*please note, anything written in ITALICS is meant to be a flashback
*Flashback is when a character remembers in detail a scene or conversation that happened in the past in a manner that they are living the scene in their memory.
Needless to say when I got back into res I was feeling sick. I was not well at all. Alcohol and skipping exams go hand in hand like Maimane and the word ‘broken’! I felt like a broken girl in a broken school in a broken room with a broken stomach. I threw up for a while longer and after that I was so exhausted, sleep was the only logical option. That night I didn’t dream but in the morning when my roommate woke me up to go and write the exam I had a pounding headache. Lindokuhle and I were not very close but we got along. She knew I had a test because I had told her. She was outgoing as well but not in the club sense, no! She was one of those girls you find walking in Auckland Park for absolutely no reason with her friends laughing at nothing and everything.
“What time is it?”
I asked her when I woke up!
“Your test is at 8 so you better get ready and leave!”
She warned. I got out of bed and went to take a quick shower but all the showers on my floor were occupied. I had to take a dry bath after a heavy night of drinking. I rinsed my mouth so many times but I kept thinking that the smell was still on me. When I got back to my room, Lindo had made me a cup of coffee. It’s a good thing I like my coffee hot otherwise I would have struggled to drink it. I only managed half a cup before I ran out, late already!
When I got there the other students were standing outside. No one was in the venue.
“Why are we not going in?”
I asked someone familiar.
“Apparently there is going to be a strike so they want to postpone the test!”
I won’t lie I was relieved but this would be the seventh or eighth test postponed this year due to protests. I had marched in last year’s #feesmustfall but I was tired of it now. Come on, now we have crazies burning campus and libraries? I just wanted to graduate and leave this place. This was no longer a #whatatimetobealive moment but more like #istillneedtograduate time! It’s like they were now doing this just to stay in the media!
“I am sorry guys; there will be no test today!”
The professor announced.
“Classes have been postponed so we will take the test next week same time!”
He said. No one cheered! Yet again some students who thought their right to education were bigger than everyone else’s right had won the day. I walked back to res with some students who were all of the opinion that the madness had to stop. All I wanted now though was that shower I had skipped.
“Back so soon!”
My Lindo said when I walked in.
“Let me guess, strike?”
She said and I nodded my head. If mine was cancelled it means that hers were cancelled as well.
“I am going to go to Campus Square!”
She said calmly. I think she was hinting for me to come with her but she should know better. I don’t go places with her. This girl liked walking a bit much.
“I am fine. I am going to nap as I am sleepy as is! Enjoy!”
No one sleeps like students. We are even worse than pregnant women. I did not want to go to Khanyi’s room because I was angry at her. I told her we could not part too long yet look what had happened. She needed to respect my academics. I had to tell her that but she always had a way of deflecting the argument. I fell asleep. I was so glad for the strikes after all. At least I could rest and I really needed this hey.
As I was started to get warm, you know how your bed takes about 10 minutes my phone rang! Crap! Why did I not switch it off? Instinct said don’t pick it up but what if it was something important. I looked at the user calling.
That was the caller I.D. I knew what that was. That was my blesser! I have not yet fully introduced him. His name was Sam which was short for Samson. I had actually had to Google that because when I met him he had given me his card. Nowadays only the stupidest girl does not research a new partner. The internet is there for you to try and find out as much as you can about your potential partner. You don’t want to end up with a wanted criminal simply because you were too proud to search for five minutes who this new person you are going to be allowing to touch your body is! When I met Sam I did not really like him? We had gone for the Color Run with Khanyi and some of the girls from my residence. Yeah I know people think you meet blessers in seedy clubs or in Sandton City but with me I did not have to do all that. I was at the color run and this man just spoke to me. It was the most inconspicuous thing ever because he was cracking jokes and allez. The conversation went something like this after I told him I was at UJ and I hated it (which was a lie but if a student says they are loving school most likely they are fucking up),
“You can’t hate school. My company hires a lot of interns from the local university. Maybe you should come visit and see how much fun it is when you start working and making money for yourself!”
He had said with a smile on his face. At events like this it is not embarrassing at all to speak to older men because usually people assume it’s your father and you are doing this as a family hence why they advertise it as “an event the whole family can enjoy”. He could not even see my face clearly underneath all this paint powder.
“I would love that. You are too kind. Usually just getting past security in most companies is like asking them to give you money! No one will talk to a broke student like me you know!”
I said genuinely. At this stage I had not realized that the word ‘broke’ was the trigger point to show my vulnerability not that I was saying I was vulnerable just unaware.
“I don’t who came up with color run thing but they should do it every day!”
Khanyi who had gone to buy hot dogs for her and myself came back and said.
“Khanyi, meet Sam, Sam this is my best friend Khanyi!”
I said. They greeted.
“I am sorry I did not get you anything but I am sorry I am not going back in there, the lines are hectic. It’s like they know so many people are coming then they put out five food stalls! The kids alone are in the hundreds! Talk about poor planning!”
She said very much annoyed. She looked at Sam funny as though she had recognized him from somewhere but didn’t linger. I resolved to ask her later what that was all about.
“And I tried calling you! You need to get rid of that Blackberry Palesa, it never works and always we have this fight!”
She went on to complain. In my head I was dude chill but with Khanyi if you fight back it will just become an argument. Fortunately he ignored her to talk about more important things…
“I know but the trick is that white people are not scared of trying foreign concepts here. With us blacks, we do not usually favor new ideas and stick to the tried and tested! Take this color run for example, if I had seen in a foreign country my first thought would have been that my people back home are too backward to fall for this yet here we are, there probably more blacks than whites even!”
He said. This guy sounded smart but in a grown up kind of way. If my dad was still around I would say he sounded like my dad in his authoritative voice. He was clearly someone with a bit of power, probably middle management I thought.
“Isn’t they all want us to go look for jobs when we finish schools. They don’t want us to have business minds or acumen. It will threaten the black hierarchy!”
I said remembering what my professor had said to us. He was of the opinion that the reason why we all fail at getting funding was because the system was designed for us to fail. A business stops being viable if there is too much competition so keeping it within a small pool meant more money available to be made. I do pay attention in class after all.
A beautiful be it a bit chubby girl walked up to us carrying two hot dogs and juice. For a moment I thought it was his daughter. He looked like he was late forties.
“Thank you Grace!”
He said when she handed him the food.
“Grace meet Khanyi and Palesa, two UJ students. Girls my personal assistant Grace!”
She was a bubbly person and did not give us any attitude at all when we greeted her. As soon as she finished saying her hello her phone rang. She stepped aside and two minutes later came back,
“Sir, it’s about your flight to Turkey, the agent said that you will have to do a 6 hour layover in Dubai if you want to make it on that day. There are no direct flights for Monday!”
She explained to him.
“Take it; I have to be in that summit on Tuesday!”
He said standing up. He had only taken one bite of his hotdog though, that time I was so hungry!
“Ladies, it was a pleasure to meet you!”
He said and with that just walked away.
“Did you get his numbers?”
Khanyi asked me as he walked away. I said no because the thought had not crossed my mind at all.
“Ah dude come on, how slow can you get!”
She said and we both laughed. He would have made a good connection to have. Two minutes later Grace came running towards us.
“Sorry guys, which one is Palesa again?”
“My boss said I must give you his card and you must give me your number!”
“Why should I do that?”
I asked surprised!
“Trust me, you want to do this!”
She explained with not so many words. I reluctantly gave her my numbers and she took down mine on one of two of her iPhones!
That’s how I met Sam and now he was calling. We had spoken a few times and met up a few times but that’s for later!
“I am on my way to see you?”
He said. I was still a bit scared of him for some reason.
“No am busy, I have a lot of work to do and am writing tomorrow!”
I told him but he did not seem to be listening.
“I think you are mistaking my request for a question. That’s my way of telling you that I am coming to see you!”
“Ok then. How long will it take you to get here?”
I asked him annoyed at the fact that he could just demand.
“Am downstairs in the parking lot!”
He responded. I couldn’t believe it. Why didn’t he say he was coming earlier on? It’s not like I would have said no.
“Ok I am coming!”
I told him.
“Put on a skirt!”
“I beg your pardon!”
“You heard me. Put on a skirt!”
He said with a bit of annoyance in his voice. He was not happy I had said it like that. It was not even 10 am in the morning and there were people walk over the place. This could get embarrassing.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for reading my letter and greetings to the readers.
I am 29 and male. I have been with my lady for five years now. I lost my job about two months into our relationship. Those were hard times I tell you but she was working in a not so good job but she helped me get back on to my feet. She would give me money and encourage me to seek for jobs. Remember I had just met this lady and she was doing all this for me. Eventually I got a job, a better one than I had before through one of her connections. I thought things were fine between us but I then discovered two months after I paid lobola for her that she was cheating on me with someone from where she worked. I confronted her about this because I loved this girl and also with what she had done for me in my hour of need I could never forget. She apologized and she cried. The guy she was seeing at work actually had an accident a few months after I found out about the affair and died. I don’t know if they continued the affair before he died but regardless I forgave her. We delayed the wedding just so we could fix that broken trust but most importantly do it together. In December I married her, white wedding and all. She said it was the happiest day of her life and in front of everyone she confessed that she had cheated and that I had forgiven her for it. It was an awkward moment because everyone was stunned but people cheered saying what a good heart I had and how I was a good man. I won’t lie that killed my spirit. The whole world knowing I was a pushover was not nice. Some of my close friends who did not know this story and were at the wedding started teasing me about it. They meant well as we tease each other but that planted a seed. Now I have reached a stage where I don’t trust her when she goes out or receives calls. Moreover as she has started a new job herself, her mentor is a wealthy young and good looking man which just drives me insane? I have not said anything to her nor shown how I am suffering inside because I don’t want to hurt her by my jealousy. Her job involves travelling and she goes with her work mates. I am having so many bad thoughts and can’t even sleep well when she is out.
I forgave her for cheating but I am not coping. I don’t want to ruin my marriage. Please advise me on how to get out of this jealous stalker boyfriend mode I am descending into. Please for the sake of my marriage I don’t know what to do!