One of the nightclubs in town is having an under 18s party. Liquideep are performing. Kebone and I are there. I kiss her a lot. I laugh when she makes a joke. I hold her tight with my hands.
Not with my heart.
Something is wrong. I knew it that first time I kissed her.
Nothing is wrong, I scold myself.
AKUNANKINGA [NOTHING IS WRONG]!
You’re lying to yourself, says a voice inside me. You always have. I pretend not to hear the voice.
“I’m just going to the bathroom,” I say to Kebone after a while.
“Are you okay?” she asks. “You’re shaking.”
“I haven’t eaten yet tonight,” I say. I don’t know whether she can hear me. The music is too loud.
I elbow my way through the people. Bodies rub against mine. Voices everywhere. Music.
I break through the packed club. Neon light shines on my hands, my clothes.
I walk into the bathroom. Take a deep breath. The place smells of urine and cigarettes. I bend over the washbasin and splash water on my face. Over and over.
When I look at my reflection in the mirror, someone is standing behind me. He steps out of the dark into the light.
QUESTION: Have you ever held someone’s hand, but not held that person with your heart?