Amaju: “I liked you when you first came. You stood up to father and made the others look like fools. Then you became grandfather’s favourite, even pushing father aside…” he turned and nodded to his brother.
The brute opened the glove compartment of the car and brought out an empty syringe and a vial of transparent liquid. My heart beat faster as I saw him draw the liquid into the syringe.
Amaju: “when you saw Osazee, I felt like I had made a discovery. I knew then that I was going to have you. I had planned a slow working towards getting between those slender legs of yours. Then you decided to interfere in Eliza’s life. Eliza… sweet Eliza was mine. She was my soul mate but you could not leave things the way they are. You made the girl feel guilty and you might have held the knife with your hands. When my brother told me that you were the last person to talk to her and this was what you had said to her, I felt like killing you then but I am a patient spider; I knew you will walk into my web.” He added
Princess: “what do you get from all this? Pleasure? Release? Are you finding it so difficult to talk to girls out there that you have to prey on your relatives? I can see that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” I replied, forcing up a confidence and fearlessness I did not feel.
Amaju’s brother hit me again and I reeled in pain. I blinked my eyes in a bid to clear it. Then I groaned as he squeezed my nipple hard. The pain made me almost throw up; I screamed inside the car. They had tied my hands earlier but they had left my legs free. I try to push away from the onslaught of pain but I couldn’t. I screamed and screamed. Then he stopped and turned back to his seat.
Amaju: “what I would like to know is; how did that bodyguard fellow who never leaves grandfather’s side get to find out that we had such a lovely plan for you and how did Osazee find you?” he asked, staring at me through the rear view mirror.
“Osazee! He was trying to save me and I ran away from him out of fear. God! Is it my destiny to always trust the wrong people?” I thought to myself. I didn’t reply Amaju’s question as I was thinking of a lot of things. I had failed myself. I had failed to protect Mama from Papa’s family. I had failed to save myself from Osazee and ended up killing Edirin. I had failed to save Eliza from perverts like Amaju and his brother. I had failed in everything. I had let myself become the fool. It hurt to think of how I had failed. I watched the road speed past then slow down as we got to a security checkpoint.
Amaju’s brother moved his hand close to my face and a knife glinted in the street light. The security guard walked up to the car and spoke to Amaju briefly. He gave me a bored look then walked away. The gate opened and Amaju drove into the express. We had finally left the estate.
Princess: “where are you taking me to?” I asked. I could barely recognise my voice. My body was shaking so bad.
Suddenly, Amaju’s brother grabbed me and jumped into the back seat. He squeezed my throat, while Amaju slowed down on the side of the road and came out. He opened the back door and pressed the syringe into my arm. After, pouring the drug into my system, his brother held my hands while he pulled his trouser to his ankles;
Amaju: “we had a better room for you but you spoilt it. Now we have to do this on the highway. Anyway it won’t matter, where you had your last fuck. In some few minutes, it won’t matter all.” He said.
I started sobbing and praying as he pulled my jeans off my waist. He struggled to push my legs apart but my legs were losing strength. I did not know what kind of drug I had been injected with. My legs parted and Amaju dragged my pant to the side. As he moved to stick his penis into me, a light flashed in the distance. Amaju cursed and quickly zipped his trouser and got into the car. He told his brother to get in so that they can drive to a more private place. I laid on the backseat as they left me, sobbing.
Princess: “Amaju please, don’t do this. Okay I will disappear, I will leave Lagos, leave Nigeria even… please. My mother is sick. She has only me. I just wanted her to be better. I am sorry for talking to Eliza…” I was blabbing but none of them answered me.
I struggled up from where I laid, my legs dead. the lack of feeling was already spreading to my laps. I looked into the night and felt the wind on my face; “So I will not see my mother’s face or hear her laughter? I will play with Teddy? I will not get the chance to tell Osazee that I forgive him? God no! I cannot leave like this!” I thought to myself as I struggled to a sitting position.
The car took a curve on the road and Amaju’s brother turned to grin at me. I spat into his face and with my last strength, I dove into Amaju, hitting his shoulder and making him twist the steering wheel too far. The last thing I remembered was the two of them screaming while I laughed like someone insane; “if today will be my last day on earth, I am not going alone.” That was my last thought before I passed out.
I woke up in the hospital, my face and legs bandaged. I tried to turn but could not. A face swam into view; it was a small little boy who looked familiar but i could not remember his name;
Teddy: “mummy she is awake!” he shouted. My head exploded with pain at the noise. I heard another familiar voice quieting the boy.
A face appeared before me and smiled sadly. She too was familiar but i could not remember her name;
Dr Eki: “Teddy has been praying for you.” She said. Teddy, yes his name is Teddy. He is my baby brother. Brother, i have a brother? Mama! Where is my mother?” i thought but the words could not leave my lips.
Dr Eki moved away and another woman came into view. She looked at me sadly and rubbed my hand. I tried to smile and tell her that i am fine but my face was wrapped tight in bandage. I blinked at her and she smiled more.
A short man wearing a lab coat appeared and drove everybody out. He started to poke and prode then i passed out.
I woke up again screaming; i was still in the car and we were still falling. A face appeared in front of me and i quietened; I was in a hospital;
Princess: “i am alive?” i asked.
Aunty Benedicta: “barely.” She replied, smiling through tears.
Princess: “Amaju?” i asked.
Aunty Benedicta: “dead on impact.” She replied. Relief flooded me; I nodded and i slept again.
I woke up again to sunshine and Osazee stood before me.
Princess: “i am sorry.” I said. He nodded and patted my arm. He had a bandage on his head. That must have hurt.
Someone entered the room and stood at the door. I tried to look up but the cast around my neck wouldn’t let me. The person walked close and stood before me;
Uncle Maximus and his wife; i had forgotten her name. “Why will i forget her name?” i wondered.
Uncle Maximus: “you have been busy, i see.” He said. I tried to smile but failed. My cheek hurt.
The people kept coming in one after the other to say hi and leave greeting cards and flowers. I tried to smile but could not. It felt good to be alive. Mama did not come and i didn’t ask; i knew she was fine.
The woman turned to the three young girls seated in her office and smiled. The years and the injuries she sustained from the accident were obvious on her face. The door opened and a man entered;
Princess: “meet my husband Osazee. At one time, he was the impersonation of evil but today he is my prayer partner, my best friend and my soul mate.” She said.
The man smiled at them, picked up some files and left the office as quietly as he came. The three girls stared at him with wide eyes.
Princess: “as a woman, you have to be prepared for men who see you as inferior, as weak, as nothing more than a breed mare or a sex slave. You have to be willing to fight your battles, overcome obstacles and pray for God’s guidance. And when you come across those men who want to force from you what you don’t want to give, be ready to fight hard. If fighting should fail, do not place the blame on yourself, do not fear the sun, and do not live as if dead… No. Keep your head up and live, make the pain a testament of your strength, not a symbol of your failure. We are women and without us, there will be no human race. Love yourself and live.”
The girls nodded their heads; one of the girls raised her hands
Girl: “aunty, what about your grandfather’s deal? What was it?” she asked
Princess: “oh! I inherited everything. When he died, i broke the house down and built this foundation named after my cousin Eliza.” She replied, smiling as she remembered her relatives’ outrage on hearing the will read. But she took care of them very well.
The door opened and Matilda came into the room;
Matilda: “oya, let’s go for lunch. I am starving.” She said. The girls got up excitedly and Princess joined them, limping on her ivory cane.
They came outside and looked out to the open expanse filled with cars and women. Princess turned and looked at her mother. A car door closed and she smiled as Teddy walked briskly towards them, stilling wearing his lab coat. The sun shone bright.
The Girl Child has over the years being a sort of endangered species of the human race. Little girls are turned into adults over night because of the deviant sexual urges of men. The molestation of women by men is not a new story in our world but it should be a rejected part of our way of life. From the refusal to give them education, to child marriages, rape, freedom to choose, the woman has had to survive in a world were the man comes first.
We can do better, we can be better. If you have been molested, speak out; do not keep it inside. it is like a cancer that will eat away the love inside; share your pain, get healing and let us encourage laws that will protect one of the most beautiful and magical of all of God’s creatures. Peace.