My Prince Charming, I’m 16 years old and dating a 21-year-old man. This seemed normal until your old 30-year-old self realises that this was complete BS.
You’re young, vibrant and your body has blossomed into all sorts of womanliness. Damn that voluptuous body drives everyone mad. The old women shout at you saying you think you’re all grown. Some plumping you put for they see a potential Makoti for their old sons. I know most young girls who are curvaceous have gone through this phase.
Your peers think you’re matured because your boobs can fill a B cup. Boys your age see you as a snack like damn I gotta have her. Those in higher grades see their next target; they’ll get away with it because you don’t look your age. Then comes to the older men who whisper sweet nothings and tell you how mature you are, how you do not think like your peers. Damn, it’s hard to write this.
Okay, eyes dry now. Your mom continually telling you not to stand with boys at the corner, don’t interact with older men. You ask why she gives you a stern look and leaves you at abafana izilwane (boys/men are animals) your innocent self left puzzled for days what mama meant. The old gogo emcimbini always poking your ass, passing remarks such as ay ume kahle, izitho zake, ay uzele uMaSibiya. Basically, what the old women are saying your ripe and ready to produce. That random gogo who always calls you Makoti and when you think of it his youngest son is 23 years old and in varsity. Teachers always telling you to pull down your skirt but you can’t help it you’re gifted. Teachers humiliating you because of your big ass. Oh! Then comes the male teachers who didn’t want you to sit in front because they can’t hold themselves, and others would advise you to wear pants more often, and that time it’s 60 degrees outside.
Basketball, that one sport you love, you always found yourself practising with the boys and your coach would say you’re the best in the girls’ team. Every second of practice the guys would try to touch your ass in the name of defence.
Welcome back, when you were 16 this seemed all normal. Your naive young self saw nothing wrong with this behaviour, and at times you’d enjoy the attention but deep down you wished you could disappear because it was uncomfortable. Then comes this cute boy, your age, the same grade and asks you to his girlfriend. Lord! Ecstatic, first boyfriend and he’s the cutest in the grade. After the March holidays Easter weekend the boys at church from other branches start noticing you now you’re on fire. You’re damn hot, and you know it. Back to school, your boyfriend doesn’t do it for you because he hasn’t lied and told you how matured you are. How your conversation is so adult-like, you’re smarter than most girls your age. You now see him as a child because he hasn’t had the ‘adult talk’ with you. He’s still in the holding hands and skipping around town phase.
You break up with him and start dating the 21-year-old who’s working wherever. You’re in cloud nine because he treats you like an adult. Well it took years for him to finally make you his girlfriend. All these years he was scouting you, he’d tell you how beautiful you are, how well-mannered you are. How you do not behave like all the other girls. How your pink ponytails gives you a sense of a matured young woman. Yes he uses the word woman every time he talks to you.
Now that you’re dating, he takes you to the most expensive places Spur. For a high school kid Spur is pretty much wow, you’re loaded. High school boyfriend could only buy you a small packet of Doritos and Tropika. He could only take you to McDonald’s and buy the kiddies meal for himself and Big Mac for you. Now, this guy takes you to the movies twice a month while with high school boyfriend, he would take you once a month or every blue moon. Uyazi, he has to save his lunch money. This guy has a backroom or friends with back rooms, and convinces you standing at the corner is so immature. And you’re too matured to stand at the corner with him.
“Only now I realise he was protecting himself and he knew how wrong it was to be with a high school kid. And yes, he wanted more.”
High school boyfriend would always prefer that you guys stand at the corner by your street and if you want to chill you can go chill at his place outside. Which was pretty standard and whenever you’d be indoors his sibling would be there or sometimes his parents, you’d play games FIFA & Need For Speed, most girls are pros.
Back to the groomer, he has managed to convince you to go to his backroom or the friend’s room. When you get there, the setup is on point (you come from a ‘big house’, but this shack/room is heaven because you’ve been taught about privacy in a relationship). Backroom vibes, Tennis Biscuits, Tropika, Cadbury Mint Chocolate, apples or strawberries depending on what he finds at the shops, strawberry flavoured yoghurt. “I really don’t know why guys like this flavour.” Anyway you’re there the queen of the “house” they even call you Ndlovukazi OMW, you know how those words sound from the guy you love. Well, you’re expecting normal chillas, movies, PlayStation vibes because that’s what you’ve been doing all along. Now comes the discomfort when you realise he doesn’t even have a TV, and his bedding doesn’t fit his image, but well you’re smitten because you’re matured. He tells you to sit on the bed because it’s going to be a long day and the chair is a bit uncomfortable. You oblige because vele you’ll be there till 4pm and it’s only 12noon. The conversation starts, he showers you with praises, you enjoy the snacks, and if your lucky Chicken Licken or McDonald’s will be there. It’s still day one, so nothing hectic, all is normal he just kissed you and played with your level of comfort, he didn’t push any further. That moment, right there that’s when he knows he’s got you, you can introduce you to more. Day end you go home, you’re ecstatic, you are an adult in an adult relationship. At school, you update your friends about this matured guy and how he respects you and your boundaries. How he hasn’t tried anything beyond kissing. He doesn’t fondle with your breast, nor does he try to finger you. You’re happy because he’s matured and respects you. Well, not a big deal you can visit him the next weekend, and the weekend following that, before you know it Friday after school you’d go to his place get back home late and lie to your parents that basketball ended late, you had a game in Soweto. The groomer takes it slows. He’s spent months and months introducing you to one immoral act, well you’re matured and can take it so no big deal you can go all the way if you want.
Do you love me?
He starts sending you sexual innuendos, you laugh about it because the boys in your team are always talking about it and you’ve been viewing all sort of pornographic content with your friends (well the moderated ones for high school kids, if there’s such a thing). So when man friend sends such you feel it’s normal, he starts sexting you, you go for it after all you’re too smart for your age, and you’ve been made to believe it. You’ve chilled with him, and his peers with their girlfriends and such was the norm. You get comfortable, then comes the big question do you love me. With your glittery eyes; “yes, you’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. You treat me with so much respect and understand I’m an adult.” You’re taken, he goes for the can you prove it. Puzzled young you, prove love, how, is it even possible because it’s a feeling and that is shown through actions, and you just know it without even having to be told. He did say you’re smart, but he hits you with you know my friends’ girls love oral. Oh okay, that’s what people do, next visit you’re ready, BJ you’re the queen. However, this groomer is slowly introducing you to all sexual acts a bit at a time then one day you’re all in, and all this is a norm.
You the one who begs for it and he’s tired, done, mission accomplished. He knows how fragile you are he lets you go slowly.
You grow up and tell people how you use to date old men back in high school because you were more matured than you’re friends, you were the queen. Sadly, all these people preyed on you at a young age. Convinced you that you were grown. They groomed you to be their sex object because girls their age knew all their tactics (they are now craving for those in their 30s). This life of the groomer and groomee is sad when you think about it, how your youth was stolen. How manipulation played a significant role in your relationships. Today you’re enraged by all this, but you don’t know who to turn too because only a few have woken up and realised how wrong and immoral this culture is. Old men preying on young girls because their bodies have blossomed and they look better than your age mates do.
“I was 16, he was 21 we were a match made in heaven.“