It was a Monday morning, and I was on a commercial bus going to CMS on my way to the Island in Lagos. Fifteen minutes into the journey, I heard a hot slap, it sounded as if someone had aggressively hit a pair of bathroom slippers on the floor.
We all turned our heads to the back seat and saw a young woman screaming at a man: “how dare you touch my breast?”
“What happened?” we all asked. Then the woman began her story.
“This man sitting beside me here has been touching my breast thinking I was sleeping. The first time, I assumed it was a mistake because the bus is tight. The second time, I felt his hand grope my left breast, so I became alert. The third time, he was rubbing my right breast in a circular motion. That was when I had to react.”
As the accused tried to stand and defend himself, the lady stood up and dared to slap him again. Behold, she was pregnant! That was when the bus was suddenly divided into three groups.
One group insisted that it wasn’t possible for a man to touch a lady in a public vehicle in such a manner.
“What kind of lie is that? How will a full-grown man with beards be touching the breast of a pregnant woman in broad daylight? Does she have diamonds in her breasts? If it was in the night I might believe her. You people should always reason before supporting anything you hear!” One man said.
The second group was in support of the pregnant woman. “Ogbeni, what do you mean? How can a heavily pregnant woman say a man was rubbing her breast and you don’t want us to believe her?” A young man shouted.
“Why should we believe her? He touched her the first time, the second time and the third time before she shouted. That means she was enjoying it all along and was probably angry that the man may not even be rubbing it well.” The first man said. He was unofficially the leader of the first group while his supporters were repeatedly saying ‘yes’.
More voices had joined the argument and threats were dished out in between.
The third group was indifferent because they claimed no other person saw it happen.
“This is Lagos. A lot of people are not normal in this city. I’m not sure there are more than seven of us that are still normal here.” A voice said, chuckling a little before his voice was swamped by the other two opposing groups.
“How person go dey waka around Lagos with konji? I tire for some people, honestly!” A lady kept on saying, hinging the actions of the accused on lack of sexual satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the bus was still moving while the uproar was ascending from soprano to descant. After some minutes, an elderly woman managed to make peace between the two parties and normalcy returned. When we got to the last bus top, I watched as everyone walked away in different directions. In different directions came my thoughts too about the incident.
In a world where the female gender is constantly at the risk of getting molested, unfortunately, their claims are often trivialized. A lot of times, the victim is either shamed or silenced.
Although there have been reports of false accusations of rape and molestation in a bid for revenge or some other inhumane reasons by some women. It will still not erase the fact that the risk and possibility of being sexually assaulted are still very high.
A wise woman once said, “when a child is constantly crying and pointing at a particular place, it is either the father or mother is there”.
About The Writer
Onyinye Ubah is a Nigerian storyteller, budding screenwriter and poet. She studied Mass Communication at Nnamdi Azikiwe University. She runs a storytelling blog www.onyinyeubah.com where creative people share their creative journey. Her debut novel is on the way.
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