Thursday, October 1

Mahlatse Ramatseba

A Walk On Love's Dark Side Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1
There are certain calls you receive that always leave you disorientated and slighted. I could feel my ecstasy dwindling when the woman who called was talking. It was yet another call to tell me about my unfortunates; it was a rejection of my job application. At least the company had the audacity of letting me know I didn’t make it rather than leaving me restless hoping I got the job.
Many people have already realized that getting a job in South Africa these days is like EFF waiting for Jacob Zuma to pay back the money. The chances of it happening are slim.
Just after two years of job seeking, I was ready to throw in the towel. Its quite funny hearing someone who got a job right after graduation from their sugar daddy telling you stuff like:
“Oh I know what you going through. Please don’t give up. The right job is just around the corner”
The nerve of such person though, it always leave me loathing but being the polite person that I am. I always smile and acknowledge it. Its bullshit though, don’t go telling people “I know what you mean” when you have no freaking idea how it feels like.
I know I was being sissy considering the fact that I have heard about people who couldn’t find a job 10 years after graduating. That is just insane. The unemployment rate might be going higher, faster than a rocket but if I ever had to wait for ten years without having said “goie more baas” once in those years then I can assure you before ten years even end I would be demented. I’m impatient like that. Sadly, it’s happening out here.

The anguish in me was too much to deal with. I started thinking of dating a CEO in order to be given a job like some people I know. I needed to buy myself my own stuff, have my own account, and take myself out for movies and stuff. I needed to be able to tell someone what I do for a living with so much confidence.
I once dated a guy who told me he was an urban redevelopment technician specialty. I kept wondering what that was but being at varsity I couldn’t swallow my pride and ask him what it really was. I didn’t want him to believe I was a dumbass. Well people these days just want to appear the smartest, if you text someone and ask something that they have no clue about, they will Google it first then come back to tell you as if they knew all along.
So I was a fresher when I met this guy at a shopping mall, wearing a black guess jean and a white t-shirt with a red and white Jordan. I’m not talking about those fakes you get at Jozi’s small street. It was the real deal. I’m not really the girl who goes gaga over what label a person is wearing. I just admire people who dress themselves pretty well. Fashion design has always been my passion although my mom ridiculed it.
His cologne was off the hook, the kind of smell you wanted after being inside a public toilet. I just wanted to smell him all day long.
As I stood there waiting for my friends who went to the loo, I heard
“I love your braids, they are so neat and really looks good on you”
So this guy was talking to me? smile emoticon I had to look around to check if there wasn’t any good looking girl nearby because the most hurtful thing would be me smiling and saying “thank you” only to find out he was talking to the other girl frown emoticon
I have to admit, I was smitten. I was really glad he didn’t start with some cheesy pick up line that he googled last night. I don’t want to hear being told:
“Is that the sun coming up? Or is that you lighting up my world?
Well honestly some pick-up lines should be banned. It is total torture for ladies to hear such rubbish. Imagine being told:
“‘Did you fart, coz you blow me away”
If you ever use that you will surely end up with multiple slaps in your face for trusting Google on everything.
The guy was called Thabiso and within seconds we were already talking and laughing together. He had all the confidence in the world. It’s hard these days to find guys who can approach you directly and ask for your numbers. Guys would rather know your name and surname to go check you up on Facebook then inbox you to ask for your numbers. It’s always a shame when he knows your name is Lerato Maseko but doesn’t find you on Facebook because your name is now
“i’m »dhat pweedy chick so fwesh & segzy they call me Barbie doll lee-rato macseko”
Wait what???? These names literally kills me whenever I come across them on Facebook, but one thing for sure is most of their owners are still, you know on puberty. No offence though it’s part of growing up. We all have done things that when we look back we aren’t proud of. It’s like looking at your old Facebook photos and you are like “what the hell? This shouldn’t have ever made it here.”
I also do not expect a fully grown man inboxing me having a name such as I’m that dope niggah Charles. That nigga who did what?

My conversation with this guy was one of the best I have had in ages. I mean people these days don’t know how to have decent conversations, even on social networks. It’s all about the hi,hud,wud,wuw and that’s it.it was very exciting when it started on mxit but now it isn’t. It’s a conversation killer and we all addicted to using it. Luckily Thabiso knew how to woo a lady. That’s where he ended up telling me he was an urban redevelopment what-what. I just came to a conclusion that his job must have been paying a lot.
People will actually judge you based on your dress code and especially what you are driving. Girls will ditch a Johnny walker boyfriend for a guy with GTI whom they found in a club. I still don’t understand why most south Africans go to frenzy when they hear GTI. I don’t get it; I’m still waiting for someone to help me see the importance of having one. Well people these days are actually renting cars just to appear cooler. The life we live though. A lot of people are spending all their money. On materialistic things like expensive clothes and luxury cars. What’s the use of buying tangible assets that devalues over the years while you don’t have a roof over your head? Some people are just earning R3000 per month yet they are using it on materialistic things to appear cooler.
Thabiso was no different, after making me believe his job was important, I actually found out the guy was a trash man. I couldn’t believe it was him at first. I mean the guy was wearing overalls and busy putting rubbish from the street into the garbage truck. When I got closer, he didn’t even seem surprised to see me.

“Oh hey baby, I’m sorry I didn’t call you last night, I was so tired”
This guy didn’t seem to care that I was actually jolted by the whole scenario. He was being lovey dovey while I was shocked that the urban redevelopment technician specialty actually means being a trash man. I don’t blame the guy; I blame myself for not asking what his job entailed. After all I wasn’t dating him for the title of his job.
Thabiso was just trying to make his job glamorous since these days’ ladies will never think twice about dating you if you ever tell them you are the MD,COO or CEO OR any other position they think is cool. In fact they will date you even though they are well aware of you having three wives and two side chicks. All they care about is the money.
Me and the trash guy never lasted because “uthanda izinto”. He was probably trying to live the high life while his mother was suffering in a one roomed shack in Khayelitsha. Ai some guys though. He was good looking alright but his mind was upside down and i don’t have time for that. Ain’t anybody got time for that!!
By the way my name is Francesca, born and bred at the Ibazelo section of Thembisa, kasi ya makasi. Many people always find my name odd and can’t even pronounce it correctly. I get called fransesska, francina, or just France nje. I guess that’s the price of having your parents name you something they aren’t even sure about its meaning. It’s always hard time telling people to pronounce it as “fran-chehs-ca”.
That was up until I realised I had another name and my mother decided to hide it from me up until I was about 8 because she was mad at the man who gave it to me, my father. He left her for her best friend and got married somewhere. The betrayal for my mother was too much; she was always a grumpy woman. Every time I did something wrong, she will surely shout “you are just like that good for nothing father of yours. You disgust me”. I was being punished for things I didn’t do. Hau this woman though. One day when she was at work I started searching her stuff to see this guy she always talked about. I hardly remembered him. Rumours had it he left when I was just two. That’s when I found my birth certificate. My other name was Rianze, in fact it was my first name. After finding it out I just had to convince my mother to use it. She settled for Ria. From that day onwards I didn’t have to struggle with people calling me France or whatever.
Growing up with my mother was a pain in the ass. That woman still had my father’s dark cloud hanging over her head. I swear she would have gone mad if she wasn’t strong enough. I caught her twice or thrice talking to my father’s picture “if you didn’t leave us Thomas, I wouldn’t have been selling tomatoes in the streets. As a young girl I always wondered if people in the pictures could hear you. She also made sure to always remind me that men are evil, or dogs or Satan or pigs. She could tell me this every night in eleven South African official languages and more. Sometimes she would be blabbering something I couldn’t understand. I concluded she might have been speaking French, Spanish or Arabic.
Tonight I will hear “yazi mtanam, amadoda kukhona umbhedo” tomorrow” vhanna ndi vho sathane and the next day “mans is varke” this woman can be bilingual when it comes to talking about men. “indoda ayithembe khanga emtaneni yam” was her signature quote. I was losing my mind as well. I didn’t really realise that her demented self was affecting me. I found myself hating boys for no reason; I was forever getting into fights with them.

When I was 15 my mom got a job as a cashier in pick n’pay. Finally things were looking up for us but that hadn’t changed how I looked at boys. My friend Thato loved boys and I would make sure I don’t walk with her when she had them around. I grew up as a person who didn’t walk around much. I was an indoor kind of person. When I was in grade 10 my mom took me to a school in Kempton Park by then I knew I wanted to go to Cape Town and just get away from here and be somewhere. My mother never understood my decision of going to Cape Town. Most black people don’t really understand the need for someone to travel or go far away from your family. My mother was no exception.
My mother was so reluctant but I was determined which made me do well in matric. I got a bursary and before I knew it, I was flying to the mother city of mzansi. I was never going to get into an airplane if I was going to UJ, UP or TUT or any other varsity in Gauteng, my mother was going to make sure that I continue using a train, even if I was going to Pretoria. No one loves Metrorail’s trains. I know it is economically viable but shit, that mode of transport is bad. During peak hours you will surely hate it, it will be so full and people pushing each other you will swear to never use it ever again. But situation forces you to come back

When I got to UCT I was anxious and thrilled at the same time. Man it looked nothing like Thembisa, haha of course it’s not supposed to look anything like it. I actually grew up in an overcrowded place, whenever I was in Johannesburg, I was always in the overcrowded spaces, and I schooled in Kempton Park and used the overcrowded Metrorail trains. My middle name should have just been overcrowded. I can survive better in India or Lagos with the experience I got. Most parts of Johannesburg CBD are like being on a Durban beach in December, with lots and lots of people swarming around.
I was scared to find myself in a calm and collected space. I was just not used to that. This place was flocking with chicks that looked like they were just out of the magazine shoot or some trey songz’s music video, and here I was wearing an ordinary jean with an ordinary tee-shirt and some pumps. I just didn’t fit in. Most of these women were wearing shorts and that is just something I never worn in my life. You can’t blame me because I have witnessed girls being harassed once or twice in the MTN taxi rank by those illiterate taxi drivers. Man it was so brutal and unnecessary. That was a good reason enough for me to stick on my jeans and tees. Most kasi girls tend to act like they have style when they see village girls but they hardly have it. Varsity can really put you on the spotlight, that is where people are wearing the jumpsuits, the mini dresses and the whatnot. It wasn’t like there weren’t people rocking the ugly Betty’s outfits. They were there but it wasn’t enough for me to feel good about myself.
I was walking with my head under the sand. I was just excited I got a single room at the Baxter hall residence. I didn’t want to share. What if I got placed with a girl whose father was richer than motsepe. She surely was going to make me feel like a church’s rat, or a witch who would use me as flying broom at night.
People these days are doing evil things in broad daylight that makes witchcraft sounds like it isn’t evil. Anyways I was here to study and pass and have fun in the process. I can’t really explain what fun is as I haven’t done such. If I could ever fail, I would then be packing my bags and going back to Thembisa within a snap of a finger. In fact my bursary said they won’t fly me back but ill rather spend 15 hours on the bus back home or worse a train. My mother would never be able to pay for my studies, Let alone nfsas. Nfsas is so scarce these days; it’s like finding an honest politician.
I might have been scared at first but I was excited beyond words, humming and dancing as i packed my stuff in my room.
“Now watch me whip whip, watch me nae nae, now watch me whip whip watch me nae nae. Oooh watch me watch me oooh watch me watch me”
I was dancing to silento_ watch me
My classes weren’t starting until after the following week so I spent most of my time sitting by the window, watching passers, some were moving in and some were just walking by. I was reading a book when i noticed a guy offering to help some girls with their luggage. Damn boy was hot." U baba nje ngo chillies". I have had a bad history with guys and I never looked them in that way. I have actually thought I might have been a lesbian. Ever since I got here I have been seeing guys who looked like Hollywood’s lead actors from all kind of races who never moved me, but this guy got me drooling and when I sized him head to toe, I didn’t stand a chance. In fact he wouldn’t even have offered to help me with luggage had I been the girl struggling out there. He had the charming suburban appeal. Dang, I haven’t seen things like this in Thembisa in a while. I couldn’t help but smile at myself like a maniac. My eyes were fixated on him until he disappeared into the dorm with the two ladies. I swear I could steal some cash just to buy an appealing dress so that maybe he will notice me, even a glance would just be enough.
I really had to recover from what I have just seen. I kept having flashbacks of that genuine smile and the sparkle in his eyes. The week felt like a month, I had nothing to do and no friends to talk to. My mom would buy me some airtime that I used to buy free minutes to either talk to her or Thato. I felt like a stranger in a foreign land, more like Israelites in Egypt. Maybe a double room would have helped. I spent the whole week inside my room, I only went out for orientation and only when I went to eat at the dining hall and that was it and that guy who sent my heart racing was nowhere to be seen, not that seeing him would make a difference. Oh well It would, I would just have someone to make me smile involuntary. I couldn’t wait for my classes to start. I really had to get out of my room. I didn’t care whether I was the most stylish girl on campus or nah.

I hate to admit this but I was home sick. Here I was thinking that I really wanted to get away from my noisy township but then again maybe I was wrong. Sunday afternoon I was busy cleaning my room and sorting my books for the first lecture of the university when I heard a knock. Man I almost jumped and hit the roof. I never expected anyone to knock. This is not a township where you move in and your neighbours are already visiting with vetkoeks just to know you or see what you might have in your house. When I came back to my senses I realised that maybe it was the warden or the house committee checking. I opened the door and all I shouted was
“Oh Mary mother of Jesus”!!!!!!!! (0.0)

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