Port Elizabeth sunsets
The alarm shrieked in my ear. It was a shrill, deafening screech. It was all unnecessary of course. I was wide awake.
Near my feet lay a dozen journals scribbled in so much that the pages began to look like minefields. On them were the various plots, characters and scenes I had imagined throughout the years. I've lived in this world for sixteen long years and written for ten of them. I haven't gotten a single story published though.
Of course, these stories just waft into my head while relaxing on a summer day. I didn't do anything much. I wrote and my room was piled with the most passionate romances. Yet, some people would call it 'doing nothing'. It made sense though. All they cared about was adding more extra-curricular's to their transcript. It would help them get into University.
Yet, the debate team or the football team never had much appeal to me. It never had the deep, torrid emotions writing did. Unfortunately, there was no club for writing.
"Why don't you start one?" Kegan said as we walked to school that morning.
Kegan Madile was my best friend. A tall boy with deep ebony skin and clear russet eyes, many people would call him attractive. A lot of the girls stare at him across the hallway. A lot of them fluttered their eyelashes at him or tried to make him sit with them during lunchtime.
" Kegan, come on,"said Melissa Mendes, a pretty, voluptuous girl whose curves were envied by all womankind. "I know you want to sit with us."
I was scribbling quietly in my notebook until I got hit with a giant wave of spicy perfume. 'This will be interesting', I thought as I looked towards them.
" I'm all right if Bianca is okay to sit there," he said looking at me with his dark brown eyes. I never told you how warm I found them. Would it be odd if I did? They were like a furnace in a winter blizzard. His eyes were giving me a rather comical look. It was like he was telling me that he thought Melissa was an evil, soul-crushing dictator. I always disagreed.
"No one wants that weirdo to sit next to them. No one likes her. They like you, " she said, draping a bronzed arm on Kegan's shoulder.
Paying no attention to the giggles of Melissa's friends, Kegan pulled me closer to him. Close enough for me to smell the sweat and the fresh air and ivory soap that altogether spelt Kegan. It didn't matter much then. My green eyes filled up with tears, which soon poured down my cheeks.
I would have loved to have been praised, but all I got were insults. 'I'm not weird,' I told myself. I was not. Or at least, I didn't think I was.
"Why don't you just apologise to Bianca?" I heard Kegan say.
I didn't dare look at him. His voice sounded loud and harsh so I knew he was angry. Although Kegan was fun to be around, his temper was explosive.
" Okay, Kegan chill."
"You apologise and then I will, " he said, tightening his embrace of me.
" Okay fine, Melissa finally said as she rolled her eyes. "I'm sorry Bianca." Then she vanished. Maybe apologising wasn't her strong suit.
" Hey", he said wrapping his arms around me. "I love you okay. I love you and I'll always be your friend."
His arms were a fortress against my invading fears but my mind stretched further from reality. What if Melissa invited me to sit with her? What if every eye was on me as I entered the school?
" Look, Bianca, it doesn't matter. I've got your back. Besides, there will be a day when Melissa and her cronies look at you and realize how precious you are." My eyes sparkled at this.
"When they do, do me a favour, " he said.
" What's that?"
He then asked me to read one of my stories out to him and I did. I read about how my character; Anna, snuck out every night to meet him. I decided to call him Aaron. I thought it was a nice name. Besides, he was Jewish.
I told Kegan all the meetings, Aaron and Anna had amidst the flickering street lamps and the blanket of stars. They had to meet in secret. German girls did not date Jewish boys back then. At least, not in the open.
Kegan listened to me with an expression of interest on his face. He never liked romance novels. The cringe he always had whenever I opened books like 'Me Before You' or the 'The Notebook', always made me giggle. He hated it when we studied Romeo and Juliet for Literature. At first, I thought he'd treat me to the same expressions of disgust when he read my stories. He did not. He always told me much he loved it and begged me to write more. Sometimes I thought he was mocking me.
" Are you serious? You liked it?"
"I loved it, "
"Are you serious?" I said, beaming with an exquisite mixture of joy and pride.
" As serious as I am when I tell you that you will be the next - the next J.K Rowling", he said. "Sorry, I don't know any authors who write romance. "
" Well, you'd better learn because I will force you to read a few romances."
"Yeah, I will, " he said, " When you do your math homework."
As we walked towards class he asked me to meet him after school.
"Where are we going?" I asked, but he just rolled his eyes and went, " you'll never guess."
I never did guess all right. By the time the last bell screeched through the building we were out of there.
He drove along the roads I had travelled on my entire life. Every inch of my body spoke of happiness.
It certainly was. The clouds above us sparkled like cotton candy as the evening light turned them a soft pink. It was like something out of my stories. A few seagulls soared across the skies and into the haze of colours.
As I stepped towards the turquoise waters of the ocean, a hand held mine A hand that was rough against my skin.
"Kegan it's beautiful."
" I know, " he said. "Just like me."
I rolled my eyes as he laughed. Yes, you could say that Kegan looked really great. He towered well over six feet and had muscles bulging out of his maroon school- uniform.
" Thanks for what you did for me back there, " I whispered, while the roughness of his fingers spread out on my hand.
"What are you talking about? I don't recall agreeing to do your math homework for you."
"I'm talking about what you did for me back there. You know, when Melissa came by."
" Oh, you mean when I dealt with that fake".
"What did you call her?" I asked. People called Melissa a lot of things. Yet, those things sounded like 'hot' or 'sexy'. Not fake. Unless of course, she has had plastic surgery. Considering the size of her, it would come as no surprise.
" I called her fake, " he said. "She plays games, Bianca, with everyone. She fakes sick so she can't do her homework. She acts all nice whenever she finds a boy worthy of her attention. She's a cheap deluded brat."
" So that's why you don't like her?".
"Yeah, " he said, looking at me with those dark eyes. "She's not like you Bianca. You're real. And you're special because of it."
As the sun began to slide beyond the horizon, his hand never left mine. He told me I was real. He told me that I was genuine and precious. Yet, why didn't I feel it?