The boy in a blue hoodie and his friend are talking in the lift about how they will get home. The blue hooded boy mentions how he had forgotten to carry his pocket knife that morning. It was getting dark, nearly 8 o’clock and it had started to rain. They would have to walk to the rank, catch a taxi to their township, and still have another km to walk till they reach home.
I gather that they are neighbors and that they had been mugged before and have since decided to travel together.
The elevator finally reaches basement three where we all must exist out of the university and into the streets of Joburg.
For a few minutes I cluch my belongs close to me under my arm, preparing to run through the rain all the way to my flat which is one block away.
The two boys stand there in awe and with a sense of hopelessness. The one says something about an Uber and superpowers, i hear them both laugh at the desperation of their wishes, they deem them ridiculous.
Two minutes later, I watch them step into the rain and walk side by side through it like soldiers marching into a war zone .
I finally get home and get into dry comfortable clothes. An anxiety was brewing inside me. I prayed that they get home safely. But i couldn’t shake the thought of our different journeys. We walk into the university as if we all belong to the same commune or township. But the reality is that students risk their lives everyday to get to campus.
To hear that university security has been harrasing students on campus is tiring. its heavy and its draining.
The paranoia will not end, instead all throughout the day, we will thinking of ways to blend in,how to not be seen as the next victim. We will be thinking of ways to be invisible in the streets and the university. How long must we always be on guard for our own bodies?
The city is a hostile place and now along with its institutions too.