Just another normal day in the school yard

He sat in disbelief, his heart pumping like a shocking thunder which hits like one that had ages to plan and pure clarity towards execution. The loud noise of his classmates had been, in his mind, shut by this thunder-like-feeling. He could only hear the racing sound of his heart, bhak-bhak-bhak, as it told the story of being caught into an unanticipated action. Zabadendoda’s body trembled as if he had seen a ghost, as his granny once told him over some unsanctioned coffee meeting – she had lectured him on how one trembles in the presence of the unruly dead. With your hair scattered all over, followed by the sudden freezing of knees and a quick electric loss of the self, subsequently with the unruly dead’s theme of being reigning supreme in that particular zone. He recalled this lecture on the nature and tricks of the unruly dead as he wrestled with the feeling.

On the other side, there is Nomalindo. A new girl in school, enrolled for her 10th grade, that has caught off guard the heart and flashed Zabazendoda’s eye. “Caught off guard as if the heart decides who to shake it when it wishes” he thought to himself while blushing to the feeling that had suddenly colonized his being. Young, short, with a firm shapeful body – a dark beauty who enjoys dimpled face with big, well fitting eyes. Zaba, short for Zabazendoda might at some moment through employment of him imagination, thought the size of those eyes – big, as telling the tale of love with power and strength likening to the can’t-be-interrupted rising sunshine against all odds in the misty mornings. From her looks, Zaba, had speculatively and being drunk-in-love told himself that the looks were the outer reflection of what she treasured on the inside. 

He thought ceaselessly, should he allow himself to be used by his heart or rather suppress the feelings? But the undying pictures of Nomalindo were not so kind to him; they had flooded his mind violently, and continued to do so, with tons of love and promises of a future full of bliss and security. His lips without warning had ceased to speak the usual language, with his mind already coded on the codes of love and all sorts. New grammar had to be found so to fit the situation. It is no lie as had been said by many before that love respects no boundaries, knowledge nor space but happens to always find space and time to assert itself. 

Zaba’s existence was now complete, thanks to his novel feeling of love he possessed for Nomalindo, the bright shining star of his heart. “An apple of his eye” as one great Poet would have it. He had in his past grades dated in the same school, one to note is ex-girlfriend Thembezizwe as they dated for two full academic years. It was the exemplary symbol of love for the school, as their love was known even to the high offices, the Headmaster’s. Speaking on their love life then, one of their schoolmates, and a close friend to both, had had this to say “if one would ask me to define love today, I would proudly point them to one thing, the camaraderie of Zabazendoda and Thembezizwe, their fun, strength and ability to understand, respect and value each other at all times” she said. 

As time passed by, their relationship suddenly came to an end. This made Zaba throughout the ordeal to feel humiliated and emasculated. One day the school had gone to a trip for a national debating tournament. Thembezizwe was the crème de la crème of the school when it came to debating. It was well know that she was a force to be reckoned with. She always kept her mind busy; as she always spent her break-times reading books that never left her sight. In the last months of her relationship with Zaba, she was rigorously engaging with feminist literature, she was holding two books one by bell hooks, We Really Are Cool and the other being Toni Morrison’s Beloved the day they broke up. And to many who witnessed this treacherous acts of feminist literature reading, took it as possible reasoning for her heart breaking, soul wrecking festivals of cheating and date-one-kiss-all once-off specials. 

In contrast with Zaba’s worldview, who happened to be a rigid traditionalist, who believed that there was nothing amiss with the way his forefathers had done things and that women had to know their place, which is below men (and in the kitchen). At times they would argue over this and break-up given rigidity of both sides albeit given the natural spell of their love; they would always find a way to fix things and keep the flow of love going. On the day of the trip, he had failed to go due to lack of financial means. The rumour goes that Zaba’s then girlfriend (Thembezizwe) somehow had kissed one boy from the same school and he found out through grapevine as this ad hoc kisser was boasting about the kiss for the whole school to hear (and perhaps, render him ‘cool’ whatever that means – for kissing the crème de la crème of the school) – only if the walls could speak they would tell a great tale. Zaba’s hurt and pain was deep, enough that he could hear a certain sound from the silence of the walls, he could feel its pity towards him, making waves to his wretched soul. Good God! Peace and strength to that broken heart! In the school yards, various theories were tested as possible cause of the heartbreaking ordeal. Some said she did it out of boredom, one philosopher had once opined that God created the world out of boredom. what was a kiss then? The theories went on. Some said her feminism books had gone to her head and drove her insane enough that she enjoyed hurting her man, she had become unapologetically a misandrist of note to a man who she once had loudly and proudly made a pact that she will always love no matter what, “come what may, he’s mine!”, “she’s anyway reading to be equal to men, why can’t she learn to hurt them also?” one of the schoolmates said.

Zaba’s already envisioning a new heavens and a new earth for the old had passed away. Nomalindo’s first presence disallowed him to take his eyes away from her. By chance or luck, for once their eyes locked. And he could no longer waste more time but approach, cut open the red sea and claim his land on the new earth. He drew closer to her, with his feet no longer able to feel the ground. He walked as if he had stepped on an icy white cloud, telling of a blissful future with only love as the supreme language. Getting closer to her, felt like a drive towards the sun, as you move closer to the end of a tunnel. New future, happiness – new beginnings ahead. Only depends on truly making it to the end of the tunnel and seeing the other side. His self-defeating mind wished that Nomalindo would just vanish so to save him from this hard task he had to execute. But she stood still, with her pretty dark face wearing those dimples, smiles and beauty. Her voice sent shivering down Zaba’s throat. Perhaps, this is one of the best days in the register of those ‘just another normal day(s) in the school yard’. 

The end.