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“Men are perverts Tino  l was waddling around with a big tummy men still paid to sleep with me. I didn’t care as long as l could get money to take care of my baby. But one of those bastards decided to take advantage accused me of stealing because he didn’t want to pay and l lost my baby” she sniffled.


My heart broke seeing her cry for the baby she had clearly loved.


Listening to her story l realized how her story might be different but it also had the same theme as mine. We were stuck in a world where there was no pity for the downtrodden with men being the biggest violators. 


Why where we not seen as human beings with blood and feelings? We were merely pawns that were to be moved around however or wherever they liked. It made me so angry at how helpless and defenceless this evil gender was. 


However l thanked her taking her numbers promising it think over. Such a thing wasn’t something you would wake up and just starting doing. Not sure it was an option anyone would consider their first choice.


The decision nevertheless was made for me two weeks later. It started with a letter from the lawyer who handled my mother’s assets telling me my father who was the legal owner of the house wanted to sell it. 


"I’m sorry my dear for what is happening to you. Because your mother did change the names on the deeds your father retains ownership. At this point the only thing you can do is find a place to stay. Before you ask about contesting ownership l would advise against it. He owns the house fair and square" Mr Chaona said. I looked at the letter and then at him again no words could form in my confused brain. 


I thought it must be a cruel joke or a mistake since l hadn’t seen my father in over 13 years.


Frankly l figured since the house was in my mother’s name it would revert to me but never bothered to check. The man hadn’t even bothered to keep in touch and now he shows up trying to take away everything from me?

He had to contact me through a lawyer; my own father made it clear he didnt want anything to do with me.


The man abused me left us alone and broke the least he could do was talk to me. Didn’t l deserve l face to face meeting with the man whose blood ran through my veins?


 I tried to talk to him (through his lawyer of course) but he wasn’t willing to hear anything l had to say. What kind of man would throw out his own flesh and blood without any thought? He didn’t ask about me or even inquire if l had another place to stay. I was just a girl living in his house he wanted to get rid of like l didn’t matter. 


I sat in the lounge tears like tiny rivers on my face

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despair twisting my insides. A statement in a movie came to mind. 


'If you are treated like a dumb animal long enough you start to believe it.' I guess it was true when people treat you like you don’t matter sooner or later you will start believing it.


"Mum l don’t have any fight left in me anymore" I cried.


"Ever since you left it has been one misery after the next. This life has no place for me it can’t even give me a small break" I shouted my lungs out thinking of everything that had been taken from me.


The people l had called friends would either be too busy or not unavailable just to talk to me. Is it my fault that l was now an orphan? No one cared to know how l was doing or handling things. I buried my mother myself with the help of her insurance and that was that. Mum’s partner took the business my father took the house and my neighbour man took my virginity. 


Dying is better than living.


"My baby don’t let the actions of others leave you bitter. Otherwise they would suck the happiness right out your life. You have to learn to take every triumph and every failure as it comes and learn from it. The Lord never gives us more than we can handle but that which we can carry and overcome. Even roses have thorns but we always find a way to handle them. When it becomes too much Tino then get in default position." 


I stopped crying instantly as that memory drifted into my mind. It was like my mother was right here in this moment speaking to me.


That was her way of saying to get on my knees and pray. Right now that’s exactly what l needed to do. 


That day l prayed for strength and guidance. I prayed like l never prayed before. Promising myself l would make it. I had already lost my dignity and that was the end. No one was going to take anything from me without my consent.


Men saw us women as objects rather than human beings. No man was going to get under my skin. I promised my mother l would make her proud and that is exactly what l was going to do no matter the cost. 


With that in mind l got up and packed up everything that could fit in bags and sold off the car. That man who sired me wanted the house then he that was exactly that an empty building. The only thing l walk out the house my mother and l called home for eighteen years is the silver necklace she gave me on my eighteenth birthday. It has a simple design with swirls and interlocking vines but opens into a locket. The only picture l put was my mother smiling happily into the camera.


Belinda gave me a place to stay and was the only person l counted as a true friend. That woman had such a huge heart l prayed God would reward her kindness. When other people had abandoned me she stood by me and gave me strength to keep pushing.


With the money from the sale of my mum’s car l paid for the high school results and went around dropping resumes everywhere. The little money l had left got me skimpy clothes that would make a statue blush and other basics.


Desperation for a job will lead people to do just about anything but that was never going to be me. I wasn’t going to have ‘carpet interviews’ with selfish men all in the name of a job which you might not get. Worse you could get the job only to be degraded into being their personal sex slave. 


Mum had always encouraged me to use my brains and that’s what l did. On free times l would scour the second hand shops for cheap stuff to resell. The little money l saved up was to enrol in college and get some degree.

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