“Hey Dave, how are you? Is tomorrow still open for you 😀?” This message came through from Rokela at 4:44PM, Monday 15 December. Eight hours later, almost to the minute, Rokela is dead.
Rokela and I dated in ’94. She was always smiling, laughing, friendly. Our relationship couldn’t last; I was battling with my sexuality.
We drifted apart in ’94 until Facebook connected us recently. I sent an invitation and Rokela accepted. We had not exchanged a word in 20 years, until last week, when she mailed to say she was in Cape Town, with her daughter Katija.
We made plans to meet up. Tuesday 16 December – the Day of Reconciliation – seemed so perfect to catch up after 20 years, to start our friendship afresh.
At 4:44PM on Monday, Rokela sent me a message and an address to collect her on Tuesday at 3PM.
“Hi. Rokela’s in Groote Schuur. Was in a car accident this evening. Katija is ok.” – a message exactly seven hours later, at 11:44PM…and fifty-nine minutes after that, the news Rokela had died from her injuries: “I’m so sorry. Rokela passed away.”
I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know what to do for Katija, and Charisse who sent the messages. What about the family? Who is comforting them? What must I do? What must I say? What must I feel? HOW do I feel? How do I open up my heart and let the pain of Rokela’s death flood into me, like humans should? God! I’m making this all about me!
Rokela! Please tell me this is a cruel joke! Tell me you’re ok! How can you be dead – I spoke to you just a few hours ago – how can you possibly be dead??? I don’t understand!
Please! Make this not be the reality we have to endure! How do we undo all this? PLEASE! TELL ME!!! Tell me how there is the passage of TWENTY YEARS OF SILENCE until we get a few precious hours to catch up and then just like that, you’re gone forever??! How is that OK? In which circle of Hell was this cruelty dreamt up???
© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.