Palesa, I thought of you today.

I thought of you today.

It was on this day, ten years ago that you came to say goodbye.

You stood in my mother’s room and told her that you didn’t want to go to Mpumalanga, that you wanted to stay in Joburg. You ended up in Mpumalanga anyway.

You sent me an SMS on Christmas day, you wished me a merry Christmas, told me you loved me and that you would see me in grade 9. It was a fool proof phone, you would come back from Mpumalanga and I would come back from Zimbabwe and we would see each other in grade 9. But it didn’t work out that way.

You guys got into a head on collusion with a truck, the driver was drunk. It was Christmas day, and I was in Zimbabwe and you were in the hospital dying.

“Are you coming to the funeral?”

That’s how I found out. And when your Mom called me and asked me to give the phone to my mother, I knew something was wrong. I knew that I was going to a Funeral. I just didn’t think it would be yours.

I could never have imagined that that was the last time I was going to see you. With youth comes an ignorant invincibility. Old people die, people in soapies die,  not  children, not my best friend. For the longest time  I thought you had just gone away, that you would turn up on our door step and laugh at me for thinking you had actually died. Admittedly, there is a part of me that still believes you are going to come back.

But you won’t. That’s not how death works.

We only had 4 years together, but in those years you changed so much about me. You taught how to stand up for myself, and you taught me how to laugh. To this day, I haven’t met anyone for whom laughter comes as easily as it did to you.

I never got a chance to tell you all these things, but I was so grateful for our friendship. for the little things,  walking home from school with me,  walking to the shop with me, for singing with me (even though I was ALWAYS off key) and more importantly thank you for growing with and for dreaming with me.

I still cherish your dreams, as I do my own. You were going to be a mother, a dancer and a lawyer and we were both going to smoke, (because at 13 smoking looked like the coolest thing ever)
I wish you were here. I wish you’d had the opportunity to wear all stars to our Matric dance, I wish you could have bought your Audi TT, but more than anything I wish you were here so that we could laugh together.

You would be proud to know that I comb my hair now, maybe not as frequently as you would have liked me too, but I try. I also finally know all the lyrics to Aliyah’s “I miss you”, and every time I hear it, I think of you, and I would give anything to sing it with you one more time.

Rest easy Diva of the RCG’s,

See you on the other side.

Love always

N

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter”

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