I am an introvert. I enjoy staying home and reading novels more than going out and meeting people. Even when I was a teenager, I rarely went out. The only times I stepped out of the house were to run errands for my parents, visit the library, and go to my favourite bookstore for novels.
After I completed college, I still wouldn’t go out. This was because, at college, I discovered e-books and therefore had no reason to visit the library or bookstore anymore. I was getting current reads from my favourite authors and discovering stories for free. I was always so consumed with my books that I honoured no social obligations. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Love and relationships didn’t interest me.
My mother didn’t like the fact that I didn’t have a social life. I also enjoyed my solitude too much to bother with her concern. All I was waiting for was to be posted to my station so I could start teaching. Then one day, my mum sent me on an errand to our neighbourhood store. On my way back, right in front of our flat, a white pickup stopped.
The driver of the car and his passenger were looking for a certain seaman who owed their company. I knew he was back at sea so I comfortably directed them to his house. It seemed they sat there waiting for a while and concluded he wasn’t coming back home anytime soon. Then they came back to our house and knocked on our back door.
“We just want to thank you for your help,” they said as soon as I opened the door. When I stepped out, they also stepped out of the car. They were both Ewes, generally good-looking in their own right. One was tall and slim while the other was medium height and very muscular. After they finished thanking me, the stocky one asked me out.
I politely turned him down. I just wasn’t interested in dating. Unknown to me, my mother was listening to our conversation from the kitchen. So as soon as I turned down the guy, she ran out and accepted the invitation on my behalf. The guy smiled and asked, “Can I have your number then?” I wasn’t happy about what my mum did but gave him my number anyway.
The next day at around 2 pm, he came to pick me up. He took me to his hotel. When we got there he said the balcony was too sunny so we should go to his room. I didn’t want to. It just didn’t feel right. But I reasoned that he picked me up from my house so there was no way he would have devious intentions.
He offered me a glass of fruit juice. I accepted it but I didn’t drink it. Before I realized it, he moved from where he was sitting and got closer to me. I started shivering because the AC was too high. I asked him to turn it off but he rather got close and started rubbing my arm. I hated the feel of his hand. “Let go of me,” I shouted and stood up. I then told him that I was feeling very uncomfortable so I would like to leave.
This guy locked his door and refused to open it for me. “If you don’t open this door this instantly, I will scream,” I warned him. He didn’t listen to me. Rather, he forcefully picked me up and carried me to his bed. It was then it dawned on me that if I didn’t think fast, this guy would force himself on me. I didn’t want my first time to be non-consensual.
At that moment, I recalled my lessons from a course I took on HIV. I stopped fighting him and asked him to calm down. Then I rubbed his arms and pretended to admire his arms. I knew I had to use my wits where my strength would not measure up.
When he calmed down I told him, “I like the way you’ve pinned me down. It tells me that sex with you will be exciting. Unfortunately, we can’t do it today because I am in my period.” He reluctantly unpinned my arms on condition that I would remain under the covers with him. “My friend will walk into this room in the next few minutes. I want him to come and see us under the covers.” I understood then that he must have made a bet with his friend. In that moment all that mattered was my freedom so I agreed to his terms.
A few minutes later, his friend (I believe his name is Edem) unlocked the door and walked in. When he saw us in that position, he said something in Ewe and walked out. Thank God for Md. Daphne and her HIV lessons on how to say NO to someone and how to get out of dangerous situations.
Another ‘thank you’ goes to my well-belted jeans. However, the most thanks goes to the Almighty God for not allowing it to occur to the dude to check if I was indeed in my period. Anyway, after his friend left, I quickly jumped from the bed, opened the door, and stepped out onto the balcony. I had money to pick a car home but he insisted on dropping me off.
On my way back, I was mad at my mother for pushing me into the hands of a total stranger. However, when I entered the flat and she asked how the date went, my anger dissipated. Initially, I wanted to tell her everything out of spite. But I knew she didn’t mean to put me in harm’s way. She probably assumed that a man who picked me up from home was not dangerous. So I just told her that the date was boring.
It used to bug me that Edem was going about thinking that his friend had succeeded in sleeping with me. However, I decided a long time ago to not be bothered by that. It doesn’t matter anymore. What is important is that I escaped with my virtue still intact.