When I was a child, you grabbed me in the living room as soon as my mother went to the kitchen to pick ingredients for her matoke and beef stew. You forced those lips of an alcoholic onto my innocent ones and I froze, too shocked to comprehend what had happened. My mother returned in no time and you pretended to have been playing with me. I continued sweeping the carpet and never told her what you did. You kept lurking, as if waiting for another opportunity to do more. I never told my mother but I am sure she would have believed me. I was her one and only girl and you the predator who lived and died by the sword.
When I was a pubescent with perky breasts and bulging hips, your friends dared you to make a move so you followed me home one day, hiding behind buildings along the one-way street to my mother’s house, thinking I could not see you. Inside her house I felt safe but you hung around outside, chest-thumping as your friends cheered you on, insisting you had to finish what you started. You pushed me into a corner and embarrassed me over and over, even when I blatantly rejected your advances. I felt sorry for you when I heard years later that my rejection had made you incapable of approaching any other woman. Such irony.
When I was a young woman, thriving in my career and trying not to be bothered by society’s pressure to find a man, you listened keenly to my desires for a relationship and said you were up for the challenge. As I remained focused and welcomed the type of fun I thought had meaning, you took several other challenges, increasing the pressure and leaving me trying everything to make our relationship work. But there was no relationship to begin with because while I told you what I wanted, you bought yourself time and never did the same.
When I was restoring my faith in marriage, you, Mr Married Man, introduced the philosophy that permits affairs, saying human beings are their own gods and that it would be counterproductive to expect an animal to live like anything less; to be monogamous. You sounded insane but also intriguing so for a good while, I toyed around with the idea of doing the animal dance with you. Thank God for his existence because I had a chat with him and those desires faded.
When I was a newcomer at the company of my dreams, you did not waste time approaching me, saying shamelessly that you “just had a feeling” and that it didn’t matter that we were strangers. As if that wasn’t enough, you quickly noted that you could not put off sex for whichever reason and that you had a child you didn’t cater to because you and his mother decided to sever the ties completely. Whenever you spoke, there was no doubt that something about society had gone terribly wrong.
When I was finding my place in a company heavily infested with wolves, you, a good, married friend of mine, opened up about your feelings for me. You said I made your day and that you just had to have me. You said you were willing to tell your wife that you were taking a second one, that I would not be put to shame since you would protect me because you just had to have me. You made your indecent proposal confidently, occasionally telling me that that was what your friends were doing, and that I could have anything. You did not ask how I felt, almost as if you had done this a hundred times before; almost as if you were sure all-expense-paid trips to choice destinations and the ‘honour’ of being a second wife would be appealing.
Now that I am older, stronger and bolder, all of your indecent proposals showed me how to pick you out a thousand miles away and keep off. Now I know the feel of your rough palms, your thought processes, every step of your plan, the look on your face when you feign interest and exactly what you say and how you say it to try to knock me off balance. Now I know that other women’s bad experiences make us all stronger. Now I know how to make my own money so I never need yours. Now I am strong and bold enough to fight back.