Chisom and Azubuike were colleagues at Ivory Merchant Bank. They first sighted each other amongst the multitude that thronged the bank's headquarters in response to a paid advertisement for vacancies to be filled.
To Azubuike, besides the fact that she was fair skinned and strikingly beautiful, there was something just different about her which he couldn't place his hands on. Chisom only took note of him when she caught him staring hard at her, which made her quite uncomfortable. She decided to move out of his view and asked someone close by to make room for her to do so. Since he was within her ear shot, he heard her sweet melodious voice and quickly made a mental note to use that as a cue whenever he decided to make a pass at her. Fortunately, they were both among the few that scaled through the first stage of the bank's written test.
By the time they came back for the second stage of the written test, Azubuike decided to make the pass. Chisom thought it preposterous that he would prefer to chase frivolities rather than face an important and defining moment in his life. She of course turned down his request. But this deter him; he was bent on getting a positive answer. He changed tactics and decided to be friendly.
If there was one thing Chisom would rather not do, it was to be anything but friendly with Azubuike. Not one brought up to be rude to people, in order to drive home her point, she agreed to speak to him only when it was absolutely necessary, albeit grudgingly. The second, third and fourth stages of the interview-written, oral and medical respectively- were a walk-over for both of them and at the end of the rigorous exercise, they ended up among the few that got employment in the bank.
This was an opportunity on a silver platter for Azubuike and he utilised it to the fullest. But Chisom proved to be a hard nut to crack. She was simply not interested in intimacy with him. He was, to say the least, not her type. She was contented with remaining just platonic friends with him and told him so in every way imaginable but Azubuike would not accept that. After several attempts to get her to change her mind, he agreed to be just her friend.
On Azubuike's birthday, he invited her alongside some of his other friends and colleagues. For a party, which took place in his apartment. After the party, and when everyone had left, Chisom decided to stay back a while to help him with the dishes.
That was to be her undoing. Azubuike raped her and tore her clothes in the process. After the deed was done, he held her close and apologised to the high heavens as she wept profusely.
She placed a curse on him; for daring to defile her without her consent. He would never know peace in his entire life.
She took what was left of her clothes and drove home. She couldn't bring herself to anyone, knowing that she might be blamed for being alone with a man who desired her. She nursed her wounds - physical and emotional - silently, never spoke to him again and refused to accept his apologies.
Of course, none of them could tell their colleagues what was amiss when they noticed the coldness between them. Two years after the incident, it is now time for Azubuike to be married. The news was abuzz in the office but Chisom wasn't bothered. For all she cared, he could be married to a monkey. She was also less interested in the dates for the marriage celebrations or the venues.
But on one fateful Saturday morning, her mother asked her to accompany her to the brief marriage introduction ceremony of one of her cousins who just relocated from abroad. The sight that greeted her an hour into the ceremony nearly made her pass out. Azubuike was the intending groom! At first he didn't notice her presence there but when he did, which was at the point when he was to be presented to the bride's family, he became jittery.
Now Chisom is torn between making him pay for defiling her by telling the story, which could save her cousin from marrying a man like him or just keeping quiet.