It was strange and confusing for someone 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 word poverty and suffering from experience. Growing up from a rich royal family made me blind from knowing suffering. I grew up as an heir, I was a prince. Not only suffering I didn’t know, also romance as well. I only knew the word romance from a dictionary, unlike my peers who knew from experience. The stress about a girl was one of the things 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 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 argue. 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 eating breakfast like any normal day. It was just us as family; parents and two younger brothers. I had classes that day.

“Son, I’m tired of cooking and cleaning alone in this house,” my mother said.

OK, 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 just dodged the question by saying that I was late for lectures.

After classes I went to the group study. There was a new girl in the group. I couldn’t concentrate and 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 was the nicest rhythm I ever heard… After we studied I followed the girl but I didn’t approach her, I didn’t know what to say. I drove home.

When I got home I told my father about this girl and 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 is, she didn’t look like a bad person. He just said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Next day in the group, the girl seemed to have interest in me. After the study group we were left alone. I told her my name and that I’m a prince. She said she is Rose. I didn’t know what to say next and I was quiet for a second.

“I love you too.” She said.

We started dating 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 a book. We went there, we opened the door and I was shocked to see a sangoma. Rose pushed me down and locked the door.

She took out knives to slaughter me.

I tried to fight but failed and they put something in my mouth for silence. 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 and 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 those that Rose was hiding a rotten heart behind that glamorous face of hers. I’ll never judge a book by its cover again.