It is true that life is about crying, rejoicing and happiness and we experience them all as we go through life. Day by day struggles and triumphs are experienced by all the world’s creatures. As human beings, when we face a challenge, we have the freedom to choose how to react. Every decision that we make leads us down a different road. We will never come to the same roads. The tiniest choice we make reverberates throughout the universe.

Life begins and ends with love. When you’re a teenager, you recognise that everything you want doesn’t necessarily want you back. You learn the hard way that things won’t always go the way you planned. You understand that there will be those days that make you happy and those that make your life resemble Hell. You realize you lose more than you gain. When that one page of homework only meant to take five minutes takes hours to complete. When you’re easily distracted enjoying beauty in simplicity. You can’t sleep at night because that one person won’t leave your mind.

I once fell in love. He caught my eye the first time I laid my eyes on him. It was love at first sight. He was handsome, kind, loving, irresistible and most of all, a man of God. I was only 15 years old, can you imagine? But yes, it happened. When I thought of him, the rest of the world seemed to vanish. I was drunk with love.

It was summer time and the trees and grass were green and attractive. It was a blessed Sunday indeed. It was silent as I headed home alone from church and there he was. A tall, slender boy who grew up in the city living a good life, driving a fancy car. When he called out my name, I thought I was dreaming. I was surprised that a handsome guy like him knew my name, but he did. I looked at him carefully and I realised that he was one of the guys who had a lovely voice in the church choir. When they sang, even the cows stopped grazing. He greeted me humbly and we talked for nearly an hour. It felt so great to talk with someone that made my heart beat change.

The days and weeks went by and we started dating. He was everything to me and I knew that my heart belonged to him. He treated me like a princess and I knew that I was going to spend the rest of my life with him because he was the love of my life. Everyone in the community adored him and when my parents found out we were dating; they didn’t talk too much because they knew I was dating one the good guys from a decent family.

Three months after we started dating, everything seemed so perfect. I guess we both thought so, but everything changed and we broke up. I cried inside for days. I guess the saying: “Your first love is not always your truest love” is true after all. The sun was setting and it was time I paid him a visit. We were in his house showing love to each other. It was the first time in my life with a boy. We lost our minds because of what we felt. Months went on and I was pregnant, lost in a system I couldn’t comprehend. But how did it happen? It was only once – my first time of trying to have fun, but that happiness changed to bitterness.

When I told him that I was pregnant, he dumped me and told me to abort the baby. The man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with left me when I was three months pregnant, and only 16 years old. My dreams, desires, hopes were all gone in my life. And now, I believe it is true when they say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. I judged him by the way he looked and thought he was different from any other man. I never thought he could treat me the way he did. To me he was nothing but an angel.

Real life requires living and suffering the pain of disappointment and making mistakes. It also includes exhilaration and joy of love and triumph over adversity. Living is hard. Some win and some lose and you need to go through all that, like it or not. There are never easy answers, no matter how much we might like to think that. All we must do is accept life the way it is.