Finally, we come to the end of To Tame a Virgin. For all of you who started this and are here now, thank you. Your comments and retweets and facebook updates made me feel appreciated.
Special thanks to Oye and the 360nobs team.
This is dedicated to my husband…my muse. I almost threw away this story but he fell in love with the character, Dami, and introduced me to her.
HUGE DISCLAIMER: No character in this story is real. All my imagination. If they remind you of someone you know, I categorically state that I know no such person.
There was an SMS going round. Which simply read:
Click on the link to go to totameavirgin.com @rhodiumvee has a new post waiting for you.
Uyi got the SMS at exactly 7am; same time with Dike and every other subscriber to the totameavirgin website. Dike was still asleep when the alert came in. Kachi handed his phone to him as she got off the bed and went about her day. With sleepy eyes, he clicked on the link and was directed to the site. He could hardly recognize it as everything had Dami written all over it. There was a Youtube video. Dike clicked on it…
Uyi put his breakfast of noodles and eggs on his bed and set his laptop to click on the video link. With his other hand, he put a bottle of coke to his lips and waited with held breath.
Peter had watched the video a million times. It was he who edited it and others and got paid handsomely for it even though he clearly told Dami that he didn’t need the money. Nonetheless, the money had come in handy. With it he paid for two nights in a squalid hotel in the neighborhood. He was buying time before he went home to tell his folks about his HIV status. Strangely, he couldn’t stop thinking about Temi. He clicked on the link.
Temi was just two doors away from Peter in the same squalid hotel. Having accomplished what her mind set to do with the guy she met at the bar the night before, she saw no need to leave the hotel. Her eyes were grainy from crying all night. She had hit her lowest and was at the point where her life hung in an uncertain place; it was either going to make or break her. A can of beer found its way to her mouth and she clicked on Dami’s video.
Kachi peeped down the corridor to be sure Dike was not coming in the direction of the kitchen. She got the alert the same time he got his. He had no idea she was subscribed to the site. She did so when he first told her about it, just a day before it was put down. They hadn’t spoken about Damaris since then. It was a relief to hear from Ene that Damaris dropped the lawsuit against Dike. She had called Uyi to thank him for speaking on her behalf to her; but she was not too pleased with Dike’s tell-all on 360nobs about his affair with her even though he didn’t reveal his identity and marital status. Turning on the electric kettle, she waited for her browser to direct her to Youtube.
Thousands of other people online were watching Dami’s video at that moment. It was a two-minute montage of her sitting on her bed in crossed legs wearing nothing but a t-shirt over a pair of black pantyhose. With no makeup on and an early morning look to her hair, she began.
“So, it’s not news that a video of me going half-naked was spread by some mean girls that I called my friends. They succeeded in destroying my career, getting my dad to stop speaking to me and my boyfriend to break up with me. Nice one, girls. Secondly, I know you’ve all read the confessions of some guy who went on 360nobs to talk about my relationship with him and how it ended badly and how he got back at me by opening the totameavirgin site. Well, we’re friends now and he was kind enough to let me have the site and I intend to use it to rant, not giving a damn about those of you who are going to be coming here and leaving your player-hating comments. Sha, you’re all welcome. But know that this is not about you and your perceptions of me. Somehow you guys think by seeing my breasts you now know me. You don’t. I am not my breasts. I am Damaris Alechenu, a recovering drug addict, a model, a dancer, an ex-virgin and I don’t give a shit what you think.
“And now to the business of the day…”
Dami fished around the bed for something and came up with a card. “So ever since my boyfriend dumped me, I’ve been in a mess; crying, starving, playing Avril Lavigne, eating and adding weight, watching romance movies, drinking like a fish and doing a whole lot of other pathetic things. I don’t intend to share them with you but I’m using this medium to beg him nicely, since he won’t pick his calls, to allow me tell him how much he means to me. I was in rehab for twenty-eight days. Not your normal rehab but the Rihanna type. I was trying to do away with the addiction of loving you, Mr. Smith but I couldn’t. Instead I found twenty-eight more reasons why I love you and I am going to tell you today. But not here.”
She moved forward to the camera and placed the card in her hand before the lens. It was a wedding invitation with gold and blue writings. The bottom part that held the address was crossed out by a marker.
“My cousin’s wife’s younger sister is getting married and Mr. Smith, I am inviting you for it. You know the venue; it’s the place where we first kissed. When you come, look for the girl in the blue dress and she’ll tell you the twenty-eight reasons why I love you.”
Dami withdrew the card from the screen.
“And for the rest of you who are not invited, I have a brand new BB Q10 to give out.”
She went back to the bed and flashed Blackberry phone with its pack.
“If anyone can guess correctly, just three out of the twenty-eight reasons why I love my boo, they can claim the phone. But remember to follow me, then use the hashtag #Dami’s28 as you tweet. Be creative.”
She walked back to the camera and switched it off.
Word spread. Tweets and retweets flew across Twitter. People were talking. #Dami’s28 was trending in no time.
Temi got home sometime after nine in the morning. Ovie was not back from his sister’s where he had spent the night. Temi didn’t like the silence. The power was out. With a long hiss, she walked to where the fuse box was located to have a look at it. Something was wrong with some of the switches and she had complained severally to Ovie and Peter to find an electrician to fix it but they always did it themselves. She stood staring at the fuse box, lost. She didn’t hear when Edet walked in until he put a gentle hand on her arm. She jumped and turned to him.
“Edet! You scared me.”
“Thank God you’re here sha. Abeg, help me do this thing. I don’t know what they touch there.”
“Get me a stool or chair to climb.”
Temi walked into her bedroom and came out with a plastic chair. Edet got on it.
“So, you and Peter have broken up?” he asked. Temi was surprised at his question but she replied him even so.
“And he left?”
“Doesn’t he know that HIV is not automatic death? There are so many people living with it in Nigeria.”
“I pray he comes back. He has a good job and he’s intelligent. He can still live a full life.”
Temi was somewhat surprised at the way Edet spoke. To her, he had always been that jobless neighbor that sat around while everyone went to work and smoked himself silly.
“Edet, what do you do?”
“Your work? Where do you work?”
“Online. I’m a third party merchant. I help people buy and sell stuff in naira on the web.”
“And it pays?”
“Yeah.” He shut the fuse box and pulled at the main switch, bringing power back into the house.
“Yay!” Temi beamed. Edet got down but missed his landing and tumbled into her. He had his face in her breasts and she backed away immediately as he straightened up.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“It’s okay. It’s not as if you planned to fall on me.”
She had no idea.
“See, I have soup in the fridge. I’ll warm it and make eba for us.”
“That sounds nice. Eba in the morning.”
“Okay, I’ll make semo. It’s lighter.”
“Eba is fine,” Edet said and pulled out something from beside her lips. He showed her.
“Tissue paper. Wonder where I got that.”
“And there’s one more here.” He picked out another tiny piece of tissue beside her right eye.
“You’re welcome. Fine girls should not be crying.”
Temi smiled. She needed the compliment and the relief it brought. Edet was going to be nice company if he didn’t fall into her breasts again. She didn’t want to be alone. There were condemnatory thoughts waiting for her in her mind, a flood she kept at bay that was pulsing at the seams of her emotions. The littlest moment alone with herself would send her crumbling.
When Edet left the house, she went into loud music mode, playing a collection of party songs as she waited for the water she put over the cooker to come to a boil. She sang out loud too; she didn’t want to hear her inner voice.
Finally, the water began to bubble out and pour on the cooker. She took down the pot, poured the water into a bowl and got out the Ijebu garri she had set aside earlier. She kept her feet busy in a light dance as she set garri to the steaming water. But tears came to her eyes. They was no stopping them. She sang really loud now, louder than the thoughts condemning her, still they forced her into a choking sob. She stopped for a second and sniffed to pull herself together. Afterwards, the loud singing continued as she danced more.
Then out of nowhere, she felt it. The hot breath on the nape of her neck, the hands on her sides and the unmistakable feel of a boner on her bum.
Temi swiveled round in instant anger and landed the wooden stirrer in her hand on the head of her assaulter. Edet backed away with his hand on the spot he had been hit and hot water splashed into his face. It scalded him at first but cooled immediately.
“Are you mad?!” Temi screamed. The stirrer in her hand went up in the air again and was aiming at him when Edet stopped her hand and gave her a slap.
“Look at this useless human being! You poured me hot water!”
Temi recovered from the slap and lunged at him but he held her hands and pushed her towards the counter. She aimed a knee at his groin. He ducked with a lascivious laugh and pressed his body into hers. Temi squirmed helplessly. The more she moved, the more he forced himself on her.
“Stay one place and stop fighting me! I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Leave me alone, Edet!” Temi was livid but it came with no power. She was afraid; Edet’s firm grip gave her no means of escape. She screamed out and he stopped her mouth with a hand. She shivered. Instant fever tremors shook her as his other hand grabbed her breast. For the first time in her life, she wished she had long nails. Her fingers on his face were not giving her the result she wanted. Therefore, she used the only weapon she knew. She dug her teeth into his upper arm and bit down as hard as she could but he raised his hand and rammed his elbow into her face. She went weak, her knees buckled. The floor seemed to shake underneath her as gravity forced her down.
Is this how you’re going to be all your life?
The voice from within her was loud. It came to her ears above the sound of Kcee’s Limpopo coming from the sitting room.
They pull you down, you fall. They abuse you, you hide in a hole. They hit you, you’re down to the floor.
Edet had her in his arms again, not letting her fall.
“Edet, please let me go,” Temi stopped fighting and lowered her tone.
Don’t let him get away.
“Please, stop,” Temi begged. Edet wasn’t sure at first.
“Please. I promise I won’t tell anyone. Just let me go.”
“I didn’t want to hurt you.” He was breathing hard. “I just wanted to… I thought you and I could, you know… Your body, it does things to me.”
“Maybe we can but not now. Anyone can walk in.”
Edet nodded and moved away from her. Temi let out a relieving breath.
But Temi’s anger had been refueled by her inner person and she surged at him with renewed energy, picking the stirrer from the floor. This time she had him right on his forehead with three vicious blows. Next, she went for his nose, breaking it in one hit. She drew back with a heaving chest and watched him struggling with the stunning pain as blood flooded his face. She saw his eyes coming to rest on her in anger and she dashed out of the kitchen through the backdoor and ran all the way to the front gate.
“Aunty Temi, wetin dey happen?” the gateman asked but Temi stood, the stirrer still in her hand which was shaking non-stop.
The pedestrian gate opened and Ovie walked in. He stopped and gave Temi a once-over.
Temi, amidst her tears, narrated her encounter with Edet to Ovie who listened with a face that got incensed by the second.
“Is that all? Apart from slapping and touching you improperly, did he go any further?”
Ovie turned to the gateman. “Mallam, lock the gate. No allow Edet commot.”
The gatemen obeyed the instructions with no questions as Ovie drew Temi to sit on a bench by the fence. He got out his phone and dialed a number.
“Peter, show… Just come house abeg… Just come.”
He dialed the next.
“Uyi, abeg try come crib… Now… Ehn, me sef dey go for the wedding… Just come.”
He dialed the third.
“Murphy, abeg person need that your Buran Tashi… Carry am come for me now-now-now… Guy chill, I go pay you… Just carry am come.”
“OV, what are you doing?” Temi asked when he was through with the calls. “Why did you call all of them?”
Ovie handed his phone to her and walked towards the front door as soon as he saw Edet emerging from it. Edet spotted him, took a step backwards and dashed back inside. Ovie set his own feet into a spring and went for him. Seconds after, Edet appeared from the backyard and ran straight to the gate but he was met with a huge padlock. Knowing there was no way out for him, he turned around with his apartment in mind but Ovie caught up with him and threw him flat on his back through a punch. A second fist in his face thumped him out cold.
Temi watched from the window of her bedroom. Peter, Uyi and Murphy had arrived and they listened as Ovie recounted what she had told him. She didn’t really see why they were having a conference over the issue. It wasn’t after she listened in that she understood what was really going on.
Apparently, Edet had slept with Uyi’s ex. But that wasn’t all. Odun, Doctor Ahmed’s younger sister once reported that Edet had tried to sexually molest her at the backyard where they hung clothes. Edet got a slap on the wrist but the girl was sent back to her hometown. Finally, Ovie added that a few weeks before, a girl who had slept over after one of their Friday parties told him how Edet had been inappropriate with her at the party. Edet denied and said the girl was drunk and came on to him. There was nothing Ovie could do about the incidence.
While he was still recounting the story to them, Peter left where he stood and went to Edet who was now awake and was seated on the bench occupied by Temi earlier.
“You know say na my babe you touch?”
Edet gave him a demeaning stare.
“Forget everything wey happen for these past few weeks, forget say we be neighbors and you know my shit and I sabi your own, forget all the gbana wey we dey smoke steady. Forget everything. Guy,” he tapped Edet’s chest and had his hand pushed away, “Temi na my babe. Me, I no be Uyi. You no fit touch my babe go free.” Edet got off the bench and faced Temi’s window.
“Temi, you said I touched you inappropriately? How? I just tapped you and you turned around and poured hot water on me and broke my nose!”
Temi pulled the curtain shut. She looked around the mess that was her room. She needed to pack her things quickly. With what had happened to her, she didn’t need anyone to tell her that her time in that house was over.
“Temi, come out and tell the truth! Did I touch you?!”
Edet’s voice caused her to cringe. It now had a creepy effect on her. She commenced on packing her clothes and shoving them into her biggest box which was sprawled open on her bed. She shut her ears to the sound of blows coming from outside. Schooling in one of the roughest universities in the country gave her a firsthand experience of what the male specie could do to their kind when it came to thrashing. She packed hurriedly but was compelled to stop when she heard Edet screaming and begging in a terrified tone.
Temi turned to the window and pulled the curtain aside to peep. Edet was on his kness, his head sandwich between Peter’s long legs as Ovie poured the first drops of a liquid in a brown bottle down his throat. He struggled but Uyi held his head firmly as the liquid went down. They let him go afterwards and he got to his feet. He staggered a little in bloodstained clothes and eventually sat on the bench. Murphy poured a bucket of water over him and they gave him a short time to put himself together.
“Oya!” Peter tapped him and pulled him to his feet. “Commot your clothes.”
“Ah-ahn,” Temi butt in. “It’s enough na. Please, stop.”
“Commot you shirt and short knicker! You think say I dey play?!”
“Peter, please na. Forgive him.”
“Temi, close that curtain!” Uyi ordered.
“Uyi, please. Please, you guys stop.”
“Temi, close the curtain.”
“Okay Uyi, come. Please, come.”
Uyi frowned at her but she pleaded with her eyes. He left his friends and went to meet her in the house.
“See, let nothing happen to him because of me. Buran Tashi can kill him. Please, Uyi… Please, stop.”
“He’ll be fine. We didn’t give him much. Just two capfuls or so. He needs to learn a lesson. We want to teach him what it really means not to control a hard-on.”
“So you people will just leave him like that?”
“After we tie him to his bed.”
“Forget him. Are you okay?”
“Yes.” She listened to the sound of Edet being carried away and didn’t hear Uyi’s question.
She came back to him. “Ehn?”
“Where are you going? You’re packing.”
“I want to go and stay with my friend, Hafsa, until I can come up with enough money to help me get a new place. But I can’t stay here again, not with Edet in this same compound.”
Uyi remained by the door, staring at her. She wasn’t the same girl he had known. She was no longer the Temi he still couldn’t stop worrying about. It looked like someone had come and sapped the beauty and life out of her in one night. Her skin was lacking its fresh glow and rashes had broken out on her face. The hunch of her shoulder was back.
“You’re looking at me and you’re still judging me,” Temi said.
“I am not.”
“I slept with someone last night,” she confessed. Her hands squeezed a t-shirt in her hand. “A stranger. A married man. I don’t even remember his name. After everything, he paid me like I was some prostitute.”
She sat down and proceeded to pick invisible things from the smothered t-shirt in her hands.
“As a teenager, I could give anything for attention. Anything to have somebody have my time. There was a time I used to steal dollars and jewelry from my aunt’s room to give my friends in school just so that they’d accept me into their click. Other times, I took them foodstuff because I was a day student and they were boarders. When boys came into my life, I realized I didn’t need girls anymore; male company was more fun and free. The only problem was all the boys wanted me and I didn’t know how to handle it. Eventually I ended up dating the headboy and almost every afternoon after school before I went home, I had sex with him in the storeroom of our class. Sometimes he took me back to his room in the hostel. Sex gave me the love and attention I didn’t get from my family. My aunt was always away, so I really had no one in my life. In the university it was worse. I had a boyfriend who made me have threesomes with his friend and so many times I wanted to break out of the relationship but he was the only one who had my time. When I eventually left him, my life became worse…
“Uyi, I don’t want to be like this. I am not a ho. Please, believe me.” Temi’s body shuddered in tears. “I wish you could look inside me and see my heart. I am not what people think I am.”
“I don’t want you to go away again. Please, Uyi. I promise I won’t kiss you; I won’t be a threat to your relationship and I won’t see you if you don’t want to see me but please, tell me you’ll still be in my life. You’re the only one who never took advantage of me.”
“Temi, stop crying, abeg,” Uyi muttered but it seemed he opened a dam. Temi cried for a long time and he watched from the door. He longed to comfort her but he needed her to understand her anguish and source of her sorrow.
“Would you like to go for a wedding?” he asked. “Just to get your mind off your pain?”
Temi shook her head.
“I promised I was always going to be around for you. You’re my friend and there’s still good in you. That’s what I want to believe…”
Uyi paused as he heard Edet screaming somewhere in the compound.
“You need tough love. A different kind of love. You need to see yourself differently and I think I can help you. I’m not intimidated by your body and gone are the days I wanted to sleep with you. I’m in love with my girlfriend and I’m committed to sticking with her. But I will not let you go, Temi. My conscience will kill me if I do. So, will you follow me for the wedding and quit this mad nonsense about you going to disturb your friend in her matrimonial home?”
Temi looked at him.
“Edet is the one packing out tomorrow. This is your house; you’re not going anywhere. You can’t keep running. Now, get up, have a shower, fix yourself up and look good and confident like the Temi I know. Then you can choose who will be your plus one at the wedding. We’re all going.”
“I thought you alone got the invitation.”
“Ovie and Murphy want to win that Q10 but I can help you get it.”
Temi smiled and Uyi saw a hint of life in her cheeks.
Uyi peeped out. “Your boyfriend is coming.” His tone flattened to almost a whisper. “He’s going through hell. He’s about to leave to his village to spend the rest of his life there. Please stop him. HIV is not a death sentence. Talk to him.”
To be Continued…
The conclusion comes tomorrow. Don’t miss it!