Nothing about the night was scary. It wasn’t my firsttime being out and alone in an empty street so therereally was nothing to fear. I sang not loudly, and notto myself but loud enough for anyone sleeping nearthe window of any house I passed by to hear.
I was miles away from the club and in an especiallydark street with very few oil lamps outside when Isaw a man sitting alone on a stone by the side of thenarrow road and smoking a cigarette.
It wasn’t my first time seeing such a thing, and I didn’t react differently or strangely to it in any way. I greeted the man but he didn’t answer and continued to sing my my song as I walked past him.
The night air was great, and it was my birthday. No one would celebrate it for me or with me and I took it upon myself to have the best of my days on my birthday. It wasn’t my first time being late out at that time of the night and I wasn’t actually expecting it to be my last or any such thing. The night looked totally harmless and not the kind of night for a rape, so I ignored the whistle I heard from the cigarette man I had just passed and kept walking.
As I told you before, I wasn’t far from home anymore and that above all things kept me calm. But suddenly, two men jumped out of nowhere and planted themselves in my path. I smiled and greeted them, thinking they were just a couple of boys who lived on the street and had to make a living by begging for money.
They didn’t exactly look like boys or like they needed my money, but it was my birthday and the night was beautiful and I was in such a good mood. The men didn’t answer me and I tried to move out oftheir way but they blocked me again and again and again and I stopped trying to.
They were starting to get on my nerves. I opened my purse and took out all the money I had in it. I stretched it to them and at first they exchanged glances like they weren’t going to take it, then one took it and I had just sighed out of relief when the other one snatched my purse. It was a pearl purse I bought myself four years ago with my hard earnedmoney and I wasn’t going to just stand by and watch them take it.
I tried to snatch it back from the one who had taken it but I couldn’t, and it was then that I noticed movement behind me. I turned around and found three other men standing behind me. This was starting to get serious. I felt fear tug somewhere at the back of my heart but I tried to mask it so they wouldn’t notice it.