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True Confession: The Woman Who Raped Me 

By Stephen*

I want to thank Cameroon Postline sincerely for providing this avenue for people to unburden themselves of various types of psychological torments.

For about 21 years now, I’ve kept a dark secret, which has alternately made me feel humiliated, ashamed, angry, and debased. It is a story of a very perverted teenage girl who unscrupulously exploited a child, and then made him feel guilty for it. This “True Confession” should in fact have been written by her, but knowing just how devilish she has remained, I don’t expect her to come forward weeping out of remorse. My hope, however, is that if she reads this exposure of her misdeeds, it will prick her conscience and push her to repentance. If only I can achieve that, I will be very satisfied.

Pamela** was about 18-years-old (although I didn’t know her precise age), and I was aged 10 during the long holidays in 1990. At that time, I didn’t have a care in the world. Apart from hawking beignets fried by my mother around Biyem-Assi, Yaounde, early in the mornings, there was not much my parents expected me to do. I therefore had a lot of time on my hands. Running around with friends, playing football and going out on childish adventures constituted my small world of bliss. My memories of this period of my life are generally vague, but this particular holiday is imprinted in my mind.

It was a holiday when all the adults were excited or concerned about things I didn’t understand. My parents constantly whispered, looking worried, about change coming to Cameroon. At other times, I overheard them talking about relocating to Muyuka because there were rumours of an impending civil war, and Anglophones were going to be slaughtered in Yaounde. In later years, I understood that this was in the days following the bloody launching of the first opposition party in Cameroon, and many people were uncertain of the future.

My parents, like many adults, however, seemed to have temporarily overcome their fears when the FIFA World Cup kicked off in Italy. I loved playing football and my imagination of a World Cup in that sports discipline was a bit dizzying. After the first match of the World Cup in which Cameroon triumphed over Argentina, my excitement to watch the rest of the tournament knew no bounds.

Unfortunately for me, Pamela spoiled my party. She was a student in a boarding mission school, and her parents were role models to my parents. Both of her parents were clearly very successful; they were senior state functionaries, lived in a big house, rode big cars and travelled to London and other places from time to time. On the contrary, my parents lived in a Biyem-Assi ghetto, could only dream of one day owning a car, and would have considered boarding an airplane as probable as becoming president of Cameroon.

Once very month, my two older sisters (aged 14 and 12 at the time), my little sister (who was 17 months younger than I), and I were sent to Pamela’s parents’ home with foodstuff harvested from my parents’ farm in a village on the outskirts of the city. While there, we assisted in house chores and helped the gardener to weed the compound. Our reward was generally being allowed to watch a movie, an event which we looked forward to with a lot of alacrity. Although my parents owned a small black and white TV set, there was no VCR player (we called it deck) in our home.

In fact, my siblings and I watched the famous Cameroon – Argentina match at Pamela’s parents’ home because it was one of those days we took foodstuff there. It was at half-time when Pamela, who was rather reading a novel during all of the tension and excitement, proposed, in the presence of her parents, that she wanted to help me with my school work.

I did alright in school, and didn’t think I needed any help, especially during the holidays. But she insisted and pulled her mother into the discussion. Her mother thought it was a good idea. Before I knew it, Pamela was already drawing a study time-table. I silently resolved to simply not show up for those studies.

You can therefore imagine my consternation when two days afterwards, Pamela was at our home telling my parents about her plans to help me with studies. I protested angrily, knowing that I was in my territory and my parents were going to support me. But they thought it was for my good and in any case, they were not going to refuse an offer from the gentle-spirited Pamela (whom they treated as a goddess) and a family they held in such high esteem.

The following morning, my mother literally chased me from the house to go for studies. When I arrived at Pamela’s parents’ home, she explained to me that we were going to study in her bedroom upstairs, where we would not be disturbed or interrupted.

Shortly after we entered her bedroom, she asked to see my private part. I was horrified and was still contemplating how to react when she grabbed me, unzipped my trousers and peeked in. “Not bad for your age,” she said, her eyes twinkling with excitement. “Don’t tell me you are already doing it with those small girls in your school.” I was dumbfounded.

Then Pamela started to undress. I was shocked, scared and frantic. Completely naked, she asked me to undress as well.

‘Why?’ I cried desperately, her intentions beginning to dawn on me, having gathered some vague notions about sexual issues from the big boys in the ‘quartier’.

‘Just do as I say,’ Pamela commanded.

I just stood there like a statue, completely paralysed by the horrid situation.

She approached me seductively. This move triggered my adrenaline. I took quick backward steps until I was against the wall, close to the window. The door was on the opposite side of the room. She came slowly towards me, saying I shouldn’t be scared. That instead increased my horror. As she sent her hands to touch me, I pushed her violently, and tried to escape. The door was locked. I started banging at the door and screamed.

Nobody seemed to hear me.

‘Be sensible, Stephen,’ she entreated. ‘If you make noise and somebody comes up here, what will you explain?’

‘I’ll tell him what you’re trying to do!’ I cried.

‘Nobody will believe you. I’ll tell them you tried to make love to me,’ she threatened.

A thousand thoughts raced through my mind. What if my parents knew that I had been in a room with a woman, with both of us naked? What were they to think about me? What were they going to do to me? Could my parents possibly believe my own account, faced with the version of their goddess Pamela? It was going to be her word against mine, and my parents were going to take her side, I was sure. What if my parents knew that I already knew about sex? What if they thought I was already having sex with girls?

These thoughts were just too overwhelmingly petrifying. I burst into tears. Pamela noticed that I was shaken and came and stood close to me, cooing seductively: “Don’t worry, Stephen. Stop crying. If you cooperate, nobody will know. I’m only trying to teach you something that will be good for you.” She continued for a while afterwards, but I was only terrified.

Later, she took my hand, which I reluctantly let her have, and pulled me to the bed. She asked me to lie down, which I did. She gradually undressed me and tried to arouse me, but it did not work. I was only increasingly petrified as she did everything to make me relax. After some time, she gave up.

She told me very categorically that she expected me to be more cooperative in the next session, and warned that both her parents and mine were going to be informed that I tried to make love to her if I attempted to play hard ball.

As I returned home, my head felt as big as on oversize pumpkin. I couldn’t look at anybody in the face. I felt everybody knew I had been doing immoral things. I hardly slept that night.

The following day, Pamela was all smiles when I arrived at their house for studies. She was on the veranda when the gate was opened for me. She rushed towards me and gave me a tight bear hug. It was around 10:00 a.m. and her parents were both at work.

When we got to her room, it was like she was organising a party. The table was full of niceties – biscuits, fruit juice, doughnuts, cake, fried chicken, and sandwich. She told me not to worry about yesterday’s incident. She had not told anybody about it, she explained. She did what she did because she loved me very much. I should just relax and eat.

Reluctantly, I ate. She said she wanted to feed me like a baby, and despite my objection, that is what she did. After some time, she managed to get us to be sitting on the bed. Before I realised it, my head was on her laps. She unbuttoned my shirt and proceeded to my trousers, all the while doing unprintable things. To cut a long story short, I left Pamela’s room that day having lost my innocence.

For two days, I left the house immediately after returning from selling beignets, claiming to go for studies, but just loitered around the city and returned home. I avoided my friends and playmates, fearing that they would read from my face how unclean I had become.

As I entered the house after my wanderings on the second day, Pamela was sitting with my mother in the living room, discussing. My heart nearly gave way.

My mother leaped to my throat screaming, squeezing and punching me. “Where are you coming from? Have you joined bad company? Why do you disgrace me so? This child will kill me in this Yaounde.”

My sisters and Pamela rushed to restrain my mum, who seemed intent on squeezing life out of me. As soon as I was freed, I fled. I was hanging around at the corner of the street, scared to death, when I saw my eldest sister approaching.

“You are very lucky that Pamela was in the house today,” she began. “If not of her, mama would have chased you out of the house.”

According to my sister, Pamela had explained to my mum that I had been very serious in the first two study sessions. Perhaps I had been derailed by bad friends. She was sure I will come around if she spoke to me. The evil princess made my mother promise that she was going to let the matter drop, and let her, Pamela, handle it. My mother concurred.

But my mother did not keep her promise. When I returned home, she insisted to know the friends who derailed me. When I couldn’t give names, I received another round of beatings. If not of the intervention of my father, I would probably have ended up in a hospital bed.

The next day, I saw myself against my wish going again to Pamela’s parents’ home for studies. For a few days, she tried to entertain me with food and drink, but did not attempt anything untoward. We even studied a bit. I was actually beginning to believe that she had changed when it all started again. For the next couple of weeks, Pamela sexually abused me over and over again.

Since then, I have found it very difficult to trust women. Although for reasons quite mysterious to me, women easily get attracted to me to the point of harassment, I am just unable to empathise enough with any of them to truly fall in love. As a consequence, my romantic relationships so far have been rather casual. I try to rationalize that one bad woman is not representative of the entire womenfolk, but subconsciously, I just can’t bring myself to trust women.

I since resolved to get help from a psychologist, but I’m yet to bring myself to do it.

As for Pamela, her misdeeds don’t seem to have left any emotional scars on her. She eventually became a serial husband snatcher. A couple of years after my ordeal with her, she snatched her best friend’s husband shortly after their wedding, during which she served as chief bridesmaid. After living with the man for a few years abroad, I learnt, she dumped him and snatched the white husband of a Ghanaian woman who had befriended her.

For years, I decided to avoid any news about Pamela. But some months ago, I couldn’t help googling her name. I found her on Facebook. She looked much older than I would have imagined, but it was her all right. Her smiling Facebook portrait however pricked me like a thousand arrows. I wished I could take away that smile from her face as easily as she stole my innocence and blighted my heart forever. However, I still hope to one day find space in my heart to forgive her.

*Name withheld by the editor to protect the identities of the persons mentioned in this true story

**Not her real name. The editor changed the name to protect her identity

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