Story by Pastor Dunamis Okonkwo
Check his blog: kissesandhuggs.com
Pro 13:20 MSG
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
I stared at the blank wall. I have been like that for days, lost in my own world of painful and agonizing re-enactment of the ordeal I went through. Different people tried to reach me. They talked, pacified, advised and reassured me, but their voices seemed too distant. Their voices were completely disenfranchised from the reality of my pain and wounds, mere faint sounds from distant vocal chords, too far away to connect with my wounded, battered and shattered soul.
I could hardly eat. My parents were devastated. All my friends could not reach me. I had simply hibernated into the secluded section of me where I hoped to live and erase the events that lasted a few hours but sentenced me into days of erratic behaviour that was symptomatic of insanity!
The more I withdrew to deal with the experience, the more I discovered that the experience has been tattooed into my frontal lobe. That very day, as was my usual routine of affliction, the experience replayed itself, as real and as vivid as it happened. My body quaked in pain and disgust as the experience replayed itself, my mien fell into a melancholic precision, hot tears emanated and ran freely down my now gauntly face.
That was a year ago and on this unfortunate day, there was nothing to warn me that I have just began the first few hours of the saddest day of my life. It was on the campus in my very first year. I was only nineteen years old. I had never been nice to Ade who lived three houses away from the hall where I stayed. He had done all he could to ask me out for a relationship and I totally rebuffed him.
He just didn’t seem to qualify for my definition of a handsome man. He persisted and the more he did, the more stubborn I became. Rather, I was interested in Charles, who looked more refined and handsome and had a nice Golf car. He always looked charming. I knew that. He seemed nice. I saw that. He was handsome. That was obvious. He even looked and sounded responsible. I figured that out. What I didn’t know and never imagined was that he was also mean.
We had started a relationship in my second semester and everything was looking fine, until he asked for jeru trap.
I said, “No!”
I thought the kissing and petting should be okay, but jeru trap? I wasn’t ready for that. He persisted and I refused blatantly. I was a virgin and I was scared of having jeru trap. After, a while he stopped asking and I thought I had won.
That very night, I had gone to his house on a short visit. He was there with his roommate and we chatted away. He brought out a new bottle of juice and served me. I did not suspect anything. I drank a whole cup and then I quipped,
“Won’t you take some?”
“All for you,” Charles said.
Knowing him to be a voracious drinker, I shifted on my seat, suspecting.
“Tom, should I serve you some?”
“No!” he said. Then my thoughts flew.
“What if the drink has been drugged?”
“Stop that thought,” I said quietly to myself.
“Charles is not like that!” I reasoned.
I told him I needed to go because it was getting late but he quickly stood up and inserted a Comedy VCD knowing that I was a Comedy freak.
You need to see this, it’s short, he said.
Being a lover of Comedy, I said, “Okay, fifteen minutes, that wouldn’t hurt. I was enjoying the comedy show and then the next thing was that I woke up!
The first thing that greeted me was the smell of India hemp. It took a while before my head cleared and then slowly, stealthily, the truth stared me in the face, I had been drugged.
Charles and Tom were busy smoking away. They were in their boxers and loud music blared from the big sound system.
Charles spoke up, “You know if you shout; nobody will hear you? You had better cooperate!
His face has changed. He was no longer handsome. He looked daring, with lust-filled starry eyes rolling in their sockets. Tom looked at me and gestured at me to remove my clothes. I knelt down and started begging.
“Charles, please, you know that I love you, please…
“Yes, I know you love me and I want you to prove your love tonight,” he said
But not this way, your friend is here and…”
“Shut up!” Tom cut me short in a gruff tone. “Who is talking about love?” “
He continued, “If you love your life and you don’t want me to give your fine body some tribal marks, start removing your clothes now.”
I saw a pen-knife on the table and with that, the remaining effect of whatever drug was on me cleared off. I weighed my options in a tear-filled face. The wall clock showed the time was 2.am. The music from the sound system was loud, enough to drown my loudest shout. Tom stood up and yanked off my shirt. I screamed the loudest I could and my hands flew up automatically to cover my chest and they both laughed comically.
“You need to shout more,” said Charles.
I could not believe what was going to happen to me. I prayed silently. I knew I had been stupid and naïve. I thought of my parents. I wish I could rewind the hand of time.
“Charles, I really love you, you know I am still a virgin…”
“Cut the crap! Virgin, my foot!” Charles shouted at me. “I have been begging you since and you were adamant. Do you know who I am on this Campus? Nobody refuses me, you hear?”
With that Tom moved closer to me and tore my very expensive silk mini-skirt! Now, I didn’t know where to cover; I bent down on my knees again and begged!
An incredible deafening slap landed on my face and sent me flat on the floor! I screamed, but the pop sound blaring from the deck absorbed it like it was part of the symphony. It became clear that they were going to rape me! I screamed with all my might, but they only laughed. Charles held my two legs and turned me around violently.
Before I knew it, Tom had violated me. There was blood everywhere and I wept the more. Tom took turns at holding my legs and Charles prepared to take his turn on me. At that point, I was livid. With every inch of strength in me and every fibre of my being, I pushed Charles away and at the same time kicked at Tom. Tom’s head hit one of the legs of the table, sending all the books, plates and glass cups on the table across the room. Tom stood up, with visible pain and looked for his belt.
That was to be my saving grace! With all his might he swung the buckle end of the belt at me. The buckle caught the chord of the sound system and pulled it out of the wall socket. Silence, unbelievably descended on the room, while everybody stood transfixed for a few seconds.
The belt dropped from his hand and he ran for the sound system to connect it back. But that moment was all I needed. Charles made to cover my mouth, but he was too late. A loud, audacious and piercing scream that penetrated the darkness of the night escaped my bleeding lips.
In a jiffy, they both grabbed their trousers and ran from the room. As I laid down there weeping profusely, a few people came to the room. My scream had attracted them. They knew something was wrong when they heard the painful scream of a lady in the hall of a hundred guys.
I could not even muster enough strength to cover myself, I only muttered, “they raped me!”
“Who?” They asked repeatedly. “Where are they?”
“Charles and his friend, they just ran out,” I managed to say.
The evidences were all there. A guy took his phones and took the pictures of the bed. One of the boys got me a shirt and covered me. That same morning, I was moved to the nearest hospital at 4.30am by the hall porter who came later on. He could not believe his eyes and he promised to deal with the boys.
The hall security men fished out Charles and Tom and handed them over to the Police. They were rusticated from the school eventually.
If you think I was raped, you are right. If you think I was battered, you are right. If you think I was shattered, you are right. If you think, I couldn’t be fixed, you are wrong!
It is now over a year. My healing did come, but it was a long slow process. I discovered that I needed more inner healing than the physical bruises I had. The more I held on to my pains, the more my life had no meaning.
Looking back with hindsight, I could see my misdemeanors.
I was naïve. I had no mentor. I wanted it my own way, hence the consequences. I was not close to God, and that defined the kind of friends I was surrounded with.
I was unsuspecting. Charles and Tom actually used syringe and needle to inject the Juice I drank and didn’t need to open it.
I had to deal with unforgiving spirit. Despite what they did, I had to let go. Until I forgave them, I was not healed. The power to forgive didn’t come naturally, it came from God who aided, cleansed and reassured me.
I had to forget. Not as in amnesia, though. I forgot the pain. I let go of the past. Now, I am wiser and have grown better.
Story by Pastor Dunamis Tunde Okunowo
Facilitator, Kisses and Huggs Club