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“Hi, Ife. I’ve just been raped. Can I talk to you?”

I received this message on Friday and as much as I had a gazillion things to do, I immediately called Seyi (Not real name)

It was international women’s day, I was in high spirits even though work was piling on like dirty plates at the back of a local restaurant. Seyi’s message immediately changed that.

“Hey, how’re you?” I said to Seyi as soon as she picked my call.

“I’m okay.” Her voice was clear.
“I’m sure you’re not. What can I do? How can I help? Where are you? Should I come to pick you so we can go to the police to report?” I was talking too fast. I do that when I’m nervous or when I’m in a situation I’m not prepared for.

“I can’t. I just want to talk, to understand”
Seyi’s voice was too calm for me, not the reaction I’d expect from someone who has just been raped.

I wanted to go off again, trying to tell her what to do but just recently, I’ve learnt to take a deep breath and speak slowly when I’m caught in such situations. So I waited.
I gave myself a time limit of two minutes after which I’d ask her again what she wanted to do.

I know what I wanted to do but it wasn’t I who was raped.

First thing Seyi said, “Ife, it’s my cousin. I’m not even dressed seductively.”

“He would do it still if you are an Eskimo,”
This was my thought but I held my tongue.

“I came here to ask him to help daddy again with sponsorship letter for UK Visa. We’re trying to get him there for his follow up Medicals and my cousin helped before with the first letter,” A slight pause and Seyi continued,
”Not once has he ever shown interest in me. He’s always very nice. I’m just trying to understand why he would do this to me. You know?”

“Yes. I understand.” I responded.

“I came here as a happy girl, I don’t know how to leave without my life changing forever,” Said Seyi
“Seyi are you still at your cousin’s house? Right now?” I was shaking my head in unbelief.

“Yes. But he stepped out. He’s been gone for a while though.” Seyi responded.

“I think you should leave. I really think you should leave.”
I said this in a levelled voice even though I wanted to scream.

“I had not even finished telling him why I came before he started rubbing his hand on my thighs. Then pulling my skirt up. I slapped his hand away and looked at him in shock. Only for him to pull me down on the sofa
...pinned my leg to the side of the couch and held my hands over my head. I have never fought anything off that hard in my life. I’m wearing a shirt and a long skirt. The skirt is not even tight....”

I think she’s in shock. She’s not responding to anything I’m saying.
“Ife I was fighting with just one leg. I got tired. I stopped fighting. Do you think I gave up too easily? Should I have continued fighting?”

I wanted to answer but I wasn’t sure she would hear me.

“Hello Ife, are you there? Do you think so?”

“No. I think you did your best”
“I don’t know. He was ready for me, when he removed his pants he was already wearing a condom. I fought harder when I saw this but his hold was so strong. I stopped fighting when he was inside me. The deed has been done, what’s the point of fighting again?”
“How did you feel when he was...during the act?” I asked.

“I was afraid. I was blank then I would be afraid again. I felt pain at the base of my hips. I’m still feeling it. When I realised I had given in, I began to fight again but it made the pain worse so I gave up again.”
Sigh... I’d never felt so helpless.

“I would like to come to pick you up or at least send someone to pick you up,” I said.

“I feel so violated. I should have kept fighting Ife, I didn’t fight enough. I feel so dirty. My body hurts,” silence...then, “He’s back. I’ll call back.”
“Leave now. Don’t cut me off. Leave his house now” Now my voice isn’t levelled anymore. But Seyi had cut me off somewhere in between.

I called back after 10 minutes. She picked up immediately.

“Have you left? Are you in a car?” My heartbeat rate had spiked. This is not okay!
“Yes. I’ve left. I’m in my car parked somewhere. Thank you, Ife. I always feel better when I talk about things. I didn’t know who to talk to. You came first to my mind.”

“Can I come over so we can go to the police immediately?” Me I just wanted to make sure we reported ASAP.
“No. I can’t report. I need that letter for my dad. I asked him if he’d still do it, he said yes.”

“What if I do the letter for you? Or get someone to do it for you? Please don’t let him get away with this.” My panic mode was now fully and internally activated.
“Ife it’s okay. He did the letter the first time. Consistency is key if dad will get that medical visa again.” Seyi is still calm and that worries me so much.

“How’re you feeling?” I asked.

“Bruised. I think I didn’t fight enough. I shouldn’t have given in at any point Ife.”
I have spoken to Seyi twice since then, she still won’t report the case, she still feels guilty.

#DANG ™️Diaryofanaijagirl ©️
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