When I was just eleven, my mother left. I had been a sweet little girl who knew nothing about life’s cruelty. I had grown up mommy and daddy’s little girl. Everything had been served to me on a platter, and then I suddenly learned what it was like to go to sleep with an empty stomach, go to school with a dirty uniform and stinky armpits and to use newspaper during my menstrual cycle.
Yes, life was not easy. My father had lost his job and we had to stay with his second wife who couldn’t stand the sight of me. I was left with an abusive aunt and my old grandfather who couldn’t do much for me. “What was I going to do?” I always asked myself. Stealing from my relatives was my first option. But then I learned how it felt to be deserted by everyone. No one wanted to foster an unruly little girl, who stole from them.
I found another option.
My only solace would come by using my body to get what I wanted. No one had told me that boys would just knock you up and leave you confused and shattered. It felt good to ride in their fancy cars, stay in expensive hotels and drink expensive wines. I had them eating out of the palm of my hand, or so I thought. Fancy clothes, fancy lunch at break time, I was the “IT Girl”.
School meant nothing to me when I could have any man I wanted. Eventually, I would get married, have my own house and car; all courtesy of my husband. That was what I had always told myself. School was for the ugly, shapeless, losers who couldn’t climb the step ladder like I could. Nevertheless, I did go to school, only because I needed to kill time. But when one of my filthy rich boyfriends suggested we go out somewhere, I always made sure to avail myself. I didn’t care when I failed grade ten and grade eleven twice. My English teacher would always leave the room on the verge of tears whenever she heard me ask “Who cares about school anyway?” She always said that education is the key; a key no one can ever take away from you. It all sounded like rubbish to me, I didn’t need a key. All I needed were sexy stunts between the sheets to drive all those men crazy.
It had never dawned on me that a body gets tired and old; that I could get pregnant and lose my sexy body. Then it happened. I thought I was dreaming when I tested positive for both HIV and pregnancy. My unborn baby’s father was a married guy who had refused to get tested.
His last words to me were, “I’m sorry, but if you don’t terminate we can’t go on. I have a wife and children who look up to me. I don’t need another child.”
Suddenly, I had lost my “IT Girl” title.
Worry and fear were the only things I lived with. Now I have a child who I struggle to feed. Every day when I wake up, I keep wondering how long it will be until my HIV turns into Aids. Who will take care of my little girl when I myself can’t do it? What will happen to her? What if she takes the same road I did?
My beautiful sister, you have a beautiful body. They all call you sexy, and it makes you feel vibrant and alive. Let me tell you one thing, sexy will fade away and you will be left with no one but yourself to blame. Please don’t be like me. Follow your dreams. Don’t let sexy confuse you. It is just a stupid word they use to lure you into bed. They’ll just throw you out like a used condom once they are done with you. I know you might be going through difficult times, and sometimes you feel like you can’t even breath, but I’m here to tell you that your situation is just temporary. Only you hold the key to change, and that key is education. Not your body.
Unlike me, you still stand a chance to be a doctor, lawyer, model or engineer. Once you’ve achieved your goals you can find that one person who will call you sexy and mean it. That person should be your husband.
Tell us what you think: Do you know of girls like this? What would you do if you could help them?