Taken in the night

By Muthemba Njoki

Trigger warning: rape, sexual assault.

The night sky was clear, and a swift breeze engulfed it making tree branches chant in sad moans whilst piling up fallen leaves and litter. The air reeked of loneliness and despair. It was so dark and grey it seemed to speak of some demonic aura within the night that seemed dark and full of terror.

Only dang r lurks in such darkness.

It was around 3.00 am. The night life was now slow and almost coming to an end. Lost souls could be seen wandering in the dark, among them a few homeless kids rampaging through litter bins for a midnight snack whilst others huddled up to keep warm. On the far end of the alley a rough faced street thief waiting to jump a drunkard on his way home or an innocent helpless woman working the night shift. A few prostitutes could be spotted under the flickering lights perhaps trying their luck before crack of dawn.

Business hadn’t been that good especially after the new government’s move to implement strict laws against the trade. Not forgetting the constant cat and mouse games with city council officers that made work even harder. Most politicians couldn’t openly say found the new law unfair and unreasonable. Jailing both parties if found in the act of negotiating pleasures of the flesh for a few legal tenders was perhaps too much considering it was on basis of willing buyer willing seller terms.

On the contrary these very politicians were the daily consumers of this said fair trade.

The street looked unusually lonely and deserted, one would think a major catastrophe had taken place and wiped out most of the population. Time moved slowly, for some reason it was dragging itself as if not wanting to give light of day a chance.

Jane, after battling a case of insomnia at home, had been sitting at the corridor of a famous night club in the city center for about an hour now. She was just twenty five but looked older, as if overwhelmed by the weight of the world, her eyes were dark and sorrowful despite her well-African LGBTI , Sexual Assaul, Short Story, mannered cheerful and polished persona.

Jane was also somewhat a mixture of a rebel and a social misfit, the fact that she was in a bar at 3.00 am considering she had a job interview in just a few hours, attesting to this fact.

The night was tired and gloomy, it kind of depicted what she was particularly feeling as she sat outside sipping vodka and smoking a cigarette. Her whole life was a lie, she thought as she sat at the corridor smoking. She inhaled the tobacco letting the smoke clear her thoughts because tonight was just one of those nights. She carefully exhaled so as not  to make the person sitting in the adjacent table feel uncomfortable by the smoke.

The club was now almost deserted. The music was low enough and the movement within the club was minimal enough to accommodate her minds transition through her thoughts. Her mind wandered as she realized that for the past year her life has been one of solitude and she had no relationship with anyone, not even her family. For the first time in a long time she felt homesick, despite the fact that she was in a famous club.

It had been a year since she’d sat on that exact spot in this particular bar with her now estranged friends. They had just gotten off work and decided to go blow off steam especially that things in the office had been so tense layoffs and what not’s. The club that day was packed but luckily finding a spot to sit was easy, the music was on point so getting into a drinking mood was also not as difficult. In an hours’ time Jane was on her third beer and chattering as pleasantly as her persona depicted. Three hours down she was tipsy enough not to walk straight but still her judgment wasn’t clouded. Now the music was exhilarating the crowd was jumping in series of ecstatic moves. One or two drunkards would occasionally slip and fall going down with a few bottles.

The aura was sexual, and horny young people would be spotted on the dance floor dancing erotically, sweat dripping, salivating. Jane had decided that day would be her first to smoke and for a first timer she was a pretty convincing chain-smoker.

As the night wound down Jane and a few of her colleagues were now wasted. She was okay but she just couldn’t take herself home so one of the guys from her office offered to give her a ride. Mark was his name and she had known him for the longest time so she took the offer without second thoughts. On the ride to her place Mark had been eyeing her body which made her uneasy but since she had told him before that she is not sexually attracted to men she didn’t put too much thought into it.

It is typical male behavior she thought and went about chatting continuously with Mark.

Lights started dimming everything was fading she tried to focus but all she could see were shadows then blankness and an endless darkness then…

Nothing.African LGBTI, Queer Women, Sexual Assault

Eventually she started seeing shadows, she could feel something heavy on top of her but she couldn’t make anything until she was hit by a sharp pain in her womanhood.

Someone was thrusting inside her, she had never felt anything as painful as that to a point her alcohol level dropped immediately and now she could clearly see the shadowy figures. She tried moving her hands but she realized she was bound by ropes on her own bed, her legs were bound too. She tried to scream but her mouth was gagged.

Three half naked men including Mark had invaded her personal space. One of them was already forcing himself inside her. She felt hot flashes of pain as she was now drenched in tears and sweat. Suddenly there was a heavy blow to her head then, again, darkness.

They had realized she was awake and she would identify them so they beat her to unconsciuosness.

Ten hours later she woke up with a stinging headache not from alcohol but from the brutality she’d gone through in the hands of a trusted colleague.

Her bruises were bandaged her sheets changed and her washed her body clean. There was no trace of what had happened to her before daybreak. She couldn’t walk properly and her house looked as neat as she had just left it the morning before when she had gone to work.

Agony swept in, anger and fear too then she saw a sticky note on her computer.

‘DON’T BE GAY ITS A FILTHY SIN!’

That is all it said. The only piece of evidence that would assure her that she had been violated.

***

Her reverie was interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone. The caller id was blocked so she hesitated a bit but the ringtone was now irritating her.

“Hello…….hello” no answer, she hang up and took another sip of her drink. She had quit her job bec use she couldn’t face leaving the house. The pain, hurt and shame were just too much.

Who would buy her story? Who would believe her?

She cut off everyone she knew in her life, she hated herself for being different, she hated God for not being there to save her and for creating her different, and she hated the world and everyone. She had lost herself and everything she knew exactly one year ago to a man she trusted. So she sat in a famous club just near the city center where it all started and wailed.

She wailed like her peace of mind depended on it because she knew it was time to start healing.

Check out her blog Nairobian Rogue

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