|At the young age of nine, I began to look all starry eyed at no doubt. The object of my longing was my colleague named Zodwa*. She was tall, petite, light in appearance and remarkable wonderful. She radiated class and certainty. There was a radiance in her eyes. I was entranced by her unimportant nearness. Zodwa*’s voice was thoughtful and sounded melodic in my ears. She had a self-destroying aura about her. Unmistakably, I was head over heels for Zodwa*.
I had for the absence of a superior word found my intimate romance in Zodwa*. Whatever that implies when you’re a lower grade school student. I went through the initial five years subsequent to having met her (on the off chance that you can consider it that) taking looks of her. Each time the educator left the classroom or amid those flawless things called “free period”, I will move from my work area/seat and position myself somewhere else where I could have a superior perspective of her. I would gaze at her for a considerable length of time. Be that as it may; any unintentional eye to eye connection, I would have swung my eyes and neck quicker than Usain Bolt.
For five long years, I never let out the slightest peep to her. It wasn’t to such an extent with respect to absence of endeavoring. Indeed, words just gotten away me. What’s more, I couldn’t bear the possibility of not being enamored with her equitable on the off chance that she said no. Along these lines, I concluded that it was better for this relationship to be a restricted road sort of adoration. It suited me fine and dandy. Most parts of this passage aren’t valid. I needed Zodwa* in my arms. I needed to spend whatever is left of my existence with her. I needed her everything to myself and myself alone. Try not to ask me what I would do with her on the grounds that honestly I didn’t have even an inkling. Try not to pass judgment on me. I am endeavoring to recount a romantic tale here.
At some phase when I was doing Standard Four, I contrived what I thought was an ideal arrangement which will isolate Zodwa* from her companions and after that outcome in an incidental gathering among me and her – simply both of us. The arrangement was entirely straightforward. It went this way – after the Class Prefect had settled on the cleaning obligation list for the week and stuck it on the divider; I would sneak back to my class after school and change it ensuring that Zodwa* was isolated from her gathering of companions. The stupendous thought was that she will be deserted amid the classroom cleaning business making an ideal unintentional gathering among me and her. Great.
As far as it matters for me, I will likewise release my companions without me. When everybody had vanished with the exception of the cleaning group, I would complete a recce to fulfill myself that all was clear. I would then leave the school and cover up in the brambles a couple of meters away. I would hold up in expectation. The holding up period was never squandered as I rehearsed my lines. Something like this… Hawu Zodwa* yini uhambe wedwa namhlamnje? Ngicela ukukuphelezela. (For what reason would you say you are without anyone else today? May I go with you home? The thing is Zodwa* was a brilliant young lady. When I rose up out of the shrubberies, she would go first… hello we-Walter uyazi uMama wakho ukuthi ula (Hey, Walter does your Mom realize you’re still here?) – I would murmur something while my heart was siphoning quicker and quicker. At the same time, I would sweat as if it was raining inside my shirt. I would lose my voice quickly. While endeavoring to recoup, Zodwa* would be a kilometer away all alone. Ya right, impeccable arrangement my foot!!! The scene laid out here re-played itself again and again until the point that we completed grade school.
At secondary school, in spite of the fact that my certainty was up, regardless I wanted to lay my hands on Zodwa*, some way or another it never occurred. It appears she became quicker than me since she all of a sudden had a beau. I was crushed. Regardless, we were great companions. Despite everything I adored her, yet no formal methodology was ever constructed. I was devoured by dread of the obscure.
When we completed secondary school, she may have dated 10 distinctive folks. There were bits of gossip that she had officially dedicated premature birth multiple times when we finished Matric.
I lost contact with Zodwa* after Matric. I met her just once in 1999 at the Eshowe taxi rank while I was visiting a portion of my companions. She was a changed lady. She was presently darker and the gleam of magnificence in her eyes had vanished. She just resembled another conventional young lady. I later discovered that she had gotten the lethal infection, HIV/Aids.
In my Witness/Echo segment distributed in 2003 I composed in this way about Zodwa*: “It is presently history that I never drew nearer to Zodwa*. Today, Zodwa* is a piece of our new type of big names, prominently known as People Living with HIV. She has been living with HIV for a long time. Her two youngsters passed on as of late because of HIV/Aids. Dissimilar to numerous other individuals living with HIV, Zodwa* was not assaulted. She had intercourse with an assortment of accomplices and in the process gotten the illness.”
In 2013, when I went to Eshowe to cover a stepsister who had kicked the bucket of Aids, I enquired about the whereabouts of Zodwa*. Unfortunately, I was advised to investigate the superb piles of Mpehlela – “bring down your eyes and recognize a white gravestone – that is Zodwa*’s grave.” Apparently she had passed on a couple of years after our last shot experience. Farewell Zodwa*. I will always love and miss you. Zodwa* was the best love of my life. An adoration more noteworthy for being unfulfilled.