We grow up and do things we vowed to never do. We give in to temptations that leave us bruised and without purpose. I grew up in a church family. Having a pastor for a father, he always preached to me about how evil friends are. So as you can imagine I spent all my days at church. I never really had friends to call my own. That was before I got to high school of course. It was then that I met these two amazing people, Amahle and Andiswa,who I could finally call my friends. Or so I thought! Anyway we were close and did everything together. By everything I mean everything that you could possibly think of and imagine.

This was all new to me. I was so used to being a loner, now that I was part of a group it felt great.. I finally had a sense of belonging. My friends were like the sisters I got to choose for myself. I swore they were heaven sent. I was so convinced that they were the angels that my father said looked after me. Until one day, I realised that they were different from the angels my father preached about. They were angels in black. They were angels of the darkness. This one time, on a lonely night Amahle proposed that we go to a night club. Although I was hesitant at first but together with Andiswa they kept pushing the issue until I gave in, although I didn’t know how I was going to convince my parent to allow me to go out partying. Then again hanging out with them has taught me a few tricks.

I lied about going to a study group, it wasn’t that difficult for them to buy the lie because I was very serious about my studies and very dedicated to my books, I dreamt of studying medicine at UCT one day. Anyway, we went out clubbing, my friends gave me a make over. I saw a whole new person in myself, the girl I saw on the mirror was not the girl who wore long skirts and pumps to church almost each day of the week. This girl was gorgeous, this girl was sexy, the tight dress she wore hugged her figure so perfectly and showed off her curves. This girl was rocking stilettos, which she could hardly walk in but who cares this was a whole new upgrade for me. I was the ‘it girl’ the type you only see on a magazine or TV screen.

Partying became a habit that led to me ignoring my studies. I was so eager to satisfy my friends and their selfish needs knowing very well that the drugs, partying and driving around with older men was not what I stood for. But I thought what I had with them was special and being the inexperienced kid they would groom me up to be cool. Men being men and luring young girls with flashy cars and money, I fell into the trap. I thought to myself this is the life. I am finally living, life is for the living. Who wants to hear about Adam and Eve and a forbidden fruit anyway!

Like everything else, all good things come with a price. The older men with flashy cars and heavy pockets started demanding something in return, ironically they wanted a bite of the forbidden fruit and I was the garden they harvested from the most. At first it was fun until my jeans couldn’t fit anymore. Yes, I was pregnant and I didn’t even know who the father was. But because ‘my girls’ had my back and seemed to have a solution to everything, they suggested abortion and without even thinking twice I went for it, anything to keep my girls happy.

I did everything to keep them happy at the expense of my own happiness. During the day it was all fun and games but came the evening I would drown in my own tears. I had identity issues and developed a low self-esteem. I battled with voices in my head. I felt like an embarrassment, I felt that I had shamed my father, family and the congregation. I became suicidal. The thoughts that crept into my mind. A voice inside me said let’s do it, take away all the pain and misery that you feel upon your heart. Set yourself free. Let’s leave the world behind with all its fortunes that were never destined for you. Happiness and love will never find you. So go on and take a pill or two. No, actually take the whole satchet. That’s how you’ll get to be free. In the grave with no emotions at all. I had lost purpose. Once more I felt out of place. I felt lonely while surrounded by millions of loved ones. I felt like I was in a dark hole and didn’t know to get out of it. I felt as though not even prayer could save me. Nursing bruises I got from men who wanted to enter my golden gate without permission is the closest I got to being a doctor. Oh how I wish I had listened to my father. Through all my experiences with peer pressure I realized that regrets and mistakes are memories made whether bad or good, at the end of the day they shape us into the wise adults that we are today. Temptations can be resisted.