It was strange and confusing to live almost thirty years with no girlfriend. I, Lucky, only had a girlfriend at the age of 26. I know it might sound a bit strange. It’s like seeing a red cat, but it’s true.

I never knew the words ‘poverty’ and ‘suffering’ from experience. Growing up in a rich royal family made me blind to suffering. I grew up as an heir, I was a prince. Not only suffering I didn’t know, but romance as well. I only knew the word ‘romance’ from a dictionary, unlike my peers who knew it from experience. The stress about a girl was one thing I never felt, unlike my peers who felt it from the age of 15. My lips only knew a kiss from my mother, unlike my peers. A girl’s kiss was like food to them; they got it every day from their girlfriends.

Another thing that I never knew about was handsomeness. Judging from my looks, there was no chance for me to get any girlfriend. I always knew that I was ugly. My peers always told me so when we argued. Even my mirror seconded that. My family never said anything about my handsomeness or my ugliness either. I never felt handsomeness; ugliness was all I grew up feeling. The laughter of my peers because of my ugliness killed my self-esteem and buried it in a deep grave.

One day, we were at the table eating breakfast. I had classes that day and it was just our family, my parents and my two younger brothers. My mother said: “Son, I’m tired of cooking and cleaning alone in this house.”

“Okay you need a helper. I’ll help you find one, they are always available online. How much is she going to be paid?” I asked.

“That’s not what I mean! I want someone who is not going to be paid,” she replied.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“Your mother is sarcastically saying it’s high time you had a wife” dad explained. I dodged the conversation by saying that I was late for lectures.

After classes I went to the group study. There was a new girl in the group, and I couldn’t concentrate because I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I was busy admiring the beauty of this girl. Her beauty took my heart to the world of romance for the first time; her voice had the nicest rhythm I’d ever heard. After we studied, I followed the girl but I didn’t approach her because I didn’t know what to say, so I drove home.

When I got home, I told my father about this girl and said that I wanted to marry her. He told me to use my royalty to my advantage. He asked if she was a good person and I told him that I was sure she was because she didn’t look like a bad person.

He simply said: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Next day in the group, this girl seemed to have interest in me too. After the study group, we were left alone. I told her my name and that I was a prince and she said her name was Rose. I didn’t know what to say. I was quiet for a second and she said: “I love you too”.

We dated and she gave me all the romance I never had. I invited Rose for dinner at my home. I went to her home to pick her up and she said that we should go to her friend’s first to take her a book. We went there and when we opened the door, I was shocked to see a sangoma. Rose pushed me down and locked the door and they took out knives to slaughter me. I tried to fight but failed and they put something in my mouth to silence me. Then I remembered that royal blood is always in demand, so Rose was selling me. As I was tied up and they were getting the knives ready, a neighbour heard the noise and called the police. Not much later, the police came and broke down the door and saved my life. Rose and her sangoma friend were sentenced to life in prison.

I never thought that Rose was hiding a rotten heart behind that glamorous face of hers. I’ll never judge a book by its cover again.