3. Jacob: The Fragile One.

You must know, If a man is inadequate in himself, there is nothing you can do to make him feel whole. That is his own journey.

Kids today have the ever present, always fast internet. They have access to so many dating apps and sites, it’s no wonder very few of them can comprehend what it means to be single, let alone fall off the grid. Who am I kidding it’s no wonder I couldn’t comprehend the idea of being alone. Four to five social media pages with perverts sliding into your messengers, that is what we call attraction today. All we had growing up was a boom box and a dj who had interest in linking people up. Unfortunately when you don’t get anyone hitting you up social media it messes with your ego and how you see yourself as a budding woman, until a day comes and you realise that all of it is just for show, and it counts for nothing anyway. But this throws me back to when I met frog number three. My parents only ever had one stereo and it was gifted to my mother by her sister. An old black boom box, with a cassette player, it was everything to me. Through that box, I met Whitney, Mariah and all the greats. My mother got it when I was about six years old, and the girls and I were listening to it even after she was gone. We only ever listened to one show, the top ten count down. We would bet who was going to sleep in the middle if each of us could guess who was at the top of the charts. It was four girls on a double mattress, and we all hated sleeping in the middle, for various reasons. So other than fight over it every night, we would play for the two outer spaces, and if you lost fair and square, you took the middle. We fell in love with each artist that came on and its safe to say I seldom lost the bet, I knew my music. Also I was the oldest, I don’t why I had to play for a spot that was rightfully mine.

My father only ever let us listen to the stereo late into the night on Fridays and Saturdays, never a weekday. And the fact that I was going to be writing my final high school exams did not help my cause. They were moments when I would keep it so low, just so he couldn’t hear, and if he caught me, he would confiscate it for a week, no negotiations. So one night after winning my spot on the bed, I stayed late listening to the beat down radio with cables hanging out. Just listening to all the love songs you could imagine, It had been months since the embarrassing break up, so I was still nursing my poor little heart, and somehow the heartbreak songs helped. And just like magic, a show came on, they called it the heart connector. Thinking about it now, its the silliest name imaginable, but that is what it was called. The heart connector was a call in program, where men and women could basically advertise themselves, who they were, what they did and what they were looking for in a partner, some would go as far as how the last disaster ended, it was tragic really. I thought it was so romantic at the time, in my mind I just figured love had just been made easier, all one had to do was pick up a phone and make a call. The next morning I told my sisters about it and they looked at me as if I had lost my mind, they could not comprehend how naive I was being. There first concern was what if I start talking to a predator, let alone one who was just plain violent. It’s safe to say that my sisters loved crime and investigation shows, so they came up with all the gruesome scenarios. But I didn’t care, all I wanted was a chance at love again, it didn’t matter how I got it. I had lost the taste for high school boys, they just never tickled my fancy, couldn’t challenge my mind and I just found them extremely tiresome. It’s at this age that I decided the age gap I always wanted but that is a story for another day. So I kept on listening to heart connector while everyone slept. And sure enough each night sombre lonely men came on, it was almost like they knew I was listening. It was literally like walking into a store and having your choice selection of candy.

So one night, as life would have it, I like to believe, there he was, Jacob. Timid and unsure of himself, soft spoken and a kindness to his tone.Not my type but he sounded so sweet and helpless, that is how I knew I liked fixer-uppers. A foolish teenager perceived the timidity as a sign of being good natured, safe o say I was severely wrong. So I picked up the phone and took his number. I was drenched in trepidation, I wondered what he would make of a seventeen year old girl reaching out to him a twenty four year old man. But the fear was not going to deter me, I waited for the next day and drafted the text message like an application letter. I was polite and assertive, Nsama should never show weakness, that was my motto. I hit send and within seconds chapter two of my love life begun, with no tragic end in site. We would talk for hours on end, he would tell me how university was treating him and I would tell him how high school was boring me to death. I thrived in telling him how childish everyone else was. It was the perfect match. two lovebirds made for each other , but worlds apart. I always thought it was cute how he got mad when I didn’t get back from school on time. It’s so funny, when my parents made a big deal of it, it annoyed me, but when it was my boyfriend it was cute, infatuation makes you take a leave of your senses. So when he got jealous, I would get so flattered and think he loved me. I know better now, I know it can be a sign of obsession and insanity, you never know really. I slowly begun to realise he had broken wings, I had noticed them earlier, I just never thought it was that severe. He had a couple abandonment issues, self esteem problems and a body image complex I later came to find out was quite intense. All of this was fine by me because that meant I could help him fix those issues, he needed me, he would always run to me. And so the distance relationship kept on, he was in Lusaka and I was here, and sure enough his insecurities begun to rub off onto me. I started wondering why he was with me when he could easily get a girl closer to him, he planted the seed in my mind and it ran like wild fire. The university students were more mature than I for sure. It was really beginning to stress me out, now I was the one blowing up his phone. He liked that I was losing my mind just as he was. Keeping in mind that while I was going through this emotional roller coaster, I had never met the man, but it was all real to me, my mind was under siege.

My birthday came round and all I ever wanted came true, he travelled from school to come and see little old me. I was so ecstatic my brain could not contain it. I remember thinking to myself, he finally came, he must really love me. I was going to meet him at the station, and I ensured I was going to look fine doing it. Truth is that I went there looking like a hooker with too much makeup on. My neckline plunged so low, my breasts where basically hanging out, I wanted to catch the mans attention, and I was going to do it by any means necessary. This is how I started showing cleavage and became a sore spot for my guardians as I developed into a woman. But here we were standing at a dusty old station, two strangers who believed they were soulmates. It was stupid really. He had one look at me and his eyes nearly popped out of their socket, not because I looked like a million dollars but I was severely under-dressed. My poor young mind however thought I had impressed him. So we went and sat at a small restaurant and had lunch, and the entire time he was talking about how he wanted to spend quality time with me privately. I was so elated I could not believe I had hit the jackpot, the man was a romantic, but i’m sure we all know what he wanted. So we get to this lodge he quickly found and it was so dingy, it smelt bad and the beds surely had bed bags, but I didn’t care. I was in a nice quiet place with the love of my life.

We lay there for a while, I just liked him holding me, It never crossed my mind that sex was on the table, a kiss maybe but not sex. But sure enough hands started roaming, a simple kiss turned hot and carnal a little too quickly. More than anything it frightened me and I jumped back. I just wasn’t ready, and it hit me at that moment that he wanted more than I could give, it was something I had to consider. He was kind about it when I was thrown back and said I didn’t have to, but he encouraged that I touch him in places I could have never imagined touching a man. I have to say though, he had a weird fetish for his nipples being squeezed, I never understood what that did for a man, I still don’t. That day went on by like a breeze, I walked away feeling inadequate as hell, how did one please a man minus the excruciating pain of losing her virginity. His visits started happening more and every time he came, he would try his luck and each time I would chicken out. The truth is that if I had more courage, I would have gone for it, no questions asked. All I could think about was the pain and more importantly my father killing me if I fell pregnant.

I became so rebellious with my dad because now I was a woman, men wanted me, I would sneak the boy into my fathers house without him knowing. Even under my fathers roof he would attempt to have sex with me but to no avail. Sooner rather than later he begun to lose patience, and when I said no he would get mad, and start accusing me of not finding him attractive and giving it to other men as he would call it. This was the first experience I ever had with a mans insecurities, that they not only made a man timid, but that insecurities could easily make him manipulative and vindictive if he let them. He would tell me of how the girls on campus would do it, making me feel small and inexperienced. The last time came when he tore my pants and giggled because he thought it was funny and I was being childish, playing hard to get, I was so tormented when I walked him to the bus that day I knew it was the last time I would see him. No such luck, when I stopped picking up his calls, he showed up at my fathers house, while my dad was in the house, the man was crying and telling me I had broken his heart just like everyone did. Snort falling out of his nose it was a little humiliating. So I lied and told him my father had found out about us and we couldn’t see each other anymore. He went away that day, he would text me every once in a while and eventually he got tired of my excuses and moved on . He told me he had found a nice sweet girl, who loved him like no other, he made sure to let me know she was much prettier than me, and she did everything he wanted. He called me a child actually, and that it was a mistake he ever dated me. He was glad I called it off, said his ego. Traded me a few insults but this time around I was not bothered at all, I was just glad I had gotten rid of the guy he was too on edge. Fear saved me this time, just absolute fear.

Kukie

4. Titus: The Devil Himself.

You must remember, that should you choose to love the devil, you must know that you cannot save him from himself, nor save yourself from him. It cannot be done.

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