Once, I had a stalker. I don’t know how it was that he took interest in me, or how it began, or how long he had been planning and designing– but soon as he launched out, his every move took me unawares, completely by a strand of hair. He would leave tiny little notes on my locker–
“You turn me on.”
“I want you.”
“You look beautiful today.”
“Your ear-ring is lovely.”
It was exciting and confusing. I was twelve, little, shy, friend-less and weird. He was something around sixteen, tall, light skinned, gorgeous and downright attractive. No one had ever said those things to me. I had never imagined myself as the kind that “turned people on” or the “kind to be wanted”. Such was my self esteem or may I say, sense of reality– that I took no impress-able notice of how I looked or dressed. Granted, I would wear a lip balm every now and then, and apply some “Blue Dream” once a while– but that had been it. And more than dream that it would capture hearts, I had just wanted to feel half as good as half the girls that half the boys thought half the world agreed were the perfect kind. I was nothing like them.
So, it was exciting that he would choose me– at first. A new kind of motivation saw me to school every other day, anticipating his raunchy confessions. But it soon got worse, somewhat threatening– he would take my notes, and any fancy belongings, returning them with rather egregious paintings and writings–
“I am madly in love with you.”
There would be people touching people. And every time we crossed paths in the school corridor, he would penetrate my insides with his eyes. My stomach would turn. I couldn’t keep up any longer. The excitement was fast waning, unceremoniously turning into fear, and angst. So I told mama when I returned home the other day.
“Mama, a boy has been disturbing me.”
Her nostrils flared. Her pupils bulged.
“Has he been touching you? What has he been doing to you?”
“Nothing mama. Nothing. He has just been sending letters and notes.” and I had proceeded to reveal his once-happy-now-turned-dreary secret letters to her. She had not said a word more, until Papa returned. Soon after, they had called me from my room. We had to talk, they said.
“Your mother said you have been applying make-up to school, is that so?” Papa began.
“No daddy. Iz just lip balm.”
“At your age! Who taught you to do those things? What message are you trying to send and to whom?”
I was flustered. Lost for words.
“You see the kind of things you cause when you start acting beyond your age? See the rubbish messages a young boy is sending to you. Is that what they teach you at school? Is that what I sent you to school for?”
At this time, tears had started brewing.
“Henceforth, no more make-up! I will see your Principal tomorrow. Good night.”
“I am sorry sir. Thank you sir.”
But they didn’t understand, I thought to myself upon resuming my bed in a pool of tears. I just wanted to feel good. I just freaking wanted to feel good.
That day indeed passed, and so did the next. I had stopped wearing make-up and had become a little too self aware, bordering on me consciously trying not to look good. About a week after, he had seized upon me during lunch, kissed and fondled with my fast budding breasts. The excitement returned, as did the fear and angst. But there could be no telling this time. There could be no telling…
© The Short Black Girl, 2016.