Life is good, sweet, fun, happy, sad, ugly, beautiful… you name it. At some point, we all get to taste that bitter slice of life. Some more than others. To others, it’s bitterness all the time, like me although, I rather choose to ignore it and act “natural.” A smile here and there you know, just like everybody else. Here is a fun fact though, you are not unique. Yeah, you are pretty much average, let me prove it to you.

Meet Osbourne. He’s a young man in college, very hardworking. He’s got college accommodation on campus very convenient and a Mesho. It’s a room of two. Not gonna bore you with his life story, he is a pretty standard boring guy who minds his own business, but just this one particular day in his life, that’s why we are here, oh I should mention he has some social anxiety issues like you and me.

It’s Father’s day and they don’t have classes. Knowing this, he pulled a “trans mbe mbe mbe” the previous night and slept around 5 AM. In his defense, exams are within two weeks’ time. Waking up at 11 AM still in bed like all normal people, he checks his phone. He’s got two notifications. He opens the WhatsApp and oh wow! One is from the class group, the other however are four emojis with little love icons in the eyes. Nothing wrong here except they are from Thandie.

Now, Thandie was a classmate for the first two years until they took different paths, worked on a couple of assignments together as a group, must be where he got her number for the WhatsApp group at that time oh and she is beautiful. Unlike Osbourne who is… well, he is just himself, let’s leave it at that. He did, however, have that minor crash on this beauty. So why the lovey-dovey emojis? Osbourne thought hard. “She must like me a lot, no way this text is too suspicious and weird, why is she being so direct, such courage, still I don’t believe this. This is probably a mistake, the famous wrong parking, damn it!!”. You can imagine the panic that was brewing in Osbourne’s head, all the while staring at his phone.

After an eternity of thinking, he decided to click the text and what do you know, these lovey-dovey emojis were Thandi’s reply to a meme that Osbourne had posted last night. Yeah, no kidding, except now he’s got another problem. You see, he is going into a further panic like “damn it! now there will be a blue tick, am I supposed to reply again to this? How do you even respond to emojis? Do I reply with thumbs up emoji or a hie? If I reply a conversation might follow and am not ready for that, damn it, but then leaving it alone is just rude, but come on, it’s just a response to a meme, it’s the same as clicking like on Facebook, right? Plus haven’t talked to her in a while, never did talk, to begin with….aarrrgh! you know what, to hell with this! am not doing anything?”.

And so, our dearest Osbourne locked his phone and lay back in his bed feeling confused and angry for no reason. It was close to lunch so he had a better rush to the cafeteria before too many people. He really liked avoiding a queue, so a quick face wipe and teeth brushing, he left for the cafeteria. He usually goes with his mesho but he is not in the room. It’s however, a Friday so no questions there.

You need to understand that like the majority of people, leaving his room is not his favorite things, his room is his kingdom. Well, half kingdom since there’s a roommate but still. So, the way to the cafeteria is a long corridor, with no bends what so ever. I have never liked corridors like that and neither should you. So with a white plate in hand walking to the café seemed like an eternity. The corridor seemed to be getting longer and longer… and then it happened. Four female creations coming from the opposite direction (from the café apparently). More panic obviously “time to devise a plan, those girls are blocking the entire corridor so what now? Do I move to the edge or be macho and keep walking right in the middle? No that’s not right, lemme move to the edge.

Wait, who is, oh no no no no, that’s Thandie on my side of the corridor!!, okay keep calm, okay pretend to be looking at the phone, unlock god damn it! Why did I put such a long password? I need to find a corner and disappear there, but I have a plate in my hand it will be obvious flight, {they’re getting closer} no one I know is coming behind me either, damn it, there is no choice I have to move on!

Okay, here is plan B: look down, look left, look right, catch a glimpse of where these girls are and keep moving and at the right moment just as we are passing one another I will look directly at Thandie and say “bho bho”, then this nightmare will be over!

Well, you can imagine, Osbourne’s legs got a little heavier with each step he felt like he was going to fall over. Suddenly, he was very aware of each of his footsteps, when did walking become so hard? Regardless, the plan was working, closer and closer he got. After walking for another eternity, the perfect moment arrived. Thandie who was on her phone as well, suddenly looked up just as Osbourne was looking up, eyes interlocked, the time was now, and then, “bho—”, before who could finish, Thandi was also in the middle of her own “bho—“, and the two “bho bho”s clashed, said at the same time. One of the other girls must have let out a gigglish laugh. What kind of a nightmare is this..?!!

What now, his perfect plan had been ruined.   As the girls’ gang walked on, Osbourne also walked on, but at this point he could give anything to take it all back, no to be invisible, no to be in his room, bottom line he was not feeling so good.

Social Anxiety can be a real b….

To be continued….




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