“Ayanda! Ayanda!” Sima said, shaking me up. “Vuka!”
My head was heavy and painful, it felt like it was going to explode. I slowly opened my eyes. My clothes and Sima’s were on the floor. Sima was sitting on the edge of the bed. Her feet were on the mat. I realised I couldn’t remember what had happened for most of the night before.
“Come back to sleep, Sima. It’s cold and dark outside,” I said, holding the blankets to my neck as I lay on my back.
“No, Ayanda, wake up. It’s 6 a.m. now and I want to go home. Please walk me home before my mother comes back and realises I didn’t sleep at home last night,” Sima said, her voice was cracking as though she was going to cry.
The morning was freezing. Sima took one blanket and wrapped it around her naked body. It was clear that she was not coming back to bed. She bent down and picked up our clothes. She threw mine on the bed.
She stared at me with her hands tight on the blanket that she had wrapped around her body. I realised that she wasn’t going to drop it down until I looked away. I chuckled and wondered what I was going to see that I hadn’t seen already. I covered my head with my blanket and felt the blanket she had wrapped herself in land on my bed.
Sima dressed hurriedly and after she was done she walked up to the mirror and made some touch-ups on her face. She didn’t say a word to me. I began to feel uneasy and started dressing as well.
I made the bed and went over to Sima who was now brushing her hair. I stood behind her and looked at our reflections on the mirror. I wanted to hold her but Sima gave me a “don’t even think about it” look.
I wondered if she knew I had always loved her. I had never told Sima how I felt about her but here I was, wanting to hold her from behind as she was brushing her hair in front of my mirror. Everything happened so fast yesterday and I don’t even recall much of the events that led us to waking up in my bed. I felt the need to let Sima know that I didn’t just want to sleep with her.
“I love you, Sima,” I said, looking into her eyes in the mirror. She stopped brushing her hair, with the brush still on the top of her head.
She kept quiet and her look scared me.
“I have always loved you, Sima,” I continued. “From the day I–”
Sima turned around. “And you had to wait until I was drunk and take me to your bed before you told me this?” she asked annoyed.
“What? No, no Sima it’s not like that,” I said, surprised.
“What it like then? How long have we known each other, Ayanda? Didn’t you have many chances to tell me what you are telling me now?” Sima said. She was hurt and angry. Her voice was getting higher and higher as she spoke.
“Sima please listen, you don’t understand. I–”
“You what? You what, Ayanda? You boys are all the same, maan. All you know is taking girls to the beds your parents bought for you so you can–” Sima shouted in my face.
“Sima I was afraid!” I screamed and Sima stopped talking. “I was afraid, ok? I was afraid you’d reject me.”
“You know what? Just walk me home, Ayanda. I am done talking to you,” Sima said, walking towards the door.
“Sima plea … can we talk about this at least. Even if it’s on the way to your house,” I pleaded as we walked out of the house and I locked the door and gate behind us.
“There’s nothing to talk about here, Ayanda. I have a terrible headache and I don’t want to find my mother waiting for me at home,” Sima said.
I walked her to her house in silence. I had stopped trying to make a conversation.
Tell us: What would you have done in Ayanda’s shoes?