Cast of characters
Naledi – John’s lover
Thabo – Nandi’s lover
A college dorm with a single bed, a chair and a study desk with pens, novels and textbooks on it. The room is spacious and cold. The two are sitting next to a plug for they can feel the heat from the fan-heater. Naledi sits on a chair and Thabo is on his bed.
Thabo: C’mon, out with it, what’s up? I can’t help but realise that you are withdrawn and not really here with me. What is bothering you?
Naledi sighs and drops her face.
Thabo:(Turns around to face her) Hey, look at me.
Naledi looks up at him.
Naledi: Keng Thabo?
Thabo raises eyebrow
Naledi: Why o ntshuba? If you claim to love me, why do I constantly feel hidden? Why should our love be a secret? Why don’t we ever hold hands in public and why don’t we ever take pictures together? Are you ashamed of me?
Thabo: O bua ka eng? I thought you did not mind that we did not do all those things?
Naledi: (Naledi stands up) All those things Thabo? All those things? You call random acts of showing love ‘all those things?’ Entlek gake batle go lwana le wena. (She sits down.)
Thabois confused at this point. When did holding hands become an act of showing love? Is he not showing her enough love? He thought they were cool, they just had sex and have been laughing together. Was the round that bad? Why couldn’t she come out and call him a ‘two minute noodle already’? He is yanked from deep thoughts by her lovely voice.
Naledi: O hela yana, you wanted to talk and now you’re quiet. Bua! Ka itsi you have something to say, you always do.
Thabo:(clears throat) Nale it’s not like that, I’m not hiding you. I’m just not publicizing our relationship and putting it out there for the whole world to know about. I thought we were happy with how things were, and what’s this about showing love? Don’t I show you enough love?
Naledi: Thabo we are happy, we are more than happy but you’re hiding me and that’s what I have a problem with. We’ve been dating for twelve months and who, besides your pathetic friends that think I’m your fuck buddy, knows about me? Who else?
Thabo: But Nale you’re not my fuck buddy, you’re my lover, my…
Naledi: Lover Thabo? I asked you who else knows about me and you can’t even answer me because you hide me Thabo. As for “lover”? I’ve invested a year into this relationship and I feel like the tokoloshe of a billionaire. I feel like a lucky charm that one gets from a sangoma and hides for eternity. You’re my world, my morning sunshine and everyone in my life knows about you, yet no one important to you knows about my existence and your Facebook status is still “single”. Why, why Thabo?
Thabo sighs and she continues.
Naledi: I give you my all and you can’t even do me the courtesy of changing your relationship status and telling the world you’re taken after a year of committing yourself to me? Thabo what am I to you? Tell me, do you even see a future with me because I’ll be honest with you. You’re in my future, Thabo, I can’t imagine a world without you, you’re my everything. I still don’t understand how I was able to survive for 19 years without you when I can barely make it through a day without hearing your voice or smelling your musky cologne or seeing your smile Thabo. O ntoyile, you’ve bewitched me. So tell me Thabo, what am I to you? Ke eng sagago entlek?
Thabo: O cheri yaka (Thabo manage to say after swallowing the mouthful he’s just been fed).
Naledi: Cheri yagago hela Thabo?
Thabo: No, no Nale. You’re my lover, my confidant, my smile keeper, the protector of my heart and the woman I owe my happiness to. You’re the glue that holds my world together, without you I’d be broken and shattered. I owe my being to you Nale, I was an empty vessel before you filled me with love. I was in agony and pain before you came along and brushed a smile on my face. Nale, my soul was lost before you came along and the light that is your love showed me the way. Nale, I love you and if I’m not doing much to show you that I truly love you, then I’ll try harder. I’ll work on showing you how much I love you with actions because whether you believe it or not, I see you in my future too.
Naledi: Thabo I know you love me and you do show me enough love but the problem is when we go outside. I just want you to show me the exact love you show me in here when we go out. Stop restricting your acts of love to the confines of your room and my flat. Touch me when we are in the streets as much as you touch me on your couch. I know you want to, I can literally see how much you yearn to hold me, to embrace me, to lay claim to me but for some odd reason you can’t do all that because you and I have to remain hidden. I’m not asking for much, all I’m asking for is to be shown unconditional love by a man I’m convinced loves me enough to take a bullet for me but will not hold my hand in public. There is something troublesome about that and you know it. I’m not saying rub my face in people’s faces but stop hiding me Thabo. Just stop working so hard to cover your tracks. How can we build a future together filled with love, laughs and happiness when the foundation is shaky because you decided to lay it under the cover of darkness so people won’t see? C’mon love.
Thabo goes in for an embrace and Naledi wipes a tear from her eye and hugs him.
Tell us: Do you agree that he should show his love publically?