By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
Hi, my name is Samantha. I used to be a good person until about a year ago when I started cheating on my current boyfriend Taku with my ex-boyfriend's cousin, Rodney. Yeah I know, it already sounds twisted huh? Well wait till you hear the full story. I met Taku at a really low point in my life. I had just broken up with my high school sweetheart, Tashinga and I was taking it pretty bad. Tashinga was the first guy I had ever loved and I was so sure that he would be the last. We had made promises to each other about life and eternity and we even had names for our children. Tashinga was it for me. He was the reason why I believed in soul-mates and as long as I had him, I didn't need anything else.
That was until what, even today, remains the most painful day of my life. I had gone to Bermuda on secondment from Delloite and I was meant to be there for a year but I changed my contract so that I would only be away for six months. I missed home too much and I couldn't bear to be away from Tashinga for that long. Anyway, after the six months, I came back and decided that I wouldn't tell Tash that I was coming; I would surprise him. I got to his house around 8am on a Saturday morning. I knew he'd still be sleeping because he usually woke up around 10am on Saturdays because of 'drinks with the boys' on Friday nights. I used my spare key and let myself into the house and, trying my hardest not to make too much noise, I got into the kitchen and made him breakfast. I figured I would surprise him with his favourite omelette and a nice cup of coffee. When I was done cooking, I put everything in a tray and snuck upstairs to his room. When I got in, I got the shock of my life! Lying with him in bed was another woman! She was lying face down so I couldn't see who it was.
I froze for about twenty seconds. Part of me wanted to drop the tray and go to him and start hitting him on the head with the hardest object I could find. But then if I dropped the tray he would wake up and be able to defend himself. A part of me wanted to do it old school and go downstairs and get boiling water and throw it all over him as he slept and watch him writhe in pain. Another part of me was too hurt and wanted to just break down and cry. In the end, what I did was a mixture of all of that. I threw the tray onto the wall next to him which woke him up suddenly and before he could say anything I was on top of him, hitting him on the head with my fists: 'Tashinga! How could you betray me like this?!' I screamed. He covered his face and started yelling, 'Wait Sam, I can explain' but I kept hitting him until I finally relented and began to cry uncontrollably.
I had, for that moment, forgotten about the whore lying next to him but she got my attention when she said in a confused voice, 'Samantha?' I looked across at her, wondering how she knew my name and when I saw her, I realised that I knew her very well. It was my little sister Jackie! My heart dropped. It was one thing that Tashinga had cheated on me but the fact that he had done it with my own sister just took things to another level. I was numb. I tried to speak but the words couldn't come out; instead tears started streaming down my cheeks. I felt like if I stayed in that room longer I would vomit. So, I stormed out.
Tashinga got up and followed me. He caught me by the door and said, 'Nothing happened Sam, I promise. We met at the bar last night and we started drinking. Jackie was too drunk to drive home so I told her she could come and spend the night here.' I looked at him and he was wearing his boxers and a white tank top. Jackie had been naked in the bed. The anger I had been feeling earlier began to rise up again inside me and I found my voice. 'Do you think I'm a fool Tash?! Huh? Do you think I'm stupid? Why was she naked in your bed then? Huh?'
That last question stunned him. He started to stutter. 'Uhm I……I…… the thing is…. Uhm…' He was searching for the words but he just couldn't find them. 'I thought as much!' I said as I pushed him away and opened the door to leave. 'It's over Tashinga! I'm done!'
That was the last time I ever spoke to him. He tried to reach out but I just couldn't get myself to talk to him again. It wasn't that I hated him but it was that I hated myself for ever loving him so completely. He had made a fool out of me. The next few months were horrible. I would cry myself to sleep every night and I had a sharp pain in my heart that was constant and never went away. I think they call it heart ache. My friends didn't know what to do with me because I was always sad and the slightest thing could set me off in tears. It was a really dark time in my life.
This was when I met Taku…
Taku was a really sweet guy. We met through a mutual friend who thought that I needed to get out more and live a little; so she organised a blind date for us. I reluctantly agreed predicting that it would be a boring evening out, listening to an egotistical man talking about his accomplishments and trying to show me how 'different' he was from other guys. But instead, it was quite the opposite. He seemed to genuinely want to know more about me and he looked at me as if his life depended on every word I said. The date went really well and for the first time that night when I went to sleep, I thought of something other than Tashinga and the pain he had caused me.
Still, I was guarded and didn't want to get into any relationship. I was still emotionally battered. I told Taku this on our third date and all he did was smile and say, 'I've made up my mind about you Samantha and if you need time then that's okay, I will wait.' And he did. For almost a year and a half. He really was the sweetest man. He was patient, never angry, never late for anything and always, always in control. He was a perfectionist of sorts.
After about two years since we first met, we decided to move in together. I had been reluctant to do so but he insisted, saying at the time, 'We spend so much time at your place that I might as well move in. I mean, half of my stuff is here anyway.' Eventually I agreed and he moved in. This was when I began to see flaws in Mr Perfect. It was always either his way or no way. He had to make all the decisions about everything: what groceries we bought, where we went out for dinner, what clothes I wore. In the beginning I let him, believing that he was just exercising his authority as the man of the house. But it became excessive and he started dictating which of my friends could come over and visit and tell me which hairstyle to wear. He would never shout at me but he would say what he wanted to say in a forceful manner, which would scare me.
There was a time when we were about to go out for dinner and he pulled out a red dress from my wardrobe and told me to wear it and I said, 'No. I'm not going to wear that. I want to wear something else.' He walked up to me and grabbed my shoulders and said in his forceful yet controlled tone, 'Samantha, I advise you to put on the red dress that I put on the bed or else…'
'Or else what?' I replied.
'Or else I will beat you up so badly that nobody will recognise you,' he said. There was a way in which he said it which made me believe that he meant what he said. I started shaking and put on the red dress.
Ever since then I began to feel trapped in the relationship. The only time I really felt free was when I was alone. But as soon as Taku came home I became timid and subdued. I felt more like his personal slave than his girlfriend. The worst part was that I couldn't tell anyone about my situation because I was afraid nobody would believe me. Also, I was afraid of the consequences should Taku ever find out that I had spoken to someone about our personal lives. I always figured that somehow, some way, I would get out of the relationship. I just didn't know how or when.
This was when I met Rodney…
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