She woke up terrified, alone, and hopeless trying to process and write her dream.
These were the protagonists:
- The rapist
- Her mother’s priest/pastor
- Her friends
- A bunch of women who were trying to kill her
- A few white men, maybe women- who vowed to save her or maybe she hoped would save her. In the end, she wasn’t sure if any of that had happened, both her wish and their promise.
She was in what appeared to be a rooftop party. Power had gone out so she decided to take a nap. She’s not sure of where this place is or how she found herself there; she doesn’t know whether this is in the past, the present, or the future. The setting is blurred.
Her ‘friend’, this guy she had met at the office a few times appeared on her bed. It astonished her how these men end up on the same bed with her, whether to rape her or please her. She knew she was too much, both in size and in love. She doesn’t know if it’s power or powerlessness they sniff on her. She does not remember how; all she remembers is this- he was there next to her pleading, to get in between her thighs. From her encounters with this fella, it seemed like he was a reasonable guy. He said ‘i want you’ she said ‘no.’ At first, he teased and smiled trying to disregard her ‘no’ but when her eyes reaffirmed the NO so did his penis’s refusal to abide.
She had said to herself many a time that if anyone ever tried to rape her again, she would not go to the police, she would not write another poem nor join another sixteen days of activism campaign but squeeze the life out his cock. And that is what she did. He strangled her; he tried to push himself inside her. She smiled at him, a sort of pretext to consent. Her fake smile made his grip weak and his cock hard. She playfully grabbed his cock, patriarchal lust allured him to completely submit to her. The fireworks in her eyes weakened his power. The more he strangled her the more he died. The more he became hard the more the millions of sperms saw their demise in the power of her fist. His boner became boneless. She cried for help, she could hear her friends from afar, maybe from planet Mars but he reassured her that they couldn’t hear her nor would they come for her and that he had locked the door. She killed his manhood with the grip of her hands. The more he choked her the more her hands got powerful and squeezed the life out of him. The more he tried to prove his masculinity the more his man parts lost and her womanhood won. The more he forced himself the more his limbs became lifeless, the more he suffocated her the more he became breathless. His lifelessness gave her glory and triumph.
When he died and she was free, she stormed outside. Her childhood friend asked ‘what happened to you?’ with disgust in her eyes. By now her hands had dead sperms, her shirt was soaked in blood, her top torn revealing her wide brown nipples, shrunk in horror, her voice strong with conviction. When she said ‘I won, I am free, he tried to put his filthy …‘To Her friend, she interrupted and said to her ‘shhhh, hush’ told her to be quiet and talk less loudly, since poppa and momma were at home. Her friend didn’t want to hear the details, she couldn’t bear the shame it had brought to her. Seeing her friend and her presence, in general, could have perhaps evoked a similar memory, which she herself was the protagonist of?
But now all she wanted was to take a shower and borrow her friend’s clothes. Or not, maybe she should keep the stench of the sperm on her hands, for evidence. Her friend said she will find some clothes for her but must have forgotten trying hard to make sure that nobody heard what had happened, especially the housekeeper and her compatriots. Her friend then decided to ask her brother and his friend for help. Her brother’s friend went to the room upstairs to unravel what had happened and confirmed the death of the rapist.
All of them seemed to focus on his death and not on her survival. The highlight was, of course, the death of a MAN. They were now deciding what steps to take next, ‘should we call the police but where are they? Or should we let it slide? ‘They murmured to each other.
Then at random her mother’s pastor appeared, he said he was there to take her words. He also told her his full name; that is when she recognized him. She used to go to his church with her mom when she was a kid. She was almost relieved up until he told her ‘you’re going to have to explain to your mom how you ended up in bed with a man, you are also going to get tested for HIV.’ He never looked at her eyes.
She was not scared, nor did his attempt to shame her or the mention of her mom alarmed her.
At this juncture, the story was leaked and a journalist had come to report. But she came to report the death of a man and not attempted rape. That was her pitch. ‘Manhood lost at the hands of a woman.’
And then, she found herself running, they had said he started moving and that he wasn’t dead, dead. She was running and running and found herself on the planet African Union (AU). She doesn’t know how she got there or what path she took but her running weak knees had journeyed her there.
She was a hot mess, her hair big in glory and shock, her breast protruding in defiance. She was seen but invisible. One of the ladies in the kitchen started chasing her with a big knife saying ‘how could you have killed so and so’s son?’ Mr. X was the most powerful man in the commune. She started chasing her shouting ‘I will kill you, how could you kill him, he was such a nice man!?’
She runs past a group of white men smoking in the mirrored square balcony, she cried for help: she thought they saw her but they didn’t. She yelled but nothing was being heard. She found another woman. She pleaded for a way out, to save her but the woman said ‘oh you are the one, you must die, you must be punished. Can’t help you’ and instead led her to a dead-end.
The African Union seemed like a massive spaceship made out of glass. In front of her was a library. If she enters, she can’t make any noise. Behind her was the lady chasing her with a knife and somewhere in there were white men, maybe a few white women. She made the choice to report and expose this lady who was chasing her, who was apparently a member of the working class at the AU, to the white men in suits, or were they Chinese?She thought maybe they control this planet AU.
She doesn’t know what they were doing at planet AU anyway but they seemed safe, powerful, untouchable, and in control. Thus, she told them everything. They seemed shocked even kind but she does not remember if they laughed at her or helped herein the end. Or if they were silent altogether.
And then, in that same space and time -she found herself hungry and eating all the delicacies of planet African Union. But it left her hungrier.
She doesn’t know (still) if she washed her hand before she ate or if the stench had gone.
She doesn’t know if he lived or died.
If he died her hands will always smell of sperm, if he lived her heart will always smell of fear.
Feature Image: Shutterstock
Zemdena Abebe is a kind, pan-Africanist-womanist justice seeker, pushing the Afro-Feminist kinship agenda. She writes, tells stories and cares. She disrupts oppressive systems while dancing. Link up with her @Afrowomanist