How many times have I listened to my friend Precious crying? And it’s always the same story.

“My heart is broken! He’s left me! I really thought he was the one!”

Only the names change: Thabo, Henry, Dumisani, Spencer. The list goes on and on. Precious gets her heart broken every three months. Regularly!

“What is wrong with me?” she wails. I go and get another box of tissues. She has emptied the box beside her. Luckily my mother has plenty stashed away.

“Well, did Thabo give you any reason?”

“He said I was too clingy, that I cramped his style so he could hardly breathe. But Henry – you remember Henry? – he broke up with me because he said I was too distant. How can I be both? How can I be clingy and distant? Or are they just making excuses?”

Precious grabs a fresh wad of tissues and sobs into them. I hate seeing her like this.

“What can I do?” she wails. “My love-life is one big mess!”

I have no answers. Her love-life is a mess, but my own love-life is a desert. An empty, sandy, lonely desert!

One relationship in the past two years – that’s my score! That’s all I have managed. And it wasn’t love, or anything close. We dated for a few months because we both enjoyed jogging. And then it ended. There was no dramatic break-up, not like the ones Precious experiences. No tears or empty tissue boxes. No, we just got bored and jogged off on our separate ways.

My mother despairs of me. “You aren’t trying very hard!” she complains. “Twenty-five and still single, and still no grandchildren for me. You’ll end up alone if you don’t put some effort into this, my child! You’ll stay on the shelf! It will serve you right!”

So how can I advise my friend when I have so little experience in the romance department? I do my best.

“Precious, one day some guy will realise how special you are. I mean, I have known you since Grade One and I promise you, you are good and funny and lovely and pretty and loyal and kind. What more could they want? Remember: you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince.”

That doesn’t help either. The last box of tissues is empty now. I go to the kitchen for a roll of paper towels. But I come back with a fresh idea.

“Why don’t we go to that new club opening tonight? You know, Cyril’s Flying Squirrel? Sounds like a huge event. Lots of people. We’ll wear our coolest designer gear! Maybe we’ll both get lucky? Maybe we’ll both find the loves of our lives? ”

Precious gives her nose a good blow, wipes away her tears and straightens her shoulders. She looks so brave in spite of her broken heart.

“No. That’s my whole problem, I think. I keep looking for love in all the wrong places. No, it is time I faced it. There is only one solution for me. Only one way to put an end to all this heartache for good.”


Tell us what you think: What is the only solution for Precious?