Tuesday 19 September 2023


Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

By Cynthia Umeh

Tima lived in a charming small town. Her blindness may have impaired her eyesight, but she knew in her spirit that her town was charming. 

She  lived her life with such zeal that she dazzled everyone who crossed her path. The shroud which prevented her from seeing the world became her superpower, sharpening her senses to levels most could only imagine. She embraced the world in a way that left everyone in wonder, using touch, sound, and intuition.

Tima's daily routine involved going to the market to buy goods and socialize with people from the community. She had a warm and friendly attitude that drew others to her, and she made many friends in her community.

She was walking back from the market one lovely afternoon when she heard a voice calling out to her.

“Please excuse me, miss. Do you require assistance?” a man’s voice whom she had not heard of before, inquired.

Tima grinned as she turned to face the person who was calling. “Oh, thank you for offering, but I think I can manage.” she said, jovially.

The man persevered, eager to help. “It is not a problem at all. I noticed you always walk alone regularly and thought it would be wonderful to join you. I could assist you with your groceries or read your letters.”

Tima paused, uncertain of his motives. But, because she is a good person, she chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. “Well, if you are certain, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have some help. Thank you very much.”

As the months passed, Richard — as Tima came to learn his name was — continued to accompany Tima on her errands. Their conversations became more personal, and Tima felt a growing sense of trust toward him. Something in the back of her mind told her that Richard's intentions may not be as pure as he claimed: but she kept pushing it away.

One sunny afternoon, as Tima and Richard were crossing a bustling street, something felt off to Tima. Richard's hand lingered on her arm for longer than necessary, sending shivers down her spine. Her intuition kicked in, and a sense of unease washed over her.

“Richard, I appreciate your help, but you are making me uncomfortable. Please respect my personal space.” Tima mustered the courage to speak up, her voice trembling.

Richard chuckled nervously, attempting to brush off Tima's concerns. “Oh. Tima, you are just imagining things. I am only trying to assist you.”,  he replied, seemingly dismissive of her feelings.

Tima, second-guessing herself, felt like she might have overreacted. Apologetically, she said, “I am sorry. Maybe I assumed too much. Thank you for your help.” Despite her doubts, Richard continued to accompany her home, and she managed a smile as they walked together.

As the days went by, Tima let go of what had happened before. But some things never change. As Richard was guiding Tima toward her home as usual, his touch became even more invasive. First, his hand lingered on her buttocks, a place where it should never have been. Startled, Tima felt her heart race, and then the unthinkable happened. He ‘accidentally’ touched her breast, trying to pass it off as another mistake.

Tima's intuition roared with alarm. She couldn't ignore the disturbing pattern any longer. Summoning every ounce of strength, she spoke up again, her voice firm but trembling with emotion.

“Richard, I appreciate your help, but you are making me uncomfortable. Please respect my personal space.” Tima asserted, refusing to tolerate his unacceptable behavior.

Richard's reaction was unsettling. He chuckled nervously, trying once more to brush off Tima's concerns as if they were inconsequential. “Oh, Tima. You are just imagining things. I am only trying to assist you.”, he said, trying to gaslight her into questioning her own judgment.

But this time, Tima stood her ground. She replied with unwavering determination. “No, Richard, I know what I feel. I trust my senses, and I know when something isn't right. Please respect my boundaries.”

Richard's charming exterior broke, and wrath flared in his eyes. “You are blind, Tima. What do you know about limits? You are lucky to have me around.” he snarled, trying to take advantage of her vulnerability.

Tima's heart sank, but she refused to succumb to dread. Richard left her, his steps furious with his anger.


She realized she couldn't go through this alone. She needed to confide in someone she trusted: her beloved friend Sarah.

Tima paid Sarah a visit at her home one evening, pouring her heart out about her upsetting encounters with Richard. As she listened, Sarah's face distorted with anger. “This is unacceptable, Tima. We cannot allow him to get away with this. We will gather proof and expose him for what he is.”

Tima's eyes welled up with tears. “Thank you very much, Sarah. I'm not sure what I would do without you.”

Tima and Sarah devised a strategy to confront Richard and bring him to justice. They meticulously documented his acts, gathered witness statements from others who had observed his inappropriate behavior, and filed a thorough report with the authorities.

As the investigation developed, days turned into weeks. The evidence against Richard surprised the community police, and the reality of his evil plans began to emerge. Other victims stepped forward, inspired by Tima's bravery, adding their voices to the increasing chorus of testimonials.

One night, Sarah called Tima, her voice overflowing with relief. “Tima, Richard has been arrested. He will no longer be able to harm you or anybody else.”

Tima's eyes welled up with tears as she recognized the importance of their win. “Thank you very much, Sarah. We completed the task. We put a halt to him.”

The word of Richard's arrest traveled throughout the village, leaving everyone in shock and amazement. They had no idea the man they viewed as helpful and trustworthy could hide such darkness.

Tima received support, compassion, and understanding from the community. They planned events and meetings to raise awareness about sexual assault and the need to protect vulnerable people. 

She converted her pain into advocacy, collaborating with local organizations to provide services and assistance to abuse survivors. She motivated others to develop their own voices and reclaim their lives through her tale.

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