Speak Up!

Even if your voice shakes, speak up. If there's something I learned to do, it's to speak out even if my voice shakes.

Sometime in February 2021, I had just finished classes, and I had to settle some things in town before I returned to my hall of residence inside the school. I was putting on a black body con which I see no reason why I have always stared at any time I wore the dress prior to that day. I was with an acquaintance who was also going to town. Everything was going well until I entered a street opposite the school gate, and guys started giving me that look; some were whistling, gesturing, and also fooling themselves. I ignored them all because no one was going to make me feel less of myself or embarrassed because I was putting on a body con.

A few more steps and I felt an sl@p on my buttocks. I muttered What the fu¢k?out loud, and I turned back immediately only to find a guy giggling as if he had just won a trophy. Not just him, but everyone around, male and female, old and young. The sight of that was what got me very @ngry, and I returned the favor by giving him two dirty and thunderous sl@ps. Yes, he tried to retaliate, but I held his hand; I wasn't about to lose face in this b@ttle😡. Everyone around started scolding me, telling me I shouldn't have done that since he was playing with me. Wow! was the only thing I could mutter over and over again for a while before I got a hold of myself.

'You all should just keep your dirty mouths shut!' I screamed, and like a miracle, there was silence everywhere.'He was only playing with me?' I questioned. I do not know this boy or thing; I have never seen him; I was going on my own when he harr@ssed me, and I am the one overreacting?

I won't let anyone bull¥ me because I am a lady or because of what I choose to wear. I said all these while I was trembling, my voice was shaky, and I was close to tears. The guy then told me I don't know who he is, and he'll make me regre# humilia#ing him in public. I told him he shouldn't have messed with me either, and before he d£als with me, I'll see to his £nd😂.

All that was going on and the girl I was with kept screaming my name; she kept shouting 'Priscilla, calm down' which was very irrǐtating, if you can't help me here, then don't try to add to my trõubles. I made her see the reasons why you don't call someone's name in such a situation and what she should do in; she apologized and promised to stand up for a sister next time. I was so uncomfortable throughout that day and, at the same time, scared. Did I have any means to fîght him? No. Was I helpless? Yes, of course!

He found me (I don't know how), traced me to my faculty, asked the bloggers in my faculty about me, and luckily, most of them knew me to an extent. After describing me and giving my name, three were able to tell him the only Priscilla that can react that way is Feminist. I heard he was scolded, and they told him to 'let it go.' About a week later, I saw him approaching me and scared little me tried to run to the nearest safe place 😂. He started calling out 'my friend,' and I was wondering if everything was okay at home 🚶🏾‍♀️🚶🏾‍♀️. He was able to stop me; he smiled and said, 'my friend.' I immediately told him not to call me his friend because light and darkness have no business together, he apologized, and I wasn't even in the mood for any antics, so I just smiled and walked away. When there's no one to speak for you, even when you are all scared and torn apart, Speak for yourself because in this world, most of the time, you're left with no one but yourself.

© Priscilla Adéjùmòbí Adéníyì

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