People I Met: Danielle

I never thought I’ll write a story like that. I went in with my fingers cross and I was half hoping with a story to tell. Danielle and I went way back. And when I say way back, it was like Joburg back.

I met this girl at her lowest, despite we were exchanging smiles and handshakes. Danielle wasn’t in her best of shape when she arrived. Her first leg of the trip was ruined by the dark side of humanity over in Johannesburg. And this could literally happen to anyone. Her friends together with her almost lost it all, as they were held gunpoint, near the City Centre of Johannesburg at 2.30 in the afternoon. It was an awful story to tell and I felt nothing but a huge wave of sympathy and empathy for her poor soul. For she nor anyone else deserve this. 

I didn’t know she’s living in Dubai until much later when she said “Oh I live in Dubai!” in a chirpy tone. And actually, at this point, I won’t have thought of the horrors she had gone through. We spoke for a bit more before we arrange to meet at the common area at night after. 

I walked about the common area of curiosity trying to see if Danielle’s there after my day, and it seems like she isn’t outside anymore. I didn’t want to seem stalker-ish and I’m probably too awkward to hang around amongst the crowd so I decided to just turn in anyway. As funny as the universe intended, Danielle was actually walking down the stairs and we met again. 

We continue on our little talks and there she is, telling me the gems of Dubai oblivious of the horrors that she had been. Her phone is gone, now she’s got issues with her itinerary and so forth. Somehow a part of me told me that there’s a reason why we were here, why I was there. It took me a huge leap of faith, and I decided to go along with you.

“Well, I have a spare phone, and you can hold onto it first if you like”

***

That night I actually asked myself if I’d kicked myself in the stomach, shot myself at my feet. I couldn’t sleep well as I wondered if I’d did the right or wrong thing. I actually went with the feeling that I might very much give away my phone. I was anxious about humanity and wondered why the universe put me through this emotion. 

I didn’t hear back from her for days and I wondered if I did the right thing. Part of me wondered if she might have lost my contact as we didn’t actually “exchange contact” the proper way/follow each other on ig and so forth. I manage to get her Facebook from the guest logbook and popped a message while hoping for the best. And she got back to me the night after, as I’d previously saved her number on the brick phone before she transfers to the iPhone I lent her so she lost my number for a while. I was honestly relieved. The anxiety went away, almost immediately. 

***
People I Met Danielle Road Trip

We all met again at Cape Town when Danielle also double up as my smoking and drinking buddy in South Africa as we chain-smoked and exchange life stories. She is truly also kind enough to invite us on a road trip over towards Southern Cape, where we adore the penguins of Boulders Beach, hiked the Cape of Good Hope and check off Cape Point before we head back to our hostel. 

She’s the life of the party back at the hostel and she’s always been hanging out, going out and partying ahaha. Meanwhile, my friends and I stayed in like library nerds. Maybe because of that, it felt like she’s too cool for us but we still hang out. We all hike together and Danielle is really good at hiking and I felt so bad for having her wait for us at the top of the lion head. And then it was time for goodbye! 

***

We ultimately ended our chapter in Dubai where we reunite again for the last time before we part ways. It is really nice of her to free up one day for me despite her busy schedule and I really appreciate it. Even after seeing her for so many times, I’m still as awkward as ever. It just felt like I’m this awkward loser kid hanging out with this cool kid who just rocks effortless with her vintage leather jacket. 

We head to Global Village and it really gave the whole chapter a really cozy and sweet touch. We walked across various countries amongst this seemingly huge plot of land that stretches just almost everywhere. We did a picnic for dinner and then she sent me back thereafter! This has been one of the most interesting friendships that span over 3 cities and I’m so glad that we became friends! 

This story would always be a reminder for me to always go by my gut, even though it might seem like one hell of a leap. My gut manages to help me avoid a scam in Cape Town though, so... yep, always trust your gut or the universe, because, in one way or another, we are always meant to go through what we go through. And here’s to a more compassionate world. 

P.S. like I told myself, if it works out it’ll be one hell of a story to tell, so... why not!?


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