Blessing was very afraid. Even though seduction was her art, she knew she had crossed the line with Lasun, she had bruised his ego. How could she appeal to a man whose eyes lacked mercy? Still, appealing to him was her only option; any attempt to be audacious would only make her fate worse. The men were out for her blood.
“Brother Lasun” she began
“Now I am your brother? Misturat, you! You opened your mouth to insult me because you are now a Lagos girl. No one has ever spoken to me in such a manner; even my boss knows her limits. But Misturat you felt confident enough to disrespect me!” Lasun said fiercely.
Misturat got her knees, rubbing her palms together “I am only a child, I spoke out of ignorance. You know my grandmother died, it messed me up mentally. Please, forgive me” she begged.
“You’re just a child?” he laughed
“You are no child!” he shouted “No, you are not, we both know you have eaten of the elders’ food” he said quietly with a knowing smile on his face “As a compensation to myself and my good friend here, I’d like to remind myself of the sweetness of our past, at least it is because of that you were bold enough to insult me. When I, sorry we” the men laughed hysterically “when we are through with you, we would be compensated. In fact feel free to insult me again, at least I would have received my compensation. Friend!” he called to the other man “let us not waste any more time”
“Brother Lasun please…” she cried as Lasun’s friend yanked her by the arms and pushed her face down on to the table as she struggled.
“Somebody help me!!!” she screamed
Afraid that they would be found out, Lasun tore out a part of her skirt and gagged her with it. He then proceeded to tear the rest of her skirt reavealing her fresh dark thighs and lacy panties. His friend held Misturat down, pinning down her outstretched arms. Misturat wept fearfully as Lasun ripped off her panties and smacked her buttocks.
“Whoever does what no one else has done will suffer the consequences no one else has” he said as he loosened his trousers and pulled down his underwear.
“Brother Lasun!” a student called out from a window that the wind had opened.
Lasun and his friend quickly abandoned the terrified Misturat as the students ran after them shouting “Catch them, don’t let them escape!”
Various reactions followed the attempted rape. Majority of the stunned guests believed that it was the case of a relationship between three consenting people gone sour. Young girls nowadays were tricksters, seductresses who were only after men’s money. Why would Lasun and his friend who were responsible married men want to rape Misturat a young teenager? Her mother was known to be an easy woman; her daughter must have taken after her. Besides, her dress had clung too tightly on her curvaceous body; she had called for the attention. The remaining guests either felt truly sorry for the girl (for she did seem traumatized and her skirt was torn) or undecided in their opinion of the incident. All in all, it cast a gloom on the ceremony, as people began to leave, embarrassed to have witnessed the incident.
Misturat’s mother believed she had truly been assaulted, because the Misturat who returned from Lagos would not have had anything to do with Lasun. But she was more unhappy because she had had to leave her guests who had only begun to spray money on her when the incident occurred. What bad luck! She had hoped to be able to buy a second-hand fridge to sell beer at her shop. The more men drank, the more money she made.
Misturat was still in shock, she bunched up her knees holding herself and crying gently. She felt miserable and it was all her fault. How could she not have been suspicious of the fact that there was no activity around the classroom? Why hadn’t she fought harder, why hadn’t she spoken civilly to Lasun when he came to her house the other day, why had she made her dress too tight as some of the sympathizers had said? It never occurred to her that she was not responsible for the decisions that two grown men made. Her mother walked into the room.
“Misturat, sorry my dear. That is how men are and I know by the mercy of the god I serve that it shall never be well with those men and their families. But are you sure nothing happened, they didn’t do anything?” she asked suspiciously
“No ma, I have told you that they didn’t do anything” she said wearily “Are they in police custody now?”
“No o, my daughter. The police said there wasn’t enough evidence to detain them”
“What? What about the students who caught them?” she asked stunned
“They refused to comment on that and said I should rather appeal to you and warn you to watch the way you speak to elders. What were they talking about?”
Misturat was more shocked now and hurt. They were going to get away with it?
“I don’t know ma”
Mrs Olagunju looked at her daughter and knew something wasn’t right but she was grateful that the students had forgotten their books in school and come back for them. Now she was more concerned about the future than the past.
“I want you to go back to Lagos tomorrow”
“Alright ma” said Blessing who was already thinking of the same thing.
“But before you leave I want to ask you about your strategy, you’ve spent six months there. Do you think what happened today would have happened if you were married to a wealthy man? We would have been the talk of the town today. Misturat, all I’ve been saying to you is for your own good. How far have things gone between you and your boss’ husband?”
Misturat saw reason with her mother’s line of argument. What happened today would never have happened if she was married to Deji. “I have decided to leave my boss’ husband alone. His younger brother is a better choice”
“Really, that’s good! What does he do?”
“He doesn’t have a job yet. He just finished his NYSC program, but he’s looking for a job and I know he will get one soon because he has connections.”
Mrs Olagunju laughed “Eh! Misturat! You want to leave someone who is established, has money, his own house, and cars for a job seeker? Are you alright?” she asked annoyed
“But Mummy he’s younger and he loves me” Misturat said pleadingly
“He loves you! Who’s talking about love? Didn’t your father love all three of us? Misturat, do what I’m telling you to and leave the boy. Do you need charms to help, you know that would not be a problem, in fact it would make things easier”
“No, no I don’t”
Mrs Olagunju looked at her daughter trying to read her mind. She seemed to be in love with this boy she was talking about, she was so defensive of him.
“Misturat let me tell you the truth of the matter. That boy only wants to sleep with you”
“He’s not a boy, he’s a man”
“Yes, said the child of her classmate!” she laughed
“Look!” she said seriously “He will sleep with you and then dump you. Focus on his brother, the real man. We are all counting on you; your mates are doing it so I don’t see why this should be difficult for you. Stop being selfish!” she said and walked out.