I didn’t set out to be beautiful. I did nothing to have the face I own and I did nothing to deserve the body that I have. I was born with it. I didn’t even know my face was beautiful or my body had something appealing to the beholders. I only woke up and existed just like any human being until I started hearing “You are beautiful” very often from people close by.
I was very young. I didn’t even know what it means to be beautiful so I would look into the mirror and look at everything I had and in the end say; “But there’s nothing I have that others don’t have?”
In senior high school, a teacher found me. He even proposed to me but I declined. I told him I was young and it wouldn’t be proper to date my teacher. He did things for me and I suspected he dashed me marks. I never had lower marks in his subject.
In my third year, he tried to forcefully have sex with me. He didn’t believe I was a virgin and he didn’t believe when I said I had no boyfriend. The only thing that saved me that day were the sports guys who came to his house to pick their sports equipment for training. That was very close so I learned not to get close to him.
The real ordeal of my life started at the university. By this time I knew the attention my presence drew so I tried to hide in big clothes. I never own a cloth that clung to my body. They were all loose and sometimes too long for comfort. I got closer to a guy who later became my boyfriend. He advised me to loosen up a little bit because no one was after me. I listened to him. I believed if people knew I had a boyfriend, they would leave me alone.
I was wrong.
A lecturer gave me his number to call him after class. When I called, he was blunt with me; “You are a beautiful girl and I want you to be my girlfriend. I haven’t ever asked a student out before but you are different so I have to act differently.” I responded; “I’m grateful you think I’m beautiful but I have a boyfriend and as such wouldn’t be right to date you.” He insisted and I kept declining. That semester, I failed his subject. I wrote again and I failed. He called one day to tell me; “You don’t have to go through all this. Just say yes and you wouldn’t have to write the paper again.”
I told him; “I have your voice on tape now. I’m going to write the paper again. If I fail, I’ll have no option than take you on.” I wrote the paper again and I passed. The only person I shared this story with was my boyfriend. He understood and was there for me. A year later, he left me. His reason was; “It’s very uncomfortable the way people look at you even when I’m with you. I know very soon they’ll snatch you from me.” I didn’t do anything wrong to him. He left just like that. Some women are able to keep their men with their beauty but mine only drove away the only person I’d ever loved and given my all to.
When school was over, I decided to use all my energy to find a job and dedicate everything to it. Luckily for me, I found a job where I did my service. It wasn’t offered to me on a silver platter, I had to do a lot of unpaid hours to be considered for that position. I worked so hard to be promoted the following year but people didn’t recognize the hard work. Instead, they said, “She’s giving her body to directors for promotion.” That didn’t stop me and I gave people no ears.
I had an opportunity to travel with my boss on a business trip to South Africa. It was supposed to be a one week trip. When we got to South Africa, I realized he booked only one hotel room for both of us. At first, I thought it was a joke but he insisted that was the only room available and he didn’t want us to sleep in different hotels so he booked it for both of us until a room becomes vacant then I moved in. I was triggered. It didn’t sound true but my boss had never given any indication that he wanted me.
I grudgingly obliged. That night became the longest night of my life. He gave me the bed and decided to sleep on the couch. At dawn, I felt something running on my skin. I was awaked but didn’t make any move. He kept moving from my back and then touched my bum. He did that for a long time but I pretended I was sleeping. I was threatened but didn’t want to wake up. I was only hoping he wouldn’t try to go any further but some minutes later he tried opening my legs. That was when I suddenly got up.
He looked into my face. I looked into his face. I asked him, “Is that the reason you booked a single room for u…” before I could complete my statement, he pounced on me and started trying to have his way with me. I struggled with him. He was bigger but I tried with all my might to fight him off. He tore off my shorts and was holding on to my pant while he lied on top of me. At that moment I got frozen. He seemed to get stronger at every minute while I got weaker at every passing second.
He succeeded in tearing off my pant. I tried to scream but he used his knee to lock my left hand while he used his free hand to fold my torn shorts and pushed it into my mouth. At that moment, I could only break down and cry as I watched him have his way with me. I didn’t even realize when he finished. I was so paralyzed I couldn’t even lift my body after he had gotten off me.
Later, I heard the shower running and minutes later, he returned in the couch and slept away. It was the longest night of my life as I laid there buried in sweat with pains all over my body. I was totally broken but tears kept coming and coming.
The next morning, he came to me looking all remorseful and started apologizing. The only thing I said was, “Can I go back to Ghana now?” He said, “But we came only yesterday?” Later that day, he got me another room in the hotel. I locked myself up and cried and cried. At some point, I thought of stabbing him with a knife. I thought of poisoning him too. For the next five days, I never stepped out and I never attended any of the meetings.
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On the plane coming back to Ghana, he placed a cheque on my lap. I looked at it. GHC35,000. I picked it up, tore it into two and put it into my purse. I told him; “Pray we both die on this plane because when we reach Ghana alive and well, it would be the end of you.”
He served two years out of the seven-year jail term last month. Five more years to go. Though I resigned from the company, they gave me a very huge compensation. Nothing has changed. I still go around bearing the curse of beauty. Men don’t trust I’m single so they don’t approach. Those who approach me don’t want commitment because, in their mind, I’m too hot to be marriage material. But I’m content. I have work and I have life. All the rest will fall in place at the right time.