Reunion with Thandi 4

By Drum Digital
05 May 2014

I heard the passion in her voice; saw her eyes shining with intensity. How amazing was this? Twelve years ago only promotions and career moves had held any meaning for her. All her intensity had been centred on bottom lines and investment equities, but now here she was, earnestly talking about orphans and vulnerable children, about the challenge of fighting stigma.

And she didn’t tug on her left ear at all. Not even once. I admit I was falling in love with her all over again. But it wasn’t the headstrong

infatuation of youth. Now it was something more gentle, a sense of joy at just being in her presence as we sipped our cappuccinos.

Tiny flecks of foam dotted her lips. I couldn’t help myself. I blurted out the question while she was still speaking. I had to know. I just had to know. “So are you married now?”

“No.” It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard, the most precious word in the dictionary. “And you?” she asked, smiling so I had a

full view of those delightful dimples. I shook my head. I did get married once, a few years back, mostly to prevent my mother from despairing. But it didn’t work out. There had been no passion, no depth, probably because all of my own passion and depth were still wrapped up in my memories of Thandi.

She took another sip of her coffee and then she said the strangest thing. It threw me completely.

“I don’t want you to think I normally do this. I don’t normally go picking up strange men on deserted beaches. Please, at least tell me your name, then I won’t feel quite so ashamed.”

But I had no time to react to what she’d just said because at that very moment the restaurant door swung open and a woman appeared. She was thin and immaculately dressed with her hair fashionably braided, balancing on killer heels. She looked around the room, looked at

her watch and then began to tug in agitation at her left ear.

Thandi! Yes, it was Thandi standing at the door, or Nomthandazo as she preferred to be called. Her gaze swept past me once more, but she clearly didn’t recognise me. Perhaps it was the fact that some other woman was sharing my table.

After a moment or two, Thandi turned impatiently and strode back out of the restaurant, shaking her head and tugging at her ear.

And I knew that I was free at last. Free of her memory, free to love again. I turned to the lovely, smiling stranger sitting opposite me.

“My name is Sipho,” I said. “Sipho Jili.

What’s yours?” - by Precious Seboni

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