I closed my eyes in thanks and hoped he wouldn’t try again. But he did. And this time he didn’t miss. I felt him connect with that thin barrier I was taught existed between girlhood and womanhood. I felt him heave against it. I felt him break through it. I felt a sharp pain, quick and passing. And then a dull throb as he started to move inside me. I felt a tear run down my cheek, as the enormity of what had just happened hit me. And then it was over. He hurriedly pulled out of me and strained in silence, his hand collecting whatever it was that he had been thoughtful enough not to deposit inside me. As he tried to get his breathing back to normal, I kept my eyes closed. I didn’t want to look at him. I was ashamed and hurt and angry at the same time. I waited for him to move back into his seat, and quietly righted my clothes.
He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, and breathed a heavy sigh. I waited in silence, wondering what platitudes he was going to offer. I definitely wasn’t going to accept any one of them because what he had done was inexcusable. Just as I was mulling over that fact, a campus security van pulled up beside the car.
“Identify yourself!” the policeman in the passenger seat shouted, shining a torch straight into our eyes. I blinked several times and then squeezed my eyelids shut against the glare. My boyfriend sat up in his seat and wound the window down.
“Good evening sir.” He said. “We’re students.”
“Where is your ID card?” the policeman demanded.
I didn’t have mine, because when I left my room, I hadn’t planned on identifying myself to anybody. But my boyfriend had his, which he always left in the car. As he reached for it, the policeman stepped out of the vehicle and tried to open the driver’s door. But it was locked. I always made sure car doors were locked no matter what car I was in. So I had used the central locking system when I had gotten into the car at the hostel. After several unsuccessful tries at opening the door, the policeman loudly demanded that the door be opened.
My boyfriend thrust his hand out the window with his ID card, shouting frantically that we were indeed students.
“Where is her own ID card?” the man asked, gesturing towards me. I was starting to say that I didn’t have mine when a knock at my window startled me nearly out of my skin. I hadn’t noticed the other officer get out of the vehicle and walk over to my side.
“Come down from this vehicle now.” He shouted, again grabbing at the door handle and simultaneously knocking on the window. “You people will be bringing prostitutes into the school and pretending they are students.”
“But officer,” my boyfriend protested. “She is a student, a first class student of this school. We are just coming back from class where we went to read for the exam we have tomorrow.”
“You think I was born yesterday? My friend, you better get out of this car now before I break the glass.”
All of this time, I was mute, probably in shock at all that was happening. It almost felt like an out of body experience. I was looking on the situation in amazement and utter disbelief. Was this even happening, or was this a weird coffee-induced dream? I saw my boyfriend reach for the ignition and start the car. Then I saw one of the officers bring out a gun.
“My friend, if you move that car, you will be sorry for yourself.” He said.
“Emeka, please don’t drive off. I’ll come down from the car.” I told my boyfriend, fear making my voice tremble.
“No. These guys are crazy. What if they do something to you?”
A small smile crossed my lips as I wondered at his being able to miss the fact that even with him just a few moments ago, I hadn’t been safe. I shook my head at the irony.
“I’m sure they’ll be calmer if we just do as they say.” And I unlocked the door and stepped out.
I saw my boyfriend get out the car as well, and start to say over and over again “Oga, we’re students. She’s a first class student, top of our class. We’re coming from night reading.”
The second officer grabbed me by the shoulder and pushed me towards the security van.
“Oya, enter!” he said, indicating that I should climb in the back of the van. There was yet another policeman in the back of the van and he watched as I clumsily climbed in, chuckling as I stumbled and then hissing.
“You dey do like say you be ole. If na to climb man now, you no go fall down. Stupid girl.”
I could still hear my boyfriend protesting and trying to make the officers see reason. I wished he would just shut up because I wasn’t particularly interested in the whole world knowing that a first class student had been picked up loitering and put in the back of a security van the night before she had an important exam. Even worse would be the fact that she had been caught with her boyfriend, and even if the officers hadn’t seen us making out or having s*x, they would have assumed that was what we had been up to. No one would believe me if I told them that it had just been my first time.
“Bros, enter your car, make we dey go station.” I heard an officer say to my boyfriend as the other one got in the cab of the van and started it.