Synopsis: I tell a story of an opportunist whose life rotates around using men, taking risks like asking for lifts (hitch hiking), but this time, she stumbles upon a wrong one.
The car made the loud squeak as it was forced to make a sudden sharp turn. Off it headed in the opposite direction. Its speed increased by every minute like it was determined for victory in a car race. Save for this, the destination was unknown; at least for the only passenger in the car. Suubi sat on tenterhooks in the co-driver’s seat. Her eyes darted from the people outside to the road and back to the driver. She watched shockingly as he stepped aggressively on the accelerator with his heavy legs. He wore such a smirk on his face. As if saying, “I have got you now, what will you do mouse?” A mass of thoughts raced through Suubi’s mind. I cannot scream, this is a fast moving car no one will hear me. I should open the door and jump out. But no, I will die. The mere thought of her rolling over and over on the tarmac road in agony was traumatizing. I cannot stay in this car either; where is he taking me, for human sacrifice? Is he going to rape me? His evil smile only made Suubi’s desperate state worse.
He bent and searched the little space between his back and the chair. “What was he looking for? A gun? A knife? He pulled out a phone.
“Give me your phone number,” the stranger whom she had now learnt is called Marvin demanded. Suubi pretended not to have heard. She dreaded giving this stranger her contact yet she was afraid to refute his request lest the bear raves with madness. Marvin holding the steering wheel with one hand extended the phone to Suubi this time attempting to be a little polite.
“Put your phone number in here.”
Suubi looked at the phone, then at his face to capture his expression. She looked far into the road. She however kept observing him from the corner of the eye. Marvin clenched the phone and hit his fist on the wheel. He shook his head in disbelief as he added gear to the already fast moving car.
Suubi sank into her own thoughts wondering if this would end up like one of those tales she had read about in newspapers. Am I one of his victims? At that moment, Marvin broke the silence;
“What do you think I can do with your number huh? I have only asked for your number, is that too much to ask?
He spoke between his teeth. Every word came with difficulty. She stole a glance from his face and looked away again. Suubi found his stunt rather amusing. I am old enough to know that ‘is that too much to ask’ is an innocent phrase used to trap many naive girls. She thought. Like any good actress, she kept all her fears in. I cannot show this man that I am frightened. She swore to herself.
Suubi always held dear the lessons her mother had taught her. Today, what worked was one on why it is smart to keep your feelings to yourself until you have a clearly read on the kind of person you are dealing with.
After a long drive in silence, Marvin’s commanding hoarse voice interrupted Suubi’s thoughts again.
“I am out of fuel; do you have money on you?”
Her eyes popped in disbelief. How could a man ask her for money to fuel to fill his car? She wasn’t sure if the car stopping at the fuel station amidst the unpredictable journey was an opportunity for her to escape or a smooth fall into the devils claws. Marvin kept complaining about how he had forgotten to carry enough money to fuel his car.
“I cannot release money to a stranger,” she thought. In her life she has always been receiving money. “Why in the world would he be asking for money yet he took the wrong turn.”
“I do not have money. And, where are you taking me?” she demanded.
“To my house,” he said with a rather mischievous smile. Don’t you want to see where I live, huh? Don’t you want to find out what I do?
She replied him with a sharp piercing look. She was disgusted by his audacity to play on her mind. She hated that a man had outsmarted her for once in her life. She abhorred that she did not see this coming after the expertise of taking too many risks in her life. She had always managed to get away safely. On all of them she had fled unharmed like a gazelle escaping from a lion’s claws. Impressively she fled with no marks of claws on her. How did this happen? How would it end? Her mind drifted off to some of her past escapades.
One Friday night after work, it was about 9:30 pm. She dreaded the boredom of being home alone, with not even a television to keep her company. She had only transport back home and just enough to bring her back to work the next morning. Asking for a free ride seemed like the most feasible option should could use. As she walked through the parking lot, she noticed a new white car. Even better it was a Benz. There was a figure of a man in the driver’s seat. I should hurry and find out where he is going to before he heads for the main road. She took about ten well calculated big strands to reach the Benz. She bent a little, requested for the window to be lowered and inquired about his destination. She was almost confident he would say yes, and yes he said. Both Suubi and the stranger whom she believed was a colleague working in one of the many departments International Wire Packaging and Logistics were going to Kiwatule. Instead of the obvious Nakawa route he went through upper Kololo.
“I am avoiding the traffic jam,” he explained. Without waiting for a response, he went on to ask: which department are you working in?”
“I work in the I.T department. I am a system developer.”
“Oh, I love your brainpower. You know that is a section dominated by men for a long time. I love it when I see a woman using her brain.”
“Have you had dinner yet?”
“No, I will get something as I go home.”
“I do not want to cook. I want to eat before going home. I hope you don’t mind stopping somewhere for dinner. Are you on a hurry?”
“No,” she replied shyly. She somehow had no choice. It was his car; he could stop anytime and get anything without seeking her permission first. Inwardly, she was pleased with how he treated her. “This is what I deserve,” she thought. He drove to Sheraton Hotel in the city center. Suubi was so surprised, but she managed to keep it to herself.
“Come on, let us have dinner then go home.”
That was music to her ears. She had no supper for the night, and now she was going to be treated to a perfect buffet. The whole evening, Sam – as she had later learnt- was the perfect gentleman. He encouraged her to eat and showered her with many compliments. She was careful though. She maintained a tone of authority and professionalism keeping in mind that they worked in the same company much as he was in the technology department. Later, she insisted he drops her at a supermarket near home. She insisted that she had groceries to buy. She was not ready to show her place of residence to a perfect stranger. She dreaded familiarity from her workmates.
Another one of her favourite memories was when she first went to a bar. Tired and lonely she walked out of the office through the parking lot. One of her work mates happened to be driving away. He slowed down to offer a ride.
“Where are you headed?” Jay-Jay asked.
“At this time? Come on girl, it is a Thursday! Let us go have a little fun as we usher in the weekend. I see you are still young and damn sexy!” She noticed his two friends in the car ogling at her body. She wore a red body-hugging knee-length dress. It flattered her small hips and gave her a bold womanly look. She gave them a piercing intimidating look and declined the offer. Jay- Jay apologized for their behaviour and tipped them what kind of girl she is. They looked very apologetic. Now that she had set the boundary, she entered the car. Smitten, they all bowed for the ‘queen’. She enjoyed the treatment.
They went to Laviola, one of the latest bars in town. That is where all the snobs hang out. While there, no one bothered to coarse her to drink or ask her for a dance. She put up a perfect act for a first timer in a bar. Otherwise, she would have fallen prey to all. Jay-Jay later chauffeured her home.
Suubi,s mind wandered back to how her day had started; a Sunday morning bright and beautiful as always. She had stepped out of the house, walking head held high with a little cat walk through the drive way. She noticed a black SUV at the junction right at the corner of her house. Through the wind screen, she could see a fat man seated in the driver seat following her with his eyes. “I am looking gorgeous and I am definitely used to the stares” the thought ran through her mind as she balanced herself with pride on her shoulders to avoid eye contact with his mountain stranger. He hooted continuously until Suubi was nudged to look his way. He gestured her to come over and well Suubi did pave her way towards the SUV thinking he might be stuck and needs help. She moved over to attend to the stranger.
“Good morning,” Suubi said humbly. She was naturally polite, but the idea of being sharp was never escaped her mind.
“Good morning,” Where are you going ma’am?”
“Where do you pray from?”
“Kingdom of Believers Church in Najjera.” She did not know the church well, but had been convinced by a workmate to go to church that Sunday. It was her first attempt in five years to go to church.
“Where is that?”
“A turn on right, five kilometers off Kira road”
“Get in the car, let me take you.”
Suubi was hesitant; she was used to the lifts like these but today was different. She did not expect anything from him like money other than just to be dropped at church. She was so excited about going to church that she did not think twice about the stranger and his seemingly kind offer.
The generous man had turned out to be complicated. And complicated was not a new character trait to her more so because of the stories from her mother, the only reason she was able to live and love her herself and build the kind of esteem she had. Marvin was seemingly turning out to be one of those men in Mother’s stories.
In the next blog, find out where Suubi grew up. Is it her mother who loaded her with craftiness or was it her father?
Here is a sneak pick;
She was embarrassed and sorry to tell her daughter the story. Suubi on the other hand was sad and sorry that she was born out of rape. She was a bastard child in her father’s own family.
Suubi’s mother reveals how it all happened. You cannot afford to miss it! And in part three, how did the story end? Find out in my next blogs.