CHAPTER 12 – Emotions Evoked
“Challenges and obstacles are to be embraced for the good job they did with me”
That afternoon I decided to visit one of my good friends, Phemelo Pooe, short, darkish, and very intelligent than what a man would assume, nicknamed “Phex”, he at last agreed to quit smoking. Sitting at his home, her sister Charity decided to go to visit some of her friends. Life turned out differently, even though there was progress, perhaps it seemed to have been very slow. Feels like I’ve been stuck in one position for several years, I am sitting there trying to figure out how life could’ve have turned out the way it has.
“So how is joburg? I really want to come visit you someday” he asked.
Johannesburg is a place where supposedly dreams are made come true. The question drove me into thoughts. It drew from within, the pressure, what had made it so Impaired. How often we try to create dominion over what’s natural. The strength we seek through our own validation. A life owned by the very hand, yet validated by the person closest at heart, the fear to walk across change, change that would soothe our soul and put our sprit at ease. We can’t seem to stand tall and face the facts. The fact that time raises above all, the ticking sounds never cease with or without us, time that’s necessary for us to make amends, to look through our lives in detail. Time for introspection, how much we please people, living the only chance you have of life pleasing the people that are actually living their dreams. In time of despair, when the world seem to have knocked you down, Instead of a helping hand, we seek for a hand to hold on to, once we do, we tend to think that our lives would actually be better for all if we lived up to their expectations.
“Wake me up from such deceitful thoughts”, words I screamed out from all that would lead me astray. What about my dreams? What about what I want? Things I want to achieve, the life that is intended for me, living the life that was designed for me to live. Our purpose in life is not to please another, or to validate our lives to others. Nobody is going to show you directions, we have to fall in all types of potholes. Its okay to envy what people have, but it should be an encouragement to work twice as hard to be better. I have been through a situation, my life was like a wrecking ball, yet the only tears I had were those that I had brought to myself. Although it may have started with what had happened prior the period. I started to hang in a hook that was behind my friends, we did things, walked across the line, from up top to down bottom. The only thing I thought of, the fight I had with Thato. He seemed to take things easier than I thought, only because I was an emotional wreck and I knew he was as well, but he seem to have found a way around it.
“Anything knew? You should find me a woman, man.” Phemelo asked.
I dwelled back, trying to avoid the fact that I am still in love with his sister, Charity, the woman I’ve sent so many letters and too many to count. I decided to be a guy, and make up stories of the girls I haven’t seen or heard of.
City of Gold, so I hear people scream in joy as it’s acclaimed of its pure gold. I barely could stand in my own two feet when I got here. “Uh my man, Where’s the Gold? “I asked when I saw the dirt in the taxi rank when I arrived at the city at 5am in the morning, with all the rumors about how people get mugged on a daily basis, made me feel uneasy. Just when I stepped my foot on the ground, a young man come directly to me,
“Baba, where are you going?” He asked me in Zulu.
Well, I can’t exactly tell him that I don’t know; he looked at me and started to say random places,
“Ranburg, Mabopane, Limpopo..?.”
“Umm, I am not going anywhere, this is it!” I said.
He wasn’t very pleased with my answer, I was really nervous, shortly that morning I met with the others and went around looking for accommodation, moved in and out of different flats. I never for a second thought I’d ever see myself wondering around Joburg. I woke up one morning, took a shower, and ready to hit the street and go to school.
“Is it anything you had in mind?” I snapped out of it, as he asked. Trying so hard to change the subject, he kept dwelling back to the topic at hand, as he was most interested on the about of this city.
“I… It’s n-not that b-bad” I stuttered.
I was not in the mood to talk about the city, but I didn’t let him know. Somehow he understood the fact that I didn’t want to talk about this at all. He shifted the topic.
“How is life?” he asked.
I never know how one is to answer this question, do you base it on recent activities, or rank the entire life you lived to date. We friends I’ve known him for some time so, it’s called having a conversation so the simplest most common answer came about.
“It’s just okay, yours?”
Weird how this conversation started about, we never sit around talking about life, we guys, we supposed to be talking about women, that somehow came as a sense of maturity, that now we want to talk about life and discuss matters of life and how one can approach it to get to a point where there will be less worries.
“Mine’s just what it is, and going about it with the flow, wherever this river is talking me”
I am thinking in my head, I am not going to be depressed today; I just want some beer and a good smoke. How I continuously laughed at myself knowing that those were none of my habits, yet its guy-talk and with a guy-talk we make up bunch of stories as amusement, we all know the stories aren’t real but who cares? We communicate; it’s like the absurd level, faking the lies.
“I am sure you have plenty of girls by now, huh?”
Look at me for a second, who am I kidding; I am the old fashioned guy and believe in the unbelievable. I have always considered myself as a one woman man. But this question tricked me and rolled me over back to the days, when I still loved his sister. I still felt the connection. I wanted to tell him that, but I knew this could ruin a good topic and friendship, although he didn’t mind me dating his sister, but Charity was a very stubborn lady, who led me on and on and just when I thought that was it, I found out it was all just a “game”. Regardless, the more she resisted me, the more I wanted more of her. She is still that one woman that when I look back, it brings memories we never had.
“You know me man, I have 3”
What a lie, I am sure he saw that within me, we all know these stories, if it’s not 3, it’s always 5. I wasn’t here for that though, but I kept hearing people talking about man’s needs. I had this statement so wrong, that when I interpreted it, I said “Yes, a man’s needs, I need a house with a family, I need a lot of love, I need wealth to feed my family”, people we intersperse with, I learned a lot from these people but there are some things that we have to define ourselves.
“Wow, Three? What are their names?”
I thought of any name that would quickly come in mind. I struggled with the last as I paused for 3 second, that’s way too much time to pause for a name, I knew he didn’t buy it; I didn’t really care much, we were passing time. I thought perhaps I should just be honest but it’s too late now I had already said too much lie.
“…Mandy, Sandy and Lo”
“Lorraine” I added.
Hours went by, as we busy lying to one another. That was the whole point though. Then I learnt something from that conversation that we had, because later that night he accompanied me home.
“You know that I know that we just fooling around, but its fun at times.”
Even though I thought I knew that he knows and hoping that he didn’t, he did, and it didn’t affect our friendship because we all lie about everything at time when things are tough but a little truth wouldn’t have hurt. He also knew how much I loved Charity, he was just being a brother and looking out of her sister but he knew that I would have been the best man for her, but then it wasn’t up to him. We could speak all day about it, but it wasn’t our decision to make, it all lied in the hands of the beautiful Charity. Regardless of her decision, all that I have felt about her, just never ceased to grow, and I at times think this might get ugly in the future; I was not controlling it, or was I? It was happening on its own, the more I tried to ignore her and cut her off my life, the more I wanted more of her. I was just hoping that day, someday, if I don’t get to get over her, maybe perhaps I should get to hold her hand one more time, only this time, ask her to marry me. My thoughts are not to be confused with reality, I stand firm with my two feet on the ground, I am not weakened by mistakes of the past, I just never ever wanted her to be part of the package, although she is not a mistake, she is between the packages that never worked. This is the only reason that sometimes keeps me going back, hoping that someday she’ll try to escape from one of those packages, because the longer she stays there, I don’t know how long it will take me before I close that door and open a new one for myself. It’s easy when you’ve already done it, but harder when one has to make the first step. The truth really impairs one’s soul to think that the one dream you always desired will never happen. What then is a man to do when we are faced with such? But even that will come to pass.
I had to tell him the rest of the story. Johannesburg, I could hear screams outside, listening to the sounds of cars honking, babies crying, people screaming, as the train passed by at 4 am in the morning, still awake. You never seem to have a peaceful sleep in Joburg, I had being told that one gets used to it. I heard an irritating sound, yet I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. It continued just when I was about to catch a sleep, as I slowly open my one eye, the glow on my phone was a clear indication that it was my phone ringing. I just pressed any button that my finger was close to and even switched it off. In that morning 6 am, the hustle continued, more than motivated because I now knew what I was fighting for. It was way beyond than a better life, Part of me needed that inch of satisfaction that I wanted to live, to be important, to be listened to when I speak, to be part of an important role, to lead, not by a title, but my name to be such. It’s not the world for specifics, individuals. It’s a world for everyone who wants to be part of it. I had dreams, I had opportunities, although I never intend my world to be that where I chase opportunities when rather I wanted opportunities to chase me, but either way, remember that it has always been my choice and it will forever continue to be run according to where I direct it. I heard voices saying break out of that fear and go out and do what makes you happy even if I’ll be the first to laugh at you. This is the only chance that we have to make things right and make choices that will best suit our lives, but never ever regret any decision you’ve made thus far, sometimes when it’s our time to live by these lesson we are unable to.
I am now in a middle of a crisis, but really, what crisis? It has passed, and I am still stuck in it and I let it control me, and nobody cares about the past, everyone cares about what you do next. It’s like an interview question when asked of the most difficult task you’ve ever encountered, all they care about is if you had a solution for it, yes there is a solution for every single crisis and it doesn’t matter what is. Remember that moving on is also a solution. The way things may have turned out, I didn’t choose that, but I can choose where to from here. I cannot walk like this ever again with such a painful thought within my heart, yes it’s painful, and yes it happened, yes I won’t change that, it doesn’t haunt me anymore, it stays there, there’s no letting go of anything, Yes, I knew things would never be the same, but I knew that it’ll be okay. I run back into my own personality to save myself from the harm that might be caused by my own thoughts. I am not going to fight a fight that’s not worth it anymore. I keep trying to put hope where there isn’t any that can hold any promise of any guarantees. I am done feeling sorry for myself as there’s so much out there than in here. Out there, is a battle, and it’s worth all the fighting.