Jacked Up Stranger: The Test
Growing up without the guts to punch people who piss you off in the face is cowardly, yes, but also kind of interesting.
I know because I lived it.
Barely being able to tell people who did you wrong that they had. What I did instead is probably the most cowardly thing you have ever heard of. I would write. Write down what they did to make my chest burn. I would sit down and describe, in gruesome detail, what they made me feel. Pages filled with words describing how I felt when I was facing adolescence filled my notebooks.
I could describe almost anything, but only when I was angry, or sad. I always wrote when I was burning inside. That flame inside my chest filled the paper with so much ink that I might have become addicted to it. Almost like an adrenaline rush. As a result, I think I forgot that people could also be talked to in murky situations. It might have slipped my mind that human interaction was key. So every time I ventured out of my comfort zone, and more often than not, someone did me wrong, I would still put that flame into words.
Two of the notebooks survived. I named them. Always did. I liked naming the important things.
‘You are my notebook and you will be called Shirley’.
It was always random names. Giving myself a sense of Adam in Eden. I had control over them. Power. And power was everything. I could talk back to these things.
Slam Shirley across the locker. Drag Andrew on the floor.
I guess I was suffering from a superiority complex against myself. I don’t know when it stopped, or if it ever did, but it helped me get through a number of situations that might have ended badly. The writing, not the naming. I still don’t know what that was about.
Her name is Jessicah. With an –H-.
You might want to read the first part of Jacked Up Stranger…https://notyetadults.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/jacked-up-stranger-the-meet/
\Simply putting a stop sign on a highway will not change the fact that there is no speed limit on the same highway\
This is the first thing she sent me. She said it was the lesson her family came to really understand, after years of being disinterested of the things their daughter was being involved in.
Her mother was seated outside the doctor’s office and could not believe what her family had descended into. Her husband had practically disowned them and Jessicah was clinging to dear life in the next room.
Jessicah had asked to go on a school trip. Her dearest mother did not think much of it. It was just another school trip. She never even noticed that there was no permission slip to accompany the request. She had waved her daughter off to her destruction.
Afterwards she would tell Jessicah that she ran the events of the day through her mind a million times, trying to find a loophole where she could have helped her. She must have found so many. If she had once looked up at her daughter instead of simply asking her to leave for the trip as soon as possible. If once, she had gone into her daughter’s room, then maybe she would have found the pregnancy tests earlier. She blamed herself. What had happened to Jessicah was her fault. Jessicah does not believe her.
Her parents had done their civic duty and had escorted their daughter to university barely 7 weeks before. Jessicah had been made to write down a month long budget so that they could send her money to sustain her in school. They did not want frequent phone calls from her asking for money.
She felt alone in school. Not that she was not used to it after lifelong practise. She was in a place she had never been before with a group of her peers that she did not know very well. In her loneliness, she had met Jack, a second year student in the same university. He took her on a tour around the school, showed her where her classes would be held and where she could get meals. Jack was kind to her. No one had ever been kind to her without expecting something in return. He paid attention to her at a time when no one else was.
He gave her gifts. Little trinkets that meant nothing to other people but had sentimental value to them.
The Tingting chewing gum she was chewing when they first met. A leaf for every time they met since she never liked flowers. He knew the little things that made her and she found herself thinking of him during classes.
She called her mother to tell her about Jack. To tell her how nice he was being to her and that she liked him. Her mother put her on hold and forgot about the phone call altogether. But Jack was there. He comforted her. He held her through the night as she burned inside. She told him her secrets that night. Everything. Her family, who her father is, what her life growing up was like. She bore her soul to the devil.
Out of the blue, Jack had asked for sex the next day. This was a big step for them. They had only gone as far as lying on his shoulder as she cried. She told him she would have to think about it but he got angry. He had never raised his voice at her. She had never seen him angry at all, but to be fair, she had only known him 2 weeks. He told her of all the things he had done for her. Said that she was just being selfish. He could not be with someone who was denying him of the one thing he had ever asked for.
He stopped texting. He did not answer her calls. He did not show up when it was time to go eat. Jessicah had no sight of him for two consecutive days. She was distraught.
She asked her roommate about sex. Nobody had ever told her anything and Google was certainly not helpful. Would painkillers help with the pain? How long would it last? Was there things she was she required to do in preparation and if any, what? She had so many questions that a search engine was not enough for her.
Her roommate went to the hostel bathrooms and came back with some red wrappers. Sure Condoms. She had seen these condoms in the hostel bathrooms but had never bothered with them. They did not look safe to her. Unsure condoms to say the least.
The roommate told her that they were safe. If Jack wore one, nothing bad would happen. She made it sound like hidden inside the red wrappers was a team of superheroes who would bust out just in time to save her from whatever uncertainty lay ahead. She took the 6 condoms and sent a text to Jack. She was ready. They would have sex if they used the Sure condoms provided by the university.
Five weeks into university and Jessicah missed her period. She was frantic. Her roommate said she was probably only stressed and her period was late as a result. But Jessicah was not convinced. Jack had disappeared for home for two weeks. His parents were those oshago kind. Lived deep in the rural areas. There was no reception [read network]. She could not get a hold of the most important person in her life.
She bought a home pregnancy test kit from a chemist on her way home. Frightened to death, she watched as the plus sign confirmed her suspicions. The first person she called was him. Jack. But his number was disconnected [read mteja] as it had been for two weeks. She could not talk to her mother.
\are you kidding me? I’d be disowned!\
She called the roommate instead. Besides, she was the one who had talked her into having sex in the first place. This was a cross that they had to bear together. The roommate was no help at all. It was not her problem. Not her boyfriend. Not her body that someone could be growing inside. Then she had hung up and Jessicah was back where she started. Right back to before she joined university and she couldn’t talk to anyone because there was no one to talk to. She says this was the worst experience of her life.
She repented. She says she saw the hand of God stretched out for her. That He called out to her. She is not sure whether she got saved because of the fright or if she really saw the light. She might have lost consciousness too. The only thing she is sure of is having survived it.