Then out of nowhere, chains started rattling and I heard shouts of “They’re coming! They’re coming o. Ye! Ye! Ye! Help me please!”
It was the ‘mad’ girl, thrashing around, looking in the direction of the door and getting very agitated. My boyfriend jumped up with a start and went looking in the direction of the door to find out what she was shouting about. I folded myself further into my corner, for I didn’t want to see whatever was coming. I had thought the night couldn’t have gotten any worse, and now here I was, awaiting an unknown terror.
“Heys! Shut up dia!” the orderly snapped at the girl. “Stop disturbing everybody. Mad person.” And he hissed.
Still, she thrashed around, trying to run further into the bowels of the rather small building. But she had been chained to a rung in the anti-burglary fixtures of the window, so she couldn’t get very far. I realized with relief, that she just wasn’t alright in the head, and that for the time being, nothing was coming to ‘catch’ me on this bizarre night. So I moved a little further away from her, and tried to continue with my sorry attempt at studying. My boyfriend sat back on his side of the room and sulked.
They let us go around 5.30am that morning. The patrol officers just came back and said we could leave. One of them admonished me, advising me not to follow “all these stupid boys”. I nodded in agreement, totally in alignment with him on that one. We walked silently to the car and I got in, wincing slightly as I landed heavily in the seat. It was a deathly silent drive back to the hostel and I barely waited for him to pull to a complete stop before I flew out of the car. I think I heard him call my name, but I can’t be too sure. I ignored the knowing, oversabi look that the security man at the gate house gave me. He had seen me when I left, so he was probably judging. But he was the least of my problems. I went to my room, dropped my note on my bed, stripped down to my panties, picked up my bucket and toiletries and went to the bathroom.
When I took off my panties in the privacy of the bath stall, I saw the evidence of innocence lost – a dull red stain that made me weep. It pained me that I had lost it in such an unceremonious manner, in the front seat of a car and without my full consent. It pained me that I hadn’t even had a chance to recover from it before having to shove it aside and deal with being detained. It pained me that in all of what had happened, my boyfriend hadn’t thought it necessary to apologize. I scrubbed like I was trying to get the devil off me. But it didn’t change how I felt. Ashamed. Used. Dirty. Above all, I felt sad; a deep, deep sorrow, for the child that was now gone.
By the time I got back to my room, my bunkie was awake. I said a cheery good morning and got dressed, ready for class. I was determined to pretend that the night had just been a figment of my imagination. I picked up the same notebook that had followed me to ‘detention’ and I went to the faculty building. I was an hour and forty five minutes early for the exam, but I needed the peace and quiet to pull my thoughts together and do some last minute cramming.
I never told anyone what happened. It would have been way too embarrassing. And I refused to discuss the incident with my boyfriend – who by the way became my ex-boyfriend almost immediately after that. I never told him that I had written a fake name in the security log book. And I secretly hoped he would get singled out and severely punished for ‘loitering’. As for the mad girl, I didn’t know what became of her, but she would always be a part of my life, because I would always remember her every time I thought of the night I lost my virginity. And maybe the memory would fade as I got older. Maybe I would forget it eventually, though I doubted it. It was certainly one of the most memorable moments in my life, but not in a good way. Definitely not in a good way…