I was seventeen years old, i had just finished my secondary school and had
my whole life ahead of me. I was a very ambitious girl at my age too, very
beautiful, dark skinned, not tall, not short either and had
the kind of body that’ll make heads turn and make boys stare. I didn’t have
much talents like most of my friends. All I knew how to do was plait some
simple hairstyles. My dad had died when I was much younger, all I had was
my mum
and my younger siblings, Chidinma and Nelson. I decided that since I was
through with school and my mum wont be able to afford to take me to the
university, I should get busy and get a job.
I became an apprentice at a hair saloon, it was the type where you learned
a new thing and still get paid for the little work you did around. Four
months later, on this day, my madam, Mrs Ajayi
complained that the sum of eighty thousand Naira was missing from her
drawer so she arraigned me, Buki, Bunmi and Tolu, the three other
apprentice girls. I suspected it was Buki who stole the money but I had no
so I decided to confront her privately, of course she denied. Mrs Ajayi
ended up suspecting me, “Rachel you were the only one I left here
yesterday” she had said. That was true, the other girls had
been sent on different errands but I definitely did not take the money. She
didn’t believe anything I said from that moment onward. Although she let
the issue pass by a week later, she still suspected me. John was the
painter who works for Mrs Ajayi
occasionally. He was also close to her, giving her advice. He rushed up to
me one day on my way home and told me Mrs Ajayi told him to get boys to
beat me but he likes me so much so he couldn’t do it.
I thanked him a lot, he told me he’ll get me a new job, we exchanged
numbers and parted ways. Much later the next week after getting me a new
job, he took me out on a date, I really liked him, he was tall, handsome
fun to be with. I had to act like I didn’t like him, that was normal, so I
rejected his request for me to be his girlfriend for about two weeks then I
finally agreed. He had been persisting for sex
but I refused to sleep with him cause I was keeping it for my wedding
night. He eventually raped me when I visited him one time. I was so furious
he stole my virginity away from me. It took me several
weeks to put the event behind me and finally forgive him. I had not known
on time that I was pregnant. “I’ll marry you, don’t worry” were the words
John said when a scared me told him in tears. I knew
I was too young for marriage but the other options available was for me to
either give birth in my mum’s small house or to do an abortion. Both were
horrible, especially the latter, I wouldn’t risk it, I thought. I told my
mum the story
leaving out the part where John raped me. My mum cried especially since I
told her I was moving to join him in his one room apartment. I was really
in love with John. The love if he ever had any for
me started dying after I gave birth to our child, a girl. I was eighteen
then, he would hardly give me money to buy basic necessities like food,
clothes and baby things. Sometimes he’ll travel for about a week without
saying a word about his journey
like where he was going to, or how long he’ll be staying. He’ll even go as
far as not giving any money for me or the child. The neighbuors in the
compound used to fel sorry for me and give me foodstuffs, money and gifts
to my baby.
He usually beats me for little or no reason and I end up crying for days.
It even got to a point where I got stronger and I’ll resist him and try to
put up a fight, it felt nice not being a coward anymore even though
I always ended up injured most times. There is no atom of chemistry left,
the sex is so empty, he’s always using force. Its a year after, I’m
nineteen now, pregnant again but I cant take it anymore,
I’m off to my mum’s house.
Paolo Abamwa