Dec 1, 1998
“He slammed into me. All I could think of was I would kill him someday.” I feel dizzy as I review my day.
“At 10 a.m., I received a call from him. He had finally called. He asked if I were at home. I told him that I was, but left out the part that I was actually getting ready for my 11 o'clock class. Five minutes later, he told me that he was outside. I needed a ride to class anyways. So, I grabbed my handbag and books, locked my door and got into his car. He wanted to hang out. I told him that I was going to class. We made arrangements to meet the next day. He drove me to my faculty.
My classmates were out, hanging around the building, doing nothing. I walked to my friends, who were all interested in finding out how I had met him. After all the bickering, they told me class was canceled. I only had that one class, so I walked back and continued our date.
He drove to his room. I hoped that we wouldn't stay too long as I got out of the car. We went in. The TV was on, it was some Disney movie. I relaxed immediately. He asked me to close my eyes. He told me not to peek. I promised not to. I shut my eyes without any worries. He told me to open my eyes. I did. He was stark naked. I forced my eyes not to travel down. They did. I guess he took it to mean consent, because he jumped on me and wrestled me.
I told him that I wouldn't sleep with him. He had the effrontery to tell me that he couldn't understand why women think that playing coy turns a man on. I clenched my thighs and kept struggling. He pinned me down and deftly unhooked my bra, with my hands held in his left hand. He lapped at my tiny buds, his head dipped in offering.
Something snapped in me. I stayed still. I remembered that I had sworn once that I would lie still, instead of thrash around, if I ever got raped. I had been told the story of a girl whose uterus had been marred badly that she walks with her legs apart. The doctor had pronounced that she would never enjoy sex again. I did not want to be her.
Even though I had been told this in order for me to be aware of the dangers of walking at night, it had served one purpose: I swore that I would rather be cold than allow my internals be ripped, should I ever be in such situation. Why add to the psychological trauma? So, I laid down lifeless, as he swayed to his internal music.”
“Is that good enough for you?” I tell her. She is sitting across from me with her legs crossed, on a black leather chair. The pen, with which she jots some things down on the pad on right leg, poised in the air. At her back are frames that tell a tale. She is the best or my parents wouldn’t have bothered in the first place. She wears red frame designer glasses. The glasses are a necessity for a shrink but the red, interesting. I wonder how she is outside of the office. If she has a child, a daughter perhaps. If she truly cares about the people who sit on her comfy couch or if it is just all about the money. She isn’t cheap.
She says “Chioma, I need to do this in order to help you.”
Help me? No one can help me. I am way past help. Help me do what? I just want to be alone. But my parents think differently.
“We need to go over the scenario, this time I want you to talk about the rape itself,” she says.
Was I not talking about the rape? I was. But I know what she wants. She wants me to describe how he did it.
I stare at her, wondering why in the hell am I talking to her. Yes, I know. I am doing it for my mum. She wants to appease her mind. So, I drag myself here. This is the third visit.
“Alright, why didn't you scream?” she says.
“Because there was no way in hell that I was going to allow anyone rush to my defense. I would rather die than be tagged the raped girl. The humiliation would have been worse than the actual rape itself.”
“Did you do anything to show him that you didn’t want it?” she continues.
“He is freaking heavier that I am. What did you want me to have done?” I clench my teeth as I say this. “Honestly, I don’t know why my mum keeps dragging me here. There is nothing anyone could have done and can do now.”
“Why do you feel so?” she says.
How is that supposed to help me? Oh wait, talking is meant to make me better. A better what? I look at the clock over her head. I have 10 more minutes to endure.
“Why do you think that you are way past help?” she says.
I wonder how to tell her she was either stupid or crazy to believe that whatever she is doing is working. And I wonder what makes her think that I would be willing to tell her more. I am tired of talking. Talking isn’t getting me anywhere. It never does.
“Let me rephrase myself. Do you wish you had reported the incident?” she ventures.
This is it. I am done talking to her. I grab my phone from lap and pick up my bag.
“With all our sessions, you still ask me that? Then, I guess this isn’t working. Have a great day, Dr. Linda.” I say as I stand up and readjust my dress. She stands up too and looks me in the eye.
“You might think this isn’t helping but it is. Do remember to set up an appointment with my secretary before you leave. See you next week.” she says.
“There is no next week anymore. I am done. Have a great life, doc.”
“You still have my card. Call me anytime you need to talk to someone.” She says as she walks to her desk. I walk out without looking back. Knowing that I am the one in five women. And that justice would never be served. There is nothing anyone would do about it. I squeeze my bag tighter and walk to my car. I get in and sit, staring at the windscreen. I hear his taunt, saying that nobody would care and I couldn’t do anything. I close my eyes and wished I had really carried out my threat to kill him. But, none of it matters. My tears wash my away my fears. I embrace my scar. I look up to her office. I see her looking at me from the window. She smiles at me and steps away from the window. I shake my head as I start the car.