After that night, she hated him. It took her three months to drag herself, bit by bit, out of that rut of hatred. Because the way she saw it, after all the time that they had known each other as children, it took one moment of hormonal tugging; one sordid word from the woman who wanted him, to make him cast that evil look upon her face. It burned her. Then the scar remained, revealing itself to her everytime that she looked into the mirror. Renewed loathing filled her being. Tears refused to sting her eyes; she wouldn't waste that salt on him. Not anymore. She was adamant, but still it was a struggle to fight back the waters of sadness. Her bottom lip took the brunt of it, revealing beads of red in place of simple salt water from higher up. The taste on her tongue was the same; aside from the colour, blood and tears were the same, she realised.
He wasn't her brother. Nothing tied him to her, irreverently. They weren't lovers. Love was this strange word that could so easily distort the purity of the friendship that they had cultivated since they were each less than a metre high. She supposed that such was the nature of soul connections. A knowing with certainty that the other person was a certain way, today but perhaps not tomorrow. Having an inkling of an idea that they needed to hear something said at a particular time. Or that they needed to be simply left alone. It came with time, and patience, and listening. It came with caring, because she was sure that even some married couples didn't quite get to that point. Married couples? What was she thinking, they were not a couple. They were childhood friends, thrown together at a time when innocence was the glue and adventure was the energy that grew them on the same branch of life's tree. Two unripe mango's laden with promise, and waiting only for the summer of sweetness to claim their moment in the sun; their moment of fame and glory.
It was something that everyone was entitled to: that precious time at the prime of one's life when all potential and wonders are revealed to a world that never knew of your existence. The only ones who knew were the ones who grew you to this point. With water and light and care. With tenderness. Just like he did for her, and she did for him.
And what happened then? The fork in the road. The split in their journeys. The look of disgust in his eyes. Those last words, spat out like something bitter and poisonous lingered on his tongue. And then nothing.
(Copyright Shafinaaz Hassim 2009)
Local Council By-Elections April 2017
1 hour ago