I had my first boyfriend when I was seventeen. The guy was good to me but deep down I didn’t feel right being with him. I realized that I would be wasting his time if I continued to be with him, so I let him go.
After him, I tried dating a few others but it never felt right with any of them either. The longest I had been with anyone was three months. The only physical thing that happened with them was kissing. That’s because I had made a vow to God that I would keep my virginity until marriage.
Even though things didn’t feel right with all the guys I had dated I was determined to meet the one guy who would be perfect for me. In January 2021, I met this guy on social media and a conversation struck from there. He didn’t have the qualities I wanted in a man but I felt I would give him a try and make things work.
He was caring, loving, and very respectful of me. That made me turn a blind eye to his shortcomings. With him, I put in all my efforts but there was a voice in my head constantly telling me that the relationship wouldn’t work. I ignored the voice and kept pushing. In our third month together, I had the strong urge to do shuperu. When I told my boyfriend about it he asked, “Are you sure this is what you want?” I said yes and proceeded to lose my virginity to him.
After we did it, I felt very bad and guilty. I had broken my vow to God and it wasn’t even worth it. I didn’t enjoy the act as much as I thought I would. I decided that sex was overrated. I began to withdraw from my boyfriend. The more I withdrew from him, the more he became attached to me. After a while, I ended things with him. He didn’t want to let me go but eventually, he did. By the end of March 2021, I had completely cut ties with him.
Somewhere in August, I met a man who introduced himself to me as Jerry. I was twenty-five at the time, while he was thirty-four. I was concerned about the age gap but my best friend encouraged me to give it a shot. This guy was smoother than oil. I had never been captivated by a man the way I was with him.
He pushed all the right buttons and said all the right things. I thought I knew all there was to know about men until I met Jerry. In the beginning stages of our relationship, he told me he was a single dad. He said “I have a daughter with my ex. She left us to travel abroad so I am the one taking care of my daughter.” I was touched by his situation.
I tried to invite Jerry to church several times but he always told me he was busy. I believed him and I always prayed for him. One day he came to my house in his car. When I saw the car I started having doubts about him.
The car was too fancy for the kind of picture he painted about himself. He presented himself as a struggling single father who was trying to provide for his child but his car screamed the opposite. Instead of asking him questions I didn’t. I was enjoying the bubble we were in and I feared what knowing the truth would do.
One day we were sitting in his car when he got touchy. I tried to get him to stop but he refused. Things got out of hand and he had his way with me. After that experience, I became attached to him. That was when he started withdrawing.
I called Jerry for a whole week and he didn’t answer my call. He reached out to me two weeks later with excuses. He said “I am sorry. I had to travel for work and I got really busy.” I forgave him even though my mind kept telling me to flee from him. He came to visit me and we sat in his car to talk. He promised me he wouldn’t ignore me again and I believed him.
That day too he had his way with me in his car. When he left he ignored my calls and texts. I felt stupid, cheap, and used. I told my best friend what was going on, and she advised me to cut ties with him. I tried to do it but I couldn’t. I knew that my relationship with him was unhealthy but I had gone and fallen in love with him.
A part of me was convinced that I would let him go if I got some closure. I didn’t know where he lived but I knew his neighbourhood. Every day when I closed from work, I went there to look for him. Eventually, I saw him one day. He was heading home from work. I asked him “Why did you say you wouldn’t ignore me again, only to do it?” He apologized and gave me a lot of stories, using his daughter as an excuse.
I started talking to him again and he came to visit. We were sitting in his car when he tried to touch me. This time around I was firm. I fought him with all my resolve and he didn’t succeed. He was holding his phone when a call came through. He tried to hide the screen but I saw the caller ID. It said “Wifey”.
I was too scared to confront him so I just got out of the car and went to cry in my room. I was looking for closure and I found it. I had been dating a married man without knowing. Jerry was a player and a master of the game. My naïve ass got played and it hurt like hell. I decided to stop talking to him and move on with my life. Unfortunately for me, I found out that I was pregnant just around that time.
I called him several times but he didn’t answer my calls. My best friend went with me to his house to look for him. He wasn’t home when we arrived but there was a woman in the house. She introduced herself to us as Jerry’s wife. This woman had a Muslim name and she dressed like one. I wondered if we were even at the right house. I described him physically to the woman and she confirmed that was her husband.
I told the woman, “Please forgive me for what I am about to tell you. I didn’t know he was married when I met him.” I went on to tell her all about the events that led to my visit, including the pregnancy. The woman’s first response was “I believe that like many women, you have fallen prey to my husband’s charms and lies. His name is not even Jerry. His name is Jebril, and he is a Muslim.
I am sorry for the troubles he has caused you.” She told me she would help me and we exchanged contacts. I was surprised that this woman didn’t see me as an enemy but as the victim that I truly was. I wanted to laugh at myself for falling into such a messy situation, but I was too pained. Jebril called me the following day threatening me “The next time you come near my house, I will shoot you. Walahi, mark it somewhere.” I was shocked.
Later his wife also called me. She said “I am sorry, I cannot help you. He has threatened to kick me out if I get involved. I wish you all the best.” My only response was “Wow, what a mess!” When he called me again, he said we should go to the lab to get a proper test done. I agreed and he was the one who went for the results. He called to tell me that the pregnancy wasn’t his because the dates didn’t add up.
He said he would help me get rid of it if that’s what I want. I was working to support myself in school. Having a baby wouldn’t help my situation so I agreed to get rid of it. Somehow my church elders found out and they advised me against it. They made me tell my family about it. My mother asked me to keep it but my siblings said no. They said “The man doesn’t even want to accept responsibility for the pregnancy. This is not something you should do alone, especially with your financial situation. Don’t keep it.” I thought about what they said and I knew keeping the baby would be too much.
They got me some pills and I took them. We lied to my mum and my church elders that I miscarried. I am constantly racked with guilt when I think about what I did and the lie I told. My relationship with God has become distant because of it. I have tried to forgive myself and move on but it hasn’t been easy.
This experience has taught me so much in life. I used to judge people whose life looked different from mine. I used to point fingers at people and call them names when they made mistakes. Now I know how wrong I was.
I have learned to have empathy and to pray for others instead of judging them. I decided to share my story because of Ama’s story, the one who said she had a baby with Mr Wrong while she waited for Mr Right. I am praying that in God’s time Mr Right will find me. Until then I am asking you, readers, to leave a word of encouragement for me.