I think it’s time to tell about some of my escapades, quests or more like I think they were..?
Wise beyond my years, non or hardly parental guidance, a mini surrogate mom, I started smoking in standard three. Yes, really it’s definitely not something to be proud of but I saw it as a chill out, as well as I have to do it to fit in. Big mistake of course as I was always involved with sports and a WP netball player both inside and outside of school and played tennis as well. It also didn’t help as I was born asthmatic and it was bad for my endurance levels.
I remember being a scrawny, long legged with pigtails and a day dreamer. Sitting on the field, watching the showers, imagining im sitting somewhere on an exclusive beach, hat on my head, book in my hand watching my six babies running around (well, I wanted six..long before reality struck, of course) abundantly happy and the faceless love of my life, loving and respecting, caring, supporting me for the rest of my life.
I always have been a giver of love, I wanted to be loved in return because I was almost lost in a dark abyss. I was close to losing the ability to be able to love.
I remember having a crush on a boy in standard 3. He was new to our school. But I soon realized that he had eyes for my best friend only. And it was because he was an academic and so was she and they spoke the same language. I was devastated, because not only was I prettier than her, I was clever than her too BUT I was too busy wanting to be liked, wanting to be everybody’s friend, wanting to be the centre of attraction, sweating it out on the tennis court, playing my heart out on the netball court, bringing the trophy home was all that mattered, because I knew if I succeeded people will talk about me..notice me, love me.
I had it all wrong of course. With having hardly any parental guidelines, it took me years to come into my own. I thank God that I can give this to my kids to enable them to make the right decisions in life. To not hang onto something that is not good for you, to not let anybody chip away at your self-esteem, at your being. Its toxic, it wastes time, it keeps you from being you, from moving forward.
Well, because I wanted to be noticed by him, I’ve put some effort into my school work, joined the circle of academics, my grades improved, I was his equal if not better and he said to me one day ” I always knew you you had it in you and I wish you would see how beautiful you are”
It’s changed my mindset, and not because I wanted to but because somebody told me how to be. I don’t believe its an entirely a bad thing but it creates a short coming in one self, it becomes an expectation of needing to be ok for the next person.
It was a wave I surfed for years to come. I couldn’t see my self worth, it has to be someone else telling me my worth.. showing me how to talk, walk, dress, sit and shat..!
And yet I broke that cycle of insecurity many moons ago when I realized I was stronger than most.
I met him in standard 4. He had the most amazing, very white teeth one of the best athletes at school and very very handsome. All the girls went crazy over him and he could have had anyone he wanted. Girls were literally swooning when he passed by in the corridors, strutting well shaped legs, a gorgeous ass with a killer smile. You could almost hear girls going “aaaaahhhh, oh my god!”
Well well well, I was besotted too but was never going to admit it. I was never going to be number two and never will be.. ( never say never….)
He asked me out on a perfect sunny day, I was laughing and joking with friends at the end of a school day and there he was standing at the school gate, waiting for me. At first I wasn’t sure he was waiting on me as we hardly spoke five words. He tried as much to play hard to get as I was, always surrounded by girls talking about athletics. He was never an academic and with hindsight that made me loose interest very quickly..
Anyway there he was, a more handsome face I have not seen again, face sculptured to perfection and of course that killer smile. I was just going to pass him and hand him my killer smile, of course, when he gently grabbed my hand and said ” do you have a minute?” Oh I have many minutes for you darling. Ok I didn’t say that out loud. I had to play hard to get. ” are you talking to me?”
” yes, do you mind if I walk you home? There is something I want to ask you.
” ok, but I stay the opposite way of where you stay” eeeek I realized my mistake too late.
” so you know where I stay? ” I am surprised as you normally don’t even look my way..” Shrugging nonchalantly..
” Well I don’t know where exactly but I heard somebody talking about it” I was hoping that my come back and matching so called non interest was enough to redeem myself.
“I want you to be my girlfriend” boom! Just like that!
“I….” I was unable to respond in the cool way I prance about, the way I want many to perceive me.
So I tried again…” I thought you have a girlfriend” ugh, I shouldn’t have said that because now he knows I was keeping tabs on him. Stupid stupid girl!
“No, we not dating anymore”
“Oh…well you don’t even know me or anything about me”
” I know a lot. I know you stay with your granny, I also know where you stay, and I also know you play in the school netball team and that you play netball outside the school and I do know you have a beautiful smile and I’ve seen you at the library a couple of times which means you like reading.”
There was no come back I could think of. At that moment I thought I fell in love and that it will never end!
I said yes of course. We dated for a year. He was a damn good kisser, goodness. He regularly showered me with gifts and thats one of the things I found unsettling. I suppose that is why I don’t believe in gift swopping because it sets a precedent of expectation. I also felt inadequate besides him. He came from a well to do family and even though he looked happy to be with me and at home in our humble abode, I could never say I felt comfortable. Something was missing and realized the feeling became more apparent as the time went on. It was his birthday and he bought me a gift, like really? A pretty girly pink watch with a matching pen in long thin pink box tied with a pink ribbon. I was supposed to give him a gift and on top of that he dropped a bombshell which scared me to death! He wanted me to meet his parents! So on the 14th of February nineteen something, I broke up with him. I can still see the utter devastation on his face and asking why, why.. I couldn’t answer him of course because I didn’t know myself. All I knew was that I wasn’t ready to meet parents and I couldn’t handle being smothered with gifts. I wanted it more simple and there was nothing I could give back in a materialistic way. And of course there was the elephant in the room…we were from different religions. It never really bothered me but I knew my granny wasn’t happy about it. I told myself I was bored and needed another quest…
It was the seniors school camp, more specifically, the standard five`s. He must have repeated that standard at least twice. He was tall, not dark but handsome with light brown eyes…gorgeous, and sooo much older than me. I liked him a lot even though I heard nothing nice about him. He’s a Casanova going around breaking hearts etc..hmm I saw it as a challenge. Of course I was ecstatic to hear he is going with on camp. It felt like I had butterflies setting up camp in my stomach. I would get short of breath every time he would look my way or if he spoke to me. He had the perfect casanova drawl. Armed with only two rand to spend on the camp ( in those days it was a lot) we were on our way to PE for ten days. Something else happened to me as well and I’m going to share it in the midst of my happier times. I always suffered from terrible migraines and headaches and started taking pain killers. I thought that every time I took it, my pain would disappear. Oblivious I was to addiction. I couldn’t stand being without a panado, it was my scapegoat from realiy. Of course, what did I know at the time? There was no one I could talk to.
The last Saturday of our tour we were dancing the night away on Eddie Grant`s “do it California style” & blue_sing to Whitney’s ” saving all my love for you”. The night was young and I was dancing with him hoping he would ask me out. He too was a hot contender when it came to girls and luckily I saw that for myself and just in time. He was a good dancer and that was one thing I found damn sexy in a man. Well I got bored and of course a headache. Luckily I told my best friend, I have a headache and going to bed. She couldn’t understand it because she knew I loved dancing, but reluctantly said she’ll join me soon after. I must’ve taken six panados just to find that spot of oblivion and mercifully the darkness came much quicker than any other time.
Shit, can somebody turn off the water, its loud and I’m getting wet. Did one of the pipes burst at the school we were sleeping in.? I am getting so cold and realize that the water is pouring from the floor above us. I struggled to get out of my sleeping bag but the more I struggled the heavier my bag felt, the more tangled it became. Where is everyone?? By now I am soaking wet trying desperately to get out of my sleeping bag, breathing in water and then desperately trying to get the water out of my lungs! Thankfully I heard somebody calling my name. Oh thank God someone is coming to help me. ” I’m here!” I tried calling back but no one seems to hear me! Again I hear someone calling my name, shaking and slapping me.
What the hell?? At first I thought it was a nightmare and then I thought it was a pipe that burst but as I crawled my way out of the fog, opening my eyes and saw a few worried faces staring back at me, one that of by best friend with tears streaming down her face
I realized something was seriously wrong.
I then became aware of my surroundings. I was on the cold tile floor in the gym toilet, half of my body propped up underneath the tap.
” what happened” I managed to croak out. I remember feeling extremely thirsty and asking for water. Next I know I was wrapped in a blanket and carried away by none other than him. I felt so embarrassed and couldn’t figure out what the hell happened?? Did I walk in my sleep, fell and hit my head? But that didn’t make sense because I don’t walk in my sleep. I talk in my sleep yes..
I was tucked up with every available blanket and was given a glass of water and was told I should get some sleep and that we can talk in the morning. My best friend climbed into my sleeping bag, spooning with me and used her sleeping bag to cover us both. It was heaven and I felt very safe at that moment, vaguely trying to remember what happened.
We woke up with the sounds of birds chirping and teachers announcing breakfast is ready and soon after we should pack up and reverse the journey home…
So you wondering what happened?
I only got some clarity a few days later as it was a mystery to many at a time as well as bits from my bestie. I wasn’t also forthcoming and truthful but more scared of what could have been as well as not being informed.
She came downstairs to our dorm fortunately for me, about ten minutes after I took the panados and saw me drenched in sweat, shaking, vomiting and talking incoherently with heavy breathing. She quickly ran to go and find help and because no one knew what’ was wrong with me they thought I had a fit, but also not quite, or an asthma attack or I ate something that wasn’t agreeing with me…that was the theories. Then someone suggested they get me to the shower as I was starting to spike a fever. Well the rest of the story was told..I think after that happened I realized on my own that I overdosed on panados. I did some research much later on it’s proven that panado can be the doctor’s choice but taking too much can be extremely dangerous.
Then of course there was him. I felt nothing for him but he made everyone believed I was his girlfriend. What made it easier for everyone to believe him was, is because he was a “huis kind” ( he was welcome in and out our house) My granny adored him and could see nothing wrong with him. But then again she didn’t know how he felt about me as he always made it look like we were good friends. He was feared by many and that was the only good thing. I was safe everywhere I went and the mere mention of his name was enough to scare many off.
Even I was scared of him at times because he became so controlling of everything I did and everyone I got close to and potential boyfriends would soon see there’s no potential. He too showered me with gifts on a regular basis and I would give it away as soon as he turned his back. I remember an incident where I rushed myself to the day hospital, my granny too frail to accompany me and because I was a chronic patient I was allowed to attend without my guardian, even though I was under age. After having an hour neb and a cortisone injection I was shaking like a leaf and desperately trying to get home. I had to walk through flats and a soccer field to get home and it felt like I walked the Sahara desert, it was very hot and I was hanging on for dear life. As I was halfway on the field, our flat a few hundred meters away, which felt more like a thousand meters I saw this person running towards me. I wasn’t overly concerned as I was close to home. As the person came closer I realized it was him frantically running towards me. I was about to reprimand him for stalking me when he picked me up like I was a feather duster and ran home with me in his arms.
I was done for, and didn’t have the energy to protest and just let my head hang on his shoulder and let him be my knight in shining armour. Well my granny was happy to see me and thought it was the sweetest thing he ever did for me. I let it be and only wanted to get into bed. I slept for hours, which was what normally happened after having an attack and medication and who else to be there when I wake up…?
Unfortunately the stuff he did for me, never made me feel anything for him other than a pain in the ass and constant irritation. With hindsight he was like an annoying big brother. And now many years later, we are the best of buddies and swop stories of our kids wellbeing, our wellbeing and life….
Well camp was great, I was bored with the idea of him and him and him. I got a yellow pair of roller skates, I’ve knitted a green jersey in standard five and made a floral boob-tube dress. I passed with flying colors and was ready for high school 🙂