It’s funny how things can change at the drop of a hat. Just yesterday I was someone’s girlfriend; today I’m a blubbering mess trying to piece her broken heart together again. I haven’t been able to drag myself out of bed for what feels like days, but in truth, it’s only been 12 hours.
Mpendulo was a coward. The least he could have done was deliver the most devastating news of my life via a phone call. Nope, all I got was a text. A text that ended a two-year relationship in half a paragraph. I have read and re-read his words. Nothing stings quite like being called ‘clingy’ and ‘overbearing’.
Maybe I was naïve to think that we could pull off a long-distance relationship. I was so sure that we would make it work. I mean, we were only three weeks away from our first visit. He was going to drive his brother’s car down to Cape Town from Joburg, and we would spend a magical weekend together.
Instead, everything went to shit in a second.
I won’t lie, I may have made things difficult by constantly seeking his attention. But isn’t that what girlfriends do? In fact, he made me this way. He lavished me with affection for two whole years, then suddenly it all changed.
I hadn’t been in Cape Town for two weeks before his social media was flooded with pictures and videos of him out on the town with a string of women. These were ‘other people’s girlfriends’ or ‘just friends’. Only, he didn’t call me and wouldn’t text me unless I texted him first. Whenever I wanted to talk he would be getting ready to go out, or he had people over … and there was always some girl in the background.
It all drove me insane. I couldn’t focus on anything other than trying to figure out what was going on in his life.
UCT had been my dream varsity for as long as I could remember and he was ruining it for me. I had been so obsessed with keeping our relationship that I completely neglected my social life, and in part my academic life.
My housemates had given up on asking me to come along to Rag events because I would rather stay home and wait for my useless boyfriend to call. How pathetic! When did I become this person?
Not anymore. It was time to get out of bed and go out. There had to be other Rag events I could still go to, and I wasn’t going to miss a single one! So I picked an outfit then burst into the living room.
“Alright we are going out tonight, and I plan on having the best time. Are y’all down?”
Amanda almost fell out of Taryn’s lap as the couple whirled around to look at me. Zinhle almost dropped the remote she had in her hand. They looked at me with such confusion I almost retreated to rethink my decision.
“Wait, did I hear you correctly? You are going out with us tonight? For real?” Zinhle asked, disbelief dancing in her eyes.
“Luyanda don’t play with us cos we have been asking and asking and you never did,” Taryn said, eyeing me suspiciously.
“I promise you I am going out with you guys tonight, no lie.” I could hear my resolve falter as I spoke, but I squared my shoulders and kept my gaze fixed on them, so they knew I meant business.
“Well I guess we’re going to Long Street,” Amanda said, smiling brightly.
* * * * *
Long Street was a blur of brightly lit clubs, bars and intense music coming from every corner. I am pretty sure we went to every one of those clubs and Amanda dragged me to every dance floor to “shake my fat ass” – her words not mine.
I was having the best time, all my sorrow neatly packed away in the back of my mind. The generous amount of alcohol I had been consuming helped too.
I’d buried the memory of my break-up, and lost track of time. It didn’t seem like we were ever going to head home – not that I wanted to leave at all.
Zinhle suggested we head to Abantu Bar, (or rather, Ubuntu Bar in student-speak) for cheap shots. Taryn got us each three rounds of R10 shots I suddenly had the urge to make a toast. Clearly, the alcohol was starting to take effect!
“Here’s to a night out with my girls that I won’t soon forget,” I slurred, as I raised my glass.
“Yes, we’re so glad your boyfriend let you off the phone for one night so we could hang out,” Taryn joked.
“Actually, he dumped me. So I guess we can toast to me being single as well.”
They fell silent and stared at me; suddenly an uneasy feeling between us. I knew they felt sorry for me which is the exact thing I was trying to avoid. All I wanted to do was forget.
Amanda signalled to all of us to drink. “Tonight is about having a good time, right? We’ll deal with the aftermath of your break-up once the sun is out. Tonight we drink.”
Amanda picked up another shot as she spoke and we did the same. As I placed my empty shot glass on the table I looked up and glanced at the bar area – only to find a guy looking right at me. The only words I could think of to describe him were ‘drop dead gorgeous with muscles in all the right places’. Then he was walking over to us and I felt the blood drain from my face.
“Oh my gosh – there is a man walking over here. Help!” They all turned to see what I was looking at, which only made matters worse.
“What a heartthrob. Look at him; he can’t be real. Damn, he is hot,” Zinhle said, blushing into her drink.
“Don’t you dare run. You know what they say: ‘The best way to get over a guy is to get under a new guy’,” Taryn said, grabbing my hand as I was inching away to the bathroom. And then he was standing next to me.
I held my breath and he smiled down at me confidently.
“Hey ladies, mind if I join you?” he asked.
Tell us: What’s your opinion of binge drinking like this? Fun or unacceptable?