Needless to say, sleep was the last thing on my mind that night. As I slowly returned to the house, I listened to the sound of Rotimi’s car driving away behind me. John junior was standing by the window looking out. When he turned to me and saw the tears, he walked over and put his arms around me. Then I really let go.
He tried to lift my face and wipe my tears with his palm but I turned away and buried my head into his other chest, ruining that side of his shirt as well. He ran his hand down the back of my head repeatedly then he started moving us towards a sofa.
How we ended up on the sofa, with him on top of me, I would never know. How we started kissing, I would never know. When he took off his clothes, and took mine off – or did I take them off myself? I cannot remember. But when he entered me, without a condom, my senses returned.
I tried to push him off me but he had braced himself properly; one arm under my head, the other around my waist. I stopped kissing him but he didn’t stop kissing me. I closed my mouth and felt his tongue gliding over my clenched teeth. I wriggled and struggled to get him off me but he kept pushing back, going deeper. I forced my mouth away from his face and turned my head to a side.
“You are not wearing a condom!” I shouted.
He either didn’t hear me or it did not bother him. He moved the hand under my back to my leg and pulled it up even as I tried to straighten both legs to force him out. I stopped trying to push him off and started pinching his belly instead but it was as if he didn’t feel a thing. I started to cry.
“You are raping me,” I cried out. That, he heard.
He stopped while still inside me. He lifted his body up on his arms and looked me in the eyes. He was sweating. I looked away.
“What?” he said.
I didn’t answer him. I couldn’t look at him. I had flirted with him, let him kiss me, kiss him back, let him get on top of me, and now I was accusing him of raping me.
He kept looking at me. I felt him getting soft inside me. He pushed himself off and stood by the sofa. I avoided his eyes. I covered my breasts with one hand and searched for my discarded clothes with the other.
He was breathing heavily. He just stood there and kept looking at me.
“I’m sorry,” he said and turned.
He walked out of the living room not bothering to collect his clothes. I wore mine hurriedly then I checked myself to see if he had finished. Either way, I had to use the bathroom.
I got up to go; then I sat back down. Something about the way he said sorry troubled me. He had studied me for long, standing naked over me, before he said he was sorry. But he didn’t sound sorry. I had accused him of raping me so that he would stop, and it worked, but had I gone too far?
But he was raping me nau. I told him to stop and he didn’t. Or did I? I remembered asking him to wear a condom. Or did I? I was ready to continue sleeping with him if he wore a condom, but because he didn’t use one, he was raping me? Where does consensual sex stop and rape begins, anyway? Is it rape simply because you want him to use a condom and he doesn’t? I think yes. Is it rape if you have started having sex with him and decide to stop midway? I think yes, howbeit unfair to him, but yes. When a girl tells you to stop, she doesn’t mean keep going till you come. She doesn’t mean hurry up and be done. She means STOP! He should have stopped when I told him to stop and then he wouldn’t have been raping me. But I didn’t tell him to stop; I only told him he wasn’t wearing a condom.
I buried my face in my palms. How did I manage to fuck things up so much? What was I doing letting Johnny’s son kiss me? What would happen when Johnny is released? What of Rotimi? He had driven away thinking I was there to sleep with the guy and I just did. How was I going to face him and explain things to him? How many mistakes must I make? How many lies must I tell?
John junior had still not returned. My eyes fell on his shirt and trouser and I picked them up. I decided to take them up to him as a peace offering and to tell him the truth. I was going to tell him that I wanted him to wear a condom because I was still waiting for the results of my HIV test.
I went upstairs calling his name but he did not answer. The door to Johnny’s room was ajar and the light was on so I figured that was where he was. I pushed the door open but he was not there, then I heard a sound in the en suite bathroom. I walked over, called his name, then gently opened door and there he was, still naked, standing in front of the wash hand basin, his dick in both his hands, furiously jerking away.
I felt rage flow through me. Why? I don’t know, but I was at once bitterly angry and I suddenly wanted to punish him.
“I brought your things,” I said and tossed his clothes at him.
He stopped when he saw me. He turned his back to me, trying to hide his thing, as if I’d not just seen it downstairs.
As I left I turned and said to him “I hope you understand, but I have to tell Johnny what happened.”
I went back downstairs, my head ringing with anger. I settled into the sofa and crossed my legs, waiting for him to come downstairs and apologise properly, and beg me not to tell his father.
He took his time coming down and when he did - fully dressed - it was only to give me a duvet and a pillow. He told me he might have to wake me up anytime, if the kidnappers called. He didn’t say goodnight, he just left and even switched off the light without asking me if I wanted it left on.
I tried to get comfortable but the thoughts marauding through my mind were plenty and worrisome.
I had gone through thinking of what just happened between John junior and me, to thinking about Rotimi, to thinking about the result of my HIV test, and back to thinking about Rotimi, when I finally started thinking about Johnny and his request that I bring the ransom money. Something didn’t feel right about it; something definitely felt wrong.
Why had they asked me to be the one to bring the money? How did they know me? Where would they want me to take the money to? Why were they releasing the American couple first and not Johnny? I thought of how Mama had rightfully berated me for going to the police station unprepared. “Like a mumu,” she had said, and she was right. And yet here I was, once again playing the part of the ultimate mumu. Kidnappers I did not know, had asked me to bring their ransom money to a place I didn’t not know, and nobody knew what was going on or what I was up to or where I was, save for Rotimi who didn’t even know half the drama I was in.
The spirit of mumu left me. I fetched my phone and called Mama. In hushed tones, and listening for John junior in case he came back, I told her everything – apart from the part where I slept with John junior, accused him of raping me, and screwed with him by saying I was going to report him to his father. I told her to contact Uncle China to ask for advice, and I warned her not to tell anybody else. She asked if she should come and meet me at Johnny’s house but I told her not to.
I remembered John junior warning me not to tell anybody about the ransom drop. Talking to Mama felt like the second time I was betraying him that night. He also said his father’s life depended on it, but the way I saw it, the money was for the release of the Americans, not Johnny, so.
Mama listened without interrupting too much, thankfully, and then when I’d turned down everyone one of her suggestions, including her going to the police and telling them what was happening, she told me to call Rotimi and explain everything to him. This I agreed to do, partly because I’d wanted to call him all time. My battery was low but I still had enough to make one more call, I hoped.
I dialled his number and closed my eyes wondering how to start.
A woman answered the phone: “Yes? Who are you and why are you calling my husband at this time?”
Two things: One; I didn’t know what time it was and two; I had chopped when he told me he wasn’t married. My head rang.
I heard laughter then Rotimi was on the phone.
“Hi,” he said, still laughing, “Sorry ‘bout that.”
“Is that your wife?”
“No. I told you I’m not married.”
In the background the woman shouted “I’m not his wife, I’m just one of his many mistresses!”
He told her to stop it and she laughed.
“What’s up?” he asked.
“Nothing. Where are you?”
“Where are you? Can you talk?”
“Can I talk? Yeah, sure?”
“Where are you?”
“I’m at a friend’s, not that it’s any business of yours. But, what did you want to talk about?”
One half of me wanted to end the call, the other side wanted to keep him on the phone – away from the woman he was with. We were both silent.
“Hello? Hello?” he said.
“I’m still here.”
“The place you dropped me today, that guy is not my boyfriend.”
“I mean, I’m not sleeping with him or anything like that if that’s what you think.”
“I didn’t think anything.”
“So why did you leave like that?”
“You asked me to leave.”
“Ok. I just want you to know that it’s not what you think.”
“And what do you think I think?”
I had no response for that. Another period of silence ticked by.
“Listen, Amaka, I understand you’re in some sort of trouble. China told me a bit but I don’t know the rest. If this has to do with it then I suggest you call the police.”
“I can’t. What did he tell you?”
“Why can’t you?”
“I just can’t. I can’t explain now. What did Uncle China tell you?”
“That a friend of yours was kidnapped and you were arrested because of it, and that’s how the policeman…”
“The policeman raped me.”
“Listen, if there’s something I can do to help then you must say it, otherwise you’ve got to call the police and let them handle this.”
“The same police that beat me up and raped me?”
“No. No. Listen, I know the Commissioner of Police. Do you want me to call him?”
“No? So, talk to me. What’s going on? What’s happening? Who’s that guy? Why do you have to stay at his place?”
“He’s my friend’s son; my friend that was kidnapped. They want me to bring the ransom money tonight.”
“They want you to bring the ransom money? Who?”
“The people that kidnapped him.”
“The people that kidnapped him? Do you know them?”
“So, why do they want you to bring the money?”
“I don’t know.”
“And you’re going to do it?”
“Amaka, I don’t know how you got mixed up in all this, but if you’ve got nothing to hide you have to call the police.”
“What do you mean if I have nothing to hide?”
“I don’t mean it like that. I mean, you obviously have nothing to hide so you should let the police handle this.”
“I’ll be careful.”
“You’ll be careful? How? Have you ever done this before?”
“So how would you be careful? Look, don’t be stupid. Call the police and tell them where you are and what’s going on. Your life may depend on it.”
“I’ll be ok. I just wanted you to know that it’s not what you think.”
“Again, you don’t know what I think. Thanks for letting me know, but more importantly, you’ve got to talk to the police.”
“Then I would.”
“No! Please, no. His family are handling it. They don’t want to get police involved.”
“But Amaka, this is a serious thing. You can’t just hand over money to kidnappers and expect them to hand you back your friend. What if he’s already dead? What if they take you?”
“He’s alive. I spoke to him.”
“What about you? What’s the guarantee of your safety?”
I heard John junior coming down the stairs.
“I have to go,” I said.
“Look, I’m calling the Commissioner of Police.”
“No! Please, don’t. Please. Promise me you won’t call anybody.”
“Babes, why are you taking this kind of risk?”
“Just promise me you won’t do anything. Please, promise.”
“Thanks. I’ll let you know what happens.”
John junior was holding his phone in his hands. He switched on the lights.
“They just called,” he said. “They’ll call at seven and we should be ready.”
My phone rang. I checked and it was Mama. I pressed the end button.
“Who’s that?” he asked.
“The dude who gave you a lift?”
“No, my girlfriend.”
“You can’t tell anyone about this, you know?”
“I know. But I don’t understand, why did they ask me to bring the money? How do they know me?”
“The police told them. We’ve been doing our own investigations. We believe the police are involved, that’s how they know about you. Yes, It could be that they’ve been following him for a while before taking him, and they know the people around him, but it’s more likely they know you ‘cause they arrested you. We weren’t sure, but when they asked that you drop the money, it sort of all came together. It confirmed what our sources have found out.”
“Yup. And that’s why we can’t tell anyone about this. If it gets to the police that we’ve made a report about the drop off, they’ll kill my dad, and his friends.”
My phone beeped again. I checked and this time it was because my battery was now dead.