Short Stories, Tale Africa

Jacob and I

By Kathryn Yule Mweupe Kazibwe:

Few things are harder than forgiving oneself, especially for breaking, to no gain, a promise that was meant to be kept. I know this, but I still make promises, to myself as well as to others, and keep breaking those promises.

When I vowed to keep myself sexually pure until marriage, I was serious about it. When the time came, I wanted a good marriage to a worthy man, and I thought, still think that the only way to get that is by being worthy. The turning point came the day I met Jacob. It was at a friend's birthday party. Jacob came up to me and told me I was beautiful. At 18 years of age, nobody had ever told me I was beautiful or even looked at me like I was, apart from my parents. And they don't count. So when Jacob pulled my tipsy self onto his lap, kissed my neck and whispered in my ear that he loved my eyes and my scent even more, I knew I was gone. The only reason I didn't leave with him that night is because my sisters and I were in a hurry to sneak back into home.

We kept in touch. Jacob was a poet, and with every little story he spun, every love text he sent, I was sucked deeper into the mire I called love. He had me eating out of the palm of his perfectly formed hand. This was the first time I'd felt passionate about anyone. One moment I was a protected mommy's girl, the next I was a burning woman. Jacob took me out many times, for lunch, dinner, to parties, to church even. Each time he held my hand and ended the meeting with his long lingering kisses that I couldn't get over. And each time I wanted him more as he bade me farewell with a cocky smile. He knew what I wanted, and he was stoking the fire by making me wait.

Jacob is the beginning of my story. He opened my eyes, my heart, he opened me in a way nobody ever had. I loved him the way only an 18 year old virgin could love a 23 year old poet. I was changed inside, denatured. I no longer asked God to strengthen me against the desires of my flesh. Instead I thanked Him for sending someone for whom my desires were not a sin anymore, but a gift.

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