As we stood there embracing, something clicked in me.

Why was I begging this man to stay with me? Why would I want someone to stay with me when he was ready to get out? I wasn’t going to beg for anyone to love me, least of all a man. Didn’t I once live a life without him? Wasn’t he doing just fine before this? What was I giving this man so much power over me? Was he God? My happiness didn’t depend on him and I wasn’t going to subject myself to more pain because of him.

I pulled away from him and took the papers from the table and scribbled my signature slowly. It felt so final, an end of an era. I put the document back in the envelope and handed it to him.

“Please Andile. Go. Just go,” I said wiping my eyes and exhaling deeply. He hesitantly took the envelope.

“Are you going to be OK. I can…” he said but he stopped himself.

“You can’t do anything to make me feel better or to ever forgive you Andile. There is the door,” I said, gesturing toward the door. He slowly walked out after mumbling a goodbye. It was time for me to pack up my feelings and boxed them away. I wasn’t sure what to do with them when they were still so raw and demanded to be dealt with. I loved Andile dearly and I wasn’t ready to deal with losing him but it had to be done. For my own sanity, so I cried and tried to cope.

I was either going to drink or work myself to death but what I was not going to do was cry over Andile again. So I monitored my feelings and I knew all my triggers and avoided them like the plague.

I stayed away from familiar places that we used to go to as a couple: our favourite restaurant, the corner bakery from his work place, our favourite weekend getaway spot. I was simply going to erase the man from all of my memories.

It was more like blocking them than anything and I simply refused to acknowledge that an individual known as Andile Kheswa existed. He may have been a figment of my imagination, actually at this point, my friends joked and said at least I was rich.

Apparently, heartbreak was better if you could get on a plane and go shopping in Dubai and go to Milan for fashion week. They didn’t know that I would have given it all just to have Andile Kheswa back. He lived in my heart and the depth of my soul. Everyone kept saying that it would get better with time, I couldn’t wait for that.

I put into storage everything that reminded me of him. I sent him the wedding album. I sent a note saying I had no use for it, he could burn it. I later learned from his best friend, Malusi, that he had asked him to keep it safe for him. Sometimes I would go and park at the lawyer’s firm and wait for him to come out. Sometimes he would walk out with her, hand in hand.

I heard that she was pregnant. Not even once did I have the courage to talk to him. What was I going to say? What was left to say? He had said he didn’t love me anymore, so what more did I really need to hear? I was the laughing stock, I just knew it. Mutual friends avoided me and it was clear that most of them picked his side.

I decided that it was best to cut my contact with any of them. Only Malusi was kind enough to stay in constant touch. He was his best friend but I guess he had decided that he wasn’t taking his side. He had been decent enough to come and see me after the break up. He told me why he hadn’t warned me. Of course the stupid boy code had been the reason. I didn’t punish Malusi for this. We hung out every time he was in Durban but talks of my ex were off limit. We could discuss everything but Andile.


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