“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
Seun and Dami were my closest friends. I called them my alobams. We had been through everything together but I was closer to Dami—he was my G.
We argued about everything especially my relationship status. I was 22 and had only had two boyfriends; both lasting a little over three months. For me, that was an achievement. So, it was not a surprise when they both came to me, singing the praises of Bayo, Seun’s cousin. Apparently, he was a big fish and I’d be very silly to refuse him. Even Dami agreed; Bayo was what I needed. I finally agreed to meet him at the Ikeja City Mall (ICM) one Saturday. It was a fun day with him actually; I guess I had expected so less of him that even the simplest things impressed me. After watching a two-hour movie and having lunch together, I had agreed that I did like him enough to date. No strong emotions though.
Three months into our relationship, things were headed south. It wasn’t surprising as there were really no strong feelings on my side. I finally decided to tell Bayo how I felt one day. He was over at my house and we had just had lunch.I tried to sound as reasonable as I could but he just didn’t take it lightly. He shouted and broke the glass cup on the marble before he stormed out. I was shaken; there was no need for that.
I called Dami and relayed what happened, he promised to come over. An hour later, he got to my house. He sat me down and we talked for a while and even watched a movie together. By the time he was going, I felt a lot better.I walked him over to the door and gave him a hug; immediately, the door opened.“So! This is why ‘I don’t think we can make this work’, abi?” Bayo… I was shocked, he was acting like he didn’t know Dami. “Bayo, it’s just Dami na.” “Spare me that bullshit! Anyways, I came to pick up my jacket; I’m sure you were too busy with Dami to realise I had left it.”
By the time he walked out of the door, I was stunned. Dami used his right hand to shut my mouth; I didn’t even know it was open.“You and Bayo should talk; he most likely does like you.” He pecked me on my forehead and walked out, his iPhone in his hands. I was pretty sure he was going to call Seun. In fact, I knew he was going to call her.
Two months after Bayo walked out of my house, I was still single and loving every moment. It had been a hard separation and I was thrown into very uncomfortable situations whenever we happened to meet.One particular day, I was home alone and bored. After changing channels for over an hour, I decided to just sleep with the hope that when I wake up, there will be something to spice up my day.I think I had been asleep for about two hours when the door opened. I just rolled over to the other side and continued sleeping. It wasn’t until I heard the voices coming from outside that I stood up.
Putting on my slippers and running my hand through my hair, I pushed my door open…only to be pushed back into the room.I was carried and dumped on my bed by two strong guys; I was frightened and alone. There was absolutely no one at home except me and these guys. Suddenly, I regretted falling asleep, regretted not locking the door.I kept looking around the room, trying to figure out at least one person. They were not masked and didn’t seem armed; in fact, they were dressed perfectly—they seemed like the sort of responsible guys mum prays for. As a million and fifty thoughts swam through my mind, the guys turned their backs to me and were soon engrossed in deep conversation. Oh my goodness, could they be planning how to rob me? Or, were they going to….? NO! Surely not! I was shaking, my head was not clear and I had absolutely no one to call for help.If only I had accepted Toke’s invitation for lunch or even Seun’s sleepover. I would have been anywhere else but here. I wished I knew what was going to happen, it was better to know than to be kept in the dark with these million possibilities—all horrific—going through my mind.
No sooner had I sighed did an idea jump in. Since they were engrossed in their discussion, I could sneak out of the room and even if I couldn’t escape through the front door, surely the back door will be fine and they won’t realise till I’m gone. I quietly removed my slippers and tip toed out into the hallway outside my room. As I got closer to the back door, I felt a chill run down my spine and was suddenly grabbed by unseen forces.Before I could understand what was going on, I was back in my bed and this time the guys had increased. They all stood in front of me and I counted. One, two…four…six…ten. Ten guys.Ten guys, I thought. Ten guys against me. What were they going to do? The guys suddenly started moving apart and a figure approached me. Oh god, I know this person. Surely, it couldn’t be…
“BAYO!” He smiled, no, not a gentle one, a menacing and nefarious smile. “Yes, it’s me. Glad you recognise me.” I was shocked, what was he doing here? “Oh, you think I would have just allowed you get away? Without getting what was once mine…without opening the cookie jar?” He laughed and moved closer to me. “I will not only open it but share it with these good friends of mine.”The last thing I remember was a slap and the howls of laughter all around me.
I woke up alone again and the events of the past few hours came rushing back. I willed it to be gone, but it couldn’t have happened. Everything around me served as a reminder. I put my head into the pillow and cried, cried my soul out, willing the pain to go away.There were five of them. Five who took their pleasure at the expense of my pain. Five who used and degraded me. Five who forcefully took my dignity. They should have been six, but the sixth one had looked at me and then shook his head. I couldn’t hear his words but it seemed to be like he pitied me.
What was there to pity? What was there to feel sorry for? I wished he would have just done like the others and left too; I resented his pity. I didn’t need his sympathy; after all he had watched the others do it and hadn’t said a word, right?I pulled my knees together and just sat there in the dark, I wasn’t going to tell anyone this. It was to be my biggest secret. I fell asleep again with the memory forever stuck in my head.
“Alobam mi!” The voice called out again. I knew it was Dami, but I couldn’t move. I should have rushed to hide the evidence of what had happened, but there was no strength in me.“Babe! Can’t you hear me?” He walked into the door; they hadn’t even bothered to close the door as they left. He saw the scattered bed and untidy room before he saw me. “What happened here? Are you okay?”
Caring Dami. If only he had been here to protect me from them. I knew he had realised finally when his eyes darted from the bed to me. The huge red circle on the bed was more than apparent.“Who did this?” I couldn’t speak, I just started crying again. “Answer me, who did this?” His voice wasn’t calm but so were my emotions. I couldn’t speak, not yet. The pain was still too fresh to start telling him what had transpired in the very same room he stood just hours ago.He looked me in the eyes and let go of the anger in his eyes. Silently, he walked over to me and cuddled me; I clinged to him like he was my last hope. Somehow, it felt that way.
Some minutes later, after having a hot bath which Dami had prepared, I walked out of the room. He had changed the bed sheets and replaced them; they were in the washing machine before I had finished my bath.I still wasn’t myself, of course, I couldn’t be. As I sat down to eat the lasagna Dami had prepared, I noticed it was late already. The moon was out and that meant Dami won’t be going home.
Maybe it was time to expose the secrets of the day and let them go with the night.I settled next to Dami on the couch and closed my eyes, willing myself to answer the question he had asked earlier.