Forbidden Love

By Oreratile G. Motseosi

The day when the truth finally unfolded, that was when my worst nightmare was confirmed, she would never accept me for who I was. She told me that I was far too complicated for her understanding. “It’s just a phase, it will pass” she told me. The mother who gave birth to me, the one whom I thought, better than anyone, would understand me. She was the woman who gave me life, watched me grow, and witnessed every change that I experienced, be it physical, emotional and even spiritual.

I took refuge in her listening ear for she has always been there for me since day one. I opened up my heart for her, the deep crevices of my being I gave her full access to them. My deepest fears, I laid them before her. More than anyone I have ever trusted, I trusted her to get me, to understand that I was different. I wanted and longed for something unique.

“You are very lucky” she would say “Lucky that I have a very soft spot for all of my children to the extent that I am giving you a chance to get over this craziness. How can I ever let my beautiful daughter live insanely when she can live like a sane and normal person. I tell you some parents disown their kids over such madness, you are lucky I am not like other parents.” ‘You are only sixteen and when you grow up you will realise that in the adult world things don’t work that way.” Listening to her babbling these words made my heart shatter into a million pieces. The hope that I had, that her of all people would understand and accept me was slowly beginning to fade and only an excruciating pain took root in my heart.

In her eyes I was insane and abnormal. It was like I was the image of the little girl she gave birth to but I was not the real daughter, I was ‘possessed by some evil force’ as sometimes she liked to put it. I tried in vain to explain that I did not choose it but it chose me, I was born this way. I tried to conceal it, to hide it because deep down I sensed the rejection and scrutiny that would come with my confession and honesty.

Sometimes I thought it would have been better to die in silence. In fact I did not confess it but instead was caught in the middle of my ‘insanity’.

Mum knew my best friend Tshepo very well. On some weekends she would come for a sleep over, it was like a tradition for us. It was during one of these sleep overs that all hell broke loose. She had walked into my bedroom to find our arms wrapped around each other, lost in the amazing sensation of a passionate kiss. In deep shock, she almost hit us with the ironing board that was placed next to my bedroom door.

“What in God’s name are you two doing? What madness is this?”, she said her voice quivering with animosity. I tried to say something but the words failed to escape my lips, as for Tshepo her head was bowed down and she rubbed her hands together, probably giving a silent apology. But an apology for what exactly? Maybe we could apologies for expressing our love under mum’s roof but we could not possibly be sorry that we loved eachother. I was not in the position to do that, I could not, was it perhaps my pride, or arrogance? Or was I being foolish, risking to be disowned by my own mother. She did not see this unique love as love but she saw it as insanity.

From that day on I was not allowed to see Tshepo. Her family even moved away a month later. I never saw her again. It hurt everyday to not talk to nor see the person that I love. I spent my weekends locked inside my room. Feelings of sorrow, loneliness, worry and anger engulfed every fibre of my being. My room and bed became my refuge, there I could pour out my sorrow, my pillow was almost always tear soaked. See I did not only cry for the fact that I would never see Tshepo again but I also cried for the fact that I could never be accepted for who I was by my own mother or anyone for that matter. The future looked bleak, my kind of love would never be celebrated. It will always remain forbidden.

At the same time I was glad the truth finally came out even thought it did not come out the way I would have wanted it to.  So things remained just like that for a while. The only time mama hardly spoke to me, and when she did it was to remind me of how much of a disgrace to the family I was.I could not bring myself to say anything to her either, I cried in silence. I was angry and I felt defeated and unwanted. I finally go out of the house at the age of 19. I left for varsity. I tried to hide from myself for a while. I could not endure being frowned upon nor being talked about like I was a freak. Then I met her, the girl who stole my heart, we were in our first year together. The moment we met there was an instant attraction, I could not help but fall in love and I would not dare hide it anymore.

To this day my mother has not accepted me, however the scrutiny has eased up a little over the years, she hardly talks about it anymore. I am just glad that in the end, I have fully embraced who I am: a woman who is proudly and totally attracted to other women.

For more short stories read as the moon, the children who started the fire and or doin supi ‘or something else to be’.

There are also some pieces about acceptance namely we do not want your kind here and curiosity not always condemnation (on the freeing potential of queerness).

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