He was very handsome – like the screen gods that existed only on TV. Tall, dark, well dressed, well spoken and oozing of wealth… and I wondered why he liked me. There were a lot of beautiful girls at my friend’s wedding, where I met him, so how come he chose me? Me! An ordinary girl like me! It was a mystery that I didn’t let myself wonder too much about because I really liked the way he smiled and the deep throaty sound of his voice. He appeared tough and roguish but his eyes looked sensitive and kind and he was always looking over and smiling at me and asking me if I was ok.
No one had ever treated me like he did that day, like a princess, and I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world. I felt like Cinderella and I was certain I was about to have my happy ending. For so long I had been alone… waiting for this feeling. For so long I had waited to feel loved – and feel like I could return the love.
We spoke on the phone after I travelled back home from the event, and our daily conversations became the high points of my bland days. We talked about many things, or rather I talked and he listened. He was so attentive, always knew what to say and when to say it. He had the solution to my many issues and I fell harder with every word.
“Come and visit me” he said one day, a month after the first time we met.
He hugged me and pecked me on my forehead – like a gentleman – and then we got some refreshments at the bar of a hotel. I couldn’t believe I had traveled three hours just to see him and would only stay a few hours because I had to leave the same day… but I wanted to see him. Yes I was a bit disappointed he had opted we meet at a hotel instead of his house but I was excited to see him…that was all that mattered at that moment.
‘There’s a bit of a renovation going on in my house’ – he must have read my mind – ‘but this is my hotel, let me take you on a tour’
It wasn’t a fantastic hotel, but I pretended to love everything. Even a home girl like me had seen better hotel restaurants and bars but I didn’t say… that was not why I came. I had come to see his face again.
We walked about different areas of the hotels for a while before we got to the bedrooms… and after slightly hesitating I went in behind him. I told myself not to be afraid. The caring person I had been talking to for hours on phone since the first time we met would not harm me. I repeated the words over and over trying to drown the fear that had come over me.
“I have never seen a girl as beautiful as you” he said and I smiled
I thought it was a lie, someone as widely travelled as he was surely would have seen prettier girls, but it felt good to hear. I smiled back
And he kissed me.
Once, and then some more
Softly and then a bit harder
“Come let me hold you, let us just lie together” he said, falling on the bed and opening his arms invitingly
‘Don’t be childish as usual’ I told myself
‘He just wants to hold you’
I went and lay with him on the bed and he had held me and stroked my back. Being in his arms felt good, like I belonged there and I closed my eyes to drink in the moment.
His hands went down my back and up and then down to my bum and up and them down to my calves.
It was at this point that I suddenly realized that I had never thought about him sexually. In the fairy tales they hadn’t mentioned the sex. The princess just met the prince; they fell in love and got married and lived happily ever after.
I wasn’t ready for the sex. I hadn’t thought about the sex and he had never talked about sex. I reasoned that if I told him surly he would understand…
“You are just so beautiful I have no words to describe it… how did I get so lucky”
Now I was sure he was lying
He pulled my face to him and kissed me again this time he pushed his tongue through my teeth and felt around my mouth with it. His hands, still stroking, transferred to my arms and then to my neck and finally settled on my breasts. An overwhelming alarm mixed with the pleasures of the flesh went off in my brain.
I pulled away from the kiss.
“Wait… please wait!”
He stopped and moved his stroking hands to my hair
“What’s the matter baby? Talk to daddy”
“I don’t want to do this please, I am not ready”
“Don’t worry baby, I’ll take it slow… I just want to love you baby. I have longed for you for so long”
His hand went down to my breasts again
Then I pushed… I pushed as hard as I could
As I stood in the bathroom a few minutes later, looking into the mirror, I knew I had died.
In my lil ‘ol twisted mind I had sometimes imagined what being raped would feel like. I reckoned there would be fists flying and loud screaming. I always thought I would fight and kill rather than let anyone ever rape me… but I had never thought it would be someone I was falling in love with that would be responsible.
When I realized he wouldn’t stop despite my struggles, I just lay there praying, trying to send my mind far away
“This can’t be happening”
It hurt, it bled, it hurt, and it bled! My thighs hurt, my arms hurt and my head ached too. I told myself not to cry; at least he had used a condom, but the tears gushed out straight from my broken heart. I had really thought he was the one.
As I walked away trying not to feel damaged he squeezed some money into my purse.
“Your transport money” he said, and my heart crushed deeper. Having dried my tears, I tried as much a could not to show off any more emotions, tried to hold my head high, tried to tell myself I was still beautiful and I was still precious. I tried but I don’t think I succeeded because inside me, I knew someone had died and another person was born. And this other person was stupid and ‘unpretty’, and didn’t deserve anything good.
There was no way I would ever believe in love again.
Name and Country: Chioma Obiekwe. Nigeria
Bio: Chioma considers herself a story collector