“Zinzi. . .” He took a few moments to clear his throat and gather his train of thoughts.
His eyes remained fixated on the floor as he continuously rubbed his hands together.
It is not unusual for your boyfriend to call you by your name. But rather peculiar of him to be more interested in examining the tiles under his feet than gazing into his girlfriend’s eyes.
I immediately felt a knot gripping my throat tightly – I could hardly breathe. This can’t be good, so I thought to myself.
“. . . this year I am letting go of everything that has been holding me back,” he paused and finally looked at me dead in the eyes.
6 years of a relationship and I was unexpectedly reduced to a deterrent.
I was not a deterrent when he took my virginity.
I was Girlfriend of the Year when I helped him pay off all his student loans.
I was his pillar of strength after he lost his childhood friend.
I was there all the time and that was still not enough.
Once he was done giving me his New-Year-New-Me speech, he swiftly marched to the kitchen. Confused. Shocked and heartbroken, I sank deep into the sofa and even deeper into my thoughts.
He soon emerged with a few black, rubbish bags tucked under his armpit. He marched pass me without saying another word and disappeared into our bedroom.
I heard the drawers being opened and closed in haste. I heard the rubbish bags rustle as he diligently stuffed his belongings inside them. I heard him move breathlessly from one room to the next as if he was being chased by a pride of lions.
I remained paralyzed on the sofa, hoping this was just another nightmare. I hoped to wake up next his hairy chest and tell him all about it. Then we would both laugh and give each other warm kisses and start the day. Together.
Instead, all I saw black, plastic bags steadily pilling up in the lounge.
5 stuffed, black bags, two packed suitcases later, he placed his keys on the coffee table and left. He subsequently changed his number and blocked me across all social media platforms. Just like that – I was a single girl again.
Three months later, I find myself in even more frustration. Being single after a long-term relationship is challenging enough. But being single during the reign of a pandemic is just sacrilegious.
Corona has turned us all into hermits; isolated in our tiny boxes and participating in a slew of Video Calls. Even my grandmother has jumped on the bandwagon.
She Video Calls me every Sunday morning with Gospel music blasting in the background. She holds her mobile phone so close to her face that I can see the gray hair in her nose. So cute shame.
Our chats are always a delight but once she hangs up, I am left all alone in these four walls. It is difficult to find my next Mr. Right while Lady Rona is still galivanting on the streets. I was left with no other choice but join the whimsical world of Online Dating which is the source of my frustration today.
30 years of my existence reduced to 5 display photos, 450 characters to use for my bio and an anthem. An anthem?! Yes, because one song can best capture my life’s worth in 3 minutes or less.
You have come this far already – might as well finish what you started!
Nope – I can’t go through this. What was I even thinking? I will just get a pet instead until Lady Rona is done causing havoc.
Why are you being so childish? We have done sufficient research and looked at all possible tragic scenarios. There’s truly nothing to worry about!
My inner voice has been convincing me to give this Dating App a try. I managed to successfully download it earlier this morning. But that is a far as I got – creating my profile is proving to be quiet a task.
Nothing against Dating Apps – I just desire being pursued by my suitors while they feed me silly pick-up lines that I have heard a million times before. I want to look into their eyes and catch a whiff of their cologne.
I am just not comfortable about putting myself on display on some App. The sheer thought of random people casually gawking at my profile and passing judgement makes my stomach turn.
Yet you are comfortable with random men gawking at you on the streets and showering you with pick-up lines from an 80s TV rom com?
Touché! But what if one of the interns at work sees my profile?! I simply refuse to be a topic of discussion during their virtual coffee breaks. Even worse – what if my ex sees me! I have already wasted 3 months thinking about him, I can’t give him yet another win.
So, what if Kagiso and the interns stumble upon your profile? Chances are half of Cape Town is already using the very same App you fear.
As always Greta was right. Greta; my inner voice. That’s the name I had given her because she is more than just a voice that lives in my head rent free.
She is that loyal girlfriend who listens to all my rants. She knows exactly how I life my coffee. If I have an important work presentation, she quickly steps in to ease my nerves. She is just great!
. . . and as your great, loyal girlfriend, I urge you to take a chance. Look, if you end up hating it, you can just deactivate your account and wipe out any other traces of it from your phone.
She was right, yet again. Instead of trying to swim against the tide, I should allow it to swallow me and spit me out to unknown destinations. I take a deep breath and proceed with creating my profile.