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So, there I was, sitting quietly in a quaint little restaurant enjoying a cappuccino.
At first, I didn’t notice the man talking to the waitress. Then he started walking around, inspecting every table.
Eventually he chose one in the corner. The waiter immediately placed a reserved sign on the selected table and the man was out the door.
Within minutes he returned, with a giant bouquet of red roses and a bunch of helium-filled balloons.
One of the balloons was bright red and heart-shaped, with the words “will you be mine” printed in silver letters. Again the man vanished.
About 15 minutes later he returned, this time accompanied by a young woman. The moment she noticed the roses and balloons, I realised something was amiss.
She went pale and pursed her lips as if to hold in a scream that was dying to escape. The man, however, missed the entire body conversation.
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To her credit, she composed herself and allowed the man to push her chair in as she seated herself with her back towards the excited, prying eyes of the others in the restaurant.
They interrupted their frantic, hushed conversation to order coffee but before it arrived, the woman upped and left.
The man waited, pondered, and paid the bill without having taken a sip, taking the flowers and balloons with him again. It was obvious she had said no.
A silence befell the restaurant. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the stranger. Obviously, he had dreams of building a life with this woman, perhaps travelling together, children, a partner for life.
But the dream came crashing down with one two-letter word. Now, rebuilding a house is generally a big task.
Rebuilding one’s dreams is a mammoth ask. But it’s our dreams that keep us going, that motivate us to do better, work harder, achieve more.
I think most people in the country would agree that our dreams of a new South Africa came crashing down a long time ago.
We need to rebuild that dream, and this time round ensure we make the dream a reality.