As I sat by my bedroom window, staring at the snow falling outside; I thought about the cards life had dealt me so far. I used to be such a happy student, very smart as well. They used to call me Einstein Amber and I didn't mind that at all. Even though I preferred being called just Amber; Einstein Amber was okay too.
Growing up in the neighbourhood that I grew up in, you had to either focus on your books or get swallowed by poverty. I was raised by my beautiful grandmother. She was a strong and independent woman. I had never met my father and my mother was a part-time mom, full-time alcoholic. She would come and visit me once or twice a year just to check if I was still alive. That's not what she would say when she came by though; she would ask to see my report card and smile lazily as she planted a wet kiss on my cheek and would tell me "You is one smart motherfucker".
That would be it, then she would leave as quickly as she came by; not without getting into a fight with my grandmother first of course. I didn't understand their relationship. My grandmother was such a loving and gentle soul and my mother; well she didn't have a soul. My mother would burst into tears during their fights and explain how nobody understood her. She would blame my grandmother for her being an alcoholic and not having a "perfect" life. My grandmother would just ignore my mothers rants until she left. When she had gone, my grandmother used to slam the door and scream in frustration, locking herself in her room for the rest of the day.
My only escape was my books and I knew that I had no other choice but to study hard. I was in the eleventh grade tutoring grade twelve learners maths just for extra money. My grandmother used to work at the local grocery store as a cashier and the money she earned wasn't enough to support us both. My mother was an only child and my grandmother always told me that being spoiled was what led to my mothers downfall. I tried my best not to get involved in their fights but it was very difficult. I would take my grandmothers side all the time because I knew my grandmother. My mother was a stranger to me, I didn't know her at all.
My grandmother had raised me ever since I was born and my mother had left me to be with an older, married man she'd claimed to be in love with at that time. I didn't blame her for the stupid decisions that she'd made when I was a baby because she was still a baby herself. My mother had me when she was just fifteen years old and I think she was definitely not ready for the responsibility. All my high school life was focused on not falling pregnant, not being spoiled and not drinking alcohol. Basically, I was focusing on not being my mom so that my grandmother could be proud that she at least did a better job in raising me.
School was very pleasant for me. I had a lot of friends, I was popular for being pretty and smart. Parents and teachers were very fond of me and I was proud of myself. Everyone knew about my mother of course, but they didn't bring her up and I was fine with that. I was never into dating boys at all. I had a few "crushes" but other than that, I was anti-dating because it was how I was planning to avoid falling pregnant.
It surprised the community when my belly started to grow in my last year of high school. I hated being pregnant and I hated the fact that I didn't know who the father was. During the last term of grade eleven, I had a request from a guy in the twelfth grade to tutor him. We made arrangements for where we would meet like I would always do with my other students and we met up.
I remember that day so clearly that it almost makes me want to rip my hair out. I went to the library and found him sitting by a table; texting on his phone. I remember the smile he flashed at me when our eyes met, as he rushed to open the chair for me and I sat down. He told me that his name is Jasper and I also told him mine, and he sucked his teeth as he kept staring at me. I explained my rules to him then the tutoring began. He was the worst student ever! Interrupting me all the time and asking the most stupid questions I had ever heard. It was as if he had never attended a mathematics class and he wanted me to basically teach him everything.
When our session was over; I was so drained and annoyed. All I could think of was taking a long nap so I could forget about him. I took my money from him and left the library. I remember walking in the long corridor at school alone and then all of a sudden that annoying guy, Jasper, jumped in front of me. He frightened me so much that I dropped my textbooks and papers on the ground. He chuckled arrogantly as he helped me pick them up and when I had stood to my feet; there were four more boys around me. I remember slowly backing away when Jasper grabbed my wrist and shoved a scissor in my mouth. I tried to scream but he pressed the scissor hard on my palate. He whispered, "Shhh or else I will cut your pretty mouth".
Tears gushed down my cheeks as him and his group of friends dragged me into the boys bathroom. I closed my eyes hoping and praying that someone was in the bathroom and would see them. I was not so lucky, it was a Friday afternoon and the school bathrooms were usually empty at that time. My clothes were thrown to the side and they all took turns raping me. I had cried quietly until no tears were left in me. I just stared at my dismantled books on the floor, frozen with shock.
When they were done with me; Jasper forcibly kissed me hard on the lips and winked at me as he and his friends left. I just lay there on the floor staring at the roof as more tears started to trickle down my cheeks. I choked and let out a scream as I started to cry freely. I sobbed and moaned and rolled all over the floor; trying to cry the pain out of my system. I quickly threw my clothes on, grabbed my books from the floor and ran out. I saw a janitor staring at me with a confused look on his face but I didn't stop running. I ran as fast as I could, breathing heavily as I cried at the same time.
When I got home, my grandmother was sitting by the television reading the paper and when she looked at me; I ran into her arms and burst into tears. She tried asking me what was wrong but I couldn't even put together a proper sentence. Too much crying, too much sobbing and too much pain to explain.
When I woke up the following morning, my whole body was in pain. My grandmother had come into my room with a bowl of chicken soup and a weak smile. You could see the concern in her eyes and she was curious to know what had happened to me. The day before; I failed to explain anything and she just tucked me into bed and read the bible to me as I fell asleep. " How are you feeling my angel?" she asked me. I remember staring at her sadly until I answered; "I am hurt". My grandmother stroked my cheek and looked at the bruises on my wrist. She then looked at me straight in my eyes and I just started to explain what had happened to me. My grandmothers facial expression did not change throughout the whole explanation. She just looked at me and when I had gotten through the story with tears and all; she bowed her head and then hugged me tightly.