Today, I was raped.
I went to Akin’s house for the French assignment. We had laughed when Mrs Jean had given it to us last week. Something about clauses and tenses. We were Nigerians. How were we supposed to write a French assignment, we had asked wonderingly.
After a few days of wonderment, I found out the senior, Akin, was actually a Ghanaian by birth and Akin was actually Joachim. I had laughed in joy and planned on how to get him to help me. He had laughed and promised to help me. Ah, the relief I felt.
However, two days passed. Three days passed. And we had to submit this assignment on Monday. I called Akin on Saturday. He didn’t pick up. Severally. Finally, he picked up on Sunday, after church service. He had been ill.
‘Oh, bummer! What do we do now, senior Akin? I have to submit this to Mrs Jean first thing in the morning,’ I moaned.
‘I’m sorry, Damie. There is no way I can leave this bed today. My mother won’t let me, even.’ He sounded too sick for me to push the matter. And my head was already spinning too hard looking for an alternative.
‘Or..’ he started and faded off.
‘Or’? I prompted.
‘You could come over to my house. And we’ll work on it. Of course, that’s if you don’t mind.’
‘No, I can’t possibly….’ I trailed off.
‘I understand. But, if it’ll make you feel any better, we’re having a family picnic over here. The house is in full swing. We could eat a sandwich and work on French in the yard.’
I hesitated. ‘Okay. Would you text me the address?’
I contemplated going to his house. Going to a boy’s house was not safe, I’ve always been told. But then, there were going to be other people, right? And, technically, it was a public place, right?
So, I decided to go. I couldn’t even be bothered to change from my Sunday outfit.
I met Akin’s father and mother at the grill and they told a joke, in French no less, and we all laughed, me at my inability to get the joke, and them at my inability to get the joke and my laughter at not getting the joke.
I felt good. This was a completely normal household.
‘Joachim would be down in a minute’, he said and went back to tend the grill.
‘Hey, Damie,’ I heard from above me. I looked up and saw Senior Akin smiling at me from above.
‘Hi’, I smiled.
‘I can’t seem to get my oxygen cart disconnected. And I don’t think my dad can leave that grill, even for a second.’ He looked in his dad’s direction. I did too. He was dishing out steak to the younger kids.
‘I’ll be right up, I guess.’
He smiled again. ‘It’s the second door on your left. Thanks, D’.
I nodded and proceeded upstairs.
I didn’t get stand a chance. Not a scream. Not a kick. Not a bite.
I was slammed into a wall the moment I crossed the threshold. He took me on the floor, and I almost passed out from the pain. I was choking under all the weight. Under the pain. My screams were muffled under his arm. And my body was pinned under his weight. I was drowning under an ocean of pain, with no lifeboat in sight. And finally, with a groan, he was up, with the harsh sound of a zip bringing me back down to earth.
‘Hoo—w… whaaa—ttt…’ I stammered as the tears came. Trying to talk made the reality of the whole situation dawn on me. I have just been raped.
‘Don’t scream, Damie.’ He said casually, as he sat on the bed. ‘There are about fifty people down there and I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to know you just had the best five minutes of your life.’
He smirked as I dragged myself up.
‘Why don’t you drop your notebook over there and I’ll work on it after my shower.’
I don’t remember how I’m not dead. Or how I got home. Or how I found my mother and told her what had transpired.
What I do remember, however, is the tears in her eyes as she blamed me for going to a boy’s house. And her voice when she told me to never repeat the story to anyone.
‘Soon, you will have to get married. No one would marry a girl who has been raped. As for that boy, my God will punish him.’
And that was it.
That was it.