I just kept staring at the magazine.
The report in the magazine had gone into detail of how different men sexually molested and had taken their turns on me, how I had been anally raped by about six guys. The magazine even went to length in describing the gory details of my unenviable encounter with the supporting information that I was a regular runs girl and that that particular night’s ‘Runz’ had gone awry. They claimed they had gotten their stories from a source ‘close to her’.
Until my rape experience, I had spent five years in the school as a quiet ‘nerdish’ girl (you better believe that). Till my mum’s illness, I was a studious student who believed my salvation lay in my ability to study hard, graduate with good grades, get a good job and relieve my mom of her financial burden. My grades were a testament of the amount of work I put into my study. Indeed, my marks, aside my project result, had revealed my barely missing out of making a first class grade (Effiko tinz).
Whilst I wasn’t a saint or the fellowship frequenting kind of girl, i kept a low profile and avoided any form of scandal. I was the anonymous kind of girl who could hardly be noticed as I was really reclusive. Until my rape experience, I had never ventured into ‘runzing’ or any other wild adventure that had become synonymous with girls of my school at the time. Then after finishing school with my repute held intact, here I was staring at a magazine graphically describing how my character was facing assassination from a ‘friendly’ sniper.
To state that I was shell shocked would be an understatement. I was simply a bundle of nerves. I couldn’t just think straight or summon enough courage to explain the contents of the magazine to my host Linda who was glaring at me with her explanation seeking eyes.
Then I started thinking. I really didn’t have to think for long to realize the only possible source of the story. I had not disclosed the details of that unfortunate event to any other person alive other than Doctor Jude and my friend Alex. Jude was a doctor who looked more intelligent than to disclose the details of his client consult with some campus magazine. In any event, I did not think he would consider my case sensational enough for magazine reportage since such cases would be considered routine in his line of business. I was left with only one plausible and possible explanation- Alex. Alex was the only person I explained the details of what had happened that fateful night and she also happened to be a student in my school. The link was obvious.
Still, it didn’t make sense to me. This was a girl that had been nice to me and had supported me all through the encounter. Could my delay to repay her the loan she had given me been the reason for this malicious publication? I wondered.
“So?” Linda asked piercing my thoughts sharply.
“Er…so what?” I asked looking puzzled and innocent. In reality, I was buying time to cook up a story to defend myself.
“So wetin happen now? Can’t you read the story ni? Is it true?”
“True ke? I asked with disbelief etched all over my face then burst out into a calculated and hysterical laugh demonstrating my incredulity at Linda’s question. I realized my expression was key to Linda buying my denials. I was not going to allow anyone believe the story was true and I masterfully countered;
Na wa for you o! Am even surprised you are asking me this. Don’t you know how these magazine people like to cook stories ni. Were you not my roommate? How many times did you see me do runz? I asked defiantly.
“em..well…me too I said it, but I just said I should hear it from you directly. And besides, why would anyone write this kind of thing?” Linda stammered backing off and looking disappointed in her inability to get the juicy details of my rape encounter.
“I don’t know oo. Although someone use to tell me about that Jide guy that was always askin me out owns a magazine and that whoever turns his advances down is rubbished. Although I never got to know the name of the magazine. I won’t be surprised if he was the one behind this trash.” I explained with a convincing mien that impressed even me myself.
“Na wa o. that’s stupid of him then. We suppose organize treat him fuck up o!” can you imagine? Or wetin we go do nau? Linda ranted.
“Nothing jare. I have more pressing matters to deal with and I just even remember I have to go and settle the cooks tonight. Still, let me have a copy of the magazine sha for record purposes. Hope I can take it?” I asked my bewildered friend.
I had mentally decided not to sleep in the school that night. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to withstand the barrage of questions related to the story then I started parking a few of the things I brought into my bag wen Linda sadly pleaded with me to stay till the next day.
Although it was late, I insisted had to leave and by 10pm, I was in a cab speeding down to my house. Safe away from the earshot of my ex school/roommates, I remembered I had a most demanding issue to sort out. I picked up my phone and dialed Alex.