I Loved a Girl
"This deeply moving, direct story has become a classic with its frank answers to frank questions about young love. It is translated into more than fifty languages."
M..., January 8
This letter comes to you in my place. I’m too ashamed to go to see you. Besides, I don’t have the money for the trip, because I’m no longer a teacher. I’ve been fired.
Last Friday, I loved a girl--or, as you would put it, I committed adultery--at least that’s what the whites call it and the Church, too. But the girl wasn’t married, nor had any bride-price been paid for her. Consequently she didn’t belong to anyone and I don’t understand who it is that I have wronged. I myself am unwed and I have no intention of marrying the girl. I don’t even know her name. So, the way I see it, the commandment "You shall not commit adultery" does not apply in my case. That’s why I can’t understand why the Church deprives me of Communion by putting me under discipline for six months.
One of my pupils told on me. And now I don’t know where to turn.
Sir, you baptized me and taught me at school. You have counseled me often and know how I became a Christian. You know me even better than my own father does. I’m terribly sorry to disappoint you, but at the same time I tell you frankly, I don’t feel very guilty. I’m ashamed because of all the talk about it, but I’m still a Christian.
I dare to tell you openly what I think even if you get angry. Aren’t the desires of my body supposed to be satisfied? Aren’t my sex organs given me to be used? Shouldn’t you take advantage of that which is available? Why is it a sin to use what God has made?
Since everyone condemns me, I do not expect an answer.
I will stop now. There’s nothing more to be said.
Your unhappy François