“What are you going to do, my friend?”
“I don’t know, my friend.”
It was six weeks before the matric dance and all of my friends had dates, but I didn’t. It was tough for me to find a date, but with or without a date, I was going to the dance.
“Why don’t you ask Sandile?” Asked my friend Sindisiwe.
“Ah, I’d rather go alone than go with him.”
“Siyamthanda my friend, drop your pride.”
“It’s not pride, it’s who I am.”
Sandile was a guy from my school. He was a loser. Mr I-know-it-all and had empty pride. He was well known for being the most handsome guy in school, but not me. To me, he was a failure. Who needs to spend eight years in high school?
All the cutest guys in my school were taken except that loser, Sandile. There was no way I was going to ask him to be my date. I hated him.
Time passed and we were in class, and the loser came to me.
“Hey beautiful thing,” he greeted me.
What was he doing to me? Everyone in class started paying attention to us because they knew that my reply would be sour.
“What do you want here?” I said with attitude.
“To say sorry for all the pain I caused you.”
“You know what? Just go. Your apology won’t change anything. I hate you,” I said bitterly.
“OK I will go, but please find it in your heart to forgive me.”
There are things I can forgive someone for, but what he did to me was unforgivable.
“What did he want from you, friend? A date?” Sindisiwe asked.
“He was apologising.”
“And I did not accept his apology.”
“Why do you hold grudges like this? This is not my friend that I know.”
Maybe she is right I thought. I wasn’t the type of person who would hold grudges for a long period of time when growing up. I wanted to forgive him but I couldn’t. Every time I saw him, my heart quivered with anger.
“The closing date for payment is tomorrow. Payment after tomorrow will not be accepted, and there is no refund,” Mr Sung said.
So today I had to go to the bank and withdraw my cash to pay for the dance.
The next day everyone payed, as did I. Everyone started talking about their dates and what they will wear. I hated that topic because there was nothing I could contribute. Every time they discussed that topic I would go outside and pretend I was going to drink water.
The dance came around soon enough. Everyone was wearing their best dress, as was I. I was in a pink dress, white Timberlands and a hat.
I was standing with my friends when Sandile came over to us. He was in a black tuxedo and brown Timberlands, black shades, gold Rolex, gold chains and a hat. He was looking good in that outfit. Not that I was complementing him just what he was wearing.
“Hello, ladies,” he said. “Can I have a word with Siyamthanda please?”
My friends moved away giving us space to talk.
“Hey. I was thinking, and I thought maybe you can forgive me and my family for what we did to your family. I don’t enjoy knowing that there’s someone who has a grudge against me. So please, do me a big favour and forgive me. Even if you do not mean it, let me at least hear you say ‘I forgive you’. It would make me feel much better.”
What he said was very touching. Not everyone could admit their mistake and apologize. Besides, the poor boy did not do anything wrong. He wasn’t even there when all the tension between my family and his family erupted. It would be wrong of me not to accept his apology.
“Okay, I forgive you.”
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
“But that doesn’t mean you and I are friends.”
“Okay. I understand. Thank you, again.”
He was so excited when I accepted his apology. Such a gentleman. I mean, how can you ask forgiveness for something you didn’t do? I was starting to kind of like him, a little.
“You found a date right?” Asked Sindisiwe.
“No, I’ve found peace in my heart.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have accepted his apology. It was time I moved on.”
I was starting to feel the inner peace. At least 75% of my problems had dispersed, and now I was left with this date issue.
“Get in your allocated buses,” said Mr Sung.
My friends and I separated. I was sitting with Victoria, one of the top students in my school. We were not that close, but we were able to communicate throughout the journey until we reached Bloemfontein. It was my first time being in Bloemfontein.
For the first three hours I was with my friends, and the next few hours they went to dance with their dates. I then went as far from the dance floor as possible. I sat there for almost forty minutes. As I was sitting, I heard a bold voice greet me. I looked up and saw Sandile in a different outfit. This time he was wearing black jeans, white golf t-shirt, a black golf cap and white Adidas superstar shoes.
“Hi,” I replied.
“Can I join you?”
“As long as you don’t harass me.”
He sat beside me. I was too shy to look him in the eyes.
“Uhm…” he started. “Why are you sitting alone?”
“Well, I was dancing and a bottle decided to ruin my day.”
“Sorry about that”
“And, why are you here? Aren’t you supposes to be with your date?”
“I am, but she’s nowhere to be found.”
“Did you look for her?”
“Yes. But I didn’t find her.”
“Look, I know I’m the last person you want to sit with. I’m here to apologize, again. My family did a horrible thing to your family and on their behalf, I’m asking for forgiveness.”
“I’ve already forgiven you.”
“I know but… You are the best woman I’ve ever met. You are beautiful and kind…”
“I forgave you, not your family.” I said cutting him off. “You are a great guy. What your father did to my parents is unforgivable. Why did he speed up his car knowing that there are people living nearby?”
My eyes rolled with tears. I could see tears streaming down his cheeks as well.
“Your father ran my parents over with a car, and now where are they? They are dead.”
He moved closer to me and gave me a warm hug. I was crying. My tears were like a river flowing from North to South and from East to West.
After I was done crying, he gave me a tissue to wipe my tears.
“Will you dance with me?”
We danced together. The person I called my enemy turned into my boyfriend. He’s not the person I thought he was. From then on he gave me all his love.
Forgiving someone is the beginning of your joy. No matter how a person has hurt you, you need to find it in your heart and forgive that person.
Tell us what you think: Do you hold grudges for long? How do you get over the pain they caused?