Kids, a huge part of why I took so long to meet your father was because I had experienced most of my dalliances a long, long time before then. Today, I’ll tell you about my brush with preteen romance…
I was 12 and experiencing my second real crush … His name was Shafiek and he was a 15-year-old school dropout turned mechanic with dimples to die for and a heart so beautiful I couldn’t bear it.
It was like that 90s classic My Girl but set in Cape Town:
I know he doesn’t sound like much of a teenage Lothario but bear in mind that at this age, I was trying really hard to fit in with my older half-sisters and their blossoming relationships ( a habit I’d learn to break years later when I was on the brink of turning 30).
Shafiek was sweet, a simple guy with simple thoughts and he treated me like a princess.
I remember long nights of doing nothing but talking, lying in his arms and listening to him tell me about his amazing father and his dreams for the future, whilst he rubbed my back and I fell asleep. Again, I was 12 and staying up with the older kids was not my forte at the time.
In the mornings, he’d wake me up with a gentle kiss on the forehead, telling me he was going to miss me all day before he left for work.
And that’s how life in the autumn and winter of 1998 passed us by -evenings spent at the Strandfontein Pavillion, talking in his truck; playing card games at home or double dating with my half-sister and her boyfriend.
Let’s just kiss and say goodbye …
Life as a tween moves pretty quickly and after a few months of not seeing Shafiek, I had met and fallen in love with Zunaid (even though it would take us another year before we actually started dating).
By this time, Shafiek had moved on to his ex-girlfriend and while we never saw each other again, I always hoped he was happy and loved.
In many ways, this short-lived romance of my pre-teen years formed the basis of what I wanted my forever relationship to be about: love, respect, trust and friendship.
And it did… which ultimately led me to you, my beautiful babies xx