Life and General Fiction StoriesNaija Stories

Finding Forgiveness

I know he told me to come alone, but I couldn’t risk it. Not after what he did to me. I had called Steve, my police friend and he had sent two of his officers to be with me. They were seated at the table directly behind mine.

Earlier today, I had gotten a WhatsApp message from an unknown number telling me that he wanted to meet with me later in the day, or latest the next day. I had asked the person for his/her identity and what he said shocked me.

He was the man who raped me four years ago; he was the unknown man who had robbed me off my pride and sanity and innocence, turning me into a shadow of myself. He had said his name was Matthew Onojie. I don’t know him from Adam.

When he requested that we meet, I had disagreed at first, telling him outrightly that I had no business with the man who wrecked my life. But he had been persistent. Then I blocked him; at least, that would tell him that I wasn’t joking. But he was prepared for that, I came to realise. He immediately sent me the same message with another number, telling me that he really needed to ask for my forgiveness in person. I threatened to block him again or call the police, but he kept on begging me. Till I foolishly acquiesced.

Now, I’m in this restaurant, waiting for him to show up. I know I shouldn’t have come, that I should have simply allowed the police to deal with it, but I wanted to see the monster first; I wanted to confront the beast who robbed me off everything I held dear. While thinking of these, I became murderously angry, as I was wont to anytime I remembered that night.

“I am sorry for keeping you waiting,” a very beautiful male voice assaulted my walk down the memory lane. I looked up, wanting to verbally destroy him before we even got started, and was arrested by his rugged handsomeness. He was huge and and was about six feet. He had a clean shaved hair and expertly trimmed beards. His eyes were dark brown and they looked into my soul. And on top of that, he was fair. Such handsomeness.

He raped you, remember? my mind shouted.

He sat opposite me. Thankfully, he didn’t bring out his hand for a handshake. I guess he knew I wouldn’t take it.

“You were twenty minutes late. I guess being late is a normal thing for rapists,” I jabbed at him, not wanting to succumb to his beauty.

He winced at that. “I am sorry. I had a board of directors meeting.”

“That’s none of my concern.”

“Yeah. What would you have?”

“Nothing,” I replied. Should I bring it up, or should I allow him to?

“Are you sure?” he pressed.

“I think I know what I want and what I don’t want,” I said, having another thing in mind.

“Of course.” He didn’t get the double entendre.

“How did you get my number?”

“Facebook. Your number is on your profile.”

Of course. I made a mental note to remove my number from Facebook. “That’s true.”

“Oh. Alright. See, I’m sorry for raping you. And I’m willing to make it up to you,” he began, casting furtive glances at me.

“And how, if I may ask, are you planning to do that?”

“Depends on what you want me to do.”

“Go to hell.”

“I can’t. I don’t know where it is.”

“You can start looking for it by dying.”

“So you want me to die?”

I smiled. “Why not?”

“I was drunk that Friday night. I had a party with my friends at the club next to that church. I was pressed and went out to ease myself as all their restrooms were filled up with people. As I was easing myself, I saw you edging closer to me and…and… I—”

“And you grabbed me, threw me on the ground—on your urine and had your way with me, right?”

“No, no. It’s not—”

“It’s not what? Your fault? I had ran away when the vehicle we were in was attacked. We were on our way to a vigil and they had just shot my best friend. I had ran blindly and wildly to the back of the club, hoping and praying that the robbers won’t see me. But how unlucky I was—another robber saw me and stole my virginity,” I spewed out, trying to calm myself down when I noticed the other people in the restaurant.

“I—I am so sorry. I…didn’t know,” he stuttered.

“How would you know? When you wanted to ease yourself? And ended up easing yourself into me and spilling your disgusting seed inside of me.

“Don’t see it that way.”

“How should I—? Wait, why are you even here?” I asked.

“To ask for your forgiveness, and to make it up to you. I am willing to pay you.”

“Of course, money answereth all,” I said, with my voice dripping with scorn.

“What do you say?”

“I would have asked the policemen behind me to arrest you, as I have been recording our conversation. But you’re not worth my time in court. I just hope that you are not raping other girls. Because if you are and it comes out, that’s when I’ll destroy you. Let it be that my case was that done in a drunken haze.”

“I assure you that—”

I cut him off. “I don’t need your assurances. And for the forgiveness, get it on your way to hell.”

With that, I stood up, signaled to the men behind me and left him too shocked to react.

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