How I remember that fateful day like it happened yesterday. The 14 of May five years back. I was still on my early teens, gullible, timid and naïve. I would like to believe that I had nice life problems during those days. 

Like any other day I woke up in the morning, the difference about that day and any other day was the fact that I was really excited. It was one of the rare days where I was at my happiest. The excitement in me was so visible, you wouldn’t have missed it even if you tried. To top it all the weather was complimenting my mood. The sun was up there smiling shyly at me as if afraid to come out fully. Irregardless of that it was a warm day compared to May weather that I was used to. You would have mistaken the day to early spring days because of the surprisingly warm weather. 

The source to my excitement was the first outing we had planned for that day with my bestie since we became best friends. We were to have a picnic in of the beautiful parks I have ever came across since birth in Alberton. I jumped off the bed humming to songs I usually listened to when I was in a good mood. I started my day by helping out at home with daily chores, at my breakfast and prepared myself for a date with my bestie.

Everything was beautiful, the set-up, the lake, the park as well the mood. How can I forget the scrumptious goodies we were indulging on until a call disturbed our date, taking me by surprise. A call that was summoning me back home with immediate effect. 

As quick as a lightning bolt, I scurried off to find out more about the call. I don’t remember even explaining much to my bestie the reason why the sudden rush back home. “Listen Huns, I have to leave…” was all I managed to utter before bolting off. In my heart of hearts, something told me that the call I had just received had everything to do with bad news. 

I literally bugged in my home all sweaty, breathing heavily and a panicking mess. Don’t get me started on my heart beat, it was beating rapidly out of my ribcage. I paced to my mom’s room like a folk being chased by a bully. One glance at her and it comfirmed my suspicions. 

My thoughts were proven right. How I wish the were not!

“Sweetheart, it’s about your brother.” Her voice was breaking further with each and every word she uttered making me more anxious and pale. “He… he is missing baby. It’s been a week now since he upped and left. He never made it to Limpopo. I was told he was spotted around here a day after I sent him to Limpopo (sniff)… as much as he is hooked on drugs, it’s so unlike him disappear like this. All his friends have no idea of his whereabouts. I’ve tried everyone but nothing.” Those were mom’s words before she burst into heart piercing sobs. 

Have you ever felt the room closing in on you, everything becoming suddenly blurry and your body becoming so numb to the point that you need a support structure to keep you from falling? That’s what I was experiencing. Seeing my mom in the state she was in and the discovery of such depressing news were enough to earn a river of fresh tears from my big eyes. 

Gone was the happy soul that left the house that morning all jolly and gleeful replaced by a broken hearted girl. I couldn’t even comfort my breaking down mom because of the shock I was experiencing. I remained in my mom’s room for a long while before forcing my number body out of my mom’s room to mine. I couldn’t stand her pale teary face no more. It broke me more. 

This may have happened a long time ago but it left a scar my heart.

Shocking enough, I’m not the only one thorned by life. In fact there’s many thorned souls out there, like Phindile, a friend of mine I hold dear at heart. Here’s what happened to Phindile. 

Phindile was one of the the hard working yet struggling students at school. I can safely say she was not book smart or academically gifted. She never got higher than an average mark in her tests and exams. I also tried helping her the best way I could my help could only do little change. I was not that smart myself and we spent little time together studying since she came from a strict background. 

So came the day of the end-year results. We went to school as we usually did together on our casual clothes, queued on the long line to get our results and anxiously waited for our turn. Mine came first and my results left a huge smile plastered on my face as I signaled to her that I made it. She rewarded me with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. I wouldn’t have expected less because has it been me I would also do the same. Her reaction was coming from a place of nerves. 

Unfortunately hers where not as pleasant as mine to see. Her face said it all. More than disappointed, she was hurt but she quickly hid her feelings with a smile to decieve the prying eyes of other students who were still in line. She managed to full them all but not me. I was able to read her as much as she was able to read mine. 

She went home deafeated and hurting. Most of all she was worried about facing her mom and sharing the bad news with her. She reluctantly dragged her suddenly heavy feet her home and as soon as she came face to face with her mom, she looked down ashamed, and that was enough for her mom to throw a disappointed look her way. 

“Mom, I’m sorry.” Her mom clicked her tongue before snatching the report card from her hand scanning it with her eyes.  She glared at her full of rage

“For the second time on the same grade Phindile Portia!” she screamed at her giving her death stare.

“Mom, I’m sorry I’ll try harder next time I promise,” she squeaked as her voice was slowly fading, she was losing it to sorrow.

“Don’t tell me about trying! Do the right thing! Give me good grades or start applying for a job! You can’t fail at both! Leave my presence while at it before I lose my temper!”  she roared.

“Mom please,” she begged with a breaking voice.


She left as quickly as her legs could take her to her room and cried herself to slumber. It was bad enough that she had to repeat a grade but the reaction from her mother punched her in the gut. 

As scared as that left her, something happened in her that day. She became motivated to do better. Many would have expected her to give up and succumb to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism but she didn’t. She started introspecting her life. She discovered her strengths and weaknesses. She started working on her strengths and passions to better her life. 

She started off by working on a fast food near her place, assisting the owner’s sister with cooking and serving customers, she then applied on restaurants and was hired at Spurs at first in Alberton where she worked for a year before at Bistro’s restaurant. She worked as waitress before working her way to the the kitchen as an assistant to the head chef. 

As soon as she made enough money she opened a catering business which is doing exceptionally well so far. She caters for funerals, weddings, parties and other functions that needs her services. 

I still can’t believe she came out stronger from such a depressing phase. Even so, the scars remain. The difference is that it is no longer represents the pain behind it but the victory it came with. She overcame and so did I, or I would like to believe so myself.