I started as a young pretty girl with high hopes and big dreams. I believed in myself more than anything. Everything I ever wished for I’d work for it hard until I get it. For my entire life, I never knew the pain of failing. My parents had faith in me like they knew when they named me Faith.

But what is it that has changed? Where wrong did I go? Those have been questions in my head that I can’t give answers to. I started grade 12 with pride that this is the class I’ve worked hard for and I was 18 of age, my intentions were to pass and go to further my studies far away from home because most girls of my age from where I grew up never liked me.

I started the class with power and energy. I worked as hard as I could. One of my classmates started bullying me. He’d popped out jokes under my name in front of the class and everyone would laugh looking at me, believe me, I would feel very less of a person and unwanted. Little did know that being a victim of bullying was the reason I left the high school I started grade 8 at, though I failed to tell my parents and teachers because I felt like the world will consider me as a weak person who can’t fight for herself, but the good news of all is that I managed to convince my parents to take me to the high school found in my village because it’s near home. 

It never came to mind that even hear I’d be bullied and especially during my grade 12 class. The boy would harass me even on my way home. I’d cry for every school premises to end so that I could go home and rest. But one day after school he threw his two hands on my neck and smashed it until I hardly breathe and starts coughing in front of my other classmates and no one came for the rescue, that day I realised that it was getting out of hand not even my parent can do what he did to me. I then told my parents and they went to the principal of the school. Every learner who witnessed it refused to speak for he was their so-called famous guy but as soon as the principal talked about involving the police, he then admitted and apologised.

As I was still trying to get back to myself and forget it all another classmate of mine who’s also a boy found a nude picture online and edited it and made it look like it was me, he then sent it to the rest of the school and made it trend under my name. So surprised when I got to school everyone was looking at me gossiping until one girl came to tell me then I knew what was going on. So sad when I went to report to the principal I told him the guy who did it but the principal said he can’t do anything because on the picture it looks like me so he’s not sure if that wasn’t me for real. I cried but still didn’t give up I went and ask for help from a guy who was attending at TUT by then whom I knew he could deal with those things and within a day he sent me back the original picture and the fake one that was on-trend and told me the person who did it and it was my classmate. At least there was one thing I could smile about, which was clearing my name by sending and posting the original picture and I did just that.

When I was trying to concentrate on my studies, the time for first term exams arrived, my fear was to fail because I knew I spent a lot of time trying to solve one problem after another. But surprisingly I wrote well and got awarded two certificates, my parents were really happy for me.

Later during the second term when I was just near the writing exam, there was news all over that I slept with a maths lit teacher. By that time I could spend even a week without talking to him because he did teach me for I use to do mathematics pure. I told my parents and asked them to move me to another school far away from here. But my question was, will I always run away from problems? And for that matter unfortunately it was already too late for a matric student to be admitted to another school. I tried committing suicide because I felt like it was all too much for me but they stopped me. I cried myself to stay strong till the rumour passed.

Later after the only best friend I had started gossiping about me with other girls. Then later I heard she wanted my boyfriend, she also didn’t hesitate to post it on social media. I couldn’t believe it all because I use to trust her and we’d call each other sisters and also my mother loved her so much since she knew she was the only friend I had. But my mother advised me to leave my boyfriend but I just couldn’t listen. I just couldn’t because I loved that guy and another thing for sure if I couldn’t let go of him I would be making that girl happy and everyone would admit that I’m weak.

Trial exams arrived and again I wrote well and passed highly. Then I felt so sure of writing the final. During final exams, every one by then was against me except that boyfriend of mine. I worried less because I knew that after the results I wouldn’t have to see any of them again. For that matter, I studied very hard and wrote the final exam. But when the results came out in January I was so surprised that I couldn’t perform the way I performed throughout the year, yes I passed but my marks were so low. My mother got disappointed in me a lot. And what about those intentions of furthering my studies far away in other provinces? Even now I’m stuck in the same village and they still make fun of me.

Now I’m slowly losing hope in life again. Not to talk of the little hope that was left in me it turned into tears. I cry every night but never find a solution. Now, who do I blame? I blame myself though I don’t know how but I just feel like I’m responsible for what is happening in my life. Now I feel like a failure, I failed my own dreams by living in a world so cruel, now where do I go? What do I do? Is it not death the only home left for me to be?

My question is where wrong did I go? What changed? Where is that brave and intelligent girl? Where is that fighter? I know they say what doesn’t kill you always makes you grow but even now I haven’t grown from those wounds.