Nine – Tuesday, 14 June 2016
It’s only after I’ve showered and dressed that I notice I’m the only one in the flat this morning. I keep forgetting that Wehann and his housemates have classes and I am the only loser doing nothing with my life. I spend the morning on the couch watching TV. I regularly check my phone for new messages, but there are none. I try to phone André, but it keeps ringing and ringing. He’s either busy or he doesn’t want to talk to me. I try not to think of it too much. Perhaps he just needs some space to breathe.
Around lunchtime I start to feel boxed in. Against my better judgement I get ready to roam the streets. It’s gorgeous outside. I’m amazed at the beauty of the university town every time I go outside. It’s so colourful and vibrant. The fresh mountain breeze soothes my soul and I feel energized. For this moment my worries are washed away and I’m bathed in calm. Not too long into my walk, I find myself at a small café. I can’t make out the name but it seems welcoming, so I head inside. I’m seated by a attractive African waitress. Without looking at the menu I order a latte. She smiles at me and bustles away to fulfil my order.
The afternoon passes slowly as I remain at the café. I realise I forgot my cell at Wehann’s house, but I can’t find the energy to fetch it. I’m too comfortable where I am. I love watching the hordes of people who come and go; people of all ages, backgrounds and race. I wonder what happiness and devastation each person holds?
It’s nearing dark when I finally pay my bill and leave the café. Every ten meters or so I stop to admine a tree or a squirrel. The trees reminds me of my childhood and my heart clenches. I’d love to have that innocence again.
Wehann is livid when I arrive. I shrink back at his anger, even though I knows it’s because he cares. “I was worried, Louise! Fuck, you could have WhatsApped me!”
I offer a small apologetic smile and his anger deflates. Wehann pulls me into a tight hug, his arms around me for longer than strictly appropriate. “Don’t disappear like that again,” he mutters into my hair.
I nod and snuggle into the hug.
Ten – Wednesday Evening, 15 June 2016
“Come on, Louise.”
I snuggle deeper into my blankets so that I’m covered except for my toes. “No.”
“I said no.” I pull my toes under the covers as well.
The bed dips as Wehann leans onto it to shake my shoulder. “Please?”
I groan into my pillow. “But it’s cold outside,” I whine.
The bed shakes with laughter. “It’s 23 degrees.”
“It’s late?” I try next. I sit up and stretch, a yawn slipping from my lips.
“Louise, it’s not even seven yet.” His voice is deadpan. “Besides, it’s Little Saturday. We have to go out.”
I give up. I sit up properly and glare at Wehann. “I love my bed, okay.”
He rolls his eyes. “It’s our guest bedroom. Technically the bed is mine.”
I flush at the thought. “What do you have planned?” I ask as I pull my hair into a ponytail. My walk yesterday has left me refreshed and relatively happy.
Wehann sits down on the edge of my bed with a victorious smile. “The guys and I want to go to Aandklas for a drink. You’re coming with.”
“Fine, just give me a moment to get dressed.” Wehann stays seated on the bed. I frown and shove him. “Go!” I laugh. He gets up and leaves the guest bedroom. What a dork.
I get up and move to my suitcase since sweatpants and a t-shirt isn’t exactly pub appropriate. I pull on a pair of jeans and a nice-ish top, and I’m good to go. I glance at my phone, but still no new messages. My stomach sinks but I quickly banish any thought of my boyfriend. Tonight I will have fun!
Ami loops her arm through mine the moment I leave my room. I feel a bit uncomfortable, but for some reason I feel like I need to do this. So I smile and keep my head low as our group of six take to the streets. The walk to Aandklas is filled with laughter and jokes, just guys being guys. Ami laughs every now and then but it seems strained. I want to ask her about it, but it’s not exactly my place. So I watch Wehann and how he interacts with his friends, and my heart warms. He seems so happy to be with them. He’s happy where he is in life. I won’t ruin this for him, I decide.
But luck has never been on my side.
Eleven – Thursday early AM, 16 June 2016
“Where’s Wehann?” I mumble from my position on the pavement. I’m shivering and tired, but Wehann is nowhere in sight. No one is, to be fair, except his one housemate whose name I’ve forgotten. Again.
The guy shrugs and plops himself down next to me. His foot slips and he kicks me in the shin. I’m too sloshed to care much. “He probably went to Ami’s,” he says with a smirk.
I groan unintentionally. “They really love each other, don’t they?” I grumble. I feel sick so I lean forward and rest my head on my knees. If the world could just stop spinning . . .
“Of course they do, I mean have you seen them?” he exclaims with a boisterous laugh. “Plus the sex must be great. They go at it all the time, like bunnies.”
I don’t want to hear about them having sex, so I ask the first thing that comes to mind. “Do you have a bunny?”
There’s an awkward pause. “You mean a partner? No, I don’t.” He laughs again, and it manages to make me feel a bit better. “I don’t believe in casual relationships.”
A buzzing fills the air and he pulls out his phone. “Yes? This is Jako. Yes, Louise is with me. Yeah, sure, whatever. Okay bye.” He puts his phone away.
“That was Ami making sure you are safe,” Jako offers when I don’t say anything. My shoulders sag a bit. I’d hoped it was Wehann worrying about me, but I guess not.
“We should get going, you have class in the morning,” I decide. I’m exhausted, yet some part of me doesn’t want to go back. Not yet, at least. I don’t want to be greeted by an empty, cold room and a phone with no new messages. Fuck, I miss André. Does he even miss me?
“I’m chilled,” Jako says. He notices my shivering and shrugs out of his hoodie. He hands it to me. “Here, before you freeze to death.”
I accept the hoodie and pull it over my head. I feel better immediately and I smile at Jaco. “When are we going back?”
Jako is up within seconds. He stands before me and offers me a hand up. I accept. His hand is warm, and he keeps mine in his for a while, absentmindedly. “We’re about half an hour away, if we walk slow,” Jako guesses, and yawns.
That night I go to sleep feeling better than I have in weeks.