4

The Lord is my witness l tried but l kept coming back empty. The economy was in a crisis with no help for a fresh out of high school with no experience. This world was determined to make my life a living hell especially the men. I was trying to make a living for myself but men saw was a desperate girl who they could use for their own purposes.


Men saw an object of sexual pleasures a toy to play with however they wished. Was humanity so depraved that women were no longer respected? I wasn’t even a woman but a child. Weren’t children to be protected because we are the future?


And the women! My fellow women could be just as ruthless when they held some power. Was it eliminating competition jealous of my youth whatever it was l always had the worst experience from women. It wore me down but not enough to stop fighting.


Was this the world teenagers craved to go into with people  too selfish and greedy to care even a little bit for another human being?


By month end l was nowhere near half of the money baba Rutendo demanded. I had no other option but to let him use me. Few people will understand my position. To give my body that l had protected for eighteen years to a man not even my boyfriend was painful both physically and emotionally.


This was not what my mother hoped for me. I did not want this for myself. I hoped to give my flower willingly to someone who would cherish my gift. Not to a man old enough to be my father smelled like sweat and old socks and looked like a witch doctor on vacation. 


I don’t know how a rape victim feels but imagined it to feel the same. Like your whole body is dirty and no amount of cleaning will wipe away the shame. To hate yourself so much you would wish to hide so other men can’t be tempted to force you again.


People can judge prostitutes all they liked but after one night with baba Rutendo l refused to believe anyone with options would chose subject themselves to this.


To endure another month of this old man’s torturous passions spurred me to find a job faster.


On one of my unsuccessful job hunting day l met Belinda. She noticed me sitting alone on a park bench but imagined it to feel the same. Like your whole body is dirty and no amount of cleaning will wipe away the shame. To hate yourself so much you would wish to hide so other men can’t be tempted to force you again.


People can judge prostitutes all they liked but after one night with baba Rutendo l refused to believe anyone with options would chose subject themselves to this.


To endure another month of this old man’s torturous passions spurred me to find a job faster.


On one of my unsuccessful job hunting day l met Belinda. She noticed me sitting alone on a park bench silently crying and decided to talk to me. Hundreds of people passed me and yet this beautiful stranger decided to lend a shoulder and advice.


Even though what she offered was the last thing anyone would consider as an option.  

Belinda had become a prostitute six years ago when she got chased out by her family after falling pregnant. It was not a life she had chosen for herself but things happen and you take what you can get.


They were a middle class family and her father was the elder in one of those stiff churches that you had to wear a head wrap and long skirts. It wasn’t like they were well off but her parents did the best they could to provide for what they required.


 Her uncle her father’s elder brother had started raping her when she was only 12. Initially she had told several people but they did not believe her saying she was lying to get attention. At 15 her friends advised her to get pregnant and prove what she was saying.


They had figured her parents would either believe her or insist on a DNA test at least.


"That was the dumbest suggestion ever resorting to such an extreme decision so that my father could believe his own daughter. But then in such a situation what other option did l have? Telling them didn’t work. Getting pregnant seemed like a great idea that no one could refuse. So l stopped taking the contraceptive that my uncle forced to take" she tells me shakily.


Suffice to say her father would not hear anything she had to say on the matter and chased her out calling her all sorts of names. Her relatives would not even go near her. If it had not been her elder brother Tapiwa who stepped in the situation could have been worse.


"My own mother called me a stupid whore who could not close her legs and not know what birth control was. My brother loved me and took care of me even though he had his own family but he did his best." Belinda was trying to be strong but l could tell how much pain she still carried.


Unfortunately into her second trimester Tapiwa was killed in a mining accident. Because she had no schooling and no one to help her Belinda dressed in her most flimsy dress she had and stepped into a club for the first time and became a prostitute.

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