Shortly after Vanessa fainted, Henry became very scared and didn’t know what to do. He rushed to where she laid and shouted her name severally but there was no response. He started panicking and quickly got dressed to take her to the hospital, but before he could jack her off the floor, she opened her eyes.
“Babe! Babe! Can you hear me? What happened?” Henry nervously asked but Vanessa burst into tears. “Why are you crying?” He curiously asked, “I saw him” she replied sobbing, “You saw who?” Henry asked, “The person that raped me” she replied. Henry was very confused and didn’t know what she was saying but didn’t want to probe further. He felt she needed to rest so he consoled her and told her to go to bed.
Throughout that night, Henry couldn’t sleep. He kept thinking of why Vanessa fainted and why she had that sort of crisis at the exact moment they were about to make love. “There’s so much to be done before Vanessa truly lets go of her past” he thought to himself. He was scared because neither Vanessa nor himself could control the way she reacts to the visions of the day she was raped. He wished they didn’t have to deal with everything they were going through. He felt sad, knowing that he couldn’t enjoy his relationship the way he wanted to.
The next day, Henry had to leave early to get some medicines for Vanessa. On his way to the pharmacy, he kept thinking of a solution to Vanessa’s problem, “I think I should pay her therapist a visit” he said to himself.
On his way back from the pharmacy, he decided to visit the therapist before heading home. When he got to her office, he told the receptionist he needed to see the doctor and that it was urgent. He was made to wait and after a little while, he was called upon. “Hello, my name is Henry and I’m Vanessa’s friend” He said, “I know who you are, I have heard so much about you” the therapist said and told him to sit down. “What brings you to my office?” She asked, “I have a situation and I have come to you for help” he replied, “What’s the problem?” The therapist asked, “It’s about Vanessa, she keeps having visions from the day she was raped and it affects our intimacy, yesterday she fainted and I got so scared and that’s why I have come to you for help” he calmly said.
The therapist was mute for a while and told him that she doesn’t discuss her clients issues with a third party except the client is present. Henry begged her and told her to counsel him as though he was talking about someone else, he told her that he was getting frustrated and didn’t know anyone else to go to.
His words touched the therapist and she said “The only remedy that can put an end to Vanessa’s visions from that day would be for her to confront her rapist. The reason the mental pictures from that day keeps tormenting her is because she hasn’t forgiven him yet, and it would be a hard one because there has to be a confrontation between the rapist and herself before the forgiveness can take place. The rapist doesn’t necessarily need to apologise for the forgiveness to take place, she can choose to forgive him even without his apology, but the most vital thing is that there has to be a confrontation between them”.
Henry was numb and didn’t know what to say to the therapist. “It’s time for you to leave, it was nice having you” the therapist said, “But what if there is never a confrontation, are you saying that Vanessa would never fully heal? He asked as he got up from where he sat. The therapist looked at him and said “The wound of the soul is different from the wound of the flesh. You can see one but can’t see the other, the wound of the flesh heals faster and covers back but the other takes almost forever to heal and hardly goes back to normal. Vanessa has been wounded in her soul, I don’t think you know what it means for someone to take something precious from you without your consent. Sex is more powerful than we think and the rapist forced himself on her, he took her will and crushed it, he made her helpless. You don’t have an idea of how much damage he has caused her by that single act. I plead with you to try and be there for her whether she heals fully or not, because no one deserves such trauma and pain.
Henry became very emotional, he thanked the therapist for her wise counsel and headed home. On his way home, he almost teared up. He felt so bad for everything Vanessa was going through and prayed to God for the strength to be there for her always.
He finally arrived at his house and Vanessa was so happy to see him. She ran and gave him a hug and kissed his forehead. Henry looked at her and tears fell of his eyes, “Baby why are you crying?” Vanessa asked, “Nothing babe, I just love you that’s all” he said. Vanessa hugged him the more and apologised for what happened the night before. Henry told her it was ok and also apologised too. They entered inside and Henry handed the medicine he bought to her.
Days turned to weeks and weeks tuned to months. Their relationship kept waxing strong but Henry decided not to touch her again. Some days she wanted to feel like a woman and wanted Henry to touch her but he always declined and never went beyond kissing. It affected their intimate life but Henry was ready to make that sacrifice till they got married or till she confronted her rapist. He didn’t want another fainting situation again.
They talked about it several times and Henry made it clear to her as to why he made the resolution of not touching her again. Vanessa understood from his angle and kept going for her therapy sessions so she could heal completely.
One fateful evening, Henry went to pick her up after her therapy session. On their way back, they had to make a stop at the filling station to buy fuel urgently. As they joined the queue, Vanessa was on her phone and wasn’t paying much attention to what was happening at the filling station. The queue moved slowly till it got to their turn.
“Madam please put your phone off for safety measures” a voice from the window said. She immediately raised her head to see who was talking and her eyes jammed with that of the fuel attendant. She dropped her phone in shock as flashes from the day she was raped began to pop up. She opened her eyes wide open and started stammering, “You! It’s you” she said. The fuel attendant was confused, same with Henry.
“Baby what’s it?” Henry asked, “Baby it’s him” she said, “It’s who?” Henry asked, Vanessa looked at him with tears in her eyes and said “This is the guy that raped me!”.
End of episode 6.
Stay tuned in few hours to see what happened next.
Story by Sonia Okehie
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