Do we really have the power to say no to cupid when it strikes? I am saying this because the next story, as bizarre as it sound makes me worry about how strong love can be—when it strikes, you find yourself saying yes to someone you ordinarily would have said no to.

Lara’s (not real name) story may be very short; but it is shocking and goes to show the kind of things that happen in our society…

My name is Lara (not real name) and I am here writing this because I have no control over my emotions. I should be witnessing against the man who forcefully deflowered me and stole my innocence away; but here I am trying to find out if I am mentally alright.

At 17, and on a day I wrote my last paper in college, I was raped while on my way home. It was supposed to be a day of joy, but turned out to be one of mixed blessings. It tuned out that I decided to say hi to a couple of friends on my way home from school that day when I got accosted by Victor (not real name). Victor started asking me out on a date since I got promoted to SS1 (Senior Secondary School); but my answer remained no. However, it never stopped us from being friends because he remained a nice guy despite my attitude.

Call it lack of experience or foolishness on my part; my decision to accept Victor’s invitation to visit him at home on my way from school that fateful day was uncalled for. By the time I was leaving his house that evening, he had already raped me. How it happened is what I still can’t explain at the moment; but I got home that day with blood spot on my undies.

Though, it hurts that Victor raped me; the fact that I have been developing some kind of unexplainable feelings for him is what I can’t explain. It’s been over two years since that incident happened, and Victor and I have some kind of affection towards each other; but that deep feeling of being raped runs deep inside of me.

How do I get it off my head?