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Poisoned by the past Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Reality, Nigeria Mar 19, 2005
Health   Short Stories
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Youth makes such opinionated fools of us all. It takes most of us an experience to understand but we need not be fools to be wise; knowledge is better. I guess my old history teacher was wrong and right after all. Wrong because he believed that experience is the best teacher and right because according to him, “when we remembered the past so much, we are often poisoned by it.” Of course, I disregarded the advice and never gave it a second thought. I had thought that I would never indulge in self-pity in my present condition but once more I am wrong. How I wish I had forgotten a few ugly experiences from the past. But then I guess I wouldn’t be telling this story.

It all began after my eighteenth birthday. I was young and full of energy. Most people said I was beautiful, even fellow girls. I had tried not to let it get to me but with time I gave up trying. I became conscious of my feminine prowess and endowments. I wanted the best of what life offered and was optimistic that I could gain admission to study sociology at university, after which I would marry my dream man.

He came in the person of Roy Obi, a third-year accounting student. I was sulking from disappointment that my name wasn’t on the list of students offered admission when I noticed somebody watching me. I wanted to walk away when he said, “excuse me, I don’t think their skipping your name should make you stain your pretty face with tears.” At first I wanted to tell him to mind his business but he just continued, “my own name isn’t there too, but I’ll drink to that; I guess it is die another day for me.” This second statement really got to me, as I couldn’t understand somebody drinking to his not getting admission.

I found myself laughing and before I knew it we were chatting like old friends. He was actually a student and came to check for his sister's name which, as he jokingly stated, was just skipped. Two things made me take an instant liking for Roy. The first was his boyish charm while the second was his obvious intelligence and confidence.

Roy was everything I wanted. I guess I did fall in love with him the first week we went out. In his own way, he said he felt the sane. Youthful fancy took over my feelings as I justified to myself that we were meant for each other. I gave in to his every wish with reckless abandon. Not even my mother's advice that I confide in her before getting seriously involved with anyone restrained me from making a fool of myself. The story is that for six months, my world revolved around Roy, but unknown to me, he was pretending the whole time. Roy finally dumped me for other girls. Not that I refused any of his wishes. His reasons were that he was tired of my emotions and love and needed a break. At first I couldn’t believe it, but when he started avoiding me and I saw him with other girls, I needed no more sermons.

For two months, I was a prisoner of my own self. I sought all means to avoid contact with anybody and especially men. Even my cherished father got burnt in my generalization. I can still hear his questions: “Ada, why are you all by yourself these days, don’t you have friends to visit?" In one of my replies I told him to mind his business and that I was old enough to know when to visit friends. Some of my friends sympathized with me but I wanted none of their sympathies. I just wanted to be left alone. In a way, I had my way.

Time also had its way. It flew by so fast. My reclusion paid off as I made the merit list in the next admission year. I entered university with less than one-fifth the enthusiasm I had the previous year because I just didn’t care anymore. For me, men were not to be trusted and no opportunity must be lost in hurting any one of them. In time my anger matured, trimmed to an inner hatred that was hidden to all. I understood that I couldn’t get my revenge by avoiding the very objects of my revenge. Hence, I consciously entered into relationships with ready-made end plans.

I date one man after another with the sole aim of hurting them. I got so skillful that I sought out the emotional ones who wanted longer relationships. None could hold me down; if they had money I asked for something else, and if they didn’t have money, I asked for too much that they got fed up. This went on throughout my first and second year at university. I became so notorious for walking out on men that most male students looking for life partners to settle down with avoided me. But I wasn’t worried. I took my trade outside of school.

The hunting ground got larger as I met other girls who led my kind of life. We were united in our immorality but there the uniformity ended. Some of them did it for money, others did it for fun but I did mine for hatred. They couldn’t understand and often wondered why I did what I did. I remember Tina’s disgust when I refused the proposal of one banker. “Ada, what do you mean you can’t marry him, you want to continue this, our lowly life”? My stereotyped answer popped up: “Tina, relax. There is still time, and men still need some hard lessons."

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I come alive when I write and the feeling that those few lines may impact positively on a soul unknown to me or even elicit a smile makes it a worthwhile endeavour.

ekwy okafor | Feb 6th, 2007
is this a true life story or a fiction

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