Chapter 3 🌱🌲🌳🐩🐕🦁🐯🦁🏞
Mandisa – When There is Love, There Is No Room for Fear
Maybe I’m scared because you mean more to me than any other person. You are everything I think about, everything I need, everything I want. – Unknown
1st of December it was a gala dinner at the headquarters, the board members had decided to bring together everyone who was involved in the initial stage of the project to celebrate the first milestone before going to the next stage. Me and Michael went together as dates since we were both still single. My project was done but, so was bumping into Mxolisi in the building and working with Michael. Within a year a had achieved what I had never dreamt of. A year was enough to give me exposure to the giant firms around Johannesburg, I had other projects coming up but none of them included working with Michael. So yes, you can say I was excited about the future and bit sad that my time with Michael was coming to an end.
Michael: “So, how does it feel that your last Phase in the project have been approved and the construction companies they gonna get started soon”
Me: “You know a year has gone by and I still cannot believe everything I have achieved this year alone”
Michael: “Well, there is more projects coming your way, the company is releasing these junior Architects as they were contractors as well, need to hire them, they can work under you”
Me: “I will talk to them, next week I also have meeting with government representatives, they are about to roll out clinic and Home affairs project nationwide and they are looking for an Architect but they want me to have registered company before our first meeting”
Michael: “That’s easy, go to the bank, they will do company registration for you”
Me: “Great, I didn’t know about that”
Michael: “Now you know, they can also do BEE certificate for you”
Me: “Michael, thank you so much for everything you have done for me, I really appreciate it”
Michael: “You welcome, all I saw was a talent not being exhibited to the world”
Me: “Thank you, it is just sad that our journey has come to an end”
Michael: “Who said that”
Me: “I’ve accomplished my part here and…”
Michael: “Oh, and here I am thinking that we are friends”
Me: “mmmm I guess we will catch up every now and then but it won’t be the same as working together”
Michael: “Do you need company this weekend?”
Me: “Are you about to invite yourself to my place?”
Michael: “No, I will invite myself next week, but this weekend; let’s go camping, this past year have been hectic for both of us and we need a weekend gateway and I can’t think about anything better than camping”
Me: “I need more sleep”
Michael: “And you will have peaceful sleep there”
Me: “So you need a company?”
Michael: “Yes, I am actual asking, that’s if you are doing nothing this weekend besides sleeping”
Me: “So, we are going there as friends right”
Michael: “Mandisa, come on,”
Me: “Okay, send me everything I need for camping now, I will pass by hypermarket”
Michael: “Don’t worry about that, I have already packed everything we need”
Michael: “Yes, your Uber is here, see you tomorrow”
Friday morning Michael came to pick me up with his old Ranger then we left to Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.
Michael: “Hey you, how are you this morning?” He said after I got into the car.
Me: “I am good and you “
Michael: “I am fine, do you enjoy hunting?”
Me: “Where are we going again?”
Michael: “To Sabi, tomorrow we will go hunting”
Me: “I don’t even know what people mean when they say they are going to hunt, are we going to slaughter animals in cold blood, or use guns or we just going to give them an injection, or maybe a trap”
Michael: “You are very funny, don’t worry, I will teach you”
Me: “I never killed an animal before, not even a chicken”
Michael: “We will do other things if you are not comfortable, I just want to spend the weekend with you”
Me: “Oh” Our eyes locked together in a single loop, I felt something so intense, my knees felt so weak, I was about to lose myself when he suddenly looked away as if I he was defeated.
We arrived at Sabi Sabi around 1pm, it was a gravel road with the speed limit of 20km/h because of the animals. We were not doing lot of talking, it was as if his mind was suddenly occupied. When we got to our spot we started putting up our tents and around about 6pm we made the fire for braai, we prepared our dinner while having some ciders we had bought on our way. When the food was ready we went and ate at Michael tent as it was getting chilly outside even with the fire we had.
Me: “I need to go to my tent”
Me: “You don’t want to sleep?”
Michael: “I do but not now, let’s chill a bit”
Me: “Okay cool”
Michael: ” May I ask you something?” He said while moving close to me.
Michael: “Is our friendship working for you?”
Me: “Why do you ask? It is working”
Michael: “Okay, let me rephrase, can I kiss you?”
Me: “That’s not rephrasing”
Michael: “Can I ” I nodded, then he moved closer to me, then we kissed. After that kiss, it was silent in the tent, I was still feeling his soft lips and I needed more. I could see that he wanted me to say something but I wanted him to resume kissing me.
Michael: “Please say something”
Me: “Kiss me again” I whispered, then he moved more closer to me, we kissed, it was getting hot, I took off my vest while he took off his shirt.
Well, yes, we did sleep together that evening and sex was different but great. Afterwards he opened the tent from the top and we just lied there not talking, staring at the stars and the full moon. I wasn’t sure if he got what he expected but myself was fully satisfied.
The next morning, I woke up at his tent, he was already awake and that’s when it hit me hard, that’s when I realised that it wasn’t a dream.
Michael: “Morning, what’s up with confused face”
Me: “I am not sure if it was a dream or not, or if this is still a dream, but I have to ask, did we?”
Michael: “Did we what? Are you okay?”
Me: “Yes, I don’t know, but did something happened last, did we get naked together?”
Michael: “No, we didn’t” He said with a convincing face.
Me: “Okay I’m sorry, forget that I asked” I said while getting up, I started unzipping the tent to go out then he grabbed my hand and pulled me back.
Michael: “Come on, I am messing up with you, we did and it was great and I hope I speak for both of us” I took a deep breath before responding.
Me: “Okay, I have to go to my tent”
Michael: “Please don’t go”
Me: “I don’t deal well with awkward moments”
Michael: “Well we are two adults here, and we won’t have to deal with some awkward moments if we talk about it”
Me: “Okay, you talk and I will listen”
Michael: ” I am in love with you Mandisa”
Me: “You what? You cannot be in love, you just cannot”
Michael: “But, I am”
Me: “Michael, you know I am done with love”
Michael: “I am me, I am not him”
Me: “I am sorry, but I don’t wanna fall in love”
Michael: “I love you, when I first met you, all I wanted was to know you better, everything I have done so far was that I could know you better”
Me: “Please stop”
Michael: “It is just the two of us, tell me that you don’t feel the same, tell me that last meant nothing and you felt nothing for me, tell me that it is all in my head then I will stop and never bring it up ever again “
Me: “You know me Michael, you know that I am a mess, you saw me this past year trying to pick myself up from failed relationship, you saw what happened”
Michael: “It is crazy, but that’s what made me fall in love you”
Me: “I am now over my ex and everything is going well for me, I don’t want to go back to these days”
Michael: “Do you feel the same about me or not”
Me: “I do, but ” I said with tears running on my face.
Michael: “You scared and I get that, I love you and I want to grow old with you”
Me: “Damit, I love you too” my own word surprised me, I had fallen in love with him few months after meeting him but I had promise myself that whatever I was feeling for him was going to fade away in time but there I was in the tent admitting my love for him.
Michael: “You think I am gonna hurt you or change on you”
Me: “Do you blame me”
Michael: “Not really, I need you Mandisa, I love you, I have to marry you”
Me: “We had sex and you talking about marrying me, is that sex talking?”
Michael: “No, this is me speaking about how I feel about you and where I see us tomorrow”
Me: “I need some air” I opened the tent and stepped out, it was a beautiful morning with all the green around us, the air was different from the one in Johannesburg, the birds were singing. Few minutes later Michael joined me.
Michael: “Okay Mandisa, it is correct to say we have been together for a year now, we were just both cowards to admit how we feel to each other, we don’t need another year to know each other”
Me: It is beautiful, I wish I can wake up to this aroma every morning”
Michael: “it is beautiful but come on, let’s talk about this”
Me: “I am black and you are white”
Michael: “Ouch, I cannot change my skin colour and my skin colour doesn’t make me less man than you deserve. My love for you it has nothing to do with your skin colour Mandisa, when I look at you I see beautiful and intelligent woman, someone I want to have children with and build something extraordinary with. I love you to an extent that I can even move to your hood that you can stop seeing my skin colour “
Me: “I cannot be in love again, I am too weak for love
Michael: “You are not”
Me: “People change, they become a stranger and their love fade away, the thing is there is always someone better out there”
Michael: “My instinct towards you is to protect you, I don’t want to ever see you hurting, I dream about you, about us happily married, not once have I ever dream of us having a painful ending. Let me ask you this: do you feel anything for me outside our friendship”
Me: ” I do and it scares me”
Michael: “We can be happy together. You know what will make you happy and for me is having you around. What do you feel for me? be honest”
Me: “Okay, your presence makes me happy, sometimes I can’t think straight when you are around, when you are not then I am overwhelmed with sadness, but again, when you are around I get scared, scared of the known, scared to lose you as a friend and because I don’t want to lose you, I oppress every intimacy feelings I have for you, there you have my truth” I said, then walked away from him
Michael: “I am scared too, let’s get scared together, lets building our legacy together, yeah let’s get married and ride with the wind”
Me: “Come on, we known each other for how long”
Michael: “A year and that’s enough time to know someone”
Me: “Okay, my proposition is that we date and see where it goes”
Michael: “Getting married is not going to stop us from dating”