“Knight Out by Knights”. I hated that perfume with a passion. I have only ever smelt that it once after that incident 5 years ago. Just one whiff and I was I was thrown into the fear and despair that was my life on that fateful night …
We were in school and should have been studying for the upcoming midterms but someone thought it was a great idea to turn up the sound system in their car and drown the whole dormitory block with music. Before anyone could say booze, one of the biggest parties of the semester was in full swing.
In the typical way of students, one call led to another, led to a text, led to a drive and before you knew it, I was being dragged out to go and dance a little to let loose after spending the day in the library. My room mate knew I had a weakness for dancing and a particular engineering major who was the supposed owner of the car that had started the party. Who was I to say no to a party and a gorgeous hunk of a guy who had begun noticing me of late.
The party was rocking and I thought I couldn’t have more fun. I had danced most of the night away and the fun was getting even more extreme as the night wore on the guys got drunker and higher.
I had decided the smell of booze and cigarettes and occasional weed had gotten too much for me so I had decided to step away from the crowd for some fresh air. I was sitting on the stone slab that surrounded a tree in the lawn of the dorm that the party was holding. It a was well lit area and not too lonely with couples getting busy in the darker areas where the dorm lights had cast shadows. I watched my room mate dance with a guy I knew she had been crushing on and laughed when she caught my eye and gave me a wink and thumbs up sign when he wasn’t looking in my direction.
It was happening again. Someone around me was wearing that God-forsaken perfume. As if it couldn’t get any worse, my partner and PRO/Marketer introduces the guy beside her as the client we were meeting for a lunch date. My client smelt like he had taken in a bath with the Knights Out perfume. I thought he looked familiar but brushed it off as nerves from the fact that I was trying to choke back a panic attack from smelling that cursed perfume again. After an attempt to laugh at a joke the client had shared, he turned to me and said with a small smile, “You have a nice laugh.”
“Your laugh is very deceptive” I turned to the heavily accented voice with a question on my face and the smell of Knights Out perfume in the air. He was a friend of my crush or at least I had seen them together a couple of times and always thought he was handsome and that his British accent made him charming. I sipped on the cold drink I was nursing and waited for him to explain while thinking to myself that the smell of the perfume wore on him like he had taken a a bath in it.
“If I hadn’t seen you dance earlier, I would have thought you were some innocent, young, virgin.” I laughed at his attempt to find out more about my age and sex life. “Dimeji, right? You are good,” I said, “but not that good.”
“Oops!” He said with a smile, “You saw through that huh?” I gave him a look that said – what do you think dude!
“You really can dance though”, he said as if he had been thinking about it thoroughly. I knew I could dance and a lot of guys always noticed me when I was dancing. I took it as a huge compliment that he had noticed as well since I wasn’t sure I was exactly his type.
I ended up staying there chatting and seriously flirting with him for a long while. I was a very shy person in reality and had used his approach as an excuse to let loose my dream persona – the charming, sexy, girl who was not afraid to touch and flirt with a guy she just met. After all the chatting and flirting, we danced a bit before I decided to retire. He offered to take me back to my dorm and I refused saying it wasn’t far and I would walk back with my roomy. He charmingly begged me to give him a few more mins with him and that my room mate had seen us together and knew who I was with.
His argument kind of made sense, though I really wanted to let my room mate know where I was and with whom. He gave me no time to think on it and dragged me off to his car.
The drive was uneventful till he passed my dorm. “Hey, you just passed the street to the dorm.” He smiled and said, “I just want us to go somewhere a little more private so we can have some alone time” I looked at him and it finally dawned on me how high he looked. “Look, just stop the car and let me off, okay.” That was the last thing I got out before the nightmare began.
“…net, Miss Janet, are you alright?” I realised I had drifted and apologised. My hand was shaking when I lifted my glass to drink some water. My client looked like he was feeling very smug and asked “Do I know you? I feel like I have met you before.”
I smiled at him and took a deep breath to calm myself. Shaking my head, I replied, “I am quite good with faces and would remember if I had met you somewhere.” He laughed and said, “I will take that as a compliment, but what if it was too dark for you too see my face properly?” I was about to answer when the lock on the briefcase of someone on the nearby table clicked open. My mind drifted again to memories of another clicking sound.
The car doors clicked locked and I looked out in alarm as he sped towards a deserted part of the campus where new buildings were being constructed. By now I was very scared. “Look, I just want to go back to my dorm”, I said, my voice shaking terribly. All sleepiness had left me and I was very much awake.
“You have to pay me first. After that dance, you got me all revved up and you want to just go back to your dorm?” He sounded pissed, and now that the fog of sleep and tiredness had completely cleared form my eyes, very very drunk or high or both.
He had stopped at the edge of the sealed off construction area. It was far enough and dark enough that he could do whatever to me and no one would hear me screaming. I thought about my options and when I realised I had none, I started begging. “We were just dancing now, please let me go. I promise we can do whatever you want tomorrow when I am fresh faced and bathed and looking nice. Please!” The begging continued all while he was also begging and telling me that he could have had what he wanted since and I was just dragging. I would enjoy it he said. I liked him so it would be okay. When I started tearing up, he got really pissed and said he was just going to sleep with me and take me back since he liked me, but that now I was giving him trouble and he was going to get his friends that were waiting for his signal in the uncompleted buildings. He unlocked the doors as if to step out and call them.
I was so scared at the thought of him raping me, now he was talking of calling accomplices. I started screaming and crying loudly for someone to help me. The proximity of the uncompleted buildings were not such a distance from some new dorms and the night guard for those dorms usually patrolled the area. Dimeji realised I could be heard and quickly started the car to drive closer to the buildings.
It was in that moment I made a move. I still do not know how my brain was able to think through the dense fog of fear and despair that was clouding my mind at the time. What happened next still makes me wonder at the marvels of human self preservation instincts. My brain had apparently stored the fact that the doors where unlocked, because next thing you know as he turns the key in the ignition, my hand moved for the door and pushed open. I flung myself out of the car and landed on my side on the sandy floor sliding a bit as he had accelerated just as I jumped out.
Like I said, self preservation is a funny thing. I felt the sting of my scraped elbow and side but before I could process the pain, I was up and running in the direction of the new dorms. “SHIT!!” I heard him yell. “COME BACK HERE!!” I heard that and ran even faster, as if death himself gave chase.
I dared a look back to see him reversing toward me. At that point I was nearing the hostels and started screaming for help. I saw the flash light of the guard come on and point in my direction. I was close enough that he saw me and started running towards me noting my distress. As I got to him, Dimeji realised it was over and turned the car around speeding off into the night with a screech.
I was by now hyperventilating and quickly got up to rush to the bathroom, mumbling an excuse as I left. I heard vaguely as my client got up to follow me telling my partner that he would check on me.
In the bathroom after splashing water on my face, I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down. “Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts …” My phone rang and snapped me out of my attempt at thinking happy thoughts. It was my fiancé and I happily told him he couldn’t have picked a better time to call. Sufficiently calm and composed after the call, I headed back out.
I had hardly stepped into the hallway leading back to the restaurant when I was yanked back into the bathroom and slammed against a wall. The smell of the perfume hit me before his voice did. “I knew it was you, I never forget a face you know.” “How about we finish what we started some years back, huh”? His breath on my neck and ear was giving my the creeps and while he was talking, I had managed to whip out my home made pepper spray from my bag. I dug the heel of my shoe into his shins and as he released me in reflex, I let loose the spray in the general direction of his face.
He screeched and clutched at his face while squirming around. I conveniently placed my foot in the general direction of his path and he obliged by falling face down hitting his head and going out cold.
I was breathing hard and after checking for and finding a pulse, I was going to unlock the bathroom door and leave him there when I realised I wanted to cause him more pain and humiliation.
I turned him around and started taking off his pants hoping he wouldn’t regain conciousness. when I had the pants off with completely, I took my bottle of pepper spray and aimed it at his crotch and bum area. When I had a little left, I let some loose in his ears and mouth. Then I stood up to review my work and thought how lucky I was that the bathroom was a single only stall allowing me to lock the door and do my evil deeds. I would have been caught had it been otherwise.
With his pants stuffed in my bag, I walked back to the restaurant and told my business partner that the client was demanding for more than we could deliver and so we were not taking the job. She looked me over and after looking once in the direction of the bathroom, my room mate from school smiled, shrugged and picked up her stuff to follow me out of the restaurant.
We left to the sound of a loud high pitched scream coming from the restaurant.
Inspiration was – The Daily Prompt