Each passing day, all I have left are the trails of the event, not how it started. It all made sense now what my dad said about “enemies lurking in the courtyard and perpetrators being your close ones”. It took me 7 years to realize I held myself hostage for a crime I did not commit. I beat myself up emotionally for failing when I did not know better.
There was this wave of adulthood I felt and I was barely 14. I became really guarded and secretive. I wanted to prove myself worthy of love. I was hungry for affection and Care. I needed someone to call my own. Guess it’s what they often say about the odds of being birth in a polygamous family; mine was built by an aging father. My ever-busy mum had just me and my introverted sister in a colony where everyone fought for themselves. I was alone, trying to navigate the sharks and perks of teenagehood. One thing was non-negotiable for my sister and me; quality education and I compensated by excelling in everything except mathematics. Getting a tutor for extra maths classes was the best move for my parents but the beginning of my woes.
AN ANGELIC DEMON
Dreaded by all, good with words but better with the whip…although deficient in looks, his genius brain was a glory to behold. He was a science teacher in my school, very charming in a weird way every girl would kill for a spot at his table. My smart mouth and my mother’s money secured me one and alas, he became my tutor in mathematics. The formulas remained a difficult nut to crack for my brain but the more I deteriorated in comprehending, the more he was relentless in making sure it sank. He listened, he cared not just about my academics but my wellbeing. He asked my opinion on things, was bothered if I had eaten, helped shape my dreams, and importantly, made me believe I was worthy. He was everything my parents were not. Before long, I fell helpless in love or better still in romance with him, my maths tutor. I was 14!
His favorite place was the science laboratory except he was parading to lay hold of a scapegoat roaming the corridor (You know how it is in secondary schools). I was not in science class but I stayed in the lab even more than the keeper. School usually closed at 4 pm after which I’ll start my extra class by 4:30 pm with a junior male student whose class ended by 6:30 pm while mine continued.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I have no vivid memory of how the romance with my teacher blossomed into light, I just found myself in the mix of getting bewitched by his charms which I always enjoyed. Mathematics was hard but there was something about him that made failing really nice. I did not get better at solving maths problems but I looked forward to his soothing caress after every failed attempt. He scolds me, I shed a tear or more and he brings me close, and hugs me really tight. He smelt really good then but picking up the smell now makes my head swim. He was good at scolding yet made me feel good at the same time. Before I knew it, we’ll start kissing, he’ll fondle my tender breasts and subdue my mouth with his extra full lips while his tongue went down my throat and his finger worked my clitoris.
HE UNDERSTOOD THE ASSIGNMENT
I always felt shrills down to my feet. He knew when and how to touch me and likewise tutored me how to fondle his penis instead of holding the lab cabinet while I moaned gently in the dark with no one in sight. One creepy occurrence was when my eyes caught the lab skeleton in a corner with its jagged jaw. It felt like it wore this look of surprise and sorry for me at the same time. How did I become this? How did my parents trust me to be in the care of a man all for learning the wheels of mathematics?
Our romance continued for a long time. He knew how to play the part; my sweet romance partner at night and the no-nonsense science teacher during the day who beats me harder than others if the need arises. It might seem one cannot keep up an act for too long. The walls started to talk, words flew among my classmates and even some teachers started to raise their eyebrows but no one dared say it out loud. After all, I was the well-behaved brilliant student and he was the good teacher. Every night, we continued on the same dose, except on weekends or days when he had to be in church or had another engagement. And those days made me long for him more. I was too obsessed, I couldn’t bear missing a turn.
BLIND MUM, PARANOID DAD… YET I SUNK
My mother was too blinded by my “supposed improvement” in mathematics to entertain any weirdly connected dots but my father had his reservations and swore to my mum he would kill him if he found out he had ulterior motives. My dad’s intuition is hardly wrong, safe to bank on, it always felt like jazz (vodoo) only that this time, the hints were not generous enough to show themselves. In order not to feel like the overly suspicious one, he made less noise about it.
I kept on enjoying the embrace of my beloved maths teacher. On some days, he apologized after long hours of romance and rambled about how we are so caught up in a ‘bad mix’ but he never stopped. At every slight opportunity, he either stole a quick kiss or fondled my breast. He made me feel special and worked my body in certain ways that caressing no longer did it for me. I wanted more and I started begging for sex but he wouldn’t budge, maybe he was too scared to. I decoded he felt I was too young, so I made it a habit of promising him my virginity after I left secondary school.
THE LONG GUILT DESPITE BREAKING THE OBSESSION
I graduated and passed mathematics successfully and our abysmal romance continued but I would say I made that choice because I was already 18. Slowly I started to embrace the world and got butterflies for teenage to teenage love and thus ventured into a relationship that led to a fast death of my romance with my maths teacher.
I have flashbacks and most times, I wish it never happened. He was my shepherd but he failed at caring properly for his sheep. Gaining knowledge of several experiences and reading about pedophilia makes me cringe. Despite working on accepting my past completely, it’s tough to forgive myself. I confronted him for taking advantage of me which he admitted to and apologized. Before then, He tried to pass the blame but I was firm in stating my case. “Yo, I was barely 14 when it started. I can’t remember how it started but I am sure I did not engineer it”. Even if I did, should a grown man accept the advances of a minor? Shouldn’t he have punished me severely and reported me to the school and my parents? But No, unbeknownst to me, what I cherished was birthed out of ignorance by a man exploiting my dysfunctional childhood.
I think I heard remorse in his tone but people can fake everything. I had to pretend I fully believe he’s deeply sorry so I could maintain my sanity. Looking back, he had a lot of girls around him, he probably did the same thing to them, though he made me believe he didn’t. I am working on accepting my past completely. I have forgiven him but I have not forgotten. Unfortunately, I still trust men, for someone who went through a lot with one, I thought a better one would have been compensation but I guess I am not just lucky with them lol.
How does one deal with childhood guilt that manifests itself even more especially with similar cases hitting the news daily? It’s like having to stitch a wound and having to reopen it recurrently against your will. Every time I hear a case of pedophilia/ molestation, a part of me breaks. A lot of us have a dark room shut in our hearts, we hope that it remains shut forever, but the mere thought of knowing the room exists is tormenting.
Do you harbor a dark room too? Could be one that laid its foundation since your childhood or maybe recently. Would you share just like I’ve shared? Have you forgiven yourself? I decided not to abandon the business of living because of my past. I have summoned the courage to say my story. I hope one day, I attach a name to it. More importantly, I hope it encourages you to let go. Let’s talk about these skeletons… Also, what do you make of my experience? Would you have played the cards differently in my shoes? I’ll appreciate your comments below 😪👇👇.
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