First Love Never Dies

“Don’t let me fall”

“Don’t let me crash”

“I never thought you would leave me alone”

“Don’t let me fall”

“Don’t let me crash”

“Don’t let me die”

Quite a country melody that I love! But for this summer exceptionally, it has been playing on a loop in my room.

As you can guess from the lyrics… Yes! My heart has been broken now for over 66 days 06 min 41 seconds, to be exact.

Are you curious to know by whom? Aaah Yeah! You were thinking it’s probably a woman. Of course it’s her!

I introduce you Brook Weber, a girl like no other.

Our first meeting was last fall at the Home of Excellence High School in Johannesburg. She had just arrived from the United States. 

Her father is a world-class scientist with a reputation in genetics. He was to conduct animal research in South Africa, and the research would last the entire school year. 

Being close to his family, he decided to come with them to Johannesburg for the duration of the research.

This is how the destiny of the woman I consider to be my first love and the woman of my life crossed.

I must admit that with her at the beginning everything was rather difficult. Every time she looked at me, I was impressed. 

I didn’t dare to approach her. I told myself that for her I was only a young black South African, coming from a very modest family.

Even though for me she was white, blonde. She was beautiful and smelled of refinement.

Do you already imagine that she would be the superficial type? 

No! Apart from the peculiarity of her hair color, she was neither shallow nor arrogant. 

It was all these contradictory traits in her that made her unique in my eyes.

She had conquered my heart.

I couldn’t live without her. Everything made sense when she was around me.

Ever since she agreed to go out with me, one question had been nagging at me: Why me, and not the other jocks and cool guys at school? 

Not to put myself down. I was still curious about what she saw in me, Jacob Kahuzii?

To be honest, I didn’t care as long as she was with me, and didn’t take away her smile every minute. 

Believe me, those moments with her felt like an eternity, yet I still wanted more.

Like any good love story, the protagonists of our happiness soon entered the scene.

His parents did not approve of our relationship. They already had me in a box, that of young South Africans on drugs, criminals, and above all, what bothered them the most was my skin color.

I understood them on the one hand, since they didn’t know me. Despite my best efforts, I was not good enough for their daughter. So I settled for the most important thing, Brook’s love and smile.

As the school year drew to a close, his parents took the opportunity to bring him back to the United States to get us away. But she didn’t want to go back, that didn’t stop her parents, who had finally found a way to get back with her.

Beyond my grief, my biggest regret was that I didn’t get to say goodbye to her. 

She had just sent me a message and a song.

The text said, “I’m sorry, I love you. Brook”. And, the message was accompanied by that song I’ve been listening to every day since she left, “Don’t let me down.

Oh shit do I have to get up this morning? Well, I have no choice. 

Look who’s here! I was about to come and drag you into the bathroom by force. 

Hello grandma.

“Don’t forget our agreement. Academics always come first in this house. “

“Mandela said…”

Yes grandma, I know : knowledge is the greatest weapon that will change the world.

“If you don’t get that college scholarship, you’ll end up like all the young people here, either on the street or in jail.” 

I understood grandma. 

“The doorbell rings, your friend is here. You can leave. Think carefully about our conversation.”

“Dude, what is wrong with you? You ignored all my messages over the summer and you’ve been absent at the basketball court.”

“Hey man, am I talking to you?” 

Excuse me, you were saying… 

“No, never mind.”

“My uncle offered me to join his Business in Cape Town if I don’t get a college scholarship.”

“Unintentionally I overheard part of your discussion with your grandmother. “

“Does she know that a girl is the reason you are in this state.”

“Dude you better forget about her, she’s gone. You have no chance of seeing her again.”

“There’s Shizzy who’s been chasing you since preschool. She’s even ready to make you a lot of babies right now. “

He laughed.

“Man, you’re lucky! “

“Forget that white girl, I want my buddy back. “

I was silent the whole way. I didn’t know how to explain to her that for me she was more than just a girl. Although I knew several of them. 

In class I was distracted, I couldn’t go a minute without seeing her shadow behind every female gaze I passed. And with every laugh, it was her I heard. Even though she was no longer there, her ghost was present. 

At the end of the literature class, our teacher had asked us to write a book report on the story Beauty and the Beast as an assignment. 

I wish I hadn’t done it, but it counted for a lot as a major grade. 

I was also thinking about my grandmother, so it was obvious that I had no choice. 

The sound of the siren sounded. I just couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. 

As I put my things away, a voice called out to me. I could recognize it between a thousand. 

“Hi…how was your vacation?”

I turned around. I had seen right. It was indeed the one I was thinking of. 

Yes Shizzy… it was too flat, nothing interesting. What about you? 

She smiled, and said, “I went north to my aunt’s house.”

She suddenly became serious “are you sure everything is okay? “

Hesitantly, I replied, “Yes!

She insisted, “Maybe it’s because she left? “

I hurried towards the exit and answered: I’m fine, don’t worry about me.

From her face, we could see that she was not really convinced. 

Once at home, grandma was not there. Everything was silent. I instinctively walked to my room and turned on that song for the nth time. 

I needed to hear it over and over again, in truth it was the only thing I had left of her. 

“Don’t let me fall”

“Don’t let me crash”

“I’m still waiting for you where it all began”

I didn’t realize it until the sound of sleep got the better of me.

Culled from by Ali Loufouma

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