I received a DM one day, and it was from this designer I followed on Instagram. Her work was absolutely great and I wanted to model for her. One day I had dropped a comment on her post, something about wanting to model for her and she responded positively then ghosted. I had not taken it to heart and had let it go, but there she was in my DM. Ladies and gentlemen, she wanted me to model for her.

I was so happy, I was excited. Something good was about to happen for me, I could not believe it. And when the day finally came, every inch of me was happy to leave the house, on my own. I wanted to dance the whole way to the bus stop. Yes, that’s what it was for me.

Mary* was picking me up from the Eastrand mall, she was late but I didn’t care. I was breathing new air, it was absolutely fine. She arrived and we clicked immediately. We laughed a lot and it almost felt like we had known each other for a very long time. The photoshoot was happening at Maboneng and when we arrived we decided to have fun, everyone else was late, so we had our own mini shoot.

I don’t like meeting a group of new people, it makes me anxious. And I felt the anxiety creep in and a part of me was sure that it would ruin my day. It didn’t, everybody was nice and I happened to be the newbie in the group. I was meeting everyone for the very first time. We all vibed! It was absolutely awesome, I enjoyed every minute of it. End day came and the designer had planned a braai for us, free food, what a way to end the day!

We went out and listen, the food was sooooo good. The conversation was great. Those women were funny and open, I learnt so much from them that night. I also laughed way too hard. Sipping on some alcohol may have helped a little more too. The vibe was correct, to the point we did not realize that the people had started closing down the place.

Mary was taking me back home and that ride was just as fun. She started telling me about her experience in marriage. She had been married for a few months, she was unhappy and she left.

“Nobuhle, there is no reason for you to stay in a place where you are unhappy. Life is way too short for all of that. You are young, you should be seeing the world. You should be living your best life. You need to learn to choose yourself, nobody else will until you do.”

I felt that and I fought tears. We were talking too much, we got lost, twice! Then we finally arrived, I was happy until I saw X.

“Hi.”

“Hi, how are you?”

“I am fine, how was your day?”

“It was horrible.”

Right there, there it was. It was almost as though he couldn’t stand my happiness at all. The moment the joy came from any other source, it had to die. He killed it, the moment he opened that door for me his face said it all. And I knew that it was over for me. By the time I lay down to sleep, there was a dark cloud over me. The amazing day I had had, vanished. I couldn’t even cry, Mary’s voice kept ringing in my head until I drifted into sleep.