16:59 pm in Jozi

5pm. 

I almost got fired today… and I’m still thinking about you.

The hustle and bustle of peak time North of Johannesburg, I fight with my tears, they are dying to fall from my eyes as I reminisce on what happened last weekend. I chose to be stupid in love, it was a well-negotiated decision with my critical mind. I chose to love you. It did not matter that I did not know you. I still chose to love you. Into the wrong taxi, I confidently walk, take a respectable sitting position, and without much thought, the image of you bombards my mind. Again.  The image of you and her colonises my mind. I remember the sounds that my heart made as it shattered with each and every glance my eyes witnessed your hand holding hers.  The first drop lands itself on my cheek as I remember the strength that I chose as a shield from my pain. It only made sense. I cried in public because it dawned on me that, that strength was borrowed. I cried further because I felt disposable.

I cried because I felt disposable.

I remembered how you held me that night when I came flooding in your room because I had no place to go, and you opened your arms, and you did not fuck me. You held me. For the entire night, you held me, and you spoke to me. I cried because I realised you did not remember me in that moment when my heart was breaking, you could not recognise me.

I begged for you to acknowledge me and you, in passing, muttered that you would find me in the hotel room that I booked for us. I did not tell you this. You did not need to know this. You needed to want me. I stopped crying because I could not continue hating myself because you did not want me.

Half past five still stuck in traffic. I unlock my phone and read Xongi’s text “Chom where are you?” I chuckle a little. This chuckle warms my heart because I am reminded that I am not in a perpetual state of being unwanted. Someone wants me. I realise that I am in the wrong taxi, I now have to walk from Constitutional Hill to Braamfontein.

The corner of De Beer and Juta street.

I run. With absolute glee, I run to the arms that don’t just hold me, I run to the heart that keeps me. Laughing, crying, praying, running into the sunset.

My name is Pulane and I am the girl who fell in love with the city and other stupid men.  

 

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