They had spoken severally on the phone before and even exchanged text messages in the course of a financial transaction. It all started from a commercial exchange through a business associate who sold certain goods that belonged to her to someone, but could not pay her back the money due to an unscheduled journey abroad that lasted longer than anticipated. The business partner therefore gave her the contacts of the man who had bought the goods from him and informed her that all arrangements had been made for the man to pay her the money, in the former’s absence.Â
She called the debtor to verify the information and succeeded in establishing a platonic business relationship without much ado. She was a beautiful woman, married, with two kids and so well respected in society. Her husband was also a business man who travelled a lot, buying and shipping goods from different countries across the world, while she disposed of them here in Nigeria. It was a simple and rewarding family business, which was being managed from both ends successfully.
Often, she had to interact with different types of men for one reason or another, because of the nature of her job and because of her fair skin and beauty many of them could not control their interest or outright desire for her, despite the fact that she was married. But, due to her experience and exposure, she had been able to keep all such lustfulÂ attentions from the high and low in check. She was so good, so confident at it, it was never an issue in her day to day interactions with any one.
On that fateful day, she woke up and set about her business as usual. Making some necessary calls, visiting outlets and dealers, seeing a bank manager or two to facilitate transfers and certain payments for their goods and so on. By noon, she had entered her “bottle-neck” time of the day. The time when things slow down due to traffic congestions on the roads in the city. Since she prefered to drive herself, she usually go to pick her children herself from their school. It ensured she spent quality time with them, despite her busy schedules.
But before doing that on that particular day, she decided to make a call to the man her business associate had linked her up with, to find out when she could come and collect the balance of the money he owed her. He initially tried to give her an appointment as usual, presumably with the same intention of not wanting to pay her. This had happened several times before, but in the middle of their discussion the phone call disconnected.
After the first attemptÂ failed,Â she took the trouble to call back and still demanded for her money. He told her he was not in the office, but at home at that particular moment. However, she can come to his house and collect the money if its ok with her. Else, she should call at his office much later around closing time and he would instruct his accountant to issue her a cheque, which she can then cash the next day. Realising she had a little time to waste before picking her kids and having gotten tired of the several attempts to get paid, she decided to finish this prolonged issue once and for all.
She arrived on time at the man’s residence which was not so difficult to locate in the premium valued area. She parked her posh ride in front of the gate and ventured into the house with the confidence that his wife must be at home. He welcomed her at the doorÂ himselfÂ and ushered her into the living room. Then he left her for a brief moment and entered into a room via a corridor, as if he was going to call his wife, so the two women can exchange greetings.Â
When he came back out, he met her still standing and admiring a piece of art work that was sitting precariously on an antique furniture. His next move was amazingly swift and well coordinated. It was as if he had practiced the move several times before. For he surprised the unsuspecting woman whose back was still turned to him by grabbing her from behind and lifting her completely off her feet, one of her designer shoe falling off her foot in the process.
Utterly shocked, she was momentarily taken off-guard. “What in God’s Name is happening!” she asked bewildered. With her feet high in the air she started to scream and thrash about, resisting his carriage in the direction of the room he came out from. But he was a much more stronger man and easily engaged her in a fierce struggle, his luscious intentions fully registered on his desperate but excited face.Â
Then it dawned on her that they were all alone in the house. His wife, whom she ignorantly assumed was at home was actually absent and trusting him to be a man of sound conduct and composure, she never suspected that he had planned to rape her. The fact that she was also married, further allayed any fear or suspicion her mind might have nursed about undergoing even remotely what was about to happen to her.
As she continued to scream for help at the top of her voice as he forcefully pushed her into the room, his bedroom, which had its windows shut and its blinds fully pulled. As she continued screaming, she scratched at his eyes, hit severally at his face and head Â with all her might, she even employed her teeth, biting him wherever she could sink them in. But, the struggle only seemed to excite and energize him the more. He was wild with desire and frenzied in his every move.
The fight soon vacated her system as she got weaker and weaker with each attempt to stop him, until her last of several pleas for mercy, for him to fear Allaah, to fear the Day of Qiyama (Judgment Day) all fell on deaf ears. He seemed as strong as 10 men rolled into one, clearly possessed by some diabolical force (the devil?). With one heavy blow to the face she fell and within seconds that seemed like forever, it was all over. Suddenly, all that bullish, brutish strength that raged in him moments earlier was immediately sapped of him and he sagged like a full sack of grains upon her limb, almost lifeless body.Â
She rolled him off to prevent him from suffocating her. She could not believe it. This must all be a terrible, terrible dream she thought to herself. But, the man dragging himself to a sitting position next to her made her realise, it was a living nightmare! So, she has been added to the statistics of women who had been raped! She, calling her name softly in her mind, is now a rape victim? Is this how it normally happens? Does it happen to married women, with children too? Was it not suppose to happen to “smart” single girls, who dress provocatively and were fond of displaying their bodies wantonly all over town?Â
How long she laid there on her back, looking at the slowly rotating fan hanging from the ceiling, only God Knows. Then she noticed the airconditioner humming in the background. Again she realised where she was. Then she remembered her children whom she planned to pick up from school the moment she had collected her money from the man. They must be distressed from not seeing her by then. She was not the ‘African time’ type. And with the way kids are stolen and used for rituals, she was very responsive to the needs of her children.Â
A wall-clock ticked by and she turned her head in its direction to check the time. The room was dark, so she could not see its two pointers with her blurry tear-filled eyes. It then occurred to her that she had better leave the room, Â before the nightmare started all over again. For he could get randy all over again! She tried to sit up, but her body, too weak, too brutalized refused to obey her command.Â She must get up, she told herself. If not for herself, then surely for the poor souls waiting for their mother.
Finally, she willed herself and sat up, quickly averting her gaze from the direction of the man who has done the unimaginable to her. He was sitting in a corner of the room, clearly realising the enormity of what he had done. The passion that consumed him and instantly changed his status from a man worthy of respect and emulation into a cursed-for-always rapist, has left him in the lurch. When the devil’s job is done, he usually leaves his victim to his conscience. If he or she has any left, that is. She didn’t want to have a single image of “the beast in the corner” in any part of her mind, even the most remotest part.Â
Summoning some courage and collecting the piece of her shattered dignity, she moved as far away from him as she could to the door that let her back into the living room with a creak none of them heard. She stood still for a moment almost in a swoon. She barely managed to steady herself holding onto the back of a chair or was it a settee? She did not notice. Getting out of the house, to her utter shock she realized that nothing has changed. How could that be? How can everything remain the same!
The sun was still up in the heavens doing its thing, lighting and pouring heat down upon the earth. The sky was still blue with patches of grey clouds here and there lazily moving eastward. How could that be possible? The gate she Â walkedÂ through to gain access into the house had its black paint and stupid design intact. And where was the gateman? Didn’t he hear her scream for help? Was there even a gateman when she briskly entered? Subhanallah!
One of the worst things a woman could possibly experience in her life time has just happened to her, a few moments ago! She looked up and stared directly at the bright sun, careless of its damaging impact upon her eyes and silently whispered to it “I have just been raped and yet you are acting as if nothing happened?” Another tear rolled down her right cheek, joining one or two others which she quickly wiped off to avoid a torrent.Â
As she approached her parked car on her wobbly legs, she could see some men under a Â tree, shaded from the shining sun looking curiously at her. “Yes, it is true. I have just been sexually assaulted” she said to them, butÂ only to her hearing. Other people across the street were busy interacting heartily in a commercial exchange! What is wrong with them? she queried “Can’t they see this is one of the worst days on earth, yet they are laughing?” And why is the whole world not mourning this calamity with her? Shouldn’t all colors go ashey grey, including the atmosphere?! “I HAVE BEEN RAPED! RAPED! RAPED!” she screamed at the top of her mind’s voice, as more tears gushed down her cheeks.
Having gotten into her car, she sat back and closed her red tinted eyes for a minute or two. She opened them and looked at the black gate of the house from which she had just emerged. The devil, the demon, the bastard son of a b***h was still in there. Should she…. Another image attracted her attention. It was a guy and a young woman walking closely together, hand in hand,Â talking andÂ looking lovingly intoÂ each other’s eyes, oblivious of her predicament or even her existence. Then she remembered her husband and then the ‘dam’ broke!
She cried and cried and cried until there was no more tears pouring from her eyes. Finally, she wiped at her dried cheeks and looked at the digital clock on the car’s dash board! 2:43 pm. “Even the time care less”, she said. It then dawned on her that, for everything and everybody else, “Life goes on” and time continues to punctuate moments in history. Clearly, she was the only one who has been traumatised, disgraced, wasted. The only person who has been violently violated and damaged for life, changed for ever.
If only she had heeded her Prophet SAW ‘s sound admonition that “It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Muhram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.).”(*) Though how was she was to know thay the psycho was alone at home when he invited her to come and collect her money in his house. IN HIS HOUSE!!! Where were her senses? How could she let down her guard? How? Subhanallahi! She used to be so careful about situations like that!
She eventually started her car and left the front of the house, shattered inside, absolutely confused and her psyche in total disarray. What was she to do? Who should she trustly confide in? How can she narrate such a horrifying experience? Who would believe her, seeing that she was a responsible woman, with no track of illicitness whatsoever and the man was also highly regarded by the community they lived in? Every discerning person, male or female would naturally ask, what was she doing with a non-mahram man in the privacy and comfort of his home, while his wife was out of the house? How would her husband react if he should hear of this?Â
Yes, he might be away in far away Europe at the moment, but does it make it any less significant that his wife had forcefully been sexually abused, against her might and will? Should she report him to the police, generate a scandal that could cost him his life as well as cost her all she had ever cherished in this world? What was she doing with him in his house all alone? That’s the one million dollar question all would be asking!Â
Who would care what she went there for? Her money? Ha…ha…of course its money! What else could she, a woman have been isolated with a man for? It’s got to be for money, and sex of course! Her money? “Yes…your money, for services rendered!” she screamed out loud inside the car. That’s what everybody would think! How can she relate such a story? To who? Hmmm, at the end of the day, all that would Â really matter was the fact that she has been raped! How, where, when, by who? Who cares! She smiled in disbelief at the irony of life!Â
This was not suppose to happen to a woman like her or perpetrated by a man like her rapist! He had a trusted personality, a vouched-for reputation. She has heard a lot about him as a trust-worthy person. But, look at what resulted from taking things for granted. From not taking her precaution due to over-confidence. Â One mind told her, he must be exposed to serve as a deterrent! But another cautioned that her beloved children, family, friends, status and reputation would all pay a fatal price in the process. Should she keep quite then and leave it to herself and God Alone?Â
How was she to survive this? Her husband deserved much more than such a demeaning development. She had clearly betrayed his trust, even if not intentionally. Â Subhanallaah! How did she get herself in such a dastardly mess, she asked herself again and again. If only, this day never existed in her earthly life! Where should she go to, to erase this last hour from her records? She was willing to pay any price! Sadly, none can undo such a do, done! History has archived it, never to yeild it back.
To make matters worst, she was soon to discover a month later that she was pregnant from that singular most unwanted circumstantial act! A life was germinating inside of her! What kind of tragedy is this? How could this happen? Isn’t it enough that she had to deal with the psychological crisis associated with that sick act? Must she as well be subjected to having a bastard child as a memorabilia? All she wanted was to forget that the incident ever occured. Now, she can not even go through the rest of life in peace.Â
How can she carry this sadness into her future? Does she even have a future? Who can help her out of this most unfortunate ordeal? Her mother? Yes! Sweet old mama, she would definitely know how to deal with stuffs like this. But, then she remembered that her momma had a heart problem and hearing about this might send her to an early grave.Â
She quickly dropped te idea.Â Besides, she had never disappointed her mother before, even while she was young. That clean image must remain intact for her mama till her very last breath. Her auntie perhaps? No! Though she may help her resolve the matter without much hassle, but it would definitely be at the cost of exposing her sad, unfortunate story to the rest of their extended family. That would equally kill her mother too.
She then thought of her close friend, a married lady and a nurse. Surely she would know what to do about month old pregnancies. A simple, yet discreet abortion would put the matter to rest. But, she remembered a dream she had in which she saw a bat fly out of her stomach, only for the wound to refuse to heal, no matter where she went seeking for treatment. She also, out of her modesty detested exposing her privacy part to doctors, even female ones. So she discarded the idea once again.Â
Much as she thought towards finding a quick and permanent solution to the compounded matter, each pick had its unaffordable price or prices. Soon, a pounding headache overtookÂ her and as she held on to her forehead, she silentlyÂ whispered a prayerful callÂ “O Allaah! O Allaah! O Allaah!” as tears began to roll down her sad and distressed face for the upteenth time. Then it hit her! Eureka! It was so, so sudden, but it dawned on her! The solution to all these problems is nothing and no one, but Allaah SWT!
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” Q13:28
She automatically started calling Allaah’s Glorious Names from that moment on, seeking forgiveness of Him with them, begging Him for a way out that is free from all defects. He is the Only One Who can bring her out of her distress without any side effects or negative consequences. Nobody would hear or know what she had gone through, is going through and will be going through. It is her secret, all alone. Only ALLAH Knows she has it. Unless she tells the world, none can pry it out of her! Even the mad man through whom her Lord and Maker has subjected her to this trial, need not know about this! Allaah SWT is the Perfect of Solution.
And indeed sufficient is Allaah for any who prefers Him as his or her Lord.
“And rely upon Allah ; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” Q33:3
He AWJ Provides a way out for any from all disturbia. Allaah’s Solution for her came in form of a simple miscarriage, that occurred by her normal due monthly period, lasting for the exact number of days and disappearing with it that complicated and very tormenting catastrophic “musiba”. Indeed, in Allaah let the believer puts his trust!Â
“….and despair not of relief from Allah . Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” Q12:87
May Allaah SWT Continue to Guide and Protect us from the traps of Satan. Amin.
(*)Â Volume 4, Book 52, Number 250 -Â Narrated by Ibn Abbas
NOTE: None of the characters in the story are real. Any resemblance to any person/s dead or alive or to a location is just a coincidence. It is a scene from Â an unpublished fiction book, to be adopted into a movie. This is part of a promotional drive… Watch Out for it!Â