She was the greatest person I had ever dated. She was my second girlfrined. When I left the Eastern Cape my heart was broken. I had been betrayed by my brother, who was considered the girls’ machine because he had dated most girls in our area, Fama.

While I fell in love with many girls, I was never interested in competing for their attention from a young age. The thing is I couldn’t tell a girl that I don’t love that I do love her. But my brother could. People praised him too much and he would end up hitting on a girl. When I moved to Durban to get a better education, my brother continued with his schooling in the rurals. That gave him the chance to sneak up on my girlfriend and betray me.

I was deeply hurt when I had returned to the rurals to find out that Lidz didn’t want me anymore. It was painful. She was my first love and I had given all my heart to her. But because I was far away – and it took me years to return to the village – I had to let it go. I disliked my brother for years, holding that grudge of hating tight. I remembered that always.

In Durban, my mother took me to an Indian school, Clayton Primary. I was scared on my first day at school. It felt like my mother was feeding me to the lions. But after a mnoth I had settled and had made some friends, friends like Ciara. I had a crush on her for two years but I never had the guts to tell her. I still feel guilty about that and I regret those missed opportunities because she had given herself to me. But I was too immature to realise this and my friends would get in the way and interrupt us. The worst was that I would give them the attention they were seeking.

The last grade at Clayton Primary was grade 4. After Ciara and I finished I met up with Divashni, the smartest girl in school. I always went for the big fish. In my grade we had reading lessons. Divashni and I were in the same class. So everything I did was also for the benefit of getting her attention. In class we sat according to how well we read. There was a group A for excellent readers, a group B for good readers, and a group C for those poor in comprehension and all.

When I arrived in that class I couldn’t read, so I lost points. I couldn’t get her to notice me because I was stupid and couldn’t read.

But, in a month I had progressed from group C to A. I had improved very fast and that brought me attention. My friend Mpumelelo was there to support me. He did his best to help me become a better reader. We practised and practised non-stop.

Having earned a position in group A I was now regarded as intelligent. I had created an opportunity for myself. I was now much smarter and I was at the level at which nothing would stop me from telling Divashni how much I loved her. I waited for the perfect time after school and I told her – at the age of 7.

She told me she loved me too. I was happy. Because I was a kid I never really knew how to be loving , but I thought I knew. I remember asking to see her forcefully. I used to lash at her and pull her by force. She would take it and not tell our teacher, because she also believed that what we had was love – we both were young. We thought we knew what we were doing.

After school I would hold her roughly and force her to kiss me, even if she did not like it. Sometimes she would push me away because I was trying too hard. I couldn’t get how to be romantic.

I was a hero in Clayton. I was good in sports, any sport. Since I hanged out with intelligent people, I was passing with flying colors. Lol, even if I had copied, like cheated, I would have passed with flying colors.

As I grew more mature, I changed the way I did things. I was learning to be more gentle with her, no more manhandling her. Grade 4, our last year at Clayton, was great. Everybody knew that Divashni was my girl. No Indian boy would dare touch her – even my greatest competition in class, Khivalen, did not touch her.

I was like a king in those days. We passed out of Clayton and both moved to Collegevale Primary, continuing into grade 5. In that grade I found that I had a talent I never thought I had: I could draw. What I mean is that in Clayton I could draw too – as a matter of fact there were two boys recognised for drawing: me and Ethan – but in grade 5 my talent matured. I could draw my teacher – who has now retired because of old age.

Collegevale was also a good school. I had kissed Divashni there and I had really grown, the way I did things, my whole traits of character. I was growing more into the good man I wanted to be. In grade 6 Divashni and I were in different classes, this time I was alone in all my work, no help and no touch to improve my hormones.

I coincidentally met with Ciara again. We were in the same class. I saw her on the first day in our grade 6 class. I knew that this time I won’t make any stupid mistakes with her, and I didn’t, but I still feel like I did because I never slept with her to fulfill my desire. To me kissing her wasn’t enough at all. Those lips of hers were soft and Ciara was such a good person.

But after grade 6 I lost all my girls and I was alone with boys. In grade 7 I met Mohammed Hussein who was a tall intelligent boy. On my first day in grade 7 I got a slap that was so intense I saw stars. I got it because I wasn’t paying attention when the teacher Dayaram was giving us the Class 7 Golden rules. I was embarrassed and I cried. I heard some learners saying, “as shem, sorry Luther.” I hate that sorry word when I’m in trouble as it never solves anything and it just makes me cry.

When I left Collegevale Primary it wasn’t easy. I had made some pretty good friends, like Brian and others and my girls. I friends and I went to different high schools. I told myself that since I had learned from the best, I would continue to make myself proud.

By now I had got over my brother’s betrayal. There are so many beautiful women out there. But I will never forget my young love memories – they make me cry.


Tell us: What do you think about falling in love when you are so very young?