I stood in front of the huge mirror in my bedroom on my matric ball day. I took in masses of air to keep my lungs steady from the anxiety. I opened my eyes forcefully to look at myself for the first time in a decade. I was quite pleased at how the blue tux sat on me, it outlined my body that was in great shape. The blazer sat well on shoulders ,

I laughed at how sexy I looked at the moment. The carvelas were sparking in red under my feet and they didn’t do any justice in the way I looked. The smile on my face faded slowly into the night like a witch escaping her shame. It dropped into a dull frown, I wanted to get out of this suit, it didn’t embody my personality and definitely wasn’t my style.

My body was crawling slowly out of it. A hard knock on my bedroom door followed, it was an excited knock. My mother and uncle let themselves in like an unwanted winter. They were screaming above the roof beaming with joy especially my mother who kissed me all over. I gently pushed her away.

“My son you have killed them tonight! Look how handsome you look haaa moshimane waka the first one to finish matric in our family!” She ululated dramatically, jumping up and down my room as if it were a circus.”

“Mama this is not what I wanted!” I begged shyly under my tie that was chocking me.

Mama ‘s face turned purple then green then red and I knew what would follow so I laughed it off as joke but my heart took offence in me not defending myself.

“Let me finish dressing,” I begged them .

“Mshana don’t forget to take the flowers on when you come out …they are for the lucky girl,”
laughed malume as they led themselves out .

The door closed and my lungs closed air out of me, I had put myself in a serious situation. It was either now or never. I took a huge leap of faith and bent over my bed and took out a box with my desired outfit. The one that embodied the real me. My phone rang.

“Mandla are you ready? I am coming to fetch you!” asked Jack, concerned.

I assured him I was ready and he reassured me of his love and we broke the call. Minutes later a breeze of fresh air hit my skin, I was light as feather in my leather suit and big hat. My heels gave me power to rule the world. They matched my confidence and the smile on my face was proof of this.

Life hit me and I understood what happiness felt like.

The doorbell rang downstairs and I took a final look at myself in the mirror. This time I was looking at my real self. My confidence spiralled out of control but a little fear hit me. I was unshakable I took my purse and led opened my door to go to my matric dance.

Your real self will always catch up with you.


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