After a particularly hectic session at the restaurant Juliet works for as one of the cooks, she was all for it when Rifukat, her friend of barely a year, who worked in the same restaurant invited her to her place after they both finished work.
“I was too buoyed up to sleep”, explained Juliet, “and hanging out with Rifukat was always a laugh. Back at her flat, she poured me a glass of wine and we chatted. Then she mentioned her husband Lagun. “I’m having problems with him’, she confided, taking a big gulp from her wine glass. ‘He doesn’t like me working long hours at the restaurant.
“I knew exactly what she was going through. Several of my relationships had broken up because of my job. I was a single mum of a four-year-old and it was hard juggling work and being a mum. Thankfully, my daughter was staying at my mum’s house, so I was free to relax. More of Rifukat’s friends arrived and we all had fun gossiping and listening to music. About an hour later, Lagun and a handful of his friends came in, all the worst for wear from too much booze. I was instantly on my guard. I didn’t like Lagun’s friends at all. They were young, loud and yobbish. I went to the kitchen to get myself a drink but when I got back, my seat had been taken. So, I left my glass on the table and stood chatting. Lagun and Rifukat were arguing next to me. `Why didn’t you and your friends stay drinking at your joint?’ My friend asked, `we were having a nice time until you lot turned up’. `Sorry to spoil your fun’, Lagun sneered,`but this is where I live too. I can bring my mates back if I want’. Feeling a bit embarrassed, I finished my drink and left to use the toilet. But as I sat down, someone started shaking the door, trying to force it open. `I’m here!’, I screamed.
“It was the final straw. I didn’t want to hang around with this bunch of drunken idiots – I wanted to be at home in bed with a cold drink. I finished and went into the living room to say goodbye to my friend. But suddenly, I was overcome by a raging thirst. My throat was really scratchy and my heart raced. Rushing into the kitchen, I fumbled for a glass. Next thing I knew, I woke up in my own bed. My head really hurt and I struggled to get up. I felt sick and woozy. I tried to recall the night before. What happened? This was the worst hangover I’d ever had, and believe me, I’d had a few. I reached for my mobile and I’d had nine missed calls – the time was 1 pm. I was a light sleeper. I never slept as late as this.
“Then my mobile rang. It was Rifukat wanting to know if I knew where Lagun was. `No idea’, I croaked. `I don’t even know how I got home last night’. `Lagun took you in the car’, she said, `you were too drunk to go on your own’. `What? I only had a couple of drinks …’I protested. `I know’, she said. `You were fine one minute and next thing I knew, you were out cold. It was weird.”. I became apprehensive. I’d had two or three brandy and cokes, that was all. How had I got so drunk? `If I hear from Lagun, I’ll let you know’, I said and hung up. Suddenly, my bedroom door opened, and in walked Lagun, stark naked! `What the hell are you doing?’, I screamed. `Get out!’ He didn’t say a word. Smirking, he picked up his clothes and left.
“It was a living nightmare – why was Lagun in my flat? Why was he naked? Did we have sex?! I felt sick. He was my friend’s husband. Had I really betrayed her? I tried to climb out of bed but my entire body ached, and I felt sore down below. What had really happened.? Falling back in bed, I had a flashback from the night before. I remembered being shoved against a hard floor, my bedroom floor, I realised with horror. Then there was this memory of a man on top of me, forcing himself inside me. `No, stop!’ I remembered trying to fight back. But he carried on. The man was Lagun! He’d raped me! I suspected he’d spiked my drink while at their flat so he could take me home and attack me…
“Panicking, I rang my friend back. `What happened last night?’I asked, fearing the worst. `All I remember after you left is waking up in bed and wondering where Lagun was’, she replied. Well, I knew exactly where he was, I thought guiltily. But I simply told her I had to go and burst into tears. He was sick beyond words. When I called the restaurant to take the day off, my immediate boss, who is a good friend, wanted to know what happened. I had to confess to him that Rifukat’s husband had raped me. He was appalled. He urged me to get him arrested but I could just imagine the faces of the police men as I recount how I was raped in my own home by my friend’s husband! And how would my friend react? Would she blame me? Accuse me of leading her husband on?
“In the end I decided to keep the shocking events of that night to myself. One thing was certain – by going to the police, I’d ruin many people’s lives for the sake of one man’s twisted actions. I still see Rifukat at work but I always dash home after my shift.
And rapists aren’t always strangers. I learnt the hard way – you can be attacked in your own home by someone as close as a friend’s husband!”.