Massage with a HAPPY ending (A story about honesty)

My Thai massage did not have a happy ending and my doctor told me that I was “not the first person to suffer this fate”. Honestly.


Now, before you go wild and start picturing me lying topless, before your head goes to the vision of all the fat and balding men in Bangkok Tuk-Tuking home with their pants still bulging, hear me out.


I was there for a massage.

Nothing more.



And it was in JoBurg.  At a spa.  A legit spa.



About 6 hours after the massage, I thought that I had contracted a dreaded disease.  No, not from the Thai lady.  Stop that.  I had long forgotten about the massage.


I could not breathe.  I had to stay hunched over.  When I tried to sit up, I was in excruciating pain. I started off with Panado, but about 2 hours later, I needed morphine.  I was in serious pain. Honestly.


My sister googled some words and we concluded that it must be a “collapsed lung”.  My pain levels shot through the roof and I had to see a doctor.  He sent me home with some “muscle relaxants” (honestly!).  Less than 24 hours later, I was back in his office. Not relaxed in the least!


This time, he sent me to the ER and they did an X-Ray.  A bit like a ping pong show, I guess.


The good news was that my lung was not collapsed. Stupid, Doctor-Google.  I listened to X-Ray woman on the phone :

“There’s a lady here. Ja, she says she had a massage…” (I did!)

“Jaaaa, the one where the China girl sits on your bum” (Thai! Thai, you idiot)

“Ja, she says it was nice and soft..not sore” (It’s true, you Tom Yum head!)

“Jaaa, jaaa I wonder that too….”


I give up!, I thought as I Hunch Back of Notre-Dammed my ass back to the counter to collect my file.


I decided right there that if anyone else asked, I would have to lie.  I mean, can you imagine me telling my mother in law that I needed to RELAX and ended up with two fractured (nearly broken) ribs because a Thai lady sat on my bum, and spread her thighs on either side of my back, that we exchanged money….but I was honestly just there for a massage?  Honestly!?


My story may not have had the intended happy ending but I was grateful that I was not dying.  Honestly!


Lee-Ann Mayimele

Chief Storyteller

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016

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Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.







The Vision

I was on my way to Dubai for an important meeting.  I had prepared well and looked forward to the finalising a strategic deal.

I planned to drink lots of champagne on the flight and make use of the pyjamas. Afterall, flying first class was not something I did every day.

My eyes started getting red soon after boarding.  By the time dinner was served they were on the colour of tomato soup.  The woman sitting next to me said “What are your eyes telling you? What do you not want to see?”.  I laughed, had my nightcap, ran over my notes for the meeting and went to sleep. Lying flat!

I had a plan in my head.  I was sticking to the vision.  (No pun intended).

I arrived safely at my hotel and when I finally got to look in a mirror, I panicked. Just a little bit. My eyes were blood red.  I went to see a doctor immediately.  I needed to sort my eyes out pronto.

When I returned to the hotel, I could not shake the feeling.  I felt awkward and scared.

But, I had a plan. A vision.  I planned to stick to it. 

The first day’s meetings went well but I had to excuse myself from an important dinner that night.  I had to.  My eyes needed rest.

I went to dinner alone.  I felt like someone was watching me.  All the time.

My vision did not include this stupid twist.

My food did not arrive despite two reminders. They apologised and told me that that had never happened in the history of the hotel. They agreed to send the food to my room.

That creepy feeling increased tenfold.  

I went to my room.  The doorbell rang and my heart jumped!  It was only the food arriving but for some reason I was freaked out. I tried to eat but could not relax.

So, I went downstairs to the hotel lobby.  I thought that perhaps a spot of people-watching would distract me. Help me return to normal.  Help me to stop acting crazy!

I was walking across the room when I heard someone making a sound. A catcall kind of sound.  I turned in the direction of the sound and it was a man. An Arab man in a long white cloak and a veil on his head.  He winked at me. 

I knew something was wrong.  I felt INSTANTLY nauseas.  My beautiful vision was gone.  Instead, I was filled with fear, disgust and paranoia. 

I decided to sit down.  For God’s sake! This was a famous hotel with cameras everywhere, plenty of tourists and my business associates were staying in the same damn hotel. What could go wrong?

So, I straightened my shoulders, gave myself a mental smack and walked across the room to another part of the hotel. I looked around for the man.  I did not see him.

I took two steps forward when I heard the man make the sound again.  By now I was officially freaked out!  He was hiding behind a plant and he stuck his tongue out and licked his lips.

Through my sore eyes I saw fear. Big time!

I planned to go straight to reception and alert them to my fears but my phone rang and I took the call.  When I looked around again, I saw the man talking to the people at reception, laughing and looking like they all knew one another.

I could not go to reception. I definitely did NOT want the bad pervert to know that I was scared of him. That was not an option.

So, I went to my room. Bolted the door. Texted my colleague in the room down the hall to find out how the dinner had gone. I didn’t care about the dinner, actually. I just wanted to know that he was there if I needed him.

My eyes insisted on closing. I could not sleep but my eyes needed to be closed.

About 3 hours later, the room phone rang.  I answered and there was no one there.

I called reception. I asked them if they had called.  They said no.  I check with my colleague. He had not called either.

Two minutes later, there was a knock at the door.

I did not answer.  My eyes refused to open. Literally.  

I did not know if it was the bad man, my colleague, reception, security or some other extra terrestrial!  I guess I will never know.

On the long flight back home, I let my emotions flow.  I just burst out crying!  Those tears acknowledged that I was pissed off that my body had failed me at such a crucial time, that I had let some stupid man play games with my mind when I was not feeling well and that as a woman, I was such a soft target.  Most of the tears were about the vision.  The vision that had gone wrong. Literally.

When I arrived in Johannesburg my eyes were cleared up.

And, instead of keeping an open mind, guess what I did?  Yes, another vision.  The vision I had was of eating hot dinner with my husband in the safety of my home, telling him my story with my eyes sparkly and white.


© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The 12 Year Old who melted my heart (and then broke it)

He was 12 years old. He had lost both his parents tragically.  His grandmother was looking after him but he was really the one looking after her. She was very old and very blind.

This kid was exhausted.  Mentally and psychologically drained. 

Each morning at 6am, he dressed himself for school and then walked one hour to the bus stop. The bus took another hour. School was very important to him.  His parents would have been so proud.  He missed his mom every day.  She wanted him to be a doctor.

I felt his warmth instantly.  He was so full of dreams. 

He did his sales pitch within 12 seconds in my presence. He offered to wash my car.  I suggested once a week and he suggested the price. I tripled it and we had a deal.

My heart melted.

The deal lasted one and he never missed a day.  We talked about his doctor dreams and laughed lots.  My car was never really clean, but I was happy.

Around the 1 year anniversary of the Sunday sessions, he did not turn up at our agreed time.  I knew something was wrong.  The next week I waited again but my car was desperate for a wash.  I took it to a professional car wash in the area.  I recognised one of the guys who worked there. I had seen him talking to my favourite 12 year old before.

The other washer told me exactly where to find the 12 year old and I rushed straight to the local soccer field.   I had to find out why he no longer wanted to clean my car. 

It was worse than I had imagined!  Much worse.

His grandmother had died.  There had been a fire in their home and everything had burnt to the ground. He had nothing left and was living on the streets.  He did not turn up because he was so distraught!  I felt sick.

My heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces.    

When I finally got home that evening, I realised that something was missing from my car.  My house keys!  Damn!  I went back to the car wash.  I met the same washer who had done such a good job earlier.  He said “So?  Did you talk to him?” and just as I was about to say “Isn’t it sad? What on earth can WE do for him?” he said “His mother and father have to be strict, you know.  He needs to focus more on his schoolwork and spend less time doing bad things. Next time he will go to jail!”

It turns out my little friend had played me.  His parents were still alive.  His grandmother too.  She was not blind either!  And, their family home was in perfect shape, just 3 minutes from the local school. 

I felt numb.  Just numb.

I did not confront him.  I did not need to.

To me, the story was tragic enough.  I did not need reasons.  I did not need explanations.

To understand his motives would be to open my heart up again.  Fortunately, that was not an option. 

I reckon my 12 year old is in his twenties now.  I wonder if he still dreams of healing and saving lives.

The end

© Lee-Ann Mayimele & A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.