This story is one that I have not been able to get off my mind, because it is mine and it has caused me to willingly stay away from men for the past 10 to 15 years.
I tell this story with no passion because I don’t get excited thinking about it, or overwhelmed that it happened to me. I just want to tell this story without emotions and any attachment whatsoever so I won’t have to remember what it felt like to be rescued only to be enslaved, beaten and abused by so many men.
2002 – I decided to leave Washington D.C. after Homeland Security started harassing me to show them documents like my Liberian passport and so on. All my documents had expired before I had filed for permanent residency with the INS, who now wanted to know how that was possible.
“I came to the US when I was three years old, I don’t know how that is possible, ask my parents because they are the ones who brought me here,” I would shout over the phone whenever they (Homeland Security) called.
A friend I had met along the streets one night, six months earlier, had interest in sleeping with me for money and offered to take me to North Virginia on a skiing trip. I agreed with no hesitation because I had only seen skiing on television but had never tried it before. I followed him in hopes of learning how to ski and also keeping a low profile out of Homeland Security’s radar.
The road trip went smoothly. There were drinks, sporadic weed sessions and good music. There were some arguments occasionally whenever he brought up having sex with me: “I can’t wait to get up in there (have sex) when we reach,” he’d say over and over again. I felt angry and at 20, I can recall thinking how unfair it was to have sex in exchange for a good holiday experience.
Seven hours later, we arrived in the depths of Virginia and I was stunned by the beauty of the resort that had horses with saddles, tennis and horseshoe rings lined up. In front of us was a snow covered mountain and tons of exciting things that I knew we would get into on our four day spree there.
Hours later after exhausting ourselves sightseeing, we ended up in an exotic suite. The décor was satin all over and a bed that felt like a heaven cloud. I sank deep into the sheets, into sleep and then felt his hand rub against my leg.
I awoke angry.
“Why are you touching me,” I hissed.
“Oh, you think I will bring you way out here and not eat small thing?” he asked.
He had to be twenty years my senior. As an independent man who migrated from Liberia in the 80’s, he thought he was still young and had the game of romance that I wanted to see.
I angrily got up and tried to get away and that’s when he slapped me deep into my cheek. I had never felt a sting as humiliating and as sharp as the one he gave me that night. I retaliated by punching at his face and chest, all while trying to run to call the police. I was now afraid of him.
However, he didn’t care that I looked like a cat caught in a trap. He frantically tried to grab hold of his belt and began to hit me with it. Through our tugging and my tugs at his belt to keep him from landing any more blows to my bare skin, I managed to get out of the hotel room and ran for dear life.
I ran for hours and realized that I was going nowhere, there was not a house in sight and no cars. I dropped on my knees and gasped that God was my only refuge. I began praying while I cried my heart out.
Meanwhile, after more hours of walking, two days of sleeping off and on as I walked through the dusty and iced covered roads of Virginia, a car pulled up. There inside was a man who looked warm and welcoming. He seemed like he wanted to help without the explanation of why I looked so disgruntled. He happily swung his side door open and told me to get in.
This would be the last ride of my life.
Writer’s note: Buy your copy of the Daily Observer next week to find out what happened.