What a day! Now I had to contend with detention with Thabo! Where would I hide?
Eventually school came out. That I can truly say was the longest day of my young life. I was a pariah of the community and did not deserve to be here. Mondays we had no hockey practice so I was at least leaving at three. I dodged everyone and I am sure was first out of the gate. I didn’t stay far but I took the long route home. I needed to think. My mum had threatened to beat me up every day if I didn’t tell her a name. I needed a plan really. Secondly I do not think my mother went about this the right way. I was wrong I knew that but not in front of my teachers, peers and friends. How then could I come back and people trust me? Had I not always been the one to avoid older men yet today girls whose fathers had tried to hit on me and I had refused where now laughing at me. There was even a BC going around saying that I mustn’t be invited to their houses because their fathers were in danger. Just imagine. As I walked home I felt the pain of that thought. How did it come to this? Another thing that was starting to weigh on me was that i had already dealt with my mother and knew what was coming still; what of my father? Did he know? Was he going to belt me too? I was so scared.
When I got home turning into the drive way there was a car I knew far too well! It always seems to come when there was a problem at my house!
I hated this car because for me it represented all sorts of hypocrisies but I knew my mother loved it so much to the annoyance of my dad!
My mother had called the pastor from out church to come pray for me!
Now not just school kids knew this but the community!!
That man was a gossip!!!
I sat down at the gate on the drain!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto Facebook