For days I could not walk and bled for long. I had to tell my parents lies about where I was because I could not go home.” Her story was spine-chilling. I did not know when I took her in my arms and held her firmly as though my strong arms could banish the memory of her pains. “It was sad for you to have gone through that as a sixteen-year-old…” “I asked for it, and besides I wasn’t sixteen then. I was seventeen years and two months old when he raped me.” “I guess you left him after that.” “No, it was the opposite. I became obsessed with him. He saw it and turned me into his sex toy.
Somehow, the prince I knew retreated and a beast emerged from him. Yet, I could not leave him. He made me to have sex with his friends while he watched. I knew when that happened that he did not feel the same way I felt about him. My pride was gone and I did not know how to move on. I was ready to do anything for him just to hear him tell me he loved me and would never leave me…” Tears appeared in her eyes. “Please, Camilla don’t cry. I beg of you,” I pleaded. “Am I crying?” she asked with a broken voice. “There is tears in your eyes.” “Oh! I am sorry about that. I did not mean to cry.” “It’s okay. Just try not to cry.” She nodded her head, drew much closer to me and dropped her head on my shoulder and continued. “I had to find the remnants of strength left within me to move on after a 45-year-old lady and three teenage girls got pregnant for him. The three years that abusive relationship lasted, I aborted three times for him. He was my first love, and he gave me the first cut, since I met him and left, I have not been the same. It is like Sheryl Crow sang, ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’.
She held me again and began to sing with tears owing freely from her eyes… “I would have given you all of my heart But there’s someone who’s torn it apart And he’s taken just all that I have But if you want I’ll try to love again Baby, I’ll try to love again, but I know… The first cut is the deepest Baby I know The first cut is the deepest But when it comes to being’ lucky, he’s cursed When it comes to loving’ me, he’s worst… I still want you by my side Just to help me dry the tears that I’ve cried And I’m sure gonna give you a try If you want I’ll try to love again, (try) Baby, I’ll try to love again, but I know…” I knew the song and so mimed along with her. I could tell she was saying something to me. I wanted to say no, but my heart was crying and bleeding for love. How could I say no to that drop-dead beauty queen? I knew we hardly knew each other, but that feeling we all describe as love was hanging over the two of us. I shut down my reasoning and went with the flow of the moment. I still do not remember who made the first move, but I do remember the kiss. It was the best I had in a very long while. Long after all the sky lanterns had burnt out and others had gone home, I and Camilla remained on the beach kissing each other and whispering to each other’s ears, “I love you.” For long I had waited for the day I would find true love, I believed I found it that night and it felt powerful.