The Blood-Coated Love Story Of Arno Bansi

Two found love in the teeth of turmoil.

Moses Ukanna

6 months ago|8 min read

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In the heart of Long Street, Capetown, there lived a tall black man by the name Arno Bansi. It was 1975, and the Blacks in South Africa were more wrapped in the arms of apathy than the Negros in other African States. The Whites in Capetown and the whole of South Africa were nothing close to being friendly. Arno Bansi was without a job, but lived in Capetown (a city seen as one of the most fortunate cities in South Africa). He lived in a neighborhood dominated by light skinned people, and was treated very differently, mostly harshly.

South Africa was crude, innocent, except that the blood of some innocent Black men had soaked the land over political crisis. Arno Bansi was good looking, native, a little hairy and tall. He was an extrovert and more of a fun guy. The tall man would rather watch the Television for hours than sit down to analyze national issues, or think creatively in a bid to draft a solution to something.

Arno Bansi worked part-time at a local restaurant, the Maria's, where he gets paid just enough money to keep up with life. Although Bansi would've preferred a job that paid him gold, but settling with a middle income job seemed best for him at the moment. Most of the evenings were spent walking down from his workplace at Barnett Street, to his house in Long Street. Sometimes, he walked round his neighborhood wondering when his country would be better.

Arno Bansi was a good citizen at best. He had in his possession a national passport and was without a criminal record. He was the definition of a native African without troubles, but with the constant struggle to survive in a society dominated by the light skinned South Africans.

On March 5th 1975, Arno Bansi woke up on the right side of his bed. Usually, it was cold and hazy. The cloud was a bit dark, and water, colder than usual. It seemed like it wanted to pour heavily, but something held it to the sky. He managed to make himself a cup of coffee in one of his old glass cups, got dressed up for work, and left home just like he did every other day.

"Today seems really strange", he muttered as he shut his door on his way out of the house. At work, he felt dizzy and strangely tired, unable to perform well at the old Maria's restaurant on Bennett street. Few minutes before his usual close period from work, he left for home. It seemed like the day was birthed for his disfavour, and would be one of the worst days he had lived since the new year. Primarily, Bansi would serve the customers (who were mostly White people), and wash the dishes at work. On the day, 5th of March, he did very little and almost landed on the wrong side of many customers.

On his way home, he felt weird and decided to walk down home from a few blocks. He stepped out of the taxi 15 blocks to Long Street, and came down. As he landed his first foot on the ground, he observed how quiet the street unusually was. Strongly, he felt like taking the taxi home, but he just needed to clear up things up his head and walk it home. As he walked lonely on the street, tired and dizzy, a group of hoodlums attacked him, stealing the wallet with his passport and his golden wristwatch he purchased with savings from the last 8 months.

The hoodlums left him with nothing, and a close range gunshot to his left arm since he had no money to give, and attempted to struggle with them. Bansi was helpless on the street, almost landing his last breathe before a young lady hurriedly took him to the old Somerset Hospital in Green Point, Cape Town. Lucky for Bansi, she saw everything that happened and how he was shot. He was unconscious for days, and the lady, a beautiful blonde girl visited the hospital to make sure he was getting better by the day.

Becca Williams was a White girl. Her golden hair was one of a kind, and she had a bandwagon of admirers. She was the rich kind, but hardly proud. Becca lived a few blocks after Long Street, and all these while, she had never set her eyes on Arno Bansi. Why would a beautiful blonde girl care for man like Bansi; an African coated in "Black" skin?

After a few days, Bansi was now recovering slowly, but steadily. As he opened his eyes, he thought it to be heaven or some spiritual habitat. Seeing a beautiful girl with dark lemon eyeballs, he knew something else, something he'd not been aware of had happened. During these, Becca paid the hospital bills and particularly felt pity as no one came looking for him.

Becca lived alone in a nice apartment. It was an old-fashioned exquisite building, but seemed modern enough in that era. She had left Bansi with a note, telling him all that happened and leaving her home address. She didn't bother him with the cost of the bills at the hospital and all, she simply let him know she took care of it. Hopefully, Becca expected Bansi to come looking for her once he started talking and walking fine.

One week passed, and Bansi never came looking for her to show his appreciation or anything. "He must've misplaced the note I left him, or perhaps, he hasn't fully recovered yet ", so she thought. One the last day of the second week, she began developing signs of regret as to why she cared in the first place. She shouldn't have taken him to the hospital, she went too far.

A month later, she had totally forgotten about the black man she helped to the hospital. She was all busy with her work now, and back to her noral life. Becca was influential and rich. Her family left her a lot of money before they left Africa to Europe, but she'd rather stay in Africa and learn about the mysterious traditions and ways of the Africans. Unlike many of her kind, Becca loved Africans. She wanted to learn more about the continent, its people, and ways. For this reason, she stayed back in Africa, and found Capetown one very conformable neighborhood to live in.

Life was a struggle in Capetown, but she had all the influence and money she needed to live like the Queen of England. She was good at writing, singing, and talking. As a child, she longed to become a reporter when grew up, and her forefathers had been frontiers in colonising some African States. Outspokenly, she wasn't new to any form of discrimination, and was already getting accustomed to the life in South Africa.

Her life was simple. She worked as a reporter for BBC Africa, and later quit her job to enjoy life and travel around. Just before she met Bansi laying almost dead on the street, she had plans to travel the roads of Kenya, Madagascar, Liberia, and Nigeria. Meeting Bansi was however another way to be philanthropic, but it disrupted her travel plans.

Two months passed and Bansi was now back to normal. He could walk, talk as he usually did (to himself and the TV), and pretty much do a few other things like he did before. On a good day, he shoved his hand into the left chest pocket of his purple short sleeve (his favourite) where he kept the note the blonde angel gave him at the hospital. Her house wasn't so distant from his, and he could get there in 15 minutes if he walked on foot.

Arno Bansi was curious, he knew she must've thought of him to be just another ungrateful guy. He never got her name, and he would barely recognize her if he sees her walking past the street. He was left with just one option - to visit the address she left and see what happens next. The next day, Bansi dressed his best, wore a nice perfume (the best he had), and went straight to the address Becca left him at the hospital. On his way, he thought correctly, and bought flowers he knew every girl would like.

He finally got there, and wasn't sure what to do. He wasn't sure if where he got to was the right place he was supposed to be. How would someone so rich care? Becca's place was a far cry from what he had though it would be. It was huge, and uncommon. Although he had heard people say the "big house next door", he never knew they referred to the one he was standing just right in front of. As he knocked, he was expecting nothing more but to see an old man come out of the house and tell him he's at the wrong place.

But that didn't happen...

It was her. The beautiful face he barely clearly constantly saw at the hospital, Becca Williams. She stood at the front of the door gazing at him. That few minutes was awkward, with the both of them looking speechlessly at each other. "I guess I'm at the wrong place", Bansi murmured. "No... You're definitely at the right place, forgive me", Becca replied, "Please come in Bansi", she added. Taken by shock, Arno Bansi had only seen such nice and beautiful ladies on TV, in reality, he'd seen nothing like her. She was tall (a little like him), a blonde, and her eyes penetrated his soul.

They both talked, drank, and had enough to eat till it was sunset. Arno Bansi told her about his love for chocolates, and also about his life. He literarily gave her a download of his life; how he struggles and works part-time to earn a good living. Becca Williams admired a few attributes of Bansi, especially the way his accents were carved and sounded. She told him about her past, and what she intends doing. She also narrated a lot about how she fell in love with the customs in Africa, and most expecially, South Africa. Like a Cheetah, time flew past and Bansi walked back to his house happier than he left.

The next day, Bansi woke up with fresh thoughts of Becca. He couldn't stop thinking about how she gazed at him at the door, and how she welcomed him into her house. He imagined her to be a ghost, or something that wasn't real. Becca Williams would be one of the best things that ever happened to him if she didn't disappear. She would be the most elegant lady he'd known, well, especially since he broke up his last relationship in 1973.

Becca was also hit with same thought about Bansi. Although he's African, and her family would eat her raw if they found out she's falling for an African man, especially if they get to know he's just an average guy who doesn't have all the money in the world. At least, he's worth her attention. If she wasn't travelling anymore because of Bansi, would it be worth it?

Arno Bansi and Becca Williams had a long stay in Capetown. They lived in South Africa for years and eventually fell in love. It was ultimately difficult for Becca's family to accept Bansi, but Becca never gave up. She pushed through until her family approved of their relationship which in the long run led to a blissful wedding ceremony organized in Brooklyn, and totally funded by the Williams. Arno Bansi considered himself one of the luckiest guys in the world.

For some reason, he would let his mind wander far back into the robes of time and appraise the hoodlums that triggered a pistol gunshot to his arm. Somehow, if it were not for those hoodlums, he would've been in Capetown with his part-time job, and would never have gotten to know Becca Williams, the golden girl of his dreams.

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Moses Ukanna

Hi, I'm Moses Ukanna. I'm a blogger, writer and editor at Potentstack.com

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