Plans were made for Grandma’s funeral and I couldn’t bear the thought of spending any day with Uncle Rick at home.
The night of Grandma’s funeral, mum announced she was going for a vigil and left me alone with Uncle Rick. I knew i was done for.
The moment I closed the door behind my mother, I was at his mercy.
He pulled me roughly towards his room and threw me on his bed.
“Fool! Who will rescue you now?” He asked with bloodshot eyes as he pulled my clothes above my waist in anger.
In few minutes, he had satisfied his devilish lust.
I wept terribly and he warned me not to speak to anyone about what had happened.
“Except if you want your mother to also die in her sleep. You’ll be mine for life. You might even bear children for me.”
I shook at his words. I was in trouble.
“Be the angel that you are, so I don’t get bored of you quickly.” He grabbed my little face in his left hand; “I don’t want to get rid of you so fast. I still need you.”
I was terrified. Uncle Rick already had bloods on his hands and wouldn’t mind getting bloodier.
I was so sore between my legs that I limped out of his room. His words rang in my head. Was there really no one to help?
The next Sunday, my mother eventually took me to the church with her. I had never attended a service before so I seem to notice many things at the same time. My Dad was never a believer. He was not even close to being religious.
Children around my age and younger kept crying because they didn’t want to separate from their mothers. What a twist! I needed a break from my mother.
I finally saw Esther’s mother come into the children church with Esther. The girl looked excited to be in the church but she was also reluctant to bid her mother goodbye.
As her mother tried to encourage her, the woman looked up and saw me. Dragging Esther after her, she came to where i sat alone.
Esther was genuinely happy to see me. Her mother brought out Cheese balls for us from her handbag and gave both of us. I smiled in gratitude as I had for long desired to eat one. Mum had failed to purchase one for me even when I requested.
“Where is your jotter and pen? You aren’t with your Bible also.” Esther’s Mother said and I told her I couldn’t write.
She stared at me in silent. If she was shocked, she did not show it. With a wide smile, she told us to enjoy the service and left for the adult auditorium.
After the service, I couldn’t help but overhear Esther’s mother whom I eventually learnt was Mrs. Rose Ogunbiyi talking to my mum about my schooling. Mum was furious but did her best at hiding it.
Mrs Ogunbiyi told Mum to get me enrolled in a school and she said she was working on it.
Mum didn’t mutter a word to me till we got home. I knew I was in for it.
“I allowed you to go with me just once, and a stranger already knows what is going on in our home. You should at least be grateful you have a roof over your head.” She spat out when we got home.
“And an uncle who hurts me…” I said quietly but she didn’t hear.
She then threatened to never let me see Esther again but I promised her I would behave myself.
Uncle Rick continued to have his way with me until one day Mummy caught him into the act.
I was grateful and thought Mummy would be angry at him but I was shocked at what Mummy said to me.
“You have to keep enduring. You know Rick owns this house now and we don’t want him to drive us to the streets. This is just going to be a family secret.”
I was horrified.
I couldn’t eat for days.
Indeed my mother is not a mother.
Uncle Rick heard her words that day and just felt at liberty. He now started doing it anytime he wanted. Sometimes Mummy would even tell me herself uncle was calling me. I would cry my eyes out but no one cared. I dared not tell the Ogunbiyi’s anything.
Before long, Mrs Ogunbiyi noticed I was always cold around my mum and other people but when I was with Esther, I was a bit active.
She persuaded My Mum to agree that I spend a Sunday after service with them. As soon as we had lunch that afternoon, she sent Esther to her room and asked me questions about what was really wrong with me.
I looked at her and i realized without doubt that she cared. I spilled everything to her in tears.
“Such a young girl like you has gone through all these?” She asked in disbelief as tears slipped out of her eyes.
I was shocked. Why would she cry because of what I had told her?
That expression of Love was enough for me to tell her my fears about Uncle Rick.
She drew me into a warm embrace and I just wished she were my mother.
She promised not to inform my mother about our discussion and that she was going to get me out of uncle’s house. I wondered how, but not too long she took a step that awed me.
A week later, Mum told me a family in the Church was giving us a two bedroom flat to stay in for free.
She said the family had put it up for rent but decided to let us stay there without paying a dime. She soon told uncle we were leaving his house for me.
Uncle was angry and sold Mum the idea that she leave me behind so she’ll have time for herself.
I died at that moment.
“No. I’m not leaving her. Besides, the Ogunbiyi’s live close to the house so she can spend her time there without bothering me.” Mum replied as we packed.
“How are we sure this young witch of yours didn’t tell them things?” He said spitefully.
“If she did, it’s none of your concern.” She replied as i listened silently.
“I can at least visit right?” he tried.
“That will only be at my convenient time.” She blurted out without looking at him.
I wondered what was wrong with my mother.
“Why are you suddenly protective of her?”
“Isn’t that what a mother should do?”
I gaped; she had suddenly become a mother.
“What is wrong with you? You’ve neglected her for so long like you never cared; which we all know you don’t. So what’s the deal?”
Mother stopped what she was doing; “Rick, get this into that thick head of yours. I might have acted like I gave you ground to do whatever you liked with her but I only did it because I had no choice. You should be ashamed of yourself by the way.” She hissed.
“You aren’t worth calling a mother. Just get out of here.” He screamed back as he turned.
She shouted after him; “We will. And I know you strangled our mother. Murderer!”
That shut him up.
I was shocked of the fact that my mother knew so much. I had no idea whether to be grateful she stood up for me this once.
We only had our clothes to pack so before long we went out of the house.
As the moving vehicle took us towards the new house, for the first time in a long time I muttered a ‘Thank you Jesus’.
Thanks to the Ogunbiyi’s; I was now free of my monster Uncle.
I wondered if my relationship with my mother would get better but I didn’t care. I had Esther and her parents.
Few days after we moved, my mother told me Esther’s mum had hire a private tutor who would teach me since I had a lot to catch up with. I was almost 8 by then, and Esther was in 3rd Grade.
Mrs Ogunbiyi made sure the location was set at her house. The tutor, Miss Laide home schooled me in the morning while Esther went to school. In the evening, another Lady Sis Bukky taught I and Esther again. It was like we were preparing for exams as the goal was that I resume with Esther the following session.
Before long, I started reading and writing.
I literally spent everyday except weekend’s at the Ogunbiyi’s house. I ate breakfast at home with my Mum but had the rest of my meals at their house. After Dinner, Mrs Ogunbiyi and her daughter would walk me back home; sometimes Esther’s Dad would also join us.
I dreaded the time I would be alone with Mum. It was always awkward being together.
Another school year soon started, and I resumed school. I was admitted to the fourth grade with Esther. I was literally her sister.
The Ogunbiyi’s paid my tuition fee; assisted with my homework; bought clothes for me and even gave me things to take home to my mother. All Mum cared about was that I stay out of trouble.
Being a Christian Mother, Mrs Ogunbiyi never stopped telling us of the need to surrender our lives to Christ but I and Esther never took it serious. Esther was moral but she wasn’t a believer.
Soon I and Esther started high school. In our second year, Esther eventually gave her life to Christ but that didn’t affect our friendship or the way her family felt about me.
I was a coldhearted girl with an ‘i don’t care attitude’ both in school and with the church family but The Ogunbiyi’s knew my warm side.
I thought I could now live on without fear but I was wrong: Something happened two years before I graduated from high school.
I had followed Mum for a vigil in our church. I had no interest but I had no choice but to go with her.
After the prayers ended by 3am, we were supposed to wait in the church till daybreak so the Ogunbiyi’s would give us a ride back home. The Pastor even advised that everyone stay in the church till 5am for security purpose.
Mum turned to me and told me she had to resume work by 6am and so we had to leave the Church immediately. I was furious.
I grudgingly backed my things and followed her out of the Church.
We were just few minutes to our house when two guys jumped into our path out of nowhere.
The tall one pulled a Glock out of his pocket and the other had a Beretta Px4. Their weapons were enough to instill fear into us.
We were forced to our knees and before long they collected our handbags. The only thing of worth was Mum’s cellphone.
Disappointed, they turned to go when the tall one among them took a second look at me.
“Isn’t she a beauty?” he bent down and used his gun to lift my chin up.
I looked up to a lust filled eyes.
“God, not again.” I said as a tear dropped from my eye.
“You have scared the girl.” His partner laughed.
“I want her.” Tall guy commanded.
Without a word, his partner pulled me off my knees and dragged me into a deserted and uncompleted building. The other ordered Mum after us. She didn’t even breathe a word.
I was already in tears; “Please, don’t let me do this again.” I pleaded as he worked his hands through my clothing.
He stopped; “So you are no angel after all.” He said with a smirk.
I shook my head in frustration.
“Don’t worry, it will be short.” He whispered to my ears.
And it was.
We were soon thrown back to the streets. Mummy walked ahead in silence as I trotted after her in tears.
“Really Mum, aren’t you going to say anything?” I screamed out in frustration.
She rushed back and clamped her hand over my mouth; “Are you going to wake the whole neighborhood because you were raped?”
I stared at her as tears rolled down my face. Without thinking I bit her hand with my teeth and pushed her off. She yelped in pain.
I walked past her in tears.
“At least this isn’t new to you.” She spat out after me.
“What?” I lost it. “I hate you.” I screamed out with tears blinding my eyes.
She moved closer to me; “Not a word about this to anyone. Not even Esther.” She turned away from me, took a step and stopped.
“Well, except if you can bare the shame of being the subject of discussion in the church.” She walked off.
I felt like dying.
It wasn’t about the rape any longer.
It was about my mother. I cried all the way home.
Throughout that day, I stayed indoors and could have committed suicide had she not had me under scrutiny eyes through out the day.
About three weeks later, I started having morning sicknesses and feared greatly that I was pregnant.
Mum took notice and got me some pregnancy test kit. It was with shaky hands I collected the kit from her as I listened to her explain how I would use it.
The test was positive.
I felt my little world crashing in. I was just 15.
Mum didn’t voice a word when I told her the result but I could bet she was already thinking about the next step to take.
As she walked around the house, my mother said the devil wants to use me to spoil her ministry because she was a Sunday school teacher. I just kept mute.
Before I knew it, Mum dragged me with her to a clinic and the baby was flushed out.
She didn’t even ask if I wanted it or not.
Gush! My mother is not a mother.
Right after the procedure, I bled quiet much but eventually regained strength. I couldn’t go to school for some days.
Esther wondered and asked me questions but I couldn’t tell her what had happened.
Life continued after that with Mummy striving for several positions in the Church. I once heard Esther’s Mum wondering out loud if my Mum ever really came to the knowledge of Christ.
Truth be told, I had never accepted her claim.
I and Esther were soon admitted to the University.
Would you believe it if I told you that all these time Esther’s family had been the one paying my tuition fee? Mummy obviously had better things to spend her money on.
I got to the Higher Institution and I went Loose.
I have never laid claim to being an angel that I know I never was but at this time it was like something in me operated at full throttle.
I became evil driven.
I settled all rifts the bloody way. I became a Tout. I became a Terror not to be dared on Campus.
All knew I was the bad girl myself.
God bless Esther. That girl still loved and cared for me.
Don’t misunderstand me: she didn’t in anyway agree with my way of life but she loved me like her sister. Even when I snapped at her, she never stopped referring to me as her Twinie.
Esther’s Mother also never gave up on me.
As for my mother, she didn’t even care a bit.
In the Church at home, everyone already knew I was a vagabond and a thorn in my mother’s flesh. She would never stop saying I should not cause her downfall.
Then something I never imagined will happen to me happened.
One day I followed Esther to a crusade organized by the School Joint Fellowship. The program was powerful that by the time we left the place I was saved.
I was now born again.
Esther’s family members were truly happy for me.
My mother said at least God had delivered me. What a statement!
Everyone started talking about me in Church that the Arrow herself was now saved.
I and Esther became closer. We prayed and studied together.
I had still not forgiven my mother per say but I was trying to show her a daughter’s love.
Five months later, tragedy struck.
I and Esther had gone to pray somewhere and were going back to the hostel around 12am when we met some drunken guys who were coming back from a party. Before we knew it, they carted both of us to a corner and I was raped.
Myself alone; Like they didn’t touch Esther.
We were both shocked.
Maybe Mummy was right: I am Bad luck.
Esther cried throughout the ordeal.
We didn’t say a word to each other till we got back to our hostel. We both cried to sleep.
In the morning, she said we should call her mother but I didn’t agree.
Various thoughts crossed my mind. Had God had rejected me? Why was my life so complicated?
Five days later, Esther went ahead to inform her mother about what had happened. Mrs Ogunbiyi told us she was coming to our hostel immediately. She called my Mum and explained what had happened, asking that they both meet up and check up on us.
My Mom said she was busy at work and actually asked me why I was so unlucky with sexual harassments?
Esther’s Mother eventually came to our hostel and took me to the hospital.
The doctor said there was nothing they could do to stop the fertilization process from occurring but he made sure I had no infection.
From the hospital, we went to the Ogunbiyi’s house and I stayed with them for five days before we returned to school.
Mum never visited, she just called once to make sure I was still alive.
About a month after the incidence, I discovered I was pregnant. It was a nightmare for me.
It was with great sorrow I informed Esther and she actually wept for me.
That day I knew what I needed to do: I would have an abortion.
I didn’t mention my intentions to Esther since I knew she would never support that decision but to me that was my only hope.
I made Esther promise never to tell her mother about the pregnancy and she agreed in tears.
I needed about 50,000 Naira for the procedure but where would I get it?
I had totally forgotten about God at this point but Esther never ceased to pray for me.
Not too long I was able to get the money and a doctor who was willing to help me but I was about 2 months gone. People didn’t know I was pregnant yet because of my kind of body structure so I felt secure.
The process is scheduled to hold 11am on the 2nd of November 2020 which is today.
I specifically chose this day because My Mom, Esther and Mrs Ogunbiyi are presently at a Women Conference organized by our Church. They already know I won’t be there but none have no idea I’m here.
I am presently seated in a Coffee Shop not too far from the Clinic and in 1 hour 20 minutes, I will be walking into the clinic to get it all done.
This is my cross and I will carry it.
I am writing this story in my diary just in case I walk in there and don’t make it out alive.
I just can’t keep this pregnancy.
You don’t know the humiliation I will go through in Mum’s hand.
Come on, how am i even sure she will not get some doctor to evacuate the pregnancy once she is aware? I mean nothing to her anyway.
You cannot understand how my former clique of friends and those church members who haven’t even accepted me before will ridicule me.
Seriously, no one will believe I was raped.
And I’m sorry to say but why wasn’t it Esther that was raped?
If it was Esther, people will understand and rally round her.
She is the good girl.
Well, plus the fact that I’m so unlucky to have a mother who is not a mother.
I have realized that I’m on my own and No body is going to stop me from walking into that Clinic.
You will ask who risks aborting a 2 months old pregnancy?
Well, I Sharon.
If only things had gone well for Mum, maybe she would have loved me.
No! I won’t sulk over someone who doesn’t care about me.
In case I don’t walk out of that clinic, it was all Mum’s fault.
I guess that’s all for now.
Thank you for reading my story.
For minutes, Sharon stared at her diary that was opened before her and repeatedly twirled the ball pen in her right hand.
She had taken time to write her story down for one reason. In case things go wrong, she still wanted to be able to tell her story.
She lifted her head to observe the other occupants of the shop while her hand found the handle of the cup in front of her.
As she sipped from its content, her eyes caught a woman and two girls at a table.
The girls looked happy. They reminded her of the first day she met Esther.
She nodded. It would be terrible if another child go through what she went through.
Mothers are meant to be protectors, not be the ones throwing their girls out to the wolves.
Mothers were meant to be their girls confidants, not be the greatest enemy in their daughter’s life.
She closed her eyes; in case she didn’t make it, she just hoped God would grant her one last request: That her story is read.
She fought the tears that threatened to fall, sat up and closed the diary. She looked at her phone and saw she had an hour before the appointment. She pushed her chair out and stood up. She didn’t want to keep the doctor waiting for any reason. A slow thoughtful walk back to the clinic wouldn’t hurt.
With each step she took from the coffee shop, she walked towards an unpredicted future.
Sharon’s Story doesn’t end here.
Watch out for The Sequel to this Story which will be posted before this week runs out.
Can you share with us lessons you learnt from this story?
What do you have to tell “Sharon”?
Drop your thoughts in the comment section or send them to me on Facebook (Mercy Oluwafunmito Adebisi)
You never know, your words may be a counsel to many more ‘Sharon’s’ out there.
Kindly share this story with your friends and family.
God bless you.