As Told To Itohan

After the HER newsletter went out on Saturday, I got an email back from a woman who wanted to talk to me. She said she lost someone precious to her, and it was all her fault. So, I got her number and we had this conversation on WhatsApp.

Names are changed for the purpose of anonymity

How we met

It took me three years to get admission into the university. During that time, I was attending a tutorial in Ibadan, and that is how I met Paul, a friend of my friend. My friend introduced us and we got really close. After talking for a while, I discovered I like him. The feelings were mutual, so we started dating on my birthday, November 7th. I had just clocked 18, he was 17, and I wasn’t looking for a relationship then, but I just knew I couldn’t let Paul go away.

The thing is; I have suffered emotional abuse and have been depressed for a while now. I have been molested twice, and I couldn’t even tell my own mother because she was always so harsh towards me. It got so bad that I even had to leave home to stay with my aunt. I had attempted suicide twice, and I have a lot of insecurities. Paul was there for me anytime I needed someone to talk to. He loved me and I always wondered why. He knows all my flaws, but I still could not understand why he loves me so much.

The first mistake

It was the best relationship I ever had. He was understanding, helped with my depression and academics. We never had serious fights, just a few misunderstandings over little things. Everything was going good for a year until I met some guy on Facebook, John. John and I started talking, and the chats progressed to the point where he asked me to send him nudes. I sent some with my face hidden because I was so sure I would never see him in real life. He lived in Lagos, I lived in Ibadan, and I didn’t plan on sleeping with him. Unfortunately for me, he attended the same secondary school as Paul. One day, John posted my picture on his WhatsApp status, and Paul saw it. Paul asked how he knew me, and John told him everything. Paul forgave me, but I knew he was hurt.

The second mistake

In 2019, I finally got admission into University, but I somehow got scammed of my acceptance fee. I couldn’t tell my parents or Paul because I felt so stupid. Instead, lied to him that my parents couldn’t pay the acceptance fee, I couldn’t tell him the truth. Covid-19 came, so schools couldn’t resume and the deadline for payment was up. I was planning on running away cause of shame, so I wanted to break up with Paul. I was stressed. One day I went to see a friend, and I ended up drinking with him. We almost had sex, but I was on my period so it didn’t happen. I initially didn’t tell Paul about it, but I eventually told him about how I went drinking and how I almost cheated. He was disappointed but forgave me.

The third mistake

The money for the initial acceptance fee was something I eventually raised, but because I was paying late, the price had increased. I was so desperate, and because my parents were having financial issues, I was ready to sleep with anyone for money for my school fees. Then, I met this guy who promised to take care of me, and I slept with him thinking he’ll help. I keep texting and sexting him so he would feel interested, but hasn’t said anything. This led to me breaking up with Paul. I told him it was because I needed time to be alone, but it was really because I couldn’t tell him I cheated on him.

The end

Paul and I eventually got back together, but it was because he did not know I cheated. He found out after reading my chats, so he left. I tried explaining to him how I only did it because I was desperate, but he thought I chose the man over him.

I feel bad and selfish about what I did. He deserved better than me, and I wish he listened when I told him before we started dating. This is just the kind of person I am. When I think of the fact that the person I slept with didn’t even give me any money, I feel I lost both ways.

I will probably sink deeper into depression because I finally lost the only person that ever cared. Paul is a good person that didn’t deserve any of the things I put him through. If I say I love him, it’ll surely look like a lie because you don’t hurt those you love, but I love him. I should just have done better.

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