“Can you send me some money please”, he’d call and ask. I sent it to him. He called back again another day, “Give me just a little more. Just about 50 Ghana cedis would help…” I tried not to ask him why he needed money so urgently because it was unlike him. However, at this point, I knew I had to ask, “I am in some trouble and I will tell you later. Just send it please” he hung up. I knew he must have really needed the money to ask me. I have known Theo from Sunday school; we have always been devout Christians. He’s the kind of guy who’d do everything for everybody and receive nothing from everybody. Theo is my best friend and I knew I had to help him without question.
A few weeks after, Theo called me and said there was something he had to tell me, “I am so traumatized and I have been trying to find a way to tell you for a long time.” Listening to his voice, I was terrified. “What’s wrong?” I responded quickly. “Nobody knows…you will be disappointed. My family will be disappointed if they knew. It is really bad.” I was beginning to think he had cancer or something dreadful happened. He was so disturbed that he said he won’t be able to tell me over the phone unless we met in person. That got me nervous.
After a few days, we managed to meet at a restaurant. There, we spoke about a lot of things and I observed his effort to stall from telling the actual story we had met to discuss. “Cut the chase. What’s wrong, Theo?” It was then that he nervously blurted out his story.
He told me about how unprepared he’s been for sex. He never thought that he’d have sex before marriage especially without a well-paying job but it happened so unexpectedly. Shortly after sex, the girl told him that she was pregnant. The trauma, verbal abuse and the extortion the girl put him through was devastating. Abortion was a thought that lingered in my head; how sad I always felt about it considering how a little life is thwarted without a chance to blossom on this earth. The stance my religion had about it had always been a breath of fresh air for me.
While he told me the story, I caught myself going against my values and beliefs as a Christian, “I hope she agreed.” I thought to myself. We are Christians and we would have spoken against abortion any day but at that moment, we found ourselves in a situation that made us prone to our humanity.
She agreed to do the abortion and after that, she continued to complain of pains, extorted more money for her upkeep, her debts and family. Through all this, she continued to verbally abuse him for not being empathetic enough. Theo took her to the hospital with the very last of his savings, only to find out from the doctor that she’s done multiple abortions and from the tests, she shouldn’t be in any pain at all. It would surprise you to know, that immediately, she got well and all her pains literally disappeared when the doctor said this. She didn’t drag her feet to the car like she had done before neither did she say a word the whole journey back. Theo was surprised that the girl took advantage of him.
The problem on Theo’s side was not the mistake he made by having unprotected sex with her because that in fact could have happened to ANY boy. The problem was the fact that he was naïve, ignorant, unprepared and inexperienced. He believed that listening to, “Thou shall not commit fornication” could save him from a girl who had planned to get pregnant for him, get married to him and continue to enjoy his family’s wealth. “Thou shall not commit fornication” did not give him strength to walk away from the girl’s advances and seduction when it happened unexpectedly.
I wasn’t surprised at all because many who totally trust in their faith (religion) to protect them as young people are often failed miserably. It’s sad to note that religion today, shields the unconventional truth from young people; they are not shown practical ways on how to deal with their sexuality. What for? Just to protect IMAGE. Sorry to burst your bubbles, religious people, but we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in a real world where unorthodox things happen inevitably.
So what am I saying? As I have always said, religion has got to do more than give rules. Religion and parents have to actually be there for their kids and give them practical ways to help them be safe and ensure that they are. “Taking a bath each time a guy is horny is not good sex education” that has to end.
This story will be on the next podcast episode on VOIICE Podcast. Watch out for it!