There is something about the first time you go to a place; it takes too long and you notice the little details. They say our lives are being steered by a supreme hand. They say we do not have control over most things that happen to us. I remember that day so well; the little details, I know I will remember forever.
I can’t tell you my name; my father is well known in the city. He doesn’t call me his son anymore. ‘Everything points to a choice; heaven or hell,’ he said. ‘you chose hell.’ The disgust on his face when he said it, my skin stopped being mine from that day, I looked at myself and saw dark spots. That must be what he saw too. Dark spots. Blemishes.
I offered to help with organising the social night, we had just finished the senior secondary certificate examination, I could find nothing to distract me from the boredom. The exams were over, the ‘cool’ kids had no use for me anymore. This was my fifth year in the school, I was familiar with the script. Most nights while the rest of the school are in their respective classes observing the night preparatory session, they gathered at the general staff room with the ‘cool’ teachers who happened to live inside the school. The invitation to the general staff room was restricted, this meant it was out of bounds from kids like me during the night hours. We heard the cool teachers who popularly called themselves the three musketeers occasional brought in alcohol. I would hear them laughing. Some nights I would stare at my books and plan on how to report them to the school principal the next morning, other times, I envied them, I wanted to be part of them. They avoided me like a plague. My father was the Bishop of the diocese.
That week, everyone was talking about the social night which would be our last in the school. There was an endless supply of party wears. One of the boys in Hostel B opened a mini boutique where he sold these outfits, only it was traded for beverages and whatever you owned which the seller found valuable, instead of money. I exchanged my wristwatch with the ‘happening’ dirty jeans.
Two days to the party, Malema, the boy whom I had pleaded with to help me get into their circle suggested that I go with him to the staff quarters to put finishing touches to the arrangements with one of the teachers. Malema had no brains for school, I knew that, my classmates knew that too. But, I also know that if I were to stand next to him, people would pick him for the smart one instead of me. What he lacked in academic abilities, he gained in looks. I watched his strides as I walked behind him to the staff quarters. People like him need not put in much effort to make things happen for them, it just came to them.
We got to the staff quarters. The soft rug underneath my feet, the blues coming from the radio, for about a second I forgot I was still within the four walls of the school. ‘I brought this one for you.’ Malema told the teacher. He looked me over and smiled warmly. For the first time in five years, I felt seen.
He pulled me closer and started to touch me.
The counsellor Father would take me to many years later said I was abused in that room. It felt nothing like an abuse. But I kept this thought to myself.
The very failure of food to reward is what drives us to eat more. I did it all the time with whoever and wherever.
‘Waiting gives the devil time.’ Father said, after the 7 days deliverance session he organised for me. I wanted to take some time to rediscover myself, like the motivational books I was given to read said. He wouldn’t have it any other way, he wanted me to get intimate with a female. ‘That is the design by God.’ He said.
It has been 21 years; I keep trying to be unfaithful in a steady relationship.