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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - sponged myself with more lather and intense energy, sponge, lather, The sheer horror of that rape, relationship, rape, love, wedding.

As I walked away, I no longer smelt like a fragrance-covered beautiful girl. I felt and smelt filthy. I could smell the rancidity of his depraved breath over my face. It felt as though more blood was rushing out of me with every step I took. I walked fast, hardly stopping to respond to any pleasantries. When I reached home, I jumped right back into the bathroom with four buckets of water. “Did you step into fecal material? Why on earth do you need four full buckets of water for shower? Besides, you showered just before you left!!!” My mother remarked as I readied myself for a thorough wash.

My sisters made some comments too, but ignored them all. In the bathroom, I sponged and then sponged myself with vibrant energy and dedication, as I sought to wash everything speck of sin that Chidozie’s father may have left on me. I threw as much lather on my body as I could. After washing off the lather, I sponged myself with more lather and intense energy, striving sincerely to return my body to its former state before the ugly rape.

After that incident, I cut off my relationship with Chidozie. “What have I done?” he had asked pleadingly; but I would not explain anything to him, or anyone else. Somehow, his father succeeded in planting fear in my mind. Besides, I did not want to admit to the whole community that I had been defiled by a man old enough to be my father. It became my burden…my pain which I carried quietly deep within me. I relieved that day several times in my mind, wishing I had fought more. At times, I even blamed myself for it all…it is all your fault! I heard myself saying to me sometimes.

I swore never to let any man touch me afterwards. I had a throng of admirers in university years later, but I turned them all down, remaining single all through. My friends and relatives made fun of me, calling me a nun. I ignored everyone and everything. As time went by, I began to think of getting married. By the age of twenty-five, everyone was asking me what I was doing. I had turned away a number of suitors already. I tried to date some guy from a neighboring town, and everything went well, but he called off the relationship because each time he tried to get in my pants, I ran like a dog with my tails between my legs. The sheer horror of that rape haunted me like a demon!

The next guy I dated lasted a bit longer. He believed he could wait it out and finally get what he wanted. He talked about marriage with me, with the hope that I could see his seriousness and then let him get in my pants. He had no idea that I was utterly traumatized by a terrible experience from my past. He hung around, helping me with anything I asked for. He was a big help when I was job hunting especially with browsing the internet for jobs in Lagos and things like that. One night, we went on an all-night browsing session. In the morning, it began to rain terribly so he asked me to stay with him until the rain subsided.

He lived closer to the cybercaf√© in Enugu, where we had gone for the browsing session. I obliged him. He must have thought that God had buttered his bread on both sides. He began to make sexual advances at me as soon as we were settled into his small apartment. I refused, and then, he began to muscle his way through, bringing back memories of my rape ordeal. I pushed him away and made a mad dash into the streets. The rain battered and hollered at me, but I could not care less. I walked into a tailor’s shop and took refuge there until the rain stopped. Needless to say that the relationship did not survive that eventful rainy day.

As we left the reception hall, Ifeanyi was eager to get back to his town…his house. My heart was hammering against my ribs. “I am so in love with you, Chiamaka,” he said placing his hand on my thigh. Fear crept back into my throat almost choking me. “Thank you,” I said in a ‘vaguely clear’ tone. “And, I can’t wait to make love with you tonight, my love. I have been waiting for this moment,” he continued. His efforts to make love with me while we were dating proved abortive, because I said no to them and stood my ground. He was a kind and gently guy, so he stuck it out with me.

“It will be fantastic,” I said, hardly hearing myself. My heart was pounding and my eyes saw things that were not there. My ears were almost shut by life threatening anxiety. When we reached the house, Ifeanyi led me to a room on the top floor of the house. I could tell that he had taken great care in setting it up for the night. The bed sheets, pillows, the smell of the room, the fridge that was stocked with Maltina, my favorite drink, and a bouquet of flower on a stool beside the bed said it all.

Within minutes, his suit was off. He gently helped me remove my wedding gown. I was shaking. By the time, my wedding gown was off, he carried me to the bed. He leaned over and began to kiss me. It was lousy! My mouth was half shut half the time. His hands began to move all over my body. All I could see and feel were Chidozie’s father’s breath over me and his hands yanking at my underwear. When Ifeanyi reached there, I was crying…shaking with fear. “Please stop! Honey please stop!” I shouted. It was as if my heart was going to jump right out of my mouth. “What is it darling? It is our wedding night, remember? I love you sweetheart. What is it?” “Nothing…nothing my love,” I replied feeling stupid. Stop it Chiamaka! I told myself. You have to let go. It is not him, the evil one, this is your loving husband, I told myself quietly, but I guess trauma does not understand such language.

Ifeanyi had waited for too long. Nothing would deny him this very night, so he ploughed on. Slowly, he began to remove my underwear. I shook like a tree buffeted by a tornado. Then, I began to cry…not just sob, but cry from the core of my heart. He stopped, got into his pajamas and helped me into my nightgown. “Something is awfully wrong, Chiamaka. Do you want to talk to me?” he asked. My heart sank into my abdomen. What if he does not believe me? What if he just dumps me and calls of the marriage before it ends? What if he thinks I am making this up to cover my tracks after I had denied him sex all these months? I could hear him saying to me (in my head of course), ‘I thought you were a virgin, so you are not and you want me to believe that story of yours?’ There was nothing I did not think of. Fear ravaged my bones with relentless aggression.

I could no longer hide. I had to pour my heart out to him. If he is going to love me less, then so be it. This burden is too much for me to carry alone, I admonished myself. With my lips shaking and my body quivering irregularly, I told him my story, finally, holding nothing back. “You are still traumatized by the experience, obviously,” he began. “You don’t have to go through that alone, my love. Slowly, you have to crack the door open and let me in. That is what marriage is all about. I will help you, support you and work with you to overcome this, okay?”

I nodded in relief. A few weeks late, Ifeanyi got me a counselor and slowly, we began to talk about my experience. Thankfully, God answered my prayer. It took time, but one step at a time, I let go of that terrible rape that left me gagged and caged for years. I let Ifeanyi fully into my life and my soul. We now have two children, a boy and a girl, and I am carrying the third one. Ifeanyi is not the type to let things like that go, though. He went after Chidozie’s father with the police. Eventually, he confessed, facing the likelihood of some years in prison, but I did not want his family to suffer any longer.

I felt like I had borne the sufferings already, so no other person should suffer any longer. My husband and I dropped all charges against him. His confession was probably the major turning point in my healing process. I remember staring him in the eye as he cried, confessing the evil act he inflicted on me. I still have his police statement as a testament to my struggles, and of course, triumph! I forgave him and carried on with my life. Sadly, though, his wife left him and Chidozie is still struggling to forgive him for defiling the girl he loved…his first girlfriend.


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - sponged myself with more lather and intense energy, sponge, lather, The sheer horror of that rape, relationship, rape, love, wedding. An African Literary Blog
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