Ms. Nesi has dropped another chapter of No Happy Ever After, which I was looking forward to rather impatiently and hopefully you too. We left off when Dave and his friends abandoned Jasmine to die in that uncompleted building. The gruesome rape, the dehumanization of a young woman by the man she loved and trusted brings to mind the sad reality that there are monsters among us. It is our responsibility as good people to decry rape and other acts of victimization. Happy reading!
Dave and his friends left me in that building to die after raping me and chafing me of my dignity as a woman. Thinking about it right now still traumatizes me and it is almost though I can feel their rotten libidos inside me still. As naive and stupid as I was, I gained consciousness and look at my torn dress that was beautiful just a few hours back but had been torn by the same man I went through all the stress to impress. The tears started following again afresh as I looked at the blood spilling from my body. My present condition shattered my heart because this destruction had been done to me by the one man I thought I could trust, a man I was ready to do anything for. A man I spent almost a year of my life gushing about, my very own Prince Charming turned into my worst nightmare. With all these thoughts running through my mind I could not think clearly. I had no idea what to do with myself because, the trauma was unbearable. I did not know how I was going to face the world with the story of my rape; so I decided nobody had to know what had happened that night, not even my friends.
After making that decision, I tried to clean myself a little and crawled home. I was faint and weak; I had to brace myself against walls in an attempt to reach home. I was drained from trying to fight off those pigs. Telling the world about my shame was not a consideration so I mustered the last vestiges of strength to crawl home. Exposing my stupidity would totally kill me; I was raped by four different men because I thought gallantry was still alive. I could not face my parents with such a heartbreaking truth especially because I left the house against their wishes. I reached home drained and sweaty; the ordeal made me dizzy but I dragged myself to the bathroom. I could not wait to wash the filth from my body. I knew I would forever be unclean but washing off the stench of those pigs was something I badly needed to do. I opened the shower and allowed the water to gush on my abused body, my knees buckled and I slipped onto the tiled bathroom floor. I didn’t care anymore, nothing could hurt me anymore. I laid there and allow the water to beat on my battered body, I badly needed the cleansing. The water revived me a little, then I proceeded to scrub my body until it hurt. I left the shower when my teeth started clattering and went straight to bed.
I woke up with a feeling of lethargy; I was aching in places that I never thought I had muscles in. It struck me that I was lying on a wet spot, how humiliating to pee myself, I thought. Then I lighted the sheets to investigate and was horrified at what I saw. There was enough blood to feed ten hungry vampires. I was so scared and as I tried to move my legs to see what was happening, it was like they were made of lead. I felt so heavy so I resorted to the solution of the damsels in distress throughout history. I wept my eyes out. I must have dozed off because I woke up sometime later to the sound of incessant knocking on my bedroom door. Of course, it was mum, the eternal worrier though I had to now accept that she had a point. I convinced her I had a stomach bug and needed to stay in my room and refused to open the door which was a feat in diplomacy.
The bleeding was not abetting, I had changed my sheets, doubled maxi pads but blood was still sipping through. Clearly I needed help, but my parents were out of the equation. My friends were the next best thing; I had to share what happened that hideous night. When I called Rose she answered in her normal over enthusiastic voice;
“Hey bestie, you left last night with prince charming and we are still waiting for the gist. From every indication you and Dave are an item so spill the beans before I explode with anticipation” she chattered on without giving me an opportunity to put in a word.
I burst into a fresh bout of tears and even chatty Rose soon heard my heartbroken sobs. There was silence which was a feat for Rose, that girl could never hold her peace.
“Jas, what happened to you why does it sound like you are crying?” She asked in a small voice filled with apprehension. I couldn’t answer, I only wept harder.
“Just hang in there Jas, I am on my way” Rose said soothingly.
“Please bring Imelda” I finally muttered amidst sobs. I didn’t have the energy to recount my ordeals twice. I needed my two best friends to find a solution.
Some twenty minutes later, there was a knock on my bedroom door. I knew my friends were at the door so I dragged myself out of bed and opened the door. The looks of concern on their faces were telling and seeing my haggard teary appearance really frightened them. Rose entered the room first and we all stood in an awkward. It was evident to my friends that there was no romantic fairy tale here. My behavior did not conform to narrative expectations.
“What did Dave do to you?” asked Rose in a tiny whisper she asked embracing me. I sobbed out the humiliating details and showed them the bloody sheets. My friends joined in mourning the brutal eradication of my innocence. If it was my funeral, I don’t think they would have wept as they did at that moment.
After what seemed like forever, Rose recollected herself and wiped her tears.
“Jas, we have to stop crying and find a solution to this problem”. She said in a pained voice. I could never imagine that my chatterbox of a friend could be this calm.
“Yes we need to inform your mom and take you to the hospital” said Imelda.
“No!” I said quickly. “We cannot bring my mother into this; I don’t want to be the cause of her heart attack”. I finished.
“I can’t believe Dave could be this heartless, we need to report that pig and his friends to the police. Jas, get dressed and let’s go” said Rose coming back to her usual self.
“The police will inform my parents, I don’t want anyone to know about this. If this comes out, I will die” I said and started sobbing again.
“I will kill that son of a prostitute” said Rose even more enraged than before.
“This is not the time for drama Rose, this is not about you. We have to help Jas and ranting is not doing it” said Imelda.
“I am not ranting, I am angry, there is a difference. It is called righteous indignation, google it” said Rose in her confrontational manner though she was struggling to stop herself from crying and failing.
Watching the banter, I realized that we were just three naïve young women. We were three innocent eighteen year olds whose fairy tale illusion of life had been shattered by what had happened to me. It was unbearable, we all didn’t have any experience with suffering and Rose was hiding behind anger in an attempt to hide how scared she was.
“Jas I know you are ashamed of what happened to you, I will not lie and say to you I know how it feels because I have never been raped but please you need to tell your parents”. Imelda said coming to seat near me. I shook my head and sobbed.
“Let’s respect her wishes Imelda, let’s think of a solution to her health now before debating on who to tell later” said Rose.
It was evident the two weren’t going to agree on anything if I didn’t intervene as always.
“Stop this back and forth girls, I asked you to come because I needed your help. This is not something I can bear alone, being raped by four men was not a challenge I anticipated. So I am helpless. Imelda imagine my mother’s face if I should start telling her that I sneaked out of the house last night and got raped by four men. Would you not agree that I should be listed as her cause of dead when the obituary is announced?” my voice was strained and the pain was evident. This outburst had the desired effect, it ended the squabbling.
Imelda spoke first after another bout of silence “we will always have your back Jas that’s why we are your friends”.
“Jas you are my friend and trust me I love you and will support any decision you make. But for Christ sake Jas this is RAPE! It is going to affect you all your life, we should get the police involved. These rapists can’t go unpunished.” Said Rose.
“Jas first things first we need to take you to the hospital to make sure you don’t have any complications in the future”. She was already rummaging in my closet looking for something I could wear.
“I totally agree” said Rose falling in line.
I had concerns going where someone could recognize me and tell my parents. Imelda advised that we could go to a small clinic in the next town. The next issue was the problem of money, I had spent all my allowance on looking good for the party. I did not have anything left and I could invite questions if I started asking my parents for money. I retired to my favorite solution, tears. Imelda seemed to have something up her sleeve as she insisted we leave for the hospital. I was too listless to resist though Rose did not appreciate Imelda’s penchant for mystery.
“Hope you know consultation and treatment cost money” she grumbled. “I don’t wish to be embarrassed at the clinic”.
“I got this covered” said Imelda as she helped me to the door. It was the middle of the afternoon at my parents were out going about their daily business. They were oblivious that their jewel of a daughter was undergoing the trauma of her lifetime. She was now a tarnished jewel, nobody could love her anymore. Jas thought as her friends supported her out of the door. Imelda was taking charge in a way that Jas had not seen before. She got a cab on hire so they could have some privacy and Jas slumped in the back and looked listlessly as they speed pass buildings and trees. Watching children laugh and play on the strengths reminded Jas that she was now seeing life for the first time. It was no fairy tale, there was no happiness. It was all an illusion.
To be continued…
P/S Lino Publishing and Communications decries acts of violence towards women and girls. Rape is a travesty and it is our collective responsibility to bring culprits to justice. Any act of sex performed without the express concern of both parties is an act of rape. No means NO. #women’srightsarehumanrights. #notoviolenceagainstwomenandgirls.