When life puts you down, you have to decide whether you want to fight back or remain constant. I was only 14 years old doing grade eight at Mogalakwena secondary school, I couldn’t cope because I was the only learner representing my primary school.

I didn’t find it hard to make friends, pity none of my friendships lasted except for the one I had with Paballelo. But that also ended in a crucial manner. She died when I needed her the most, as much as it was a torture to accept her departure, I had to.

I isolated myself, becoming an island. That was when I realised that I have multiple identities: there was the innocent, the predator and the controlling me. I made threats and blackmail became my second name because I had the “I am rich, I can do anything I want” mentality.

I endured loss in the past which I chose to ignore, but my grandma’s death broke me beyond repair. Then my friend’s death and my uncle’s disappearance put the knife in my core.

I was in grade eight but even older learners bowed before me, yep, I had power but that was before I met her. My friend Kewame. Appearances can be deceiving even though she was full of life, she was dead inside, life is not fair like that. HIV decided the fate of her parents’ life causing her to grow up in an orphanage because of cold-hearted extended family members.

As time went by, I fell in love with her personality. We became friends, we were strong and untouchable until my past became my present. She was killed right before my eyes. She paid my debts and changed my life forever, she died instantly. Later it came to my attention that Kewame’s murderer was the one who took Paballelo’s life too. Indeed, I took her last breath and that is why I became a killer. Did I have a choice?