At the chapel mom sat in the front row. I could see her as I was standing with the other groomsmen. I watched my brother standing there, truly his father’s son but more refined. A towering figure, dark and soft-spoken like mom. But that’s all he took from mom, everything else was dad. I was more like mom. She was gentle and caring, but this trait in a boy child is seen as weakness.
And as I watched Sicelo I began to wonder if that was the reason dad loved him more. Before all these questions could be answered, the wedding music began. I saw Nomtha coming down the aisle, she was as beautiful as ever. It took me back to the time I first saw her. Everyone in the room disappeared, it was just her and I watched her stroll down in her beautiful white gown, hugging her curves with elegance.
As she came closer reality kicked in that she was not coming for me. The pain started over, with every step she took closer to my brother, closer to closing the door on our love, my chest clogged with the pain, I couldn’t breathe, I wanted to cry, run out of the church and not see it happen. But I held back the tears and stayed. I stayed for mom, I stayed for Sicelo. He was a good man, a great brother and he knew nothing. The ceremony proceeded and so did my pain but I soldiered on.
“Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.” As these words were said I looked at mom who was looking at me.
Again I chose to let everything go. They said their I dos. Nomtha said hers with a cracking voice and that gave me hope that she might get out of this sham. The two married. After the ceremony we headed to a hotel for the reception. I listened to them make their speeches congratulating the ‘lovely’ couple as I drowned my sorrows in liquor.
“If you’re not careful you might kill your liver not the pain,” a waitress said.
“Dude just mind your business and leave me alone,” I snapped.
“Excuse me for trying to help,”
“Okay, look I’m sorry. You just hit a nerve, I am not okay and I have to put on a brave face and be okay,”
“I get it, we’ve all been there,” she said and in the back of my head I told myself she had no idea.
“I’m Luphelo,” I said extending my hand for a handshake.
“And I’m working,” she said, taking the empty glasses, giving me a mischievous smile.
I knew then and there she could take my mind off things. There was something about her that shouted ‘adventurous’. My eyes followed her for the rest of the evening and she kept exchanging looks with me. We finally got the chance to talk.
“So sir you’ve been following me with those brown eyes of yours. Is it something I said?” she said.
“It’s more like something you didn’t, and that’s your name,”
“I’m a friend trying to help, and that friend is Karabo,”
“Do you wanna get out of here, Karabo?” I said out on a whim and she agreed.
I took her hand and we headed for the exit. Nomtha saw us, a petty part of me surfaced as I stopped Karabo and kissed her and she kissed me back. I looked at Nomtha, I could see the pain in her eyes. I wanted to hurt her as much as this hurt me.
Tell us: How would you feel if you were Luphelo seeing Nomtha walking down the aisle?