Short Stories, Tale Africa

Reminiscing: Words I long to hear

By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa:

“What are you doing here?” Is the first thing I asked as I opened the door to meet his smug face.

“I made a mistake; I should’ve never left. I realized with you is where I want to be; not with her not with anybody else. I’m sorry”

Words I badly wished to hear but he never uttered them. Instead, he pushed me through the door without saying a word, mashed to my locker and took out all his clothes and the mug he bought for me on valentines. This was not the sight I wanted to see. I wanted to hug him and beg him to stay but I couldn’t. My pride wouldn’t allow me to stoop that low. How can he just hurt me like that and not even feel sorry about it? I watched him leave, holding back tears. He didn’t even close the door. His footsteps in the hallway echoed in my ears for hours as I curled up in my bed in tears.

I was only 18 and a first year student at the University of the Free State. I wasn’t even used to Qwaqwa. I had arrived late January in search for education. My high school teachers did their best to prepare us for tertiary but they didn’t warn us of the heartbreak that comes with senior guys. When I met Swazi, he was the sweetest guy on campus. He helped me with my registration even assisted me in acquiring financial aid. He even assisted me in moving into my res. My knight in shining armor, my first love. He was my first, I gave all my purity to him. We went everywhere together, he even accompanied me to my classes and fetched me after class.

Never had I felt like this before; so violated, so ruined. What would my father say should he hear I gave myself to Swazi? A stranger I met at varsity.

In March, all the senior students started flocking in; that’s when I met Zanele. She was a third year finance student and Swazi’s other woman. Technically, I was the other woman because they had apparently been together for the past two years. Zanele approached me after my English lecture and said;

“I hope you had fun with my man. I’m back now, you can go play with the other children”.

I didn’t respond, I couldn’t. I simply walked away and went to wait for the bus next to the campus library. That’s when my nightmare began. I didn’t even have friends at school because I always hung out with Swazi. I had no one to talk to but him. Naturally I told him about the strange girl later when he came to see me. He ridiculed the whole thing and said seniors prank freshmen like that every year. I believed him, I had no reason to doubt him.

Two days later the girl, who then introduced herself as Zanele, waited for me at Botshabelo, my residence. She was accompanied by two girls who laughed and agreed with every insult she threw my way. I am not any of the things she called me, I was not a home wrecker and she had no right calling me names. Most of the things she said I can never repeat. I was stunned! What type of a person is this? My roommates came to my rescue because I stood there, like a wet chicken, being showered by insults.

Swazi didn’t come to see me that night, or the night after that. So I went to his room at Red D on campus and found him with her. I was hoping that I would hear certain words; words that would make me feel better but he dumped me. Just like that, no explanation, nothing!

I couldn’t believe it!

Two days after, he fetched his clothes at my room.

On my birthday, I bumped into him at the dining hall and he stopped me. My heart jumped, hoping, maybe I will finally hear those words I longed for.

He looked into my eyes and said; “Sindi please, give me some time. I’ll sort things out and let you know. Wait for me.”

And not, “I made a mistake; I should’ve never left. I realized with you is where I want to be; not with her not with anybody else. I’m sorry”

I felt a bad pain in my chest. He asked me to wait…

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