An unworthy sacrifice

They say love is about giving and taking. We must invest in love by nurturing, tending and protecting it, if we want it to grow and survive. We must make sacrifices if truly we want to enjoy the gains of love. But the question has always been, how much is one permitted to give, sacrifice to hold the attention of a lover? This is the story of the lady you are about to read. She said she has sent it in as a contribution to discourage other young girls from walking this self destruct path that she took when she began dating Austin at the tender age of 13. I have had to edit this story a bit, removing dates and location to protect her identity. Chatting with Ebi, (28) a computer analyst, brought me close to tears, especially giving all she lost holding on to a lopsided relationship. Indeed, love can be a swine, at times. I hope someone learns from this as she desires. Her story: “I met and fell in love with Austin when I was just 13 years old, in my JSS1 (first year at the secondary school). He was 17 or 18 years old at that time and in SSS1 at the same secondary school. We are from the same village. My family lived in the village, but his own didn’t. He was only sent to the village to acculturate since all the other children declined. Due to this fact, I bore most of the responsibilities over him as regards feeding, money for essential items such as soap and body cream and other minor needs. On some occasions, I’ve had to contribute towards his school fees, though I always insisted he should go to his parents for that. Even on these occasions, I had to pay his transport fare to the place which was in Ibadan. As all the other expenses were on me, I thought it fit that he should collect his school fees from his parents. Despite the fact that we were students, our love was very deep and we really cared for each other. But the relationship was not so pleasing to everyone who knew. First was the fact that I was rather young, also the intensity of our feelings was too much. As I was the last born of my parents, they supplied all my needs, most of which were transferred to Austin. Many of our school mates rained abuses on me demanding to know what I saw in this boy that tickled my fancy so much that I refused to look elsewhere. Though a few of my relatives knew about him and didn’t really mind, but when my mother got wind of it, she wasn’t happy at all. She insisted that his family was not good enough for me to marry in into and would always pray that they should change for the better, if truly we loved each other and would eventually marry. In appreciation of all I was doing for him, he wrote to inform his parents about me and asked them to always put it into prayer that he should not let me down for all my kindness and generosity towards him. As the years rolled by the relationship grew stronger. Friends were jealous of us and would advise me that it wasn’t in my best interest to depend solely on him as he could eventually jilt me for another lady. On one occasion, one of my uncles nearly beat the hell out of me because of this boy. But all this only made me love him the more and I ignored all the trials and tribulations. He used to encourage me in many ways too. He would teach me to speak good English while he too learnt to speak our native dialect from me. We were so close that we just had to see each other daily. If one of us should travel, the other will fall ill.

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