I saw a man today with familiar eyes. The kind that prey on the hearts of young women searching for the love of a man. I remember those eyes, they used to stare into my soul and pull out every insecurity possible. I was longing for the lust. The lust in the eyes of the man that preyed on young women like me. I remember back in 12th grade, I was free to roam the city but bound by my perception and understanding of what love was. What love looked like. September 2006 I had just gotten my license and I was hungry for adventure and spontaneity. And every time I found it, It was in the eyes of a man. Lusting after my emptiness. Looking for a home for his flesh. A dwelling place for his spirit. The other end of his soul tie.

I see these men almost daily. The ones that are scoping the scenes of their environment for young girls to feast on. To tell lies to. To give money to; just enough to get a new pair of shoes in the mall. The ones whose parents have afforded them either the luxury of a car at 16 or the responsibility of freedom; or both. Our young girls are being lured by men that know better, know the right words to utter to get into the head of a young pretty girl with low self esteem and daddy issues

I was the perfect target for them and I knew absolutely no better.I knew enough to keep these affairs a secret but not enough to know how dangerous they were. So many young girls today are in that same position.They are empty inside and think that the stares and attention of these men will fill them up; they won’t. I often think back to a few of those men that I carried on sexual relationships with. I would go out,late at night and meet them. I would go to a single mans home, barely remembering how I got there; and I would end up fighting him off of me in his bedroom. That night, I was supposed to be out with friends after high school graduation and instead I was contemplating whether or not that would be the night that I would be raped by a man twice my age. And no one knew where I was, who I was with or what I had been doing. I told no one. Not even a close friend. Young women often put themselves in these positions without the knowledge that when they’ve become prey to a man, they’ve also become an object to him. These men didn’t love me. They didn’t want me for pure intentions. They just wanted whatever they could take from me. Loyalty, innocence, and sex.

I fear for the girls in our society now that think and behave the way that I did at 16.Fortunately, I was never raped or hurt by any of these men but I believe that I was just lucky. Society is different now than it was 10 years ago. With sex trafficking as a huge business and more ways to connect with young girls; the young women these days may not be as lucky as I was. Being prey is nothing to be proud of. Yes,you feel beautiful,and loved and attractive but all for the wrong reasons. And all in a dangerous state.Even as a college girl, I let men come into my dorm room and visit me, putting myself in danger or having a man rape or hurt me. It seems harmless and even may feel good at times; but there are dangers and consequences to those affairs. Recognize those eyes and those messages for what they are. Danger. Don’t let yourself become a victim of what happens when the wrong man sees you as prey.

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Ifie Natasha

Ifie Natasha is a writer, artreprenuer and soul care enthusiast with a passion for telling stories, building communities and exploring creativity.

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