(Continued from Father Wounds III)
Teresa quickly realizes that he will kill her if she continues struggling. So she plays dead. Her chest is on fire and her mind has a million cobwebs. He finally he releases the pillow and she gulps for air. He holds her firmly on the bed and finishes raping her before rising from the bed.
“Go and take a shower,” he orders, throwing his towel at her. She complies. She picks her clothes from the floor and goes to the bathroom. 10 minutes later, she is out, dressed. Her mane of natural hair is still moist.
“You are so beautiful,” he says.
“Thank you,” she replies, smiling.
“I love you so much Tess. Why don’t you want to be my girlfriend?”
“This is all so new to me, Brian. So I guess I am scared. But I am already yours. You took my virginity so I guess you are my first love,”
“I knew you would come around. I love you so much babe,”
“I love you too babe,” she replies sweetly.
He rises from the bed and kisses her on the lips. She kisses him back.
“Can we do another quick round?” he asks, putting his hands around her waist.
“No babe, I have a class I cannot miss. But you can come to my house in the evening. I will make you dinner,” she says.
“That is my girl,” he says, kissing her again.
“I have to run, see you in the evening,” she says, untangling herself from his grip.
As she hurries out of the room, he rolls back to bed and starts thinking about the night to come.
Teresa runs to her house. Tears are rolling down her cheeks. But her ordeal with Brian has changed her. She has decided that she is no longer going to be used as a door mat. When she gets to her house, she calls her aunt and tells her what has happened to her.
“Taking a shower was a mistake, Teresa. He wanted you to clean up the evidence.”
“I didn’t say I took a shower, aunt. I said I went to the bathroom. I just washed my hair and feet to fool him. No other part of my body was touched by water.”
“Excellent. Wait for me. I will take you to the police station to report and to a doctor to be examined. I will be there in an hour, maximum. Lock the door in case he decides to come and check if you are in. I will call you when I arrive,”
Brian could not have chosen a worse time to rape Teresa. Teresa’s aunt, Juliet, is waging a personal war against men in general, and her husband in particular. The same husband she was defending when he attempted to rape Teresa.
A few weeks ago he announced that he wanted out of their 25 year marriage because he was in love with another woman and wanted to marry her. In fact, she was already pregnant for him. He tried to evict Juliet from their Karen home, but that is when he got the first of many shocks. The house is registered under Juliet’s name. She paid for it.
When she married her husband, Aphaxard, he was a jobless graduate. He had a Bachelor of Art’s degree in sociology but he had failed to secure a job. At the time she was a junior civil servant. He was charming and caring, the exact opposite of her father. Her parents opposed the union, primarily because he was poor, but she held on.
She moved in with him, or rather he moved into her house and she soon became pregnant. She took a loan and started a hardware business for him, but he and his drinking buddies bankrupted it. So she found him a job at an NGO, through her connections at the Ministry of Finance where she was working. It wasn’t paying much, but it gave him the dignity of work.
Five years later she started a restaurant with him as the manager, but this time around she was careful to hire an accountant to handle the finances. The accountant reported to her. Over the years the business has expanded into a hotel chain and Aphaxard is the face of the business ownership. He is the Chairman of the Juaphax Group of Hotels. Juliet is content to stay in the background and focus on her career at the Ministry of Finance, or the Treasury as it is called these days, where she is now the Principal Secretary. But the actual management of the hotel is done by a team of professionals, led by the CEO Gerald Kithaka.
Juliet loves Aphaxard. She loved him when he had nothing and gave him status. And she still loves him now, which is why she is so bitter about his rejection and betrayal. How dare he leave her for a younger woman? And not just that, how could he attempt to throw her out of a house she bought without his help? That makes her even more angry and bitter. Now, thinking about it, the warning signs were there. She was suspicious of particular friendships with certain women in the course of the 25 years, but she could not imagine that he would cheat on her. Even when she caught him trying to rape her niece, she still could not imagine he would do anything like that. She was blinded by love.
Now she is consumed with bitterness. All she wants is revenge. She will make him pay. She has already kicked him out of the house, and he has moved in with his girlfriend in Lang’ata. She is in the process of kicking him out of the business. She is the majority shareholder, and Gerald, the only other director and shareholder, is under her thumb. She is not done with him yet, but first she will deal with that fool who dared to touch her niece. Perhaps standing up for her niece now will atone for the way she handled matters when she caught her husband trying to rape the little girl.
She arrives in Rongai in 45 minutes. She takes Teresa through the process of reporting the offence and getting examined by the doctor. They are given VIP treatment, since the cops know who she is.
Brian is still in his house smoking bhang someone knocks at the door. He is surprisingly not nursing a hangover, primarily because he did not drink yesterday. He was busy raping “that silly girl”. And to imagine she has promised to give herself to him voluntarily in the evening. Ha!
His gang mates are still not believing it. Yesterday they cautioned him against raping her because she has rich relatives, and rich relatives can cause problems. Many rich people are connected to powerful people who can destroy him. Money can buy anything and anyone.
“Her rich uncle tried to rape her. And her father also tried to rape her. She has nowhere to go. The worst she can do is go to the police and get me arrested. And if she does that, I expect you guys to get rid of her. If she is dead and they can’t find a body, they will have to release her. But relax, it won’t come to that. Once I sleep with her she will know what she is missing and surrender herself to me willingly,” he had boasted.
Now his prediction has come true. He should probably record their love making tonight so that the gang can believe.
“Who is it?” he asks. There is no answer, but a few minutes later, there is another knock. Probably one his friends fooling around. He rises from the bed and opens the door a little. A heavy boot kicks the door wide open.
What has he done to bring them here? It is months since he and his friends pulled off a robbery. In fact, they have just been planning another because they are running low on cash. Surely it can’t be…they had masks and gloves when they raided that M-PESA shop in Naivasha three months ago. They had been careful. They always are. There is no way they could have been identified.
Wait, Teresa. It has to be her. She must have gone to the police.
Unfortunately, he is still holding his joint. The police ransack his bedsitter looking for more and discover his pistol and more rolls of bhang. Everything in his house suddenly becomes suspicious. And it should be because he has never bought anything since he joined campus, with his clothes and shoes as the only exceptions. All his electronics are loot from robberies.
He and his friends have never been caught because they rob in places like Limuru, Kiambu, Thika, Murang’a and Naivasha. Far, but not too far. They target low security places like restaurants, M-PESA shops and isolated blocks of flats. They usually rob shops in the evening, when cashiers are counting money, but prefer to rob houses during the day when the owners are away at work. They escape using a stolen car which is usually dumped in some alley in the CBD. They normally return to Rongai separately using public means. They are yet to be caught. They are careful not to live too extravagantly so as not to arouse suspicion. That is why Brian lives in a bedsitter. But he has expensive electronics that his classmates can only dream about. And he can afford to spoil girls.
After 30 minutes of a search, he is thrown into the Land Rover and taken to the police station. He is allowed to make a call, and he uses the chance to call Joshua, the gang leader.
“She went to the Pharisees. Get me out of here,” he says.
Juliet wants Teresa to go with her to her house, but she says that since she had a morning class, and today is Thursday, it only makes sense for her to stay behind finish the class tomorrow then go Juliet’s house for the weekend.
“Okay then, I will drop you,”
“No it is okay, aunt. I will walk,”
“Will you be okay?”
“It is just 6.30 auntie. I will be fine,”
So after an early dinner at a new restaurant in Rongai, Juliet drives home and Teresa walks to her house. She opens the door and enters. When she switches on the light, her house is in a mess. Sufurias are all over. Her bedding is on the floor. Her clothes and books are strewn around.
There is a card on top of a heap of clothes and she picks it up. It is a blank card, with a message scribbled on it with a pen:
“Nobody ever gets a member of my gang arrested and gets away with it,”
Who did this and how did they enter her house? Is Brian a member of a gang? Why would they ransack the house? Just to pass a message?
She locks the door and calls her aunt. Juliet does not pick. Teresa thinks about going to spend the night with a friend. But she has no friends in Rongai. She should pack her change of clothes and go to her Juliet’s house in Karen.
As she is finishing packing, someone inserts a key into her door from the outside and turns the lock. She is so scared that she cannot even scream.
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