DISCARDED by Maame Akua Koduah

His eyes were my favourite feature

I could look into them for hours

Seeing myself in his pupils

They were that gorgeous

Almond shaped eyes with a glint of mischief

I’d count myself lucky that he’d chosen me; such was my relief

Alas, then came a day

That would forever haunt me

Babe, he texted me that fateful day

Do you love me?

Was that even a question

I thought then

Every fibre of my being was filled with love for him

Of course darling I replied quickly

Having no premonition that

My own words would ensnare me

Send pictures to me of your nude self

He texted back

My heart hammered fiercely in my chest

I couldn’t be reading right

Yet the word nude seemed to scream at me from the phone

It’s not wrong, he said

In another text

It’s not like we are going to bed

After all, we’d get married in the future

I know your body is going to be a beautiful picture

He really must love me I thought

Internally killing any contrary thoughts

Throwing caution to the wind

I unzipped my trousers

Removing them in a haste

My blouse followed like a faithful supporter

My underwear joined them

Forming a disorderly pile at my feet

I stood in all my glorious nudity

In front of the full length mirror

Posing and preening while taking pictures

Which were sent to him

The one who loved me

Gorgeous baby, was his immediate reply

He truly loves me, I told myself with a sigh

My world came crashing down

Crashing at full speed with nothing

Or no one to stop it

My body displayed all over social media

Like a piece of clothing for all to see

I thought, how could this be?

Slut, whore were but a few of the insults

Written about me

My phone constantly vibrating with messages

Insults, offers, invitations from all over

Baby, I texted him

How did the pics go viral I asked

Seconds turned into minutes

Minutes turned into hours

Hours turned into days

A day turned into a week

And yet there was

Not even a single letter from him

I couldn’t bear the shock

Disappointment and hurt in my parents eyes

How did this happen love, they seemed to cry

Friends turned into mockers

I became the laughingstock wherever I went

Places suddenly becoming quiet as I passed by

With many retreating from me

As if I were a contagious disease

I should just end it all I thought

Not once, not twice, but thrice

My heart broke into much tinier fragments

As I saw him-yes him

With a new belle

His hands slung possessively around her shoulders

Hands that had once done same to mine

Walking boldly and happily

Without a care in the world

His name was on the tip of my tongue

So ready was I to call him

Until I saw the look in his eye

A look that told me I was dead to him

That I had been nothing but

A pastime for him

One he’d grown tired of

Like a particular food eaten everyday

I had been discarded

Thrown away like a piece of garbage

I had been garbage in his life

And now garbage out of his life

I had been disposed of

Like an empty food pack

Thrown away like an ill-fitting piece of clothing

Gotten rid of like a pesky rat

All I could do now

Was to make a vow

I wouldn’t let my mistakes hold me bound

I would hold on the shreds of dignity I had found

Suicide was not an option

I didn’t want to be the latest article caption

It’s true my life was messed up

But it wasn’t the end of the world

I would start afresh

Living life like a newborn babe with no regrets

Going through life step by step

Weighing my words and my deeds

Ensuring that they would lead

To my betterment and not my detriment

It would take time

To transform myself from that state of slime

But I would do it

Little by little, bit by bit