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Shattered Dreams

By Daily Graphic

In my anger, I called him on his cell phone to confront him. All he could say was that he was sorry and that he did that because he loved me. I wondered the kind of love that was.

He, however, warned me not to tell my parents since I wouldn't like them to think I was a bad child.

When I threatened to go ahead and tell them, Mr Antwi then said that if I wanted to do that, I should give him all the dresses, shoes and provisions he had given me and even the money.

I could sense venom in his voice for the first time; I no longer saw the gentle Mr Antwi.

I suddenly became frightened, how would I be able to raise all that amount? The mere thought that my parents will know I had been receiving things from Mr Antwi without their knowledge made me sick; it gave me a splitting headache.

They always provided for me. There was nothing they ever refused to give me. It was something I knew they could never believe to be true so I decided to keep mute about it.

Exactly two months after this incident, I became sick all of a sudden in school and was taken to the school doctor. When the school doctor suggested a pregnancy test, one of the sisters said it was not necessary because I would not do such a thing.

The doctor nevertheless went ahead with the test and I was found to be two months pregnant. Sister Mary couldn't believe her eyes, she just stood there staring at me as if she had never seen me.

I knew then that I had disappointed all those who trusted me and knew me to be a principled person.

My parents were called to come for my things. It was my dad who came for me. In the car, he didn't say a word and there was no expression whatsoever on his face. I could feel the tension and started sweating though there was an air conditioner in the car.

For the first time in my life, I could sense a barrier between my dad and me; he always used to tell me I was after his heart since I was his first child.

In the car, a lot of thoughts were racing through my mind. How would my younger siblings, Maame and Paa Kwesi take the news? I knew I hadn't been a good example to them.

Left with just six months to write my final exam, I had dropped out of school. My dad reported the case to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVISU) of the Ghana Police Service and Mr Antwi was arrested. The case is currently being prepared for court.

My parents are taking care of the hospital expenses and my daily upkeep but I am uncertain as to my fate after giving birth to my first child at the age of 17.

Would I be allowed to go back to school or not? That is the big question that bugs my mind. I silently prayed regularly for a second chance.

All my hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future are hanging because I accepted gifts from someone I wholly trusted but kept it from everyone, especially my parents who loved me so much. I'm ashamed of myself.

To all teenagers out there, there is nothing like a free gift so learn to say 'no thanks' when any adult starts giving you gifts.

Also, if anyone rapes you, do not keep quiet, report the perpetrator to face the law.