My girl

2012-11-12 00:00

AS I stood there with my best friend on my right, I felt my muscles twitching in anticipation.

Everything was ready. The hall setup, blazers dry cleaned, teeth flossed, and hair perfectly sculpted. All that remained was the arrival of our dates.

I had waited for this moment for the past three years: when my date’s car would glide up the road to the front of school. How the car door would open, and a foot would appear, revealing her dancing shoe of choice, and how the rest of her body would follow to reveal her entire ensemble. How when she looked my way, her face would light up, as would mine. It would be the perfect moment, filled with butterflies, goosebumps and happiness.

Yes. This was what I had waited for for three years now.

As I stood with the rose I had stolen from the headmaster’s garden in my right hand, my thoughts turned towards the friendship that I had formed with the girl I would now present to my school as my Grade 11 dance date. She’s everything I’ve always wanted. She is an “out of the box” kind of girl. She has her own kind of beauty: beauty that all could aspire to — naturally so, on her own terms.

As the clock hands fell onto the 6.30 pm mark, headlights swept over the school’s driveway — chariots that made our hearts leap. Girlish laughter filled the air, like the closing scene of a war movie, when the train come, to a stop, and all the war-time sweethearts have to sift through the chaos to find the one who belonged to them. We were the long-suffering wives, while the girls took the role of war veterans, enduring pain of manicures, talkative hairstylists, dress hunting, make-up artists and the occasional spray tan.

I had to restrain myself from folding into the crowd and searching for my date like everyone around me, but my feet were like lead, kept in place by a lethal mix of anticipation and anxiety. All around me were the white camera flashes and proud fathers exclaiming: “That’s my boy”. Mothers gazed upon the scene with teary eyes and broad smiles, pointing out to all who would listen how beautiful their coupled sons were.

Being punctual was never Kate’s strong suit. I found myself repeating this over and over to myself like a mantra, trying to calm myself and not delving into the overwhelming crowd to try to find her.

I was that scared wife from the end of the war film — the wife who doesn’t know if her husband is coming back, so I just stood there in the hope that he would find her.

But my anxiety overcame my resolve and so I soldiered forth into the crowd, entering the ocean of Nikons and Canons. I looked up, and before me was the rock in my life, my mother. I quickly shuffled to her, embraced her and before a greeting was exchanged the words: “Where’s Kate?” leapt from my mouth. She pointed out a direction into a crowd, and while her mouth was still opening to begin a sentence, I had disappeared into the crowd.

I paced myself, looking at every long done- up head of hair, searching for a brunette one, until the shifting of my eyes to her face made the connection. I stopped dead in my Number Ones. In front of me was a tanned, short brunette, standing with her open-backed dress towards me. I knew immediately that I had found her. It was Kate.

Her voice and laugh pierced through all the other sound around me. She was cracking a joke with a crowd of boys who had already left their dates to speak to the girl who could entertain a crowd with a mere sentence.

I bellowed her name, and she whirled around. A sunny smile filled her face, and she flung her arms into the air, forcing everyone around her to duck. She hopped two steps in her high-heeled shoes, and tugged at my neck as we hugged each other. Relief to have found her gave way to the warm glow of affection and excitement, and I knew that it was going to be a wonderful night.

About the writer:

JOSHUA Geldenhuys describes himself as “a person who needs intellectual stimulation while building on the creative aspect in my personality. I find the best way to do this is through my writing. Although writing may not be my career choice it will still always be my comfort. I’m excited to pursue it further.”

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