Khanyi, Khanyi, Khanyi! Sigh! At first I just looked at her as though she was someone who had been smoking a very
strong strain of weed but even then it wouldn’t quite describe how shocked I was at what she had just said. I was in my hospital bed, the men I love had just dumped me and they thought I had tried to commit suicide over him yet he she was offering me a new guy so I can continue my affair with the married man who led me to this low point in my life in the first place. Is this what true friendship is though, supporting each other even in stupid things?
“Can you hear yourself Khanyi?”
I asked her. Maybe it was just me and my mind was playing tricks with me.
“I know what I said. Remember the guys we met at MASH? I have been chatting to them even though you started ignoring them. That other one really likes you!”
She was lying. The reason why she was not saying their names is because she could remember them. She was hoping I would say their names so she could then go and check on her phone whom they were.
“Thank you but no thank you. I don’t want them. I am not dating anyone else other than Neo. I am serious! Dubai can just go rot!”
I told her as sternly as I could in my weakened state. I could not on the one hand be angry at Sam for suggesting I must always have a boyfriend then embrace Khanyi for saying it.
“You are killing us come on. You know for a fact that Neo and you were doomed! People have university romances but how many of them marry that person? You find that us girl after university we get more mature so quickly whilst our exes turn into fuckboys whose main offering in life is to fuck high school kids and first years. Realistically guys our age when we start working look pathetic. They work but can’t afford anything and when they afford something they want to make up for lost time for all those beautiful girls that sugar daddies stole from them by become, what can I call them, blessers for younger girls! You know this is true!”
She said sitting down where the doctor had sat. At times when you listen to Khanyi you could swear that she had had her heart broken at some point the way she was anti younger guys.
“You will never understand Khanyi, Neo is mine. Neo is the one I love. Even if he dumps me, I will beg him every day to take me back because I love him!”
I told her. It kind of hurt her because I think she thought that little speech she had given would convince me.
“I didn’t say stop loving him. Neo is cute and sweet but reality is he is far from being a man. He has some growing up to do!”
“And I am grown?”
I asked her curtly. Its one thing I have learned, as girls we feel so mature and old that we look at the boys we grew up with as young and childish. Somewhere somehow we got to tell ourselves that we are men and not girls whilst the guys our age are boys and not women? How is that so! I still worried about so many things just like guys my age worry about but when I sat with Khanyi and other girls they would make it seem like our age was wrong. No wonder why we all craved blessers.
“I don’t know it what manner but in terms of maturity you are more mature than him yeah!”
She said and folded her arms.
“Ok explain what makes me mature? I am fucken fucking a 42 year old man Khanyi and I am 20! Does that make me mature? Is that it? So you think that just because his Sarafina dick gets to get inside me I am all of a sudden not a born free?”
She burst out laughing.
I asked her. Here I was being serious with her and she was finding me funny.
“What’s a Sarafina dick?”
She asked me in between her laughter and she even started coughing. I couldn’t see what was funny though.
“The bottom line is this; Neo is only immature to you because he can’t afford things which even you can’t afford on your own. That’s the real reason why. He does a much harder degree than both of us combined, has never failed a subject like you and I have, owns his own business whilst we busy with these apartheid era dudes for money! Who therefore is immature? Us or him?”
I asked her. That laugher just died with my questions. That hit home.
“So you think we are dumb?”
She asked me.
“Yes we are and the fact that you don’t even see is what makes it even worse. You might as well go on Twitter to bash all young guys on the basis that you think you know them better than they know themselves! I love Neo and I want Neo back!”
I told her putting my foot down. She was very unhappy if anything but she held it together.
“Ok fine then, if you want Neo back we are getting Neo back!”
She said with a fake smile. Even fake as it was, what she had said was easier said than done. I didn’t even know where to start. Her phone rang and as she stood up to go take it outside in entered my mother. I cried immediately!
She ran over to the bed crying too and she hugged me.
“Baby, my baby!”
She cried. I know I had let her down and that’s the true meaning of attempted suicide to everyone who loves you. Your giving up will have let them down.
“I am sorry I pushed you too hard Palesa, I did not want this! I am so sorry!”
She cried. I was obliged to forgive her even though it was not the case and it’s not like she would give me sympathy money, this woman was as stingy as a rich white person paying their domestic at Christmas. You get the same salary papa bonus for what!
“Its ok mum. I promise I will never do it again!”
I told. I might as well own it even though I didn’t do it. The power was in my hands.
“Where is Boitumelo?”
I asked her,
“She is at school. She is not coming. She is writing. She wanted to come!”
She told me. Somehow I did not believe her but who would want to see me. I felt bad because now she would always see me as the older sister who had tried to kill herself.
“When you are discharged you must come home. You need a two or three week break just to rediscover yourself!”
She said. Hell no. Three weeks at home with my mum would be torture. Not a chance. University was freedom, why on earth would I want to go to the prison they call home.
“No thank you mum. I need to study. I need to block everything out! Please mum. School is what’s best for me right now!”
I told her, I could see she wanted to fight my decision but held back for fear of stressing me.
“I think I must sleep now, I am tired!”
I told her. I was not really tired but her staying here meant she would just push me even more.
“Ok then. I will be back later. Your dad said he would be coming I don’t know what delayed him but knowing him he is being as irresponsible as he always is!”
She said. Here we go again. My mother would find any excuse to say bad things about my dad. That was her thing. My dad being an asshole made her day even though she is the one who cheated on him.
“Ok thank you!”
I said. She walked out. I was now alone to my thoughts. Khanyi who had gone to take her phone call was still not back yet. Alone now I got to think. What was I going to do from here? I needed a plan. No one had said anything about Neo coming which made me even wonder if he knew where I was. It’s not possible to love someone for so long and just switch off over night.
“I need my phone!”
I told myself out loud frustrated.
Khanyi said as she walked back in and she was carrying a paper bag that looked like a gift package. It was obviously for me. I could not see it clearly because from the angle I lay I could hardly sit up. They really needed to untie me because that was getting old.
“I have a surprise for you!’
She said as she walked back in. She looked super excited and was even jumping up and down to express this excitement.
“Ok you are exciting me too now and making me so curious. What are you holding there?”
I asked her. She held up the bag for me to see the label on the bag. It read,
I screamed too in excitement and guess what; I had not even opened them yet. The nurse came in running to find out what was wrong.
“Are you ok? What’s wrong Palesa? Must I call the doctor?”
She asked me.
“No relax I am fine. My boyfriend just got me that!”
I told her, the nurse. She was very young so when saw the pack she understood.
“Oh damn, my boyfriend can’t even give r500 a month without complaining!”
She said and we all loved.
“Khanyi open them so we can see them. I can do it with my hands tied up!”
I said. The nurse looked at me and said,
“Hell no, you open them yourself!”
She took a glance back to see if anyone was coming and came and undid the buckles of the restraints. For the first time today I set up. It felt so good to be free. I wanted to run out and stretch but realized any sudden movements would mean I was back in them.
“Here love, open them!”
Khanyi said sweetly. She only said love when she wanted something for me and ah, even though we wore the same shoe size, on this one we would never share.
“Hand it over I am so nervous!”
I said to them both. This nurse liked things mara.
I opened the box and inside the box where two shoes each in a bag of its own.
“They even come in a bag!”
The nurse said and we loved. Indeed, they were wrapped in a bag. I had never bought shoes wrapped in a bag before.
Finally I took one shoe out. I fell in love immediately. Nude coloured red bottoms. This was better than dying and going to heaven. There was a note in side which simply said,
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Dear Mike and readers
Thanks for reading my letter
I have a 18 year little sister who was born HIV+ and have been on meds ever since she was a little girl, she didn’t know what the pills were for, no one told her about it up until she found out herself when she was 12. She was so angry, and even stopped taking her meds she was taken to psychologists even. After some time she was back on her meds and all was well.
At the age of 15 she was raped and the culprit is not known to this day, she cried every single day we were scared she might commit suicide. Growing up she was a very quiet and shy(she still is) but had few friends. Early last year we lost our dad while she was doing her matric, she never took it well since she was a daddy’s girl.
I’m not sure when everything started, but she’s having mood swings. Like extreme mood swings, one minute we’re laughing the next she’s angry enough to break anything around. She doesn’t have friends anymore because she pushed them all away. She hardly talks, doesn’t go out and often cry for no reason at all. When you ask her about it she will brush it off, and I just discovered that she uses a razor to cut her wrists really bad. I don’t know why she does that, and it looks painful. Confronting her about everything is just…. I don’t know, She’s not the type to talk about her feelings.
I mentioned those incidents because maybe, just maybe everything is like this because of them. Is her behaviour normal, and I’m just worried about nothing? How do i go about helping her since she doesn’t want to talk? I’m willing to do anything for her, please help me help her. I hope everything i said makes sense, I’m sorry about the long letter.