I couldn’t stop thinking about his sweet words: “Lethabo i love you,you are the best thing that ever happened to me. You are the woman of my dreams.”
Those were the words he wrote in the letter he had asked his friend Pitso to give me. I have read it over and over again, till I knew it by heart.
“Lethabo go neng o hlatswa plate yeuwe? Ile wa bona neng motho a hlatswa plate hour kamoka (how long have you been washing that plate, since when have you seen a person wash a single plate the whole hour?)” snapped my mother.
Mama’s voice brought me back to planet earth. It was then that I realised I have long been day-dreaming about Kagiso. I haven’t touched the other dishes since I started washing them.
“I’m sorry mam”, I responded, she had no idea what I was feeling in my heart. Kagiso had asked us to meet by the park at around five o’clock and I just couldn’t wait. I could imagine his handsome face, his shyness, the way he would hold my hand and hold my school bag. With him I always felt special, like I was the only girl in the whole world. After washing the dishes I rushed to my bedroom to prepare myself, I first checked if mama wasn’t coming, then applied lipstick.
And a little bit of mascara, tied my hair in a knot and looked happily over the mirror.
The time was around ten to five, I could hear mama himming in her bedroom, once I made sure she couldn’t hear me I sneaked out the kitchen door and ran to the park.
I found him waiting for me. What annoyed me was the fact that he Pitso accompanied him. When will we ever get to spend some time alone, without Pitso though?
“Hi”, I greeted him with a smile.
“Hello beautiful” he responded, touching my hand.
“Do not look so disappointed I called you here for a picnic, Pitso is here to serve us whatever it is we need, like those people in fancy restaurants. He will be our waiter.”
I giggled shyly; it was like he read my mind. I didn’t understand why Pitso needed to be there until he explained. It was so funny, Pitso was quiet as if he never spoke in his life. H was quietly preparing us the picnic, taking out the blanket, an orange juice in a bottle, strawberries, Simba chips and biscuits. He signaled for us to sit down and poured us each a glass of orange juice in two plastic cups.
It was the best day of my life, we laughed, ate and gossiped about other children at school, while our waiter served us. I couldn’t wait to see my friend Lebogang and boast about all that Kagiso had done for me. When it got darker he accompanied me home, just by the corner we stopped. Pitso was at the park probably enjoying himself over our left overs.
Kagiso stared at me amorously and said “I love you, and I know you love me too. Just promise it will never change, promise you will never turn your back on me.
“Kagiso how can you even ask me that” I replied with a heartbroken
“You know I love you, I can never turn my back on you.” He shoved ten rands in my hand. I took it with a smile.
“One day I’ll be able to do more for you. This is all I can offer, buy something with it during break time” he said pulling a very serious face.
“I will, thank you. I have to go, mama will be waiting.”
He planted a sweet kiss on my lips and cheeks, I then ran as fast as I could home. Hoping mama wasn’t already looking for me.
I found her watching TV, I quickly went to the bathroom to wash my face, it seemed like she was in a great mood that day because she didn’t ask me where I was.
After she had gone to bed, I washed the dishes and got in my bed, thinking of my handsome Kagiso, the events that took place during the day dancing in my mind.
I was utterly embarrassed when Lebogang laughed off everything I told her during break time at school.
“Chommy, a picnic vele? This is 2015, who does that? As for Simba chips, really?” She laughed so bitterly, I hated myself for telling her. I didn’t care what she thought, I loved Kagiso and he loved me too.
“You are such a baby, my friend. You are supposed to be hanging out with cool guys who will buy you cellphones, take you to proper restaurants and give you five hundred rands for your hair, maar ten rands Lethabo! Really now?”
She went on and on. The more she spoke, the more hurt I got. I just didn’t care about material things, all I cared about was the love Kagiso and I shared.
“Lebogang, I love Kagiso and he makes me happy. Please try to respect that” I said angrily.
“I would respect that if this was back in 1819. But, my friend on a serious note this is 2015, You cannot be seen with a boy who doesn’t have a car. To some of us that’s illegal thing to do. A guy should treat you right girl, take you to his place or out for movies. Not that park that is filled with broken bottles and smells urine.”
Suddenly, I felt like a fool. Maybe Lebo was right, what was I doing with a low life like Kagiso, he didn’t even have a phone himself how would he be able to buy me one. As if to rub it in, Lebo’s phone rang and she answered with a tone I never heard her use.
“Hello baby… I was asking when are you sending the airtime? Oh it hasn’t notified me yet. Baby, am I seeing you today? … Oh really? Wow…I can’t wait, bye my love… love you too.”
I looked at her puzzled, did her mother even know she had a phone?
“So, Lebo, who was that?” I asked.
“That, my dear, is my boo. He is a civil engineer, drives a Mercedes AMG and is loaded. Look at the airtime he bought me.” she bragged.
The message read:
Your airtime has been topped up with 150 rands airtime…
“Yes sweety that is how we roll,” she said picking up her school bag.
“Where are you going? Its’ not even after school yet”, I asked, surprised.
“I’m going home to prepare myself for tonight. My baby is picking me up later. We are going to one of the dopest parties in Polokwane. I would invite you but we both know you wouldn’t fit in, so let me go…”
I thought of the airtime; her cellphone, not to mention her expensive hair. I loved Kagiso but wanted all that stuff too, and he couldn’t provide me.
“Chomi wait” I said without thinking.
“Will you borrow me something to wear if I decide to go with you?”
She looked at me with a wide grin
“There are plenty of my clothes that will look fine on you. Come let’s go before they close the
gates,” she said, grabbing me by hand.
Life after that has never been the same. Our parents punished us every day, and even prohibited us from seeing each other but it was just impossible. School was no more of an importance to us. We had sugar daddies who catered for us, took care of our every need. I had met a guy at Industrial Chisanyama, he was a friend of Lebogang’s boyfriend. His name was Mojela he was one filthy-rich guy.
He took me shopping and spoilt me rotten. I didn’t at all regret going with Lebo to the party that day. Life was just awesome we lived like two anarchist, we just didn’t care what the world thought of us.
I met Kagiso one afternoon while I waited for Mojela to come pick me up. I asked myself what I once saw in that boy, he was wearing torn-up trouser and old tekkies. One would think he was an old man.
When he saw me he stopped, then came to me.
“Hi, Lethabo you look so beautiful. It’s been a while since I last saw you at school,” he looked a bit shy when he said that. I guess my fancy tablet and Brazilian weave intimidated him. I responded in annoyance:
“Do you go to school to look for me or to study? What do you want? I’m waiting for somebody important here”.
“I just thought that maybe one day we could meet, just like old times.” He said and I laughed till my stomach hurt; I couldn’t believe he had just said that.
“Kagiso my dear, really? Do you see myself meeting up with poor things like you? Like really?” I asked.
“Look the past is in the past and it should stay that way.Now move along I don’t think I would want my man to find me with someone like you. He would think you are trying to rob me.”
Just after I said that, Mojela ‘s car arrived and got in.
“Babe? Who is that?” he asked
“Nobody important…” I replied.
Six months along the line I found out I was pregnant. Me and Lebogang had fought because she couldn’t stand seeing me on the same level as her. Suddenly she stopped talking to me and found herself new friends. That didn’t worry me at all. I knew that once Mojela found out I was pregnant he would marry me and take me to his fancy house.
I was shocked when he replied
“Whose baby is that?”
“What do you mean ‘whose baby is that’? You know you are the one I have been with all this time.”
“Get out of my car!” he shouted.
“Do you think an old man like me can still make children? I don’t ever want to see you again, and if
you try to call me I’ll come to your home and tell your mother that you are trying to seperate me and my wife. Do get out of my car now!”
And that was the last I’ve seen or heard of Mojela. The most depressing part was when I had to break the pregnancy news to my mother and all she said was “You asked for it, akere wena o mosadi? Di kgone! (You said you are a woman, right? Now face it like one!)”
She had long stopped doing things for me. We didn’t even talk anymore, our relationship was ruined by the kind of lifestyle I had lived. I had no one to turn to, and had no idea what I would do. In the end I chose to keep the pregnancy hoping that one day Mojela would change his mind.
Nine months passed and I gave birth to a baby girl. still hadn’t changed his mind, my mother wanted nothing to do with us. We stayed in her house but it seemed like we both didn’t exist. I had sold everything I had in the past few months so I could be able to survive, since my mother had also turned her back on us.
For a while I raised my child on my own till I met another guy who seemed promising. His name was Javas, he was not rich like Mojela but at least he was there for me. Well, until I fell pregnant with his child. This time it was a boy and my first born was just two years old. When our boy turned a month old Javas disappeared into thin air, he never came back ever again.
My son Tebalelo was about a year old and his sister three years, we were walking to the shops to buy bread. Sometimes it was embarrassing when I walked to the shops. People would point at me and whisper to one another. I had tried washing the blanket I was carrying Tebalelo with on my back, but it still smelled of urine and some of the stains wouldn’t come out.
We walked quickly to the shops. Thato, my first born, held on tightly to my hand and Tebalelo was on my back. When I looked ahead I saw him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He had just got out of a Red Ferrari Porsche and looked like a movie star in his fancy suit and flashy master piece on his hand.
Kagiso looked like he was someone from overseas. I quickly rushed to him unable to believe my eyes.
“Kagiso! Oh Kagiso you look so handsome.” He starred at me puzzled
“Do I know you?
“It’s me. It’s Lethabo your first love. I can’t believe it, how I have missed you.
He laughed a bitter laugh
“Miss me? Like really? Lethabo my dear I don’t think I would want people hear you say that. Don’t ever say it again. The past is in the past, let it remain that way. Now please move along I wouldn’t want my wife to find you here with me, she would think you are trying to rob me!”
A beautiful woman got out of the shops just after he had said that. She looked like a goddes in her fancy white overall and stilletos. Kagiso opened the door for her and she got in the car.
“Who is that?” I heard her ask him as they drove off.
“No one. No one important…” he said, giving her a kiss on the cheek.