I was not sorry when Zamo tried to commit suicide. She was not my friend and she had tried to get me kicked out of school. I know when something like this happens we are told that we must humble ourselves and see the world in a bigger picture. In the bigger picture girls like Zamo made life for girls like me hard. If this was Mean Girls this was the moment Gretchen got hit by a bus. People say what goes around comes around and maybe my turn will come but it will not be because of that girl. I was sorry however for whomever liked her or loved her. I was not one of them.
“Do you think she is going to die?”
Katlego asked me in the dark around 2 am in the morning. We had both not slept clearly and I am sure she could hear me tossing and turning.
“I don’t know but i am scared!”
I responded. We had not spoken about what had happened in that meeting at all and with the suicide attempt talking about it just made it awkward.
“I knew a girl in high school once. She was one of those playful always funny ones. Her father was strict. In Grade 11, she failed maths in our prelims. The father was a cop. She took his gun and killed herself fearing what he would do.”
I told her. It was so eerie the way that story came out and I guess it made her also want to share,
“Even me but my experience with it was not like that. He was a guy from church and he came out to his father that he was gay. The father disowned him and said that he must fend for himself. He then jumped off a building in Pretoria because of it!”
She told me. Both stories were of people who had been put in a corner and the only way they could fight back was by ending it all. Could I ever reach that stage? Ingane engakhali ifela embelekweni. That used to be my mother’s way of getting me to talk. In English, she would always say a child that does not cry will die on its mother’s back. Suicide was not a taboo subject in my house because my mother feared it so much she would make sure problems were discussed. After a fight even if she was very angry at me she would bring me something nice to remind me how much I was loved.
“Do you think I pushed her too hard in that hearing?”
Katlego asked me. My answer would probably have been yes on any other occasion but today was different.
“No Kat you are being unfair on yourself now. You did not do this. Zamo started all this. I never thought she could falsely accuse you the way she did in there. I thought you guys were super close!”
I told her which was mostly true. I also believed that this girl had other issues because of the way she had come for Kat. I really had not seen that one coming. Coming for Kat like that was like biting her nose to spite her face.
“I will go see her at the hospital!”
Katlego suggested. Her voice was dripping with guilt as she clearly blamed herself for what had happened. I did not see Zamo ever forgiving her for this because at the end of the day no matter what the circumstances were she had betrayed her friend’s confidence.
“Please don’t. What if you trigger her to do worse?”
I asked her which was also a warning on my part.
“She needs to heal. That’s all we can do for her at this stage.”
I told her. At some point in the wee hours of the morning, I drifted off. I was woken up at 0730 by my phone ringing. It was Zethu.
“Mfethu I was meant to call you last night but I passed out on my desk!”
She told me as soon as I picked up. I was still very sleepy but I responded to her and told her,
“Everything is a mess; I will tell you in person. When is your free period.”?
I asked her.
“I really don’t have one because I skipped yesterday so I will be catching up. It’s fine though we can talk at lunch!”
She said and it was a date then. As it was Friday my schedule was free meaning I could do other things. Ada had not called me since he was in Nigeria. I did not have Abisola’s number so that she could tell Abedi that Zamo had tried to commit suicide. I was not even sure if I should tell him. He had played a part in this. I forced myself up and did my laundry instead. I had gone out the last weekend and because of school, you change every day I actually had lots of it. I also wanted to do my bedding. I started playing music with my earphones on. Needless to say, I lost track of time for by the time my phone rang it was after one,
“Mfethu I am here, I can’t see you!”
Shit. That was Zethu.
“Ah Zethu, I am sorry I lost track of time. I am still at res and I have not even bathed. I am doing laundry. I am sorry!”
She said sounding really annoyed.
“Tonight if you will have me I will come sleep over.”
I told her.
“Tonight I am going out with the soccer player and his friends. I will ask him if it’s cool but it’s not nice what you just did. I had to move around things just to get here!”
She told me and I apologized again. She hung up without saying hi and I think that was our first fight ever. Cute. As for going out tonight, I was not too sure it’s what I wanted. On the one hand, I felt like with the way Katlego was feeling bad over the situation I had to be with her. On the other hand, I felt it would look like I was celebrating Zamo’s demise. It just did not look or sound right. There was another nagging thing I had on the back of my mind which I did not feel like admitting. I felt that going out with Zethu, her man and other Nigerian people would send the message to Ada that I liked partying.
I whispered to myself as I folded some of the clothes that were in the dryer already. When I eventually got back to the room I found Katlego lying on her bed.
“Are you ok?”
I asked her.
“No, not really!”
“I think I am going to my Uncles tonight. I will sleep there for the weekend. I just need fresh air and to realign my goals!”
Yup, that is the Katlego I knew and loved the one who spoke in funny phrases.
“I think it’s wise.”
I advised her.
“What are you going to do?”
She asked me.
“I don’t know yet. Maybe I will just sleep. I cannot go to the dining hall alone. I am sure people will be staring at me funny. They already were when I was doing laundry.”
I told her. Living in a girl’s residence means everyone and I mean everyone knows your business. You cannot hide anything for long. No one is more judgmental than a woman who knows half the story. They come up with every scenario and conclusion as it allows them to gossip more.
“I feel you there. Wait till Khumbule’khaya gets a hold of you!”
She said and we both laughed. That is what she called a group of Xhosa girls who not only highly opinionated but loud to the point of annoyance. I only knew two of them by name Nosibusiso and Aliziwe the other two’s names evaded me even though one if they were doing Education with me.
“Please be at my place at 6. I want an early night so I asked for a chilled vibe.”
That’s the WhatsApp text I got from Zethu. I guess it was decided then how my evening was going to go but it felt wrong.
“Should I bring an overnight bag?”
I texted her back. She did not respond meaning the answer was no I suppose. Had I already spoilt my friendship with her? This week was just too much. Katlego left around 5 pm and I left soon after her. Zethu was at her place already and she had not even started getting ready.
“I thought you said by 6 I should be here?”
I asked her. She did not look mad at me at all and in fact, was dancing to music. She even wanted me to dance with her but was not in the mood.
“What’s wrong? What happened?”
She asked me a rather redundant question. She turned down her music and we sat down to talk. I told her everything that had happened at the hearing and what Katlego had said as well. She was just in disbelief with everything but was firmly on Katlego’s side.
“Zamo will be fine. If she wanted to kill herself she will be dead. She needs to heal and learn that she can’t have everything she wants in life just by the snap of her fingers. I feel sorry for her yes but she made this bed now she must lie in it!”
That’s the straight talk I am used to backing home. People don’t have time to nurse your feelings as they have better things to do with their lives.
“Why do I feel bad though?”
I asked her.
“You should feel bad. Its natural. You are human but Katlego and yourself should never blame yourself for nonsense!”
And with that, she dropped the topic. The evening was now turned into us preparing ourselves. I decided that I should text Ada.
“Hey. I hope all is well there in Lagos or wherever you are. I know you will not get this soon. I am going out with Zethu and her man for dinner. She is dating that soccer player friend of yours. So much drama will tell you all about it.”
I told him in the text. We got ready. It was a cold night so I decided that jeans were best. I was not going to stick my ass out in this breeze in any case. I didn’t even wear heels so why bother.
“I hope I am not too underdressed!”
I asked her and she laughed saying she did not mind. We were going to Churchills and on a Friday evening, it was usually corporate types so not really a fancy dress occasion she told me. I had no idea what that was.
“Konky this is my friend the one I told you about, Samke Konky!”
Zethu said by way of introduction when he arrived. I remembered at the party we had actually not been introduced and it’s a good thing too that she made that introduction otherwise I would have made up names.
“I remember you; you are Ada’s girl!”
He said which made me feel very awkward. I wanted to blurt out that we were not dating but that would embarrass Ada if he had told them otherwise.
I said with a smile. I was not totally against it though because at least i knew they would treat me with respect. When we got to Melrose where Churchills is we parked and went up the escalator to the entrance. It was already packed. We did not enter though and when Zethu asked why Konky responded,
“We are waiting for someone!”
At that moment, my phone vibrated and to my surprise, I got a message from Ada,
“I am good thanks. Not my friend but ok. Those boys play a little rough so I sent you a…”
I didn’t even finish the text because when I looked up there he was, Abedi. Nkosi yam! What was God thinking when he made this man? I was already drooling so to act like I did not care I looked down on my phone to continue reading the text from Ada,
“I am good thanks. Not my friend but ok. Those boys play a little rough so I sent you a bodyguard. Have fun. Be safe!”
Clearly, this guy did not watch TV because if he did he would know, Whitney Houston ended up screwing her bodyguard.