Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Me Too

We've done character intros for Zawadi and Ben, today we're gonna meet Anders. In honor of girls and boys everywhere who are victims of society's failure to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence, we're gonna see how Anders lost his virginity.


Anders was tall, gangly, not yet grown into his six foot plus body and very naive. His mother was proud that at sixteen years old, her son wasn't out there drinking mnazi and wasting his days. He was home every day after school, helped his sister with housework without complaining and was such a great support to her. During the weekends, when she had to leave them to go to Namanga for business, she knew she was leaving the market stall in good hands. Anders was always ready to help, ready to keep an eye on Zawadi; curb her more...adventurous tendencies.
So when he asked if he could go on a school trip to Lamu Island, she looked for the money till she found it. St. Charles Lwanga mixed day and boarding school was a Catholic establishment. They would make sure nothing bad happened to her boy when he was away from her. 
She was aware of Anders' effect on people. 
His height, cafe au lait clear complexion, long curly hair, his huge amber eyes, and prominent cheekbones...it caused people to look twice at him. 
Maybe three times.
Anders never seemed to notice though. She and Zawadi would sometimes exchange knowing glances when Anders was serving a customer at the stall. They always seemed to have a lot of questions to ask him, many of them nothing to do with the curios they were allegedly buying - both tourists and locals alike, female and male. Anders was always patient and polite, answering their endless questions with a smile. He always made a sale.
Anders' class would be staying overnight in Lamu at a tourist lodge. They would be accompanied by two teachers. It would be alright.
His classmates called him mzungu, which Anders found ironic since a lot of them were lighter skinned than him. But he was a half-caste Maasai and Norwegian, and they were full Waswahili so...them was the breaks. He didn't really mind, it wasn't said in any way that was nasty. He had two close friends in his class; Mo and Ali. They had kind of adopted him on his first day of school and now they were practically the three musketeers. They were all very excited about the trip. The first time for many of them - including Anders - that they would be staying in a hotel.
It was all the teachers could do to get the boisterous lot of them to check in without exploding with ebullience. Finally, they all had their keys - they were sleeping three to a room - and they all ran off to put their bags away. They had a full day of learning ahead and the buses were waiting. As one of Kenya's oldest continually inhabited towns and one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage site, there was a lot to learn from the town.  They had a full day's itinerary planned starting from Manda Island and ending with Lamu museum. 
When they got back to the hotel, their high energy was flagging, no matter how much fizzing enthusiasm they might have, the kids were hot, hungry and tired. They were sent off to their rooms for a shower and a nap, but most decided to go swimming instead.
Anders wore his beach shorts and jumped in the pool with his friends, reveling in the coolness of the water. There were a number of tourists sunbathing poolside but the kids ignored them and they, in turn, ignored the kids. Well...most of them ignored the kids. One man couldn't help noticing the tall gangly kid with the soft looking hair and the softer eyes. The open smile, the broad shoulders tapering down to a slim waist. The long legs splashing through the water as he laughed with his friends. His long fingers that looked like they might be long enough to reach interesting places...He sat up, putting his magazine down and just watched them.
The teachers came to collect them for supper and Anders was more than ready to eat. It would not have been an exaggeration to say he was starving. Mo and Ali were equally excited about getting to choose whatever they wanted from the buffet. However much they wanted to eat! It was an orgasmic time.
After dinner, the students were allowed to sit in the lounge or go to their rooms. The rule was everybody in bed by 10 am. Anders and his pals could live with that.
"Let's go for a walk on the beach." Mo said.
"Hakuna wezi?" Ali asked, inquiring on the presence of thieves.
"Ahh, no. Hapa ni Lamu, such things don't happen here," Anders assured them breezily.
So they went walking on the beach, the moon was full creating a spooky effect on the water. It was ethereal and eerie and Anders shivered, just a bit.
"Hello," a voice said from behind them and they all jumped, spinning around fists up, ready to fight.
"Ey, relax. I saw you guys walking and thought I would join you. I'm at the same hotel as you." 
The boys put their fists down. It was just some old, fat white guy. 
"I am Rogers. What are your names?" he asked holding out his hand to be shaken.
They told him as he shook hands. Anders had to pull a bit to get him to let go, but he dismissed it as Rogers just being overfriendly with the light-skin. They walked for a bit longer and then Rogers offered to buy them drinks at the bar of the hotel.
"No-" Anders said just as Mo and Ali both said, "Yes-"
"You guys are Muslims, you're not supposed to drink," Anders pointed out.
"Oh we're not drinking alcohol, "Mo said exchanging glances with Ali, "He didn't say alcohol he said drinks."
Anders pursed his lips but went along with them. When Rogers asked what they were having, he said Fanta. Mo had some sort of fruity cocktail and Ali took a virgin mojito. Rogers sat with them, asking them questions about school and their families. 
"I've been greatly interested in sponsoring a local boy to university, " he said looking at Anders, "Would any of you be looking for such a once in a lifetime opportunity?"
Mo was all over that like a cheap suit, and Rogers asked him questions like he might actually be serious like how his grades were and which university he wanted to attend. Anders sipped his Fanta.
Ali looked at his watch, "Time for bed, guys," he said.
"Oh," Rogers said looking disappointed, "You have to go now?"
The three boys all stood up, "Yes we have a curfew."
"Okay, but I have some brochures and business cards in my room. Why don't we go there first so I can give them to you?"
"Okay," Mo said just as Anders said, "We can't.."
"Ah come on Mzungu, it's only a few minutes!" Mo cajoled, "We won't be in trouble."
Anders sighed, "Fine. But we better hurry up. My mom will kill me if I get suspended."
Ali just laughed and they followed Rogers to his room.

 Rogers was fumbling with some papers on his nightstand. He urged the boys to just have a seat while he was looking for, whatever.
Mo had made himself comfortable in the chair, going so far as to switch on the TV. Ali was looking around curiously while Anders sat at the edge of the bed nearest the door.
"I had them here...somewhere," Rogers mumbled. He picked up a piece of paper and turned around. Digging his wallet out of his pocket he removed a thousand shilling note.
"I can only find one copy. You Mo and Ali, could you go to the front desk and ask them to make copies? Keep change."
Mo was up in a flash but Ali was there before him, reaching for the money. Anders stood up as well. 
Rogers made a 'sit back down' gesture with his hands, "Anders you stay. You don't need three people to photocopy a sheet of paper, and I wanted to ask you a few questions."
"Umm," Anders said not really on board with this plan but Mo and Ali were already leaving. Anders watched the door slam behind them in surprise. His reactions seemed to have slowed a bit, and his head felt a bit woozy. He turned in surprise to find Rogers sitting right next to him, hand on his knee.
"Alone at last," he said and smiled.
Anders tried to stand up, to move away, but his body wasn't cooperative.
"What..?" he tried to ask but his tongue was so heavy in his mouth. Suddenly there was another tongue in his mouth and a hand on his crotch.
He stiffened trying to push Rogers away. But his hands were so weak.
Rogers was pushing him down onto the bed, pushing down his shorts. Anders tried to fight in earnest but he had no strength in his limbs. They would not obey him.

'What did you do to me?'  he thought frantically - his head the only part of him apparently still in his control.
'It's because he knows you're a dirty fag' a voice said in his head, one that sounded a lot like Akasha - Zawadi's father.
Whatever the man did to him, it hurt like a motherfucker. But the hurt dimmed beside the helplessness he was feeling. The guilt in his head telling him this was all his fault, he asked for this, why did he even come here.
He heard knocking on the door, and somewhere inside he sighed with relief and horror. His teachers had come to rescue him perhaps? He didn't want them to see him like this!
He lay on the bed, unable to move his hands so he could pull up his shorts, or pull down his shirt. The man - Rogers - opened the door a bit. Whoever was there he wasn't going to let them in.
"Oh, your friend?" Anders heard him say, "He left already. He wanted to go to bed."
Footsteps going away.
Ali and Mo were going to leave him to the mercy of this monster. 
Nobody would save him.
Anders tried to lift his hand, to move.
"Shh, don't worry. It will have worn off by morning. You probably won't remember a thing," the man said.
He then proceeded to take his shorts off, and lift his legs up in the air, "Just...relax," he said with a groan.
Anders would have screamed if his vocal chords would have cooperated.
'Help me, help me, help me.'

"Where can he be?" Mo asked as they entered the room.
Ali said nothing.
Mo turned to him, eyebrows raised.
"Maybe we shouldn't have left him alone with that man," Ali said softly.
Mo's eyes widened, "What are you saying?"
"Let's go back. Let's go back and ask him where Anders is."Ali said.
Mo stared at his friend who avoided his eyes. 
They went back and knocked, and knocked.
"What?" Rogers irritated voice said from behind the door.
"Anders is not in our room. Which way did you say he went?" Mo asked not bothering to keep his voice down.
Rogers opened the door, "I don't know where he went, now go away." he said.
Ali reached out and held the door as Rogers tried to close it, "Sir, this could be a police case if you don't help us. Anders dad is a mzungu also. Ebu tell us where he is."
Rogers' face blanched and he became pale, "He drank some alcohol and passed out. I didn't want to expose him but he's still here, sleeping." he said.
Ali stepped closer, "We'll take him to the room. It's okay," he said and pushed the door open wider so he could step past Rogers. He swallowed as he saw Anders curled up on the bed like a discarded rag doll. He pulled at Anders' unresponsive hands glancing at Mo to help him. Together they maneuvered Anders onto his feet, dragging him to the door.
"Oh, and here is your change," Ali said flinging it at Rogers.
"No, it's okay, keep it," Rogers said.
"No thanks," Ali said as they pulled Anders away.
Rogers was right, Anders didn't remember a thing in the morning. Mo and Ali never said a word.
He was still never the same though.


In Search of Paradise available for preorder now.
All pre-order proceeds go to the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
When I first suspected I was pregnant, I went to a Mayo Clinic near my apartment for a checkup. I told the doctor my suspicions and he asked me to strip. He was very skeptical of my self-diagnosis so I thought maybe he needed to do an ultrasound or something. He did not give me a hospital gown but told me to lie down on the bed. 
There was no nurse.
He then began to probe me.
Even with all my prior experience of men being trash, it didn't occur to me that a doctor in a reputable clinic would take advantage of me in such a way. He touched my boobs, my vagina...and then he told me that yes, I was pregnant. He told me to get dressed and come back for a checkup at a later date.
It was only when I thought about it later that I realized that I had been violated. 
This is just one story. I have several hundred.
What about you?

No comments: