I had come to the university full of dreams. My Momma had drummed it in my head that a good husband was to be preferred over education. Of course, I had not listened to her. I had obeyed my instincts.
My instincts sang a different tune. I had come to believe a whole world of opportunities would open to me after I had acquired enough education. I went off to school on an empty stomach. But I did not care. My head was full of possibilities. Pregnant possibilities.
At university, I was haunted by the words of Momma. I examined them in the light of the various theories I was cramming in my head. A vicious battle raged in my mind. It became impossible to tame the lioness that had awoken within. This lioness had a beautiful mane. I named her Desire.
Desire was ruthless. She demanded more than she gave. I wanted to belong. I wanted to bag both a degree and a husband. I fell in love with my Psychology lecturer. He was an intelligent man. I was particularly enthralled by the way he rolled knowledge off his tongue. I wanted to earn his praise. I wanted him to see me as a serious student and worthy wife material. In me, I wanted him to forget his long dead wife. It did not matter that he was old enough to be my father. For me, his wrinkles added to his wisdom and distracted from his age. I wanted to prove to Momma I was not a failure. A girl could live out her dreams despite daunting setbacks.
I started scoring as a Psychology. The concept meant nothing to me. I only mastered them as a means to achieve an end. Soon my hard work paid off. He noticed me. He showered me with endless praise. He started inviting me to his home. He filled my head with images of all the places I could go if I continued learning. I did not care. I only wanted to satisfy Desire. She had become more insistent, more demanding. Perhaps she was spurred on by Momma’s words.
One night my lecturer took me to dinner. It was a fancy restaurant with tongue-twisting food. I felt so out of place. I only tagged along because it was a necessary evil in my quest to win his heart. We ended up having sex after dinner. It happened on the warm carpeted floor in his plush apartment. All I remember was a searing pain that tore away at my inside. I wobbled home wondering about the useless hype over sex. I bore the pain. Desire was satisfied. For the first time in a long while, I slept like an over-fed baby. Momma’s words did not ring in my sleep.
Days later I woke up in excruciating pain. I had soiled my sleeping cloth with blood. I did not know what it was. I was afraid to speak out. I silently bore the pain.
Written by Afiah Obenewaa
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