Heartbreak Café as lady of my fantasies walks out of the bar

Vusi Nzapheza Straight & 2 Beers
The writer highlights a valuable lesson of only realising what you have lost when it is gone./123RF
The writer highlights a valuable lesson of only realising what you have lost when it is gone./123RF

I never thought in my life I'd cry for a woman. It happened last week. The break-up was messy and I did not see it coming. Worse, I'd been cheating on her all the time we'd been together. All along she took it stoically and never complained.

We met three-and-a-half years ago at one of my favourite restaurants at Mandela Square in Sandton. It was love at first sight.

However, I continued to flaunt other women in front of her.

She'd flash a smile when I walked through the door and usher me and my date to my favourite table.

She'd knowingly offer me my favourite beer while giving us a moment to browse through the menu.

I did not even have to turn my head for my glass to be refilled.

We'd eye each other from across the tables and she'd flash that smile that assured me she had my back.

I only realised last week that she was a damn fine woman. Through misty eyes I realised for the first time the contours of her curvaceous African figure hugging the pants of her uniform.

Even then, she waited until I'd had fun in the company of another woman before breaking the sad news.

She pulled me aside and told me we won't be seeing each other again.

It was her last week as she had resigned to further her studies.

I didn't know whether to congratulate or curse her.

For the first time since we met, I hugged her, a little too tightly and suspiciously too long. It felt good, too.

It hit me then that I knew precious little about her. All these years she had catered for my culinary needs and I didn't even know where she stayed.

Even her colleagues knew if they welcomed and served me, she laid first claim to my table. It was an unwritten code.

She saw me with all these different women and never gave me attitude. No tantrum and no third degree. She'd help my companions with the same smile she reserved for me.

I was devastated.

Should I ask for her number? Usually, contact numbers are exchanged at the beginning of the affair, not at the tail end. But the alley cat in me couldn't resist slipping her my business card.

Selfishly, I asked who'd be serving me during my next visit.

She assured me I'd be in the good hands of any of her waitressing colleagues.

I doubt, however, that I'll ever set foot at this eatery again.

The memories would be too painful. The place would not be the same without her.

What a woman! She made me feel like I was the only patron who mattered when I walked through that door.

She knew what I wanted to eat before I asked her to recommend something and her choices always delighted my palate.

I am going to miss you so much. I apologise for not paying enough attention all these years.

I am not sure whether you know I write for a living but if you happen to be reading, you'll know this one's for you.

I wish you all the best in your next endeavour and I know that you'll make a success of it. I doubt I'll ever find another woman like you.

I am sorry that I assumed you'll always be there for me. In the famous words of former president Jacob Zuma and fellow Casanova: We will meet somewhere!

You have my number.

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