Celebrating East African Writing!
Three years ago, my life was perfect, with everything going according to plan. Then my perfect web was tangled by the man I claim to love. My hymen was forcefully raptured, in my beloved Kelley’s spacious room, the four walls painted white, and his curtain on the one window drawn. The curtain was decorated with a bird on a tree, looking longingly at a red apple hanging above it. On one wall was a full-size picture of Rihanna and another of Beyoncé, in bikinis. The green tiles on the floor, the blood that oozed from between my thighs. It created a map on the floor as I walked from the window to the door to the guy. Asking him questions and demanding for answers.
“Why, Kelley, why?” His eyes were wide with horror and disbelief yet they were still red with excitement. As red as the rose he had given me for Valentine’s Day, before I found myself in his house.
Valentine’s my foot!
“I’m sorry, baby, I’m sorry,” he apologized quickly.
“I didn’t believe that you were a virgin. Nowadays even at eighteen no one is. You are twenty-three!”
He put his muscular arms around me. Only minutes before, I had felt at home being in those arms. Yet, now I was aware of how weak a woman can be in the presence of a man. As much as I did not want to be in his embrace, I could hardly fight. My homemade pepper spray was uselessly sitting inside my handbag in his sitting room. I looked up at him and hit his hard chest with my soft small fists.
“Go on and kill me. I can’t live with this!” I painfully screamed at his face. I was heading towards virginal marriage, my first man to be my only man.
He pushed me away from him.
“Don’t touch me with the blood. Wash!”
Wash? Wash! WASH! He wanted me to wash the evidence away. As much as his DNA would linger inside my mouth for an hour or so, that would not help me in a court of law. They needed evidence out there. Something to tie the man to my torn genitals. The law trusted no one unless, a minor. The police will write down “She alleges to have been raped by her boyfriend… Mr. So and So.” That is all it would be to them, an allegation.
He left the bedroom, I followed him to the door only to find it locked. He must have gone to check if the neighbors had heard me screaming for help above the blaring volume of his woofer. I drew the blood map back to his bed. I sat on his zebra-striped duvet. I was too angry, to accuse too shaken to move, too pained to cry. I was scared that I could no longer be as proud of myself as I was before. The worst that can happen is when something bad happens, which you suspected would happen, but instead of avoiding the dangerous situation, you plunge deeper into it.
The more I thought of how and what had happened, the dirtier I felt. How could I persevere with the scent of him lingering on me until I got to the hospital? I got out of my black knee-length skirt (which all this time I had held above my waist) and my unbuttoned white blouse and went to the bath cubicle.
It was my job to educate women on avoiding rape and how to get the perpetrators in case it happened, yet it had happened to me. I could now identify with them.
“God, this cannot be your will!” I sadly said to God.
I always told them, “Never let your guard down. Always stand by your standards because the moment you don’t, someone will be ready to take advantage of that moment.” I did not follow my own advice!
I turned on the tap and let it shower on me. The pain inside my femaleness stinging. The tears finally dropping out of my eyes.
Reporting the incidence to the police would only increase the weight of my burden. He was my friend. I was over eighteen years. I was just a beginner forensic nurse with KSH 35,000 gross salary. I would have to recount the traumatic events surrounding the case over and over again to strangers. Also, to lawyers who would poke and dig while pursuing a win. My energy, time, money and remaining mental functions will be spent. As it were, my life was already on hold. I did not know who I was anymore.
He had come back while I was dressing up. He said he could not drop me off at my place since he was going for his night shift by 8.00pm. It was 6.00pm. You know, Nairobi and its jam. He kept talking to the wind. I picked my bag from his couch on my way outside as I followed him to his red Mazda 5 at their flats parking lot.
I asked him to drop me at the public bus stop adjacent to Wilson Airport. He pressed 1500 shillings into my palm and asked me to take a taxi.
There goes the aeronautical engineer, who after heavy petting, I had asked him to stop and aimed for the door only to be grabbed from behind and pinned to the ground with my vocal chords as my only weapon. I had let out a scream that I had never imagined I possessed. I screamed “Fire!” for my mother had always told me that it makes people come faster than “Killer!” or “Thief!”
The way he had gripped me with one arm around my neck and the other firmly holding my arms left me helpless under his massive weight. If I had moved it would only have made it worse. He would probably have thought that I was cooperating.
I should never have ignored my feminine instincts that wailed inside my nervous system, “Flee Amara!” Especially when he said that he would not do anything that I did not want him to. We would just kiss and caress. I chose to believe in his lies. I just trusted him although I barely knew him. Perhaps it was the Vodka that we took before romancing around. Well, in return I got three or four thrusts of doom.
I confided in my friend, Manesha, who was ever so willing to chop of Kelley’s manhood. I gave her the money to take it back to Kelley. She had been the one who had convinced me to give him a chance. She later returned with the money a few days later. Kelley had declined it, because of the so-called love which he proclaimed to have an enormous amount of it for me.
“I can’t know everything that happened, I was not there.” She said, calmly so. And she was taking the rapist’s money. For a moment I felt a certain Schadenfreude at the thought of both of them dead.
On the 16th of February, 2012- Dr. Derrick Mbithi, a short dark gray headed man prodded around where another man had caused damage. Although the terrible vaginal examination lasted only a few seconds, I was afraid that he was going to lock me inside the examination room and use his penis. He gave me the ARVs for the post exposure prophylaxis treatment just in case Kelley had the bug.
“Him making an effort to call you even after what he did shows that he has feelings for you”, the gynecologist said to me.
“Eh, that’s such a consolation” I solemnly replied.
“He will probably suck at his job for a while” the man told me, it must be basing on his experience caring for women. “Men have a problem,” he continued to encourage me, “we put sex first. Very few of us can control ourselves. We have so many weaknesses. We have emotions but we conceal them under a hard heart!”
“He seemed so nice and gentle at first. I still don’t know how he ripped off my panty.”
“Rape is always a premeditated crime, he deserves to rot in jail.”
“People don’t always get what they deserve.”
“A person’s worst enemy is his conscience. He took advantage of your naivety, so he will never know what personal peace is.”
I left his office feeling inspired. I would try forgiveness and love. Love overlooks transgression, doesn’t it? Kelley’s masculine charm had attracted me like a spider’s crafty web attracts its prey with its beauty. Only to be devoured mercilessly after being securely stuck and held within it. It was my time to build another cobweb and catch him with my irresistible feminine charm.
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