When she would think about it, after it had happened, she could not exactly blame him.
She blamed herself. She was angry with herself for the many times she had not brushed him off more firmly. Been more harsh.
Maybe it was because the first time she tried to brush him off, it had nearly ended her relationship with her sister.
Her sister Edwina had believed Kenny rather than her, when he told her, “You know how your little sister is. She blows things out of proportion. How can she confuse an innocent hug with assault? You know how she is.”
That is when she began to fear that Kenny might be in their lives longer than all the men who had tried to marry Edwina.
Her sister had started telling her terrible, hurtful things after the “hugging” incident. Edwina had accused her of being an attention seeker, of wanting all men’s attention on her. She even accused her of being jealous of what she and Kenny had.
She wondered what she could have said or done to encourage Kenny or make him think she was interested in him. But she could not think of anything.
Kenny knew very well she had a boyfriend. He had met Joseph on many occasions. However, Joseph did not like Kenny, though he never made it obvious. When Joseph warned her about Kenny, she had thought he was simply being possessive and overprotective.
Kenny would say things to her that she considered innocent flirting and she refused to take them seriously, especially to maintain the peace with her sister.
There was a night when they remained the last ones drinking at Hotel Triangle, a day before her fever intensified. Joseph chided her that the previous night’s drinking must have caused her illness.
Kenny had come to see her and sweetly offered to comfort her. But things turned ugly when he tried to force himself on her. She didn’t have the strength to fight him off but her screams scared him away. That was the first attack.
When she tried to tell Edwina about it, she had brushed her off and told her the sickness must have made her hallucinate. But she knew she hadn’t imagined it.
Kenny had tried to force himself on her. Kenny convinced Edwina that she was making things up about him and her sister believed him. This made her question Edwina’s loyalty. How could she believe Kenny over her own flesh and blood, her sister? It made her wonder about her sister, about their relationship.
She should have known that he would try to attack her again once he got the chance. She was stupid to have not been more cautious of him. She should have kept away from him. She should not have believed him when he apologised and promised to leave her alone.
But, she desperately wanted to maintain her relationship with Edwina. She had underestimated her desperation for her sister’s friendship. She recoiled in disgust and hurt when she thought of that terrible night. She now hated both of them. She would never forgive or forget. The pain was scarred into her entire being.