I was huffing and puffing. My chest was so narrow. I felt dizzy and nauseous. I was sure, I was about to die, at the beautiful age of 18.
I had this horrible taste in my mouth that tasted like early stages of blood and vomit, mixed. Please do not ask me how that taste like.
This is how it all happened:
I finished matric, I did fairly well, but I could have done better. Could Have.
PLEASE DO BETTER, SO THAT YOU CAN SOAR LIKE AN EAGLE, GET THAP PAPER GIRL OR BOY!
In my mother’s words, and in my mother tongue the expression of ‘’jou velle hang nog letterlik aan die draad soos jy deur geskuur het’’ fits the description pretty well. Meaning, I barely made it.
I am not stupid. I just like playing excessively. Until this day. That is what happened in my matric year. And I wonder why my son is always testing the waters. He got it from the mother.
Endless playing – things that would make your testimonial from school look good (we thought we were clever).
School choir, Volley Ball, Sub – Editor of the school newspaper, Head Girl of the SRC, Basket Ball, and a weekend job and off course,
Too many parties, too many activities, too many 112 music, sometimes too much weed.
I know, I know, we were just experimenting.
We thought if we smoked, we would remember everything we studied, big lies that we were sold. I just thank God, that it never became an addiction.
I leave it at that.
My parents were divorced, there were no funding for university and I told myself, there is no way in hell I am manning this changing cubicle at Edgars with a Grade 12 certificate in my hands and have idle chats with people who would think they are better than me.
So I resigned. It was my weekend and holiday job for 2 years.
And I decided to travelled Namibia for a few weeks, until I became penniless.
I called home and heard that the police were recruiting, and I threw in my CV. Not really sparing another thought towards it. Until I got the call one day, three months later. Yeah, yeah, government backlog.
Fast Forward, to the intro.
Six months of being idle, I was summoned to Police College.
I had eight bags, yep 8. Last-born and Mammas girl so she had to make sure I have everything I needed.
As we pulled up to the entrance of the Police College, Police Officers, men and woman were waiting on us, with expressionless faces and sweat on their brows and when the bus came to a halt, we were told to get the f… off the bus and take our belongings and run the few metres to the college, metres yes, but it felt like hundreds of hundreds of kilometres, because the Queen was unfit and obese…how I passed their medical tests I have no idea, but I suspect a bit of Affirmative Action was involved in their decision to recruit me, because the Queen looks white and has German names and a surname.
They had to have a few yellow bones for statistical purposes and they decided to take the cockiest of yellow bones to complete the puzzle, I think.
Some hours of military, shenanigans ensued, running, rolling in sand, drilling, jumping, I do not know what. You ended up fainting and getting back up and if you dare to play sick you would be walking around mimicking an ambulance and you would had to make that sound as well, pie pong pie pong, and I don’t know what was worse, the physical punishments or the ambulance mimicking. And I am sure all these instructors were laughing their hearts out later about all of this.
After hours of this dreadfulness, we were told to go to the eating hall, the girl behind me fainted of exhaustion and hunger and I don’t know what else, most probably also just a mental breakdown, this college was a huge shock and disappointed to many.
As I turned around to help her, I was told if I do not want to be shot, I should leave her to die. Imagine. They were ruthless.
The fear they tried to instil in us back then, boy oh boy. And they succeeded.
So we headed into the eating hall and the food, wow, was not even appeasing. I refused to eat it, samp and meat I think with sauce. By then the Queen did not even know what samp was.
I sat for a while and I finally got the guts to get up in my pair of Levi’s – Levi’s was a thing back then, ask them.
By then we did not yet have the training uniform. I walked out, attempted to scrape the food into the dustbin and suddenly someone asked: ‘’hallo meisie, kan ek maar jou kos kry, ek is baie honger nog?’’, (hi girly, can I have your food I am still hungry?) naturally I froze at hello, but I sort of unfroze at the rest of the sentence, hearing the husky male voice, I thought I was in shit again and would be punished, but he was a fellow student, also a yellow bone, and I guess when I looked at him, I looked at him with very sad and eyes filled with regret in my huge hazel brown eyes and he asked; ‘’is it your first time from home and I nodded’’, because the moment was too big for me, and he said, come here, let me hug you, everything will be alright. From today onwards, I will look after you. I was so relieved, I trusted him immediately. He had the most open face I have ever seen, with a perfect set of white teeth, an almost angelic smile, he laughed from the pit of his tummy and it was so contagious. He was naturally handsome, someone I would look at twice in another setting.
Years later, I still imagine this is what it must feel like to fall in love eventually, looking someone straight in the eye and knowing, where you ought to belong. I have been looking for that feeling, but it has never visited me again.
And that was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. Where he was, I would be, and vice versa.
We became inseparable. And no one was allowed to come close to me without his consent.
We would have huge fights and silent wars, but in the end, we would make up again, as friends.
He passed away three years later, horrifically.
And it broke my soul, and it broke my heart too.
It broke my entire humanity. Today is his birthday. 11 March 2019.
And I just had to visit memory lane. He would have been 38 years old today.
I will Always, Always, Love You.
I often wish you were around, so I can ask you to be my husband, that is if you were not orig enough to do it yourself already.
I have never found any other that could fill your shoes.
My Gold amongst Men.