THE STORY OF US

Wednesday, June 08, 2016




People always tell us that we're not supposed to fret about love. If it's meant to be, it will be. If you love something let it go or whatever that saying is. This is a story about all of that.

When I think about the person I was in my very late teens and early twenties I can't help but cringe. I was awkward, insecure, shy and I dressed terribly. Embarrassing. I mean, I embarrassed myself. This awkward, embarrassing phase of my life was also when I met Regan.

I was working at a clothing store for middle-aged women in Cavendish Square. It wasn't a cool, edgy store at all. There was a whole lot of khaki and mom jeans. Back in the day (before social media was the beast we know it to be today) it was quite normal for the following sort of thing to happen in malls:

Regan was/is a DJ and he was playing (djing? Mixing? Wrecking the decks? What do the cool kids call it these days?) at a club in town. In order to promote this event, he would hand out flyers and complimentary tickets to cool kids (aka not me) in malls. This one particular day I was stock taking and chatting away to the girl I worked with when Regan walked into our tiny little shop. I don't know if he knew how utterly out of place he looked in this shop for unfashionable middle-aged women but that's not the point.

He started talking (if you've met Regan you'll know why his voice threw me a bit) and I immediately turned around. I saw this smiling, dimpled face with the super gruff voice and whatever he was selling I was buying 2 of.

We gleefully accepted the pre-offered complimentary tickets to his gig and I rounded up my two best girlfriends and made a plan to go clubbing - nothing was spontaneous at this stage of life. Now you should also know that Regan did not introduce himself, there were 3 names on the lineup and as I was (and remain to not be) a fan of deep house, I had no idea who was who.

Off we went to the clurrrb, gussied up like goddamn show ponies, determined to make an impression. At least that was my only goal for the night. Well, it turns out I shared that goal with about 100 other girls in Cape Town because the venue, Longkloof Studios, was packed to the rafters with pretty girls looking for attention. Needless to say, I abandoned my mission and got white girl wasted instead.

Fast forward a couple of months, same story, but this time I actually chatted to Regan and it turned out that he lived a stone's throw from where I lived! Kismet!

This process repeated itself for a few months but it wasn't meant to be. Tears!

I went to Japan. Came home. Went to  Norway. Came home.

It was now 10 years later.

I was back from Norway. Living at home with my folks. Starting a new job. No car. No social life. No sign of this improving.

I used to take the train to work every day. I'd leave my parents house. Plug in my headphones. Walk to the station. Blast Pantha du Prince. Try to forget the world existed.

Then one day, I saw Regan on the station. I glanced his way and smiled but my eyes said to stay away prick. We repeated this strange exchange every morning for a couple of weeks.

Then my headphones (and phone) were stolen and I had no protection from the outside world. And by outside world, I mean Regan and his dimples.

I was forced to talk to him.

Ok, I wasn't forced. But Metrorail'sconsistently late trains meant prolonged periods on the platform as if I didn't speak to him it would have been beyond odd. Also, did I mention the dimples?

After a couple more weeks of awkward (read: embarrassing) flirting on public transport, we finally went for a drink. And have been totally obsessed with each other since.

Kind of. Regan will deny being obsessed with me but he definitely is.

Something I often think about is how our lives veered off in radically different directions. In that 10 year gap we dated other people, we experienced amazing moments and awful things, we were literally separated by continents. We did not communicate at all. And yet, quite soon after we went for those drinks, we knew.

I feel like my heart and Regan's heart was probably the same heart in a past life. Our love is comforting, friendly and passionate without being dramatic. He's my very best friend and while I may have lived a life without him, I never want to do that again.

This is our story.

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