The guy displayed on the flyer seemed to be one of those popular ones whom a lot of people liked to hang around with, Ntokozo Mbatha. His face looked familiar. Apparently the bash was scheduled this coming Saturday and due to all the talks at school, this was a big deal. You just had to be there. I admit all the hype got to me at first but honestly, I couldn’t picture myself in that environment. Teenagers acting wild and doing all other outrageous things just for the sake of having fun. I knew how it would all look like.

But as the days drew nearer to this guy’s twenty-first birthday, people getting more and more excited, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be too bad to join in on the fun as well. A chance to subdue my social struggles. What harm would there be if I went? So I spent the following days thinking about it.

One of the main problems with me is that I mostly let out my words in writing than I do in talking. Just move your lips and pull out your voice to say something. Of course it is easy but me I was more like a silent-only-speak-when-it’s-necessary type of person. I’d go with you in a long road trip without talking. I”d only talk when you ask me something, or if you tried to create a little conversation, which I guarantee you wouldn’t last at all because I’d be so bored you’d go back on being as silent as me. 

“You need to mix yourself with other people and get along,” my mom would often say. She had noticed my recluse behaviour. Several times she’d introduce me to some girl and I’d know that her ostensible reason for doing so would be an attempt to make me and that girl to be friends, expecting me and this stranger to end up as besties. Mothers sometimes. And she knew that I’m always at the library, where the stories I told her often come from– sometimes they’d come from the things I’ve written myself. 

One day when she was cleaning my room she found that flyer invitation under my bed. After school when I returned home she wanted to know if I’ll be at the party. I told her I was still thinking aboit it. That’s when she asked me to go. In fact, the way she said it, she wasn’t asking me to go to that party— she was telling me. “You must go and have fun. You are young.” Whereas other parents rebuked their kids not to go to a birthday bash, my very own mother, Boipone Mofokeng Nkadimeng, was encouraging me to attend that party and have as much fun as I could. She even picked the clothes for me to wear. I added some jerseys. “Do you know that it is very rude to be invited somewhere and then not show up?” She said. 

I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t an exclusive invitation , the flyers were basically handed out to everyone at school and that’s how I got one in the first place. 

Anyways, I found myself going to that party. It was a hot Saturday night but I still kept my jerseys on, just in case. I got so scared I had the idea of going somewhere and later return home and tell mom how amazing the party was. But there was nowhere to go in the night— the library was closed.

Tell us: can you recall the first time you went out to a party or to groove? Was it awkward or fun?