I met up with an old friend and a group of her schoolmates for a movie recently. I noticed her ex-boyfriend was there, too. Curious, I asked about their current status as they seemed rather friendly with each other. She told me he had moved on to date two other girls, but was recently single.
The entire evening I noticed that my friend, who is nice-looking, intelligent and from a well-to-do family, was hanging onto the guy's every word - but there was not much response from him. She footed the bill for his dinner and movie ticket, and other minor expenses. Then, it struck me. He was using her.
Later, my boyfriend joined our party and both of us took a step back to watch how this guy clearly had my friend wrapped around his finger. He showed no interest in having any conversation with her, except when it was time to pay the bill.
I was rather taken aback because I could see that my friend, who has been exposed to and is well-versed in social conduct, was blind to what he was doing. The entire night, she followed him around like a lost puppy. Eventually, my boyfriend and I decided to leave.
Hours later, my friend phoned to ask if I could pick her up from the mall where we'd met earlier, and drop her home. Although I knew it was late and I worried for her safety, I was irritated to be asked on such short notice as I was already home. Besides, I knew the guy she was with had a car as well.
Upon reaching the mall, I learnt that he had refused to send her home because he had "more important" things to do - he had to see another girl! I read the text messages between the two of them; in many instances, he had called her names and ridiculed her. I was furious, and itching to give him a piece of my mind for clearly taking my friend for a ride.
I decided to call up one of this guy's ex-girlfriends, Anita.
During our conversation, I learnt that he had got her pregnant when she was 16 and left her three weeks after that, claiming that he did not love her anymore! I was dumb-founded by Anita's revelation and my heart went out to her - she was so innocent and naive.
Upon probing deeper, I learnt that she had not consented to the act; she was violated in her own bedroom, with her family present just behind the closed door. I asked why she did not protest or scream.
Her answer was simple; she did not want it, but she loved him. If she had screamed, there would have been no future for her and this guy.
Anita added that she had begged him not to do it, because she'd wanted to keep her virginity for her future husband. But he knew the right words to say to keep her silent and suppliant. He soothed her into believing that he was as good as her husband-to-be, that he would take her hand in holy matrimony.
I was so astonished and angry. I thought things like this happened 50 years ago, in my parents' time, when girls with no education and exposure were foolish and easily deceived by sweet talk.
But no, here it is. Two of my very own friends were caught in a web spun by this guy, who has nothing, not good looks nor brains, but just a way with words when he wants something.
I reflected on my many other female friends who seemed so "perfect", but are unwise in the game of love. They, too, have paid a heavy price for their careless decisions.
Day in and day out, I see people falling for sugar-coated promises delivered by guys like this one. I just wish that society would stop imposing only education on youngsters, but wisdom as well.
I wish that parents and teachers would not only focus on book knowledge but life knowledge too, because many people are acing their examinations but failing in life.