We know that we are talking about someone who is incredibly unique, but the question raised by people is a good one, no, a vital one: who is Joy? Or should I say, who is he trying to be?
Self-image is an important aspect of personality. It is the person’s perception of himself, the way he sees himself. A person’s interpretation of the way others react to him, that is the way you want people to think of you. A personal image of how he should be.
Joy was that boy who was dedicated to his work. No one could fault him there. His work was taken seriously. Everything he did showed that he was determined and dedicated to it. Actually, not in everything; maths was that one subject he didn’t excel at. Not because it was hard, but he thought he wouldn’t make it. You can try hard to do something, but if you give it a negative attitude that is where you will get lost.
The brain absorbs information you feed it.
This Joy we’re talking about was fond of playing rugby. He didn’t just limit himself to playing rugby, but playing his best. Once he set foot on the field, nothing could stop him. Nothing could stop him with the best teammates beside him, nothing but the referee’s whistle. He was told that he could be anything he wanted to be, so he became a human bulldozer.
As time went by, Joy met a girl, Elizabeth, who was also a rugby player. As time went on, the relationship between them became well-developed. No one suspected a thing because he was a secretive person. Joy spent time mostly with his friends; rugby was his second home. His life was staged. None of his friends knew that he had an affair, even better, that he was dating. He was known to be afraid of girls; that’s what he wanted people to think.
The truth behind the scenes was that he had been in relationships before, it’s just that he didn’t want his friends to know about it. You know how boys are; they will be asking if you had sex with your dates. It’s just the way it goes. Not because he broke up with them, but because their parents had to move to other places.
Today you see her, tomorrow she’s preparing to leave you behind; it’s life. But this time he couldn’t hide their affair because Elizabeth was a big-mouthed person. She told everyone about their affair, but that didn’t bother him because the truth has its own way of coming out.
This affair was so special that they spend most of the time together. I guess they loved each other. When we mention love we start another complicated topic: what is love? This is one hell of a question with different answers, and none of them are wrong. It goes according to people’s perspective. It is intangible; it cannot be seen, and we only see its action, but how do we know if it truly is love? It is multifaceted. People says it comes before marriage and others says it comes after marriage.
The love I’m talking about is the kind of love that puts two people together and they end up sharing conjugal rights. Their love was just like a train that has gained momentum for no one to stop. It was too fast for one to stand in front of it unless he/she wanted to join his/her ancestors.
If this love was so powerful what would happen when it ended? If it was possible to end. This couple trusted each other with everything. The question is, what would they do if they had to meet obstacles? How would one react to the situation?
Life isn’t a walk in the park; sometimes we face challenges. Their love was to be tested by people who want to see their relationship come to a comma, an item that separates two things.
Joy was told that Elizabeth was cheating, he didn’t ask with who. He said nothing because he knew what kind of people they were. Instead he laughed. People can’t attack what they don’t understand. If you don’t tell people who you really are, it will be difficult for them to plan for you.
As for Elizabeth, she was told that they saw Joy with another girl, and what she did was confront him. Trust in many relationships fails because they are obsessed with trying to please the expectations of society, which leads them to lose their purpose in love.
“Hey babe, I heard that you cheating,” she said.
“And who told you that?”
“My friends did, they told me that you were with another girl this morning.”
“I can’t believe you’re taking everything they say seriously.”
“No, I’m just telling you what I heard.”
He paused and an unpleasant smile crossed his face, “believe what you want to believe, you’re on your own.”
“So they are telling the truth?”
He left her there.
Standing in front of a car doesn’t make it yours. You see people promise each other heaven and hell. Even in Sesotho there’s a saying, “Se sa feleng se a hlola [There’s always an end to something].” We should prepare ourselves because every journey has its destination; some of them reach an end or shelf life. What a pity for such a beautiful thing to come to its conclusion. Trust is like a glass: once broken it can’t be fixed.
The only person Joy was open to was Reneilwe, the former principal’s daughter. She too didn’t know that she was the only one Joy shared things with.
“Hey, how are you doing?” Reneilwe says.
“Not that good,” he said.
“What’s wrong man?”
“My girlfriend thinks that I’m cheating.”
Joy looked up, “Don’t think of anything stupid,” he hesitated, “I’m scared.”
“Scared of what, that she might leave you?”
“No, I’m scared that she might leave me and as they always do, blame boys for everything.”
“So what you going to do now?”
Joy flashed a hint of a smile before answering, “I tried to tell but…”
“She insisted, so I had to agree with everything she said.”
“What you telling me is that you told her that you’re cheating?”
“Well, I tried to convince her but she didn’t listen.”
“So what if she leaves you?”
“Maybe I have to set her free. Sometimes you do the right thing, and then totally regret it,” he said.
Time passed and a new girl visited same street as Joy’s. Joy went to her and they had a little conversation.
“Hey dear, how you doing?” Joy said.
“I’m doing fine.”
“I’m Joy and you are?”
“Okay Keletso, since you’re always alone. You can come hang out with me. I am with my friends.”
“Are they boys?”
“No, right now I am with my female friends and my little sister, maybe you can find someone to keep you company.”
“Okay, I’ll see if I will come.”
Keletso showed up and Joy introduced her to the other girls, including Elizabeth, “Girls, Keletso needs a friend,” Joy said. But none of them showed interest. Then Joy had to talk to her as he was the one who called her out. Later that day Elizabeth called him.
“What was that all about?”
“What was what about?”
“Don’t play dumb with me, you know what I’m talking about.”
“No I don’t.”
“I’m talking about that little girlfriend of yours.”
“That’s a friend, not what you think.”
“A girl friend?!”
“Yeah, is there a problem? You have boys as friends and I never accused you of cheating.”
“You not even ashamed of it you even introduced her to me.”
Joy was trying to catch his breath, sucking air in little gasps. He couldn’t think of anything to say. A man of few words. He smiled.
“Share the joke; you think this is funny, neh?”
“No, actually I heard enough of this.”
“What are you talking about now? Are you trying to…”
“Shut up!” Joy blurted, his tone froze the blood in her veins, “You don’t care about what I think, I’m… I’m…” his voice cracked.
“But,” she was trying to talk.
“You making a noise,” he said.
That day she didn’t expect what was coming for her. Joy’s words cut through her body like a razor, leaving her in a state of shock.
“I have had enough. It’s my time to speak now. I tried my best to make you happy but all you do is accuse me of doing something I am not.”
People change their minds all the time. Sleep brings a different world when you wake up, who was he to think that he wouldn’t change his mind.
Their conversation took a different direction. Everyone was nursing their own commotion they were feeling within themselves, but none of them said anything to the other. Their hearts took them where they didn’t expect. Eyes wandered everywhere except to each other.
That was the last time he ever heard of her. The love train was an increasing distance between them. What I’m telling is the truth because I am that boy called Joy . She was always on my mind. She even popped in my dreams. It felt as if my heart was ripped off my chest. I wanted to erase her from my memories, but everyone kept on reminding me about her including my mother.
“Joy, where is my daughter-in-law?” she would say. I didn’t know what to say to her.
The one thing I regret the most was taking her virginity, as everyone thought it was the other way around. You hear people encouraging you by saying everything will be fine. How can you be fine with this? The problem is that we let it hang over our minds. I wished I could reach a stage where I could control it instead of it controlling me.
There’s no one who can know how you feel by looking at someone who is suffering. It doesn’t make you feel their pain. That is an honest truth because no person can feel the pain without experiencing it first. In love, don’t be proud.