BROKEN MIRRORS

confused man

It took us five years to get pregnant, first two years of our marriage, we spent discovering each other, and making plans, building our home. At first it didn’t bother us, because we thought we had it all planned out, we wanted to be ready before the baby came, so we waited, one year became two years and the three years, and my wife became worried, so did i.

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PARADISE ISLAND PT1

sad girlAunty Edith sauntered into the room and dropped her overnight bag on the floor. She Kicked off her heels and hung the wig on the rusty hook by the door, settling her considerable girth on a stool in front of the small dressing table as she began to rummage in the small drawer attached, where our toiletries, makeup were kept.

She fished out some cotton wool and a plastic bottle of cleansing spirit vigorously wiping off the greasepaint off her face, muttering half angrily under her breath “that osho free just used my body till the next morning, then handing me a paltry N5,000 after we had agreed on N12, 000 what am I supposed to do with that chicken feed? She asked rhetorically staring at the mirror masking her audible anger.

She finished scrubbing and simultaneously slapped a tattered shower cap on her head, then struggled out of the ultra-tight dress throwing it in a corner, as she wrapped a brown threadbare towel round her large frame, getting ready to have a bath. I rose up from the bed stretching and mumbled greetings. She Looked at me scornfully eyebrows slightly raised asking me how much I made yesterday. I rummaged under the pillow and handed her the crumpled folded Naira notes, she counted carefully and grunted as she bent down and opened the bottom drawer of the bedside cabinet where she kept our money putting it away and locking up, carefully tucking the key into her bra.

Aunty Edith had always distrusted banks feeling secure in the knowledge that I was the only one who knew where she kept our money, besides every act of theft in the compound was brutally suppressed anyway. she had informed me that banks held on to  people’s money and will not return it complete  anytime you needed it back, i have no idea if this is true because I have never been inside a bank before much less owned an account.

I was exhausted from yesterday though I only had few customers and two bottles of imported beer, I spent the most of the night with the old man Ambricose.

He is a constant regular of mine and has been coming for a long time, two sometimes three times a week, even before I arrived ‘Paradise Island’. The kind of ‘Igbo’ weed he brought with him yesterday knocked me out and now, I have a serious headache an after effect of that devils cigarette. I vaguely remember him warning me it was the notorious ‘kanaku Kenya’ hybrid, but the inebriating effect of alcohol induced euphoria had deadened any sense of precaution in me. I must have smoked more than normal, as the ceaseless din reverberating in my head seemed like the blacksmith in our village, hammering and shaping a tool in earnest consistent hammering on and on.

Ambricose had been a frequent customer even before I was brought here hence his shift in attention to me had created a festering jealousy in Airou, who had been his favorite before my arrival. Airou was same age as me, and well admired by many that patronized us she was blessed with an olive skin and a sort of caramel complexion the color of imported sweets displayed prominently in those supermarkets situated along the nice part of the island, her skin looked a cross between the Indians and Lebanese traders who owned sea food shops on the island, her oval face and pointed nose gave an alluring and innocent almost regal beauty seldom found in Paradise Island.

I heard from Obiri my friend who had known of her long before my arrival that she was from a place called Chad in the north, I have no idea where that is as I have never gone past our village and Paradise Island. She had informed me Aunty Celestine whom we all knew as her guardian had found Airou under the bridge, near waterside area being forcefully raped by one of the old disabled beggars under the bridge and had rescued her. She had been unable to communicate verbally then due to her age, but they were able to approximate her age at around 7years or thereabouts. Airou was brought back to Paradise Island and nursed back to health she has been with her ever since, the only real mum she had ever known. It seemed the symbiotic relationship they had, was of   mutual benefit  and obviously worked well for both.

Even though Ambricose pays well always gentle with me unlike most of the ‘area’ boys, nevertheless often forced me to do things I don’t like. I sometimes wonder where an old man like him learnt all those depraved sexual acts, but cannot ask questions as long as he has paid Aunty who made the decisions.

Today is my birthday.  

Instead of feelings of elation and Joy upon this special day, I sit wondering questioning why I am feeling this despondent. I feel much older than I am for some obscure reason that eludes me, maybe it is due to people’s remarks that I am a big woman now. A woman big enough even old enough to satisfy those countless men who have shared my bed, who have passed through me. Who knows if it had to do with experience, checkered  history with older men here in Paradise Island which has matured and tested me ‘wiser’ beyond my years, Or maybe I am truly old, am i no longer a child? Or so I’m told. So maybe, just maybe.

Written By Bunmi olaniyan 

Forced Entry……

tearsAnd once again another scary call, the voice on the other end was subtle, un-assuming, but there was something dark about it, some very eerie about it, it was the voice of a woman.
She said“I was raped a week ago”

Those words always make me lose my composure, deep in my heart, a voice always say, oh my God, not another one.

The Interview

My name is not important, what is important is what I am about to tell you, what is important is for you to know how your life can change in just a moment.

There was no way to know I would get raped that day, how the hell was I to know, I don’t see into the future, so how would I know, I I had known, I would not even get out of bed.

We had a hectic day of lectures that day, and I and some friends, decided to see a movie, it was a Thursday evening, and we were all looking forward to it, there were 3 of us, all ladies, we got a taxi, and we headed to the cinema, it was a ladies night out, is that a crime?

The movie started, we had popcorn, we had drinks, we had each other, and we had joy and peace,it was fun, I can still hear the giggling. A few minutes into the movie, nature called, now at this point will I blame nature? Of course not, I blame the animals and those who were unable to train them properly, those who did this to me.

I left my seat, and made my way to the bathroom, on my way I noticed a couple of guys hanging around, well that wasn’t out of place, guys and girls hang out it’s a normal thing at the movies. I got into the bathroom and did my business, while I was in there I heard the main door open, and footsteps, again this is not unusual, what was unusual was that the bathroom attendant seemed to leave immediately I came in, that was a bit weird, but I brushed it aside.

I flushed and opened the stall door, but I was shoved back with so much force, I sat back down on the toilet seat, I looked up and I saw a man standing over me, his face was covered, I got upset and scared at the same time, I tried to stand up and push past him, but then I saw it, a curved blade, unlike anything I had ever seen, in real life that is.

He held my neck and motioned for me to remain silent, right now I can’t explain how I was feeling, the fear was so intense I felt sick to my stomach, my head was pounding, I couldn’t even think, I didn’t understand what was happening.

Suddenly he spoke, “take off your jeans”, I was dumbfounded, and then it dawned on me, this stranger was about to do something bad to me, I opened my mouth to beg, but my throat was dry, I seemed to have lost my voice, and then he said it again “take off your jeans”, and before I could make another move, he struck me across the face, and turned me around, I began sobbing and praying for someone to come in, but no one ever came.

I unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them down, he laughed when he saw I had no panties on, he turned me around, used a rag to gag my mouth, pressed my hands on the water closet, pressed the knife at the back on my neck, and forced himself inside me, I felt my skin peel, it was like I was being skinned, we was rough, he was wicked, he was and is an animal.

All I could do was take it, I screamed in my head, I cursed In my head, I died in my head, he didn’t use protection, I felt his semen inside me, I felt it drip down my thighs.

He zipped up and tapped my behind, like I was a horse he was rewarding for a good ride, he opened the stall door, I thought it was over, suddenly I heard another voice,”you don finish” (TRANSLATION- ARE YOU DONE?) The second guy walked into the store to my horror, I was still bent over, trying to come to grips with what had just happened, he shoved my head back on the water closet, and used his feet to part my legs, he was about going into me, when he pulled back as if repulsed by something.

He stormed out angrily and I overheard him arguing with his partner, “why you pour inside her, you think say I go touch your akamu, you be fool o” (TRANSLATION-why did you cum inside her, you think am going to touch your semen, you are such a fool).

And just as they came, they left, everywhere went silent, they left me there like maggot infested carcass, I couldn’t move, aside from the physical pain, something in my brain had snapped. I managed to move, I cleaned myself up, left the bathroom, still wondering why no one had come in at all, then I saw it, an out of order sign was on the door, now it all made sense, I had been a victim of a set up, the bathroom attendant must have been in the know, and that’s why she walked out, when a lone girl came in, and that’s why no one came in, because there was a sign on the door.

I left the cinema immediately, I didn’t tell my friends, I got to the hostel, I took a bath, threw out the clothes I wore, and left for home, I was on auto pilot.

On my way home, my friends called, sounding worried, I lied; I said my period had started un scheduled and I had to leave, because I was soaked, they believed me.

I arrived home, my mother was surprised, she knew something was wrong, I couldn’t tell her, not immediately, I lay awake, my mind in knots, I told my mother at  4 am in the morning, she wept, she cursed, she threatened, but she calmed down, she suggested reporting to the police, now of what use will that be, I can’t identify them, and I can’t recount that ordeal with people am very sure cannot relate with my ordeal.

The next morning, mum took me to the hospital, somehow I got this feeling the nurses and the doctor didn’t believe me, later my mum came to me and said the matron asked was she sure I didn’t just lose my virginity and didn’t know how to handle it, so I claimed rape?

Long story short, I left the hospital, I will run a series of tests later on to see if I have been infected with anything.

If you are reading this, there are sick men out there, animals in human skin, always be in a group, never move alone especially in unfamiliar areas, it has happened to me, and now I have become a statistic.

Who am I going to ask why?

Written By – Arome Ameh (The Priest)

Side Note– Hidden Voices -Giving A Voice To Victims Of Rape And Domestic Abuse via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeRQaueebQY …

Punished For Being A Victim

She did what?hanndcuffs

Those were the first words that came out of the police officer’s mouth, he stared at me and from the look in his eyes, and he had already tried, judged and sentenced me to death.

Am sorry, my name is Lola (Not her real name), I am 26 years old, single and I work as a receptionist at a real estate firm, and I was raped by my neighbor on my way to work, funny thing is, I told the better part of this story from a holding cell, and I got bailed out by the writer.

I live in a small neighborhood, you know the type where everyone knows your name, and you know everyone’s name also, so you can imagine how it feels to have something like rape happen to you, and everyone turns on you and tries to blame you for it.

My attacker is well known to me, in fact our parents attend the same church, and they are or were pretty close. He had been making advances at me for a while now, but honestly I really didn’t find him as being the kind of guy I wanted to have a serious relationship with, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think little of him neither did I think he was a bad person, at least not then, but I didn’t find him attractive enough, and I have never been one to date someone out of pity or material gain, so I kept letting him down gently.

He always acted as if he was cool with it, and on many occasions he would get me nice gifts, and even took me on a dinner date for my birthday, and got me a really nice gold wrist watch, and in his own words “even if I can’t have you as a lover, it warms my heart to have you as a friend”. I tried to refuse his gifts, but he would act like he was offended, and I in turn decided to accept and take him as a friend, but now in hind sight, I should have run like the devil was chasing me.

We lived a couple of streets from each other, and everyone adored him, young boys aspired to be like him, all the girls wanted to be with him, his parents were so proud of him, and in the eyes of the community he was the perfect man, respectful, handsome, generous etc.

He was their hero.

Many times he would offer to drive me to work, mostly because it was on his route to work, and we left for work at the same time, in order to beat the traffic, it was really a relief for me, because it was always hectic using the public transport system, and I was also very scared of being robbed or attacked because I always left home very early in the morning, if I knew then, what I know now, I probably would have taken my chances with the outsiders, it wouldn’t hurt me as much because I would never know or meet them again.

I can remember it like it was yesterday, 21st of September 2012, it was a Friday, so I was casually dressed, I had a short skirt on, with a nice blouse, and sandals, I just came out of the house, when he drove up and honked his horn, I was very pleased and rushed into the car, he complimented my outfit and we drove off, I noticed he kept staring at me, and it made me a bit uncomfortable, but I decided not to dwell on it, I never imagined it would lead to anything, twice while trying to change the gear of the car, his hand brushed my knee, he excused himself and I really didn’t read anything into it. We eventually hit the third mainland bridge and he began asking me very weird questions. He asked if it was fair to him for me to keep leading him on the way I was, he insisted I was sending him mixed signals, if not why would I decline his offer of a relationship and yet continue to accept gifts from him, at first I tried to laugh it off, but realized he was serious, and that was when the whole thing took a turn for the worse.

He pulled over to the curb, switched off the engine, locked the doors and turned to me, I really couldn’t see his eyes, it was still dark, but from the sound of his voice, he had worked himself into s frenzy, he went on and on about how ungrateful and selfish I was, I tried to calm him down, but that seemed to annoy him the more.

Suddenly he pulled out a knife ,I could see that very clearly and I became paralyzed, I opened my mouth to speak and no words came out, he told me to shut my mouth, he said today was payback day, he said how stupid I was to think there was a free meal in life, he looked at the wrist watch and laughed, he said I should note the time and day, this was the day I would pay for the watch, for the free stuff and for all his time, he held my hand, reached he rubbed the knife on my hand, it was cold, my heart raced, he leaned over and reclined my seat, he used the knife to run down my thighs, I shivered, and began to weep silently, because at that point I realized what was happening.

He ordered me to take off my panties, and then he raped me, he was violent, he was rough, he called me names, he insulted me, he even spit on me, and all through he held the knife to my neck, it felt like an eternity, eventually he stopped, zipped up his pants, started the engine and drove me to my office without a word, he dropped me off and drove away, I stood dazed and confused, what had just happened, I thought I was dreaming, I prayed I was dreaming, suddenly I felt a bit damp, I rushed into the office, went straight to the bathroom, and discovered I was soaked, I was in so much pain and I was soaked, I tried to clean up as much as possible, dropped a note for my boss, and went straight home.

Immediately I got home, I told my mother what had happened, she immediately called my father, who in turn called my attackers father, it was all happening so fast, long story short, he denied everything, and in his charming way, he turned everything against me, he told his folks I had been making passes at him, went further to say I had tried to offer him sex on my birthday after he gave me the watch, he said a lot of stuff, but he nailed it home when he told his parents I was very easy to bed in the neighborhood, stating I always dressed to attract attention, was it my fault I had a full figure, and always tried to dress in what looked good on me?

Believe it or not, at some point I actually blamed myself for being raped, alongside everyone else, I tried to justify his action by trying to convince myself that maybe my dressing or my constant interaction sent him wrong signals and ultimately pushed him to raping me, but after some time I realized that no sane woman would intentionally provoke a man to such a level.

The news spread around the neighborhood, and everyone immediately took his side, I was called various derogatory names, and once I heard some women talking, stating I wanted to force myself into his family because they were so successful, my father reported the case to the police, but they did nothing, stating there was no evidence to back up my claim, but the real truth was his father was very influential so it was like, dancing in front of a blind man.

Weeks passed, I tried to put it behind me, but I just couldn’t do it, I was stigmatized, and at a point I couldn’t even leave the house, I quit my job, and reclined into myself, my parents fought constantly, my mother blamed my father for not pursuing it further, my father was angry for not being able to do more, and I felt dirty and useless, I would take very hot baths, scald my skin, but I still felt his hands on me, I still felt him inside me, I still felt the pain, the nightmares  became scarier with each passing night, this continued until I snapped.

One night in December, I sent him an SMS message “I will make you suffer for all you u have said and done”, well I guess I didn’t think it through, because the message was interpreted wrongly by the police as a threat to him, and I was arrested the next morning.

While I was in holding the police mocked and taunted me, calling me names, and one even called me a gold digger, they refused my parents having access to me, and they tried to make me sign a statement, trying to absolve him of any wrong doing, the readymade statement was a confession that I had tried to set him up, but I refused to sign, so they kept me for 2 weeks.

Lady luck smiled on me, when the writer of my story came to the police station to bail out a woman in a cell next to me, I and the lady had got talking and we discovered we were in similar circumstances. She told him about me, and well he spoke to a few lawyers who agreed to help out, they were able to agree on the terms of my release, on my release I was made to sign an order preventing me from communicating with him in anyway, and refraining me from slandering his name, and from accusing him of any wrong doing. If I hadn’t agreed to those terms, I would probably still be behind bars, and eventually some trumped up charges would have been made against me, and the situation would be worse that it already is.

This story has no happy ending, I got raped, and I still got punished for it, I am now a social pariah in my neighborhood, I will probably leave for someplace else, my parents are moving anyway, why I decided to tell this story, well I just want people to know , this is no fairy tale, heroes don’t come to save the day, the society mostly finds ways to blame the victim, and in turn make the rapist the victim, because they believe all women are harlots and always want to take the “MAN” down.

Eventually I will get over this and move on, maybe not today, or tomorrow, maybe I might not be able to dig deep and find that inner strength just yet, but I guess talking about it is therapy on its own, but in all my dreams and imaginations, I would never have believed my first time would be so horrific, yes you heard me, I was a virgin until I got raped by a man I thought I knew.

If you ever come across a rape victim, understand her plight before you judge her, because no matter how crazy a person is, no one ever goes out looking to be raped.

Interview By Arome Ameh. (The Priest)

Side Note-Arome Ameh is the Author of the new book ‘Drowning Fish” out now on amazon, feel free to follow this link and check it out http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C8P3886

Part of the proceeds from sales of this e-book, are geared towards the rehabilitation of abused women, so kindly buy a copy and refer a friend. Thank you.

American tourist gang-raped in Rio de Janiero

images (3)An American woman was gang raped and beaten aboard a public transport van while her French boyfriend was shackled, hit with a crowbar and forced to watch the attacks after the pair boarded the vehicle in Rio de Janeiro’s showcase Copacabana beach neighborhood, police said.

A third man, aged 21, was arrested for the attacks, which took place over six hours starting shortly after midnight on Saturday (local time), police said in a statement. Two men aged 20 and 22 had already been taken into custody for the attacks, police said. and a young Brazilian woman has come forward to say that she, too, was raped by the same men in the van on March 23.

“The victims described everything in great detail, mostly the sexual violence,” police officer Rodrigo Brant told the Globo TV network. “Just how they described the facts was shocking – the violence and brutality. It surprised even us, who work in security and are used to hearing such things. Their report shocked us.”

The incidents raise new questions about security in Rio, which has cracked down on once-endemic drug violence in preparation for hosting next year’s football World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic games. The city will also be playing host to World Youth Day, a Roman Catholic pilgrimage that will be attended by Pope Francis and is expected to draw some 2 million people in late July.

Officials from the local Olympic and World Cup organizing committees didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The attack also drew comparisons with the fatal December beating and gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus. Six men beset a 23-year-old university student and male friend after they boarded a private bus, touching off a wave of protests across India demanding stronger protection for women. Officials there say tourism has dropped in the country following the attacks.

In the Brazil case, a police statement said the suspects forced other passengers to get out of the van and then raped the female tourist inside the vehicle, which was one of a fleet of vans that serve bus routes and seat about a dozen people.

Such van services are often linked to organised crime in Rio, particularly the militias largely comprised of former police and firemen that control large swaths of the city’s slums and run clandestine services such as transportation and sell cooking fuel and illegal cable TV hookups. In general, tourists avoid the vans and opt for regular buses or taxis.

Sexual assaults on tourists are not common in Rio, with muggings and petty crime reported more frequently

During the assault, the two foreigners were driven to the poor neighborhood of Sao Goncalo, where the two suspects were apprehended, a police statement said.

Reports said the two foreigners had been studying Portuguese in Rio for about a month and both left Brazil following the attack.

The police statement said that one victim’s cellphone was found in the suspects’ possession. The suspects had also used a debit card belonging to one of the victims at two gas stations, it said.

The Globo television network broadcast surveillance camera images of two men filling up the white van and showed police images of a crowbar the suspects used to beat and intimidate the victims. The victims positively identified the two suspects.

In an interview with Globo television, commanding officer Alexandre Braga, who heads the Rio police unit specializing in crimes against tourists, said the suspects had gone on a sex crime spree.

“The characteristics of both crimes, both the Brazilian case and the one with the foreigners, lead us to believe that they (the suspects) wanted to have a ‘party of evil,’ in quotes,” Braga said. “The principal motive appears to have been the satisfaction of their lust.”

He added that the robbery and other crimes appear to have been “secondary.”

In Brazil, more than 5,300 cases of sexual assault were reported between January and June 2012, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Source-http://www.stuff.co.nz