Khumbulani Mpofu
3 min readJan 3, 2022

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I took the clothes from the hangers. And some of my shoe collection, the jeans and the work clothes and some books, for company. And the t-shirts from all the different places that I had travelled to. I packed them.

The night was coming. I put it all in the bags, and stood for a bit to check that all of the t-shirts were there. They carried a memory and an aspiration, from the time that I was there at that place that I had travelled to.

And for a moment I recollected that at that time my head was full of dreams about what we could build, and the home, and the world that we were creating. For the children.

I retrieved some Kodak prints also, of the photos from the different and distant places. Pictures of all of us.

I opened the sliding door and made my way towards the only exit. And I dumped all of the load in the car. In all of the seats and the boot. I knew I couldnt come back for another load.

I turned around, towards the house and walked back in half hesitation, trying to figure out how to goodbye and see you later.

At the back of my head I had a thought that perhaps the see you later would come much later than soon. Because there was a lot to resolve, and I needed time.

As I drove away, I had Dambudzo’s opening to “House of Hunger” and Robert de Niro’s “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner” monologue in conflict. Both racing in my thoughts.

I was unsure if I was doing the right thing. I remember the scene and the violence and the aggression of it all from the year before. All of the flashbacks.

But I had committed no crime, as far as I knew, yet the commitment and covenant had broken. And I was carrying guilt.

I was swimming in a mess, and I had been party to its creation and I was a participant in that fight, defending my peace and sanity and my self-esteem. I still dont know who was wrong. And I play back the memories and moments, looking back at time.

Yet, I was kicking myself while heading towards a freedom and a revelry that I had not known in my adult years.

That freedom came at a price. It came with a lot of loss that was yet to unfold.

And a long search for self and belonging, occasionally interrupted by longing.

So here I stand, looking back, and I am as yet undefined.

The things I took, were just things. Some of them sentimentally important, but they were not the things to have, they were not important.

Love is not cotton or polyester. Yet it is the thing that gets to define us. Crazy.

Its not the diamond ring either, or any of the other jewellery and the silver iPhone. Its not the bank balance, but that helps, to give comfort and comforts. Its not the house and its not the car.

Its none of the materials.

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Khumbulani Mpofu