why I had fallen for Ben I didn’t know. I guess it was one of those awkward moments out of fear of loneliness. he was ten years my senior and always talked about the future with me inclusive. he made me imagine a big house with kids running all over. my best friends Norah and Emma called me a hopeless dreamer but isn’t that what each one of us live for. dreams make us cling to the future with hopes and expectations of a better tomorrow ? I wanted a life without drama and complications. he was a graduate but due to the skyrocketing levels of unemployment he resorted to the low paying job. he always said if he lands himself a better job,he will send me to school so that I became a university graduate like him. I had always dreamed of becoming a journalist particularly a radio presenter.
there was something captivating about this job that always intrigued me.you could be alone in the studio, talking to yourself like a mad person but the mass you kept gluing their ears to listen to you was just amazing. I still clung to that dream no matter how impossible it sounded but I was ready to climb those heights.
Ben was a nice man and after dating for a year he thought it was time to make us go further. I knew what he meant but I wasn’t ready for it. every time he touched me I would freeze in fear. I never told him the rape incident and I guess I was still lurking behind its shadow.never a day passed by without me showering in those sad memories. sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating from the nightmare as if I was just being raped.
Ben couldn’t have understood all this but he couldn’t get it why I became withdrawn every time he brought the subject up. was I a virgin and afraid of first times? why couldnt he have me? wasn’t he man enough. I always drew a line at my door step and never invited him inside. he was intrigued. did I have another man? if yes why didn’t I just tell him so?
on that particular day, I found him on my door step on my way from church.
“wangu if you can’t have sex with me. we are done. if you make up your mind fast you know where to find me” as outright as that he left.
that was so brutal, having to cut me up with a blunt knife. it hurt and made me feel like that was what he ever wanted from me.
I locked the house quickly and went to see Norah and Emma. they knew how much Ben had turned out to mean to me.I was close to tears and locked on the horns of dilemma. I didn’t want to lose him yet I didn’t want to have sex before I was ready, when my body was still screaming in protest and still bruised from the rape five years ago.
I found them together at Emma’s place. we didn’t waste time but had an emergency meeting in her room.
“you look like someone died.
..wait wait wait did you fight with Ben?” I nodded. Norah the loudest of us all could be a pain.
I narrated everything to them and awaited their counsel.sometimes it felt like I mostly didn’t have a mind of my own.
“leave the guy he will cause you trouble ” Norah chipped in. I was shocked.
“just give the poor man. after all it won’t be your first time ” Emma urgued.
“yeah maybe don’t leave him,we all know you need him better than he does. come on you won’t survive a day without him” Norah hit home. after so much arguments I knew what to do and we left for my place with the scale of uncertainities unbalanced.
Ben came a week later to apologize.
“am sorry love my behavior that day was uncalled for ”
I gave him my best smile and we made up.
we made love but I felt nothing apart from the pain. he wasn’t none too gentle but its like my body blackened out. I had to do it to keep him and to mask those sad memories.
he kept telling me that it would be okay. telepathically did he feel and sensed my pain and fear? I felt like telling him about the rape but advised myself against it. he was mad at finding out that I wasn’t a virgin all along.
“why didn’t you tell me that you already slept with someone else? was he better than I have been to you? you still love him I guess ”
I was trapped ..