I remember very clearly that day that ruined my life, the day I’d for ever curse. The 26th of July, 2008.
I was having my 2nd semester exams. There was this ‘cramming rush’. LOL. Read as hard as you can and forget every single thing once you drop your pen. I decided to study in the school library, my room mates weren’t even catching the exam fever. The three of them were busy talking about the party they were going for that night and all the other dirty details. Such raw, un-tamed girls!
“Amy, Titi, Grace, I’m going to read. I’d see you guys in the evening.” Amy and Titi nodded.
Grace, with her ibo – filled accent, shouted, “So ya not going for the pool party ehn? You’re so uptight! Na you kill Jesus? Abi wetin?” I played the ‘deaf and dumb’ role at that moment and left the room. Lord have mercy!
The library was a 20 minutes walk from my hostel so I didn’t bother taking a bike. I got there at exactly 5pm. Goodness me! I had loads of books to read! I remember flipping some pages before dozing off….
I raised my head, still dizzy. Everywhere was pitch-black! I shouted, “Hello!” and all I heard was the echo of my own voice. It was then it dawned on me, I was the only one left in the library. Damn, it was 11:30pm!
I packed my books hurriedly and raced out of the library. My heart was in my mouth. The thought of being outside at that ungodly hour, in a place that was known for crime and the sorts, sent shivers down my spine. My heart was dancing in my chest. I ran as fast as I could!
I was passing a bush path, just a stone throw from my hostel when I felt two big, rough hands on my shoulders. Before I could even think of screaming, he covered my mouth and slapped me senseless. I was dragged into the bush, almost lifeless, gagged and blindfolded.
I never saw his face, but I do remember him taking away my virginity, forcing himself into me with all the brutality you can ever think of.
My name is Gbemi and I was raped at 18.
I lived with the memory of that night throughout my university days. Nightmares… Recalling the way I was dragged with my hair, and stripped me of my innocence. His drunken voice, telling me to be quiet. His big hands, fondling my breasts wickedly, forcing my legs apart. He tore my thigh deeply with his knife as he was trying to rip off my jeans. I remember it all…
Its been six years since then. With the help of God and my family, I gradually got over the incident. I’ve dated a number of guys, and I showed them ‘hell’ ! I vowed never to let any man touch me, never to get married…. Till I met Tade.
We worked in the same department at a bank here in Abuja. I initially tried all I could to avoid him, because I noticed I always had tingles in my belly anytime our eyes locked. He would smile and I’d blush. Very odd feeling. I knew I was falling in love. *sigh* I convinced myself that it was going to pass… But it didn’t, so I let all my fears fly away.
Tade was everything a lady could ever wish for. Handsome, wonderful sense of humour… I had never felt so loved in my entire life. He was very reserved, always respecting my views and choices. He never asked me for sex, never even made an attempt to. I loved this man fiercely! I wanted to have his children, I loved him too much…
But there was something about Tade I couldn’t quite place a finger on. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what it was.
Sometimes, I’d catch him staring at me with a confused look. I thought it was just the normal “pre-wedding fever” as we were getting married soon.
I was wrong…
Our wedding was glamorous. It worked out as planned, was even better. The joy in my heart when he said “I DO” was inexplicable! The remaining parts of wedding were just blurs to me, all I was thinking about was our wedding night. I still had not had sex, I was nervous.
Yes, after all the partying, we went to our new home. We were quite tired, sure. But as expected, your wedding night shouldn’t be a night to sleep. Our’s was very eventful.
He carried me to our room. My heart was pounding. I remember him looking me in the eyes, telling me he loved me. He was undressing me, nobody spoke. For the first time in my life I saw a naked man. I was quite alarmed by the size of his manhood. OMG!!
He laid me on the bed, kissing me. Flashes of that night flooded back. I had to tell him, I just had to. I was about to speak when he suddenly froze.
“What’s wrong?” No reply. His eyes widened as he touched the scars on my right thigh. “Tade?” All he said was, “Where did you get those scars? How? When?” I started stammering, “I… I’ve always wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know how. I was raped a long time ago. Tade? Please….” I told him everything.
Tade was crying. I felt stupid. I started begging him, I wanted to touch him, but he was moving away. And alas, he said these words that I’d never forget, “I’m sorry Gbemi. I’m so sorry, why did it have to be you? Karma has cut me deeply. Why did it have to be you?” I didn’t understand what he meant. “Shhh! What are you saying?” He knelt on the floor, amidst tears, he said, “It was me, it was meee! I was a drunkard and a rapist. It was me. You were the only one I cut with that knife. I remember clearly, I’m not …..”
I didn’t hear the rest. My world came crashing down before my very eyes. I passed out on that spot.
As I speak, I’m in a psychiatric ward. They think I’m insane because all I shout all day is,
“What would you do, when the one you hate the most is the one you love?”
Thanks to http://www.9jaolofofo.com and Debola Aduwo. Follow her on Twitter: @MzOmalicha