Spring mornings are the best weather God has to offer. Not even an owl can resist the pearly rays of the sun playing on its eyelids, waking it to a fine morning. Even for a miserable person like Thandi, who had long lost interest in life and death seemed like a curse, waking up on a good day like that was a very big temptation. Not only because it was a fine spring morning, but also because it was the beginning of the month when good things mostly happened, her birthday being one.
As expected, this particular morning wasn’t in any way an exception. As soon as the sun rose, the atmosphere outside became alive and the trees slowly began to dance to the melodies that the air was humbly whispering. Small colourful butterflies also couldn’t stay still in their little crevices they chose for the night, as they started pasting mixed colours around. Had it been back home at Thaba-Tseka, Thandi would have already been awakened by the sweet melodies of the mountain-birds praising. Instead, all she could hear was her neighbour giggling with her boyfriend through the thick walls of their rented houses.
At least someone was happy somewhere.
But the possibility that she was the only one miserable this morning was high, it was Friday and the weekend atmosphere was in the air. She slothfully rolled on her bed and pulled her blankets up, wishing more than anything to go back to sleep. Sleep was her only redeemer from reality and depression lately. But soon it will be over, she told herself. It will be over forever and everybody will come to realise how cruel they all were to her.
She had found the perfect solution for her problems. The only solution for her and every girl who falls pregnant without their parents’ approval and who is also carrying the baby of the village prince, who also happens to be her sister’s fiancé. And because it was she who had to think mostly for her family’s image rather than her happiness.
To her family, Thandi had everything that a girl could ever ask for. She had rich parents who had cattle and large fields, a big brother who worked in the Marikana mines and a bigger sister who was engaged to the village prince, even though she was not educated and only went to the initiation school. But it was all the same because education was not really a big deal for every girl in her society. Only girls from rich families went as far as high school and that is only because those types of girls were considered less worthy for the family’s wealth. She was one of those girls.
To Thandi, she had nothing, not even the love of her family. Her mother had wanted a boy instead so that he would marry her friend’s daughter and look after the cattle in winter. Her father wanted her to go to the initiation school but because of her lung problems, she couldn’t and had to spend most of the family’s money in “white doctors’” hospitals.
Her parents valued their wealth more than anything. It was their wealth that gave them dignity in the society. Sending Thandi to school was their last option and because she was always spending their money, she was not worthy of doing anything without her parents’ approval and her father never forgot to remind her that.
The knock at the door broke her from the raging thoughts that were coming from down her spine. She jumped out of the bed and went straight to the door.
“Who is it?” She asked the person outside.
“Steve. Can I borrow your pegs? I ran short of mine.”
Steve was one of her neighbours and Thandi was closer to him than any of the other people in the yard. Even though Steve was three years older than Thandi, they shared everything from food to ideas. Thandi always told him that he was like her brother, Santos, who was her favourite person in the family because he listened to her. She took the pegs and opened the door.
“Thanks. Aren’t you going to the class today? You don’t look ready,” he asked when he saw that she was still in her pyjamas.
“I am, just running a little bit late,” she said.
“Speaking of school, I haven’t seen Richard for two weeks, are you guys still on good terms?” Steve asked.
Thandi shrugged. “Last time I checked, we were,”
Steve shook his head. “He better get his shit together in time. You need him to face your father,”
Thandi smiled weakly and said, “Thanks Steve, that means a lot. But I don’t think I will ever have enough weapons to face my father,”
“You don’t know what the power of love can do, Thandi. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that,” he winked at her and left.
Thandi closed the door and began to prepare for class. Her routine was just as normal that her mind carelessly drifted to the day ahead of her. It was simple. She would attend the class as normal, but as hard as she could try, she couldn’t focus in class. It was the hardest task of all because she was always drifting away and lately and their lecturer, Mr Peterson, had noticed that something was wrong with her.
But the problem was that she missed Richard. And his sudden disappearance was putting her mind under severe strain. She dismissed Steve’s comment that Richard’s presence would make things better for her. Nothing could give her the strength to face her father, ever. Besides, she was way past the point of hoping that Richard would come back for her.
Tell us: Have you ever been in love with a “forbidden” someone?