You open your WhatsApp, wanting to quickly reply the messages that must have come in during the night. The sheer number of messages weakens you instantly; they are mostly your customers who want you to either supply them with wigs or make some for them. As you reply, typing fast and mechanically, a message comes into your class’ group chat: there will be a quiz today. You groan loudly; this is not how you want your day to go. But thankfully, you read the lecturer’s handouts yesterday, so you are prepared.
Just as you are about to close your WhatsApp and start preparing for school, you see the message from a new number:
YOU ARE MY WOMAN. TODAY, I’LL MAKE YOU MINE. TODAY I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU.
You know who the person is—Stanley, your ex boyfriend. Ever since you broke up with him, he has been on your neck, calling you incessantly and pleading for forgiveness, but you do not see yourself being with him. Not after you walked into him and your coursemate banging their brains off.
So you decide to ignore him and went into the bathroom. As you shower, you try to prepare your mind for the quiz, but the annoying message keeps flashing in your mind. What does he take you for? A puppet? you fume. How can see send you such a message, as if he owns you? With deep, even breaths, you calm yourself down, towel your body and get out of the bathroom.
Then you wear your clothes, deciding to appear as inconspicuous as possible today. Maybe if Stanley sees you in class without any makeup or wig, he might see that you are just an ordinary girl. Maybe then he will give up. You doubt it though.
You go into the kitchen to fix yourself a quick breakfast, and as the water is boiling, your phone rings, the familiar tune of Simi’s Jericho becoming irritating all of a sudden. You look at the caller ID, but it was a number you do not have on your phone. Was it Stanley again? You think about ignoring the call, but you decide to pick it, and give him a piece of your mind.
“Look, Stanley, if you don’t stop disturbing me, I’ll—” You do not finish your threat as the person on the other end of the line interrupts you.
“Hello, Little Flower. Did you see my message on WhatsApp? Get ready, today I’ll have a taste of the sweet nectar you have down there.” He smacks his lips as he finishes.
Your blood turns cold, then boils in fury. Without thinking, you hurl words at him. “I don’t know who you are, or what you want from me. But I promise you that if you do not stop calling my line, I’ll report you to the police station.”
“And tell them what, Little Flower? You do not know me, but I promise you that you will after I’m done doing all the good things I want to do to your body,” he says, and sighs in ecstasy.
“Just leave me—”
He cuts you short again. “I have one piece of advice though: don’t go outside today. You will only make things easier for me. Stay in your home, and I will come to you.” Then as an afterthought, he adds, “I sent you a present. It’s on your front door.” The line clicks off at the same time you hear the doorbell.
Fear grips you as the thought of a psycho at your doorstep hits you like a boxer’s punch. You try to go to the door, but your feet are glued to the kitchen floor. Will he attack you in the house? But you remember that your dad is around in his room. For the first time, you thank your father for forcing you to go to school from your home. He is ever protective of you, and since your mother was kidnapped and never found, he had become warier of dangers lurking in the shadows.
“Thank you, Dad,” you whisper as you walk giddily towards the door. You open it with shaking hands and you see no one. Just a gift-wrapped box. You want to leave it there, but you see yourself picking it up and tearing the wrapping apart. What you see inside nauseats you and your dinner threatens to erupt through your mouth.
Inside the cardboard box is a single used condom, with the semen inside it and all over it. Then you see a note:
JUST A LITTLE SOMETHING TO PUT YOU IN THE MOOD.
You quietly dump the box into the wastebin by the door. You contemplate on telling your dad about it, but you rule it out. You know your dad, he will probably not go to work, preferring to be your bodyguard. He might even decide to go with you to school.
At the thought of school, your stomach churns. The psycho had told you not to go out. And the idea that he is out there is sickening. I’ll not go to school, today, you finally accept. Missing a quiz is better than that psycho getting his hands on me. You will tell your dad that your period has come, and that you’ll stay at home.
You walk into the kitchen and see your dad with a cup of coffee. He had taken care of the boiling water which you had forgotten. Bless you, Dad, you pray in your heart before accepting one cup from him.
“Are you alright, dear?” he asks you, looking directly into your eyes. He has that ability to fish out lies by looking into someone’s eyes.
You deftly avoid his eyes and lie. “It’s just my period Dad. It came earlier this month. I guess it’s because it’s February.”
He nods, picks up his briefcase and make to leave. He says, “Make sure you lock here very well before leaving.”
“I’m not going to school. The pain is terrible,” you continue with your lie.
He looks tenderly at you, and say, “I’m sorry, honey. You’ll be fine, okay? Take care of yourself.”
He leaves and you rush to lock the door. You go back to the kitchen and drink the cup of coffee, feeling your stomach twist as you realize that your appetite is gone. You decide to stay in your room, and devote your day to your hair business. You pick up a knife as a form of protection should the psycho decide to actually carry out his threats.
In your room, you curl up in your bed, open your WhatsApp and start replying messages, taking orders and running your business. You thank God that the load of work you have to do will take your mind off him.
The next thing you see is that you are tied to your bed, to the four corners of your bed. Your mouth is sealed with a duct tape and as you open your eyes to the horror before you, you see him walk out of your bathroom, his penis hard and throbbing.
The light in your room is switched off, and as you watch him saunter towards you, you wonder how you could have slept off given the circumstances. It was when he knelt between your parted legs that you saw why you had slept off. The realization of who the psycho is makes you want to faint, but you cannot. You try to scream, but you cannot either.
The only place you can scream is in your head, and as he bends to slide inside you, you scream in your head with everything you have: