I was once a sidechic. I wanted to be one of the ‘big girls’ so bad, I lost myself and nearly died in the process.
After staying unemployed for about three years post my HND, a friend of my father connected me to a man and his wife. They had vast amounts of land for sale at Westland and East Legon and they had some private and commercial properties for sale and rent. They were both not very educated so they hired me to do bookkeeping and sanitize their operations. I did my job, and they paid me and were kind to me.
I really didn’t know their story, all I knew was that they had come up from the bottom.
Some of my school friends who worked in the area began to pop in to see me for time to time and that’s how the pointed out to me the man looks at me a certain way. I didn’t take it serious. Then one Friday my friends came to pick me for a beach party after work. The man said he would drop us somewhere close because he was headed in that direction.
He ended up dropping us at La Beach and my friends invited him for a drink. As we sat down chatting, the topic turned to married men and sidechics, the man made a comment about how it was a waste of time to date a young man who won’t marry you, he said it would be better to find an older man who won’t marry you but can financially support.
As the drinks hit, one of my friends asked if he liked me, he said yes but I was ignoring his signs. Long story short, my friends pressured me to accept him. They pointed out my cheap clothes and how I still lived at home and shared a bedroom with my three siblings. I remember one of these girls telling me it didn’t matter if i didn’t love the man, I should just close my eyes to how unattractive he was and pretend to enjoy the intimacy.
The man started showering me with money and gifts, he even let the company driver teach me to drive and I began to use one of their cars. I started seeing him, and my only rule was “no kissing.”
I could not bring myself to kiss his mouth, it was gross. I know, it is stupid because I did let him sleep with me, I don’t know why I felt not kissing him made me morally straight. After about a year and a half of sneaking around, he gave me a two bedroom apartment out of the apartment complex they were renting/selling. He told his wife it would be deducted from my salary, it was a lie.
He would spend countless hours in that apartment with me. By that time I had grown comfortable in the affair. It’s interesting how the brain adjusts itself to our choices; I no longer found him repulsive, the no kiss rule went out the window. I began to throw my weight about in the office, and tried some low key competition with the Mrs. After all I knew where her husband was while she was busy calling and looking for him. Roughly three months after I moved into my new apartment, a boil appeared on my perineum, much like a small pimple.
Within days it had become extremely painful, and then it began to ooze a stinky pus. I went to hospital after hospital; doctor after doctor, all to no avail. I was diagnosed with human papilloma virus, and yet no treatment worked. The wound got bigger and deeper. Any excrement around that area became a nightmare for me. Soon, I could hardly walk. The pain coursed through me as if all my nerve ending were on fire. If I had to walk, I had one leg on the East Coast and another on the West Coast.
A doctor said he would have to operate, cut out the infected area, which would have been my entire perineum and reconstruct it artificially. So this meant my anus and my vaginal opening would come together, till the reconstruction was done. My parents moved me back home and began taking care of me, while we awaited the surgery.
But one morning, my father came home with my very old Great Aunt, she is a spiritualist. She came to my room and closed the door, “You have taken something that isn’t yours and bitten the hand that feeds you, talk to me,” she said.
I tried to deny knowledge of whatever she was saying, but she was persistent. “You will die within forty days if you don’t talk,” she looked in my eyes, dead serious. In that moment I knew what she wanted me to confess, so I did.
My Great Aunt and my parents carried me to my employers’ home. And there my mother and Great Aunt knelt in apology before the wife. My aged great Aunt began to sing in our local language, a song that basically says, “Don’t cut away your thigh because a baby urinated on it.”
The woman whispered something into my Great Aunt’s ear. And she arose with thanks. The next day, the old woman came to see me with a big chunk of clay she had broken off a termite nest, and she began to apply it to my wound, along with some prayers. Within a week I was healing, no longer smelling and able to walk.
It’s been a year and half, and I am back to square one; unemployed and broke. And my father has not said not one word to me. I understand him, I embarrassed him and his friend who got me the job. I’ve lost everything, most especially the father who was always my biggest cheerleader. But I learned an invaluable lesson; it is better to eat in peace than in anxiety.