I found a book near the end of the shelf, the cover of it wasn’t to my liking. I then went for the book that had the most beautiful cover, only for it to break my heart.

Right on the streets of Kgotsong, a location in Bothaville, Free State, known for its high crime rate. Around the corner I met a man who I was afraid of. He asked me to give him a few minutes of my time, but I chose not to. Along the way I met the perfect suitor who, I not only gave my time t, but also my heart. We fell in love, or should I rather say that I fell in love. I wasted my time but there is no use in crying over a spilled milk. Tall, dark and handsome in complexion with big apple eyes and smooth hands. He was all I could ever ask for, the way he carries himself was the best part of it all.

Everyone loved the way he talked and moved. He has respect for women, loved animals, seemed patient and knew how to handle and treat a lady. He was the perfect guy to take home to meet the parents and the son in law every parent desired to have. We were the definition of a perfect relationship, we were just meant to be. I believed that our relationship was right but the timing was wrong.

I would never forget the day he proclaimed me as his partner, he treated me like a queen in front of everyone and kicked me like a dog when we were alone. His smooth hands strangling me, oh what a monster I was with, I discovered. I gave him a chance hoping that he would change, but that only showed and taught me one thing, never in life believe that what you see is exactly what you will get.

The image he sold to everyone was a lie, even today only the girls who had been with him can agree with me. I reminisce on the last day he ever put his hands on me, we were coming back from a club, I was stunning that night, everyone I knew gave me compliments –that’s what annoyed him. He asked if we could leave, but I asked to finish my drink first. He couldn’t manage his temper so, he grabbed me and the minute he noticed that few people were actually looking he let go of me and I stupidly went home with him. On our way home he started telling me how worthless I was and how ugly I looked. “No one seems to agree with you” I told him, which was caused him to lose it and beat me up.

I was so embarrassed to see that guy I had walked passed on the corner, the day I met my former boyfriend, was the one who helped me out of the miserable life I found myself in. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where I would be. He did what I expected him not to do, and today I can say I know the real him, the him that I never thought he had in him, he is my friend now and when I got an opportunity to read the inside of the bad book cover. I found out that he was not involved in crime, he only happened to be an orphan who grew-up being abused by his uncle. One day, he decided to leave and turn a new leaf, which was when everything went terribly wrong. He didn’t even have a Grade 10 report card and had to work as a street sweeper who, on that day had only asked for my time, not requesting money to buy food.

I never gave him the chance, but out of the kindness of his heart, he gave me a chance at life again and made me realise that, the view of the house may seem perfect on the outside and that we don’t know what could be behind closed doors. Or rather what seemed bad may be good after all. As for my former boyfriend, even today he still looks as good as the day I met him. I learned that, everyone deserves a fair chance before you can start liking or disliking them, do not judge the book by its cover.

Beneath his handsomeness and tender exterior, lay the sorrows he had caused me. He wasn’t the man that I thought he was.