Lifestyle Tuesday; #MeToo-My Escape Story

Hi MTB Family,

We have a new segment! It is not new as such but I felt like bringing back these stories of things I have been through, opinions and what not.This will allow me to spread my wings beyond motivation and fitness.

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In case you have been living in a cage, Oprah Winfrey gave the most phenomenal speech at the Golden Globes last evening. She addressed the elephant in the room. By room I mean the world at large. So many women get forced to partake in sexual acts without consent and we have condoned it but time is up! The movement #MeToo has seen so many women come out and it is clear just how many women have suffered in silence. Sometimes rape does not occur because of some thug on the streets, it is always a doorstep away, a phonecall away or a friend away.Twice I nearly got ‘cornered’ against my will and both men were friends but now that I look at it, my ‘escapes’ were both funny but this one takes the cup because when I told it to my mum and sisters, they could not stop laughing. It’s funny now but then, it wasn’t. So here is a first person account of how I nearly got raped in Campus:

The year is 2014. The Month is September. It is political season and as usual, yours truly was somewhere behind the scenes churning out strategies for top candidates.*Albert (not his real name) and I met at a political campaign. What can I say, I was a political groupie. Our candidate had won and we held a mega party. I am a party mum therefore I was sober the entire time. We got chatty in between meals and merry making and I learned that he is from my hometown.

“Ah, brother!”

Thank God!

Finally someone I can talk to who will not hit on me. Alhamdulillahi! I get comfortable. The guy is on blue moon and because alcohol has the ability to unleash honesty and I seem motherly, Albert goes ahead to confess:

He has a girlfriend. They have been together for three years. Since she moved to my campus (He was from a different campus), she has been distant.She does not pick calls. She is not romantic anymore. Can I talk to her?

“Sure Brother!”

Numbers are exchanged, we gyrate and swoon the night away, enjoying the victory of our candidate. That night I made a friend, at least I thought so.

Over the next few months, Albert would call me for long hours, we would discuss his crumbling love life, politics and everything else in between. To be honest, I was glad to have a purely platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex, until the ‘fateful’ day.

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It was the night of an Annual Campus Beauty Pageant. I was in my room, watching an episode of Scandal at around 7pm when I got the call.Albert (he was a VIP, at least by Campus Standards) had VIP access to the pageant and I was to be his plus one. I thought, “This is my friend, why not?”

So he gave me directions to his room (because he was from a different campus, he was allocated a  temporary room for the pageant’s sake). I got dressed and took off,we were in friendly terms at the time. I could not have suspected anything.I get to his room and I am so excited to meet my friend. We take off on a very chatty note, catching up.

“How have you been?”

“How is the going?”

The conversation slowly escalates and gets heated, the next thing is a debate. I am churning points out like a maniac. I have a habit of arguing with passion. Before we know it, it’s almost 9PM. Suddenly, the conversation takes a u-turn. We go from ‘We held the best campaign this campus has ever seen’ to ‘You are beautiful and any man would be lucky to have you’. I start to get uncomfortable. It is at this time that I notice the door is locked and my good friend has the keys. I am looking for ways to escape because clearly, that was not what I signed up for. I came to have a good time with a friend, not to get tricked into coitus. I however have no excuse whatsoever. If anybody asks, I clearly brought myself to the room. Voluntarily.

At this point a million things are crossing my mind. We are still talking but my mind has shifted to escaping this situation.I text my friend *Ann to come to my rescue. She is scared. What if he wound the two of us together?

“I am hungry,” I tell him.

“What would you like to eat?”

My mind wants chicken.

“Rice and beans,” I say.

He calls his friend who is in the next room. I am starting to put two and two together.

“God, please make me find a way out of this.I promise to go to church every Sunday.”

The friend is sent to the cafeteria. I am still alone in the room with this predator. At this point, I am calling him names in my head. My mind is no longer in the conversation. I am trying to find a way out.His friend returns with rice, fortunately for me, he forgot to buy beans. This is it! Albert has to go to the cafeteria. He leaves me in the room, locks the door from outside.Before he shuts the door, he says,

“About sex, I want it when I come back.”

I am on the third floor of a building, trapped inside, waiting for a man who has made his intentions clear.I brought myself here, nobody forced me, how do I even explain that this is rape? I am in big trouble!I take a good look at the building’s windows. The way they are structured, I can hold onto one window and reach the next until I am a few meters away from the ground.I am shaking, half full of fear and half dreading the thought of unwanted sex.

I tell myself, “This will actually make a good story one day.”

I say a little prayer, remember Colombiana and channel my inner Zoe Saldana. It is time for action! I can see someone watching from the opposite window but it is do or die. I hold onto a slab and carefully crawl out of the window. I firm my grip and reach out to the window below it by holding onto the slab.

“Girl, if you let go at this point you are history”

I tighten my grip on the slabs and window seals, earning a few scratches on way. At this point, I cannot go back. I reach out to each section, finding my way down to the first floor. There is no attachment at this point so I’m hanging mid air, a few meters from the ground. I let go and land on the grass with a thud. I am not injured. I take a deep breath and chant Hail Mary as I run to a closer hostel where my friend Ann resides.I hastily knock on the door while trying to catch my breath at the same time. I can’t believe I did it! Ann is half proud half laughing at the ordeal. A few seconds later:

Albert is calling…

Albert is calling…

Line busy.

He later sent me a long text. That was the last time we ever talked. That is how I climbed down a from the third floor of a building to escape unwanted sex. Otherwise called Rape.

***

Had the situation been any different, it would have been hard to convince anyone that it was rape.If there is a young girl reading this: Do not be in the wrong room with the right person.Nobody will believe you. I hope one day, no woman will say #MeToo

THE END

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