(Based on a true life story!)
Dedicated to girls who have been robbed of their voices and who daily soak their pillows with tears due to the crushing of their bodies, hopes, spirits and souls by closest relatives and family members with no visible help within reach.
Episode 1: CRUSHED
Get set as we begin this journey!
A hand grabbed one of my breasts
It was masculine- big and strong!
It wasn’t Joshua’s hand, so it definitely was….
Oh my God!
It couldn’t be…not at all!
We were having the morning devotion.
We were just five in the sitting room- Dad, mum, Bobo, Sissy and I
And it couldn’t be dad!
He was the only hope I had in the whole wide world
He couldn’t just come and burst my balloon like that…
I was already crushed!
My maternity and paternity had not been confirmed till date- I was found at the doorstep of the house at about 8 months old in a basket with a ‘Help this baby’ note but dad had fought for my stay in the house.
Mum had made my stay in the house hell and she had made it so clear that I was not a part of them.
If there was a meat stolen in the pot, it would be Mercy
Even the name Mercy crushed me most time. It reminded me that I was just in the house at their mercy.
If something happened anyhow in the house, my name would rent the whole air.
Even the twins –Bobo and Sissy that I was about five years older than, accused, blamed and insulted me at the slightest opportunity.
At 15, I still bedwet!
Because of this, I was banished from the room I shared with Sissy to the balcony!
Last night, the breeze had been too much for me that I knew that by the time I would wake up, I would find myself in the pool of my own urine!
Anytime I was being flogged by mum, dad would step in.
And anytime he did step in, the next statement that would follow is ‘If this girl doesn’t eventually cause our breakup Sam, call me a bastard!’
In school, my self-esteem had been crushed too.
Mum had come to school before for me to be disgraced on the assembly because I had wet the bed the night before.
Since then, I was called the ‘Wee-wee girl’
Everywhere I went to, I was being looked at as a thief, a wee-wee girl, a wicked soul, a witch, and any evil you could imagine
If you are close to the Bridget family and you have not heard about the ‘messy mercy’, it’s because you are dead!
Everyone knew me!
Everyone hated me!
The only one person who told me that ‘I understand you’
‘You look good;
‘You are beautiful;
‘What a nice result you have here;
‘You are a great genius’
Was the only one person I called ‘Dad’ and meant it- Mr Bridget!
But fumbling with my breast?!
I was bending over a stool as a punishment for bedwetting again and I had dozed off.
The ‘operation’ on my flesh had woken me up and with sleepy eyes, I looked at Dad beside me.
There were his eyes
He was glaring at me!
It wasn’t a dream
Daddy was really smooching me!
He winked and smiled at me as he brought his hand close to me again despite singing ‘Worthy is the lamb, seated on the throne’ as he led the devotion
The infuriation that rose from my inside due to the great disappointment that I was met with this early morning (7th July) threw me off balance
Within the twinkling of an eye, I had deposited two dirty slaps in his face to the amazement of my spirit, soul and body!
“What!” he exclaimed loudly
All eyes were on me
“Mercy, are you mad?” Mum asked, looking so shocked
By the time I realised what I had done, mum had stood up to pounce on me with Oloriburuku, aje, emere, ogbanje, elemi okunkun, witch, gbokogboko and other abusive names flying in the air.
Dad looked at me with a great shock
But was I dreaming?
He was touching me really!…it wasn’t a dream
Why couldn’t he acknowledge and tell everyone what he had done wrong?
My tears flowed uncontrollably
It was not the bites, the slap, the kicks, the painful pulls that me to cry.
It was daddy!
The fact that he could try to harass me!
The fact he could make me feel this weak and hopeless
“Why Mercy? Why?” he asked on as tears ran down his face
I was running mad!
What an act!
“What did he do to you? Exactly what would make you slap him? Talk to me ogbanje…yellow pawpaw!” she screamed
I couldn’t talk
What else could I have to say?
Who would believe me?
I held my chest in pain as I closed my eyes firmly
God, please vindicate me!
After so many slaps and ‘What did he do?’ cry from her, I slumped to the ground from exhaustion, panting hard
I saw as daddy stood up from the chair and pulled me up
“You have been always right honey. There is something about this girl that I have to unravel. Leave her for me. Get the children ready for school” he said as he pulled me away.
“Orisirisi!’ mum said as she clapped her hands together, obviously shaken
“My breast…he touched my breast” I said but my voice wasn’t loud enough
“Don’t let me meet that thing by the time I come back from work o…don’t ever let me!” she shouted behind us as i was being dragged away like a sack of beans
He locked the door behind us and smiled devilishly at me.
“Before those guys that didn’t labour over you start their businesses on your body, you don’t want to give daddy that trained you from babyhood till ‘big-girlhood’ a chance baby?” he talked like cartoon in my ears and I could only pant
It was only a very bad dream!
Grabbing me by the hair, he swung me with his muscular arms before throwing me unto the bed.
I hit my head on the head of the bed and screamed loudly
It felt like the earth was spinning so quick.
Blood seemed to rush into my eyes and nose
“Dad, just kill me sir. Kill me” I screamed as he dug his hands into my body
“Omo rada rada” mum said as she walked past the room.
She must be on the way to the bathroom
Couldn’t she guess what her husband would be doing with a girl alone in the room?
Despite the names they called me and the bad reputation they had given me, couldn’t she think deep that I had never raised my hands to beat even the naughty bobo, talk less of daddy?
Couldn’t she think?
“Remove your clothes and lets pray” I heard and my already heavy head became heavier.
This couldn’t just be true!
Who do I call on?
Who do I pray to?
Of course not!
Not the same Jesus that the Bridget’s worshipped!
“You are crushed!” he laughed devilishly and he looked like a vampire as I beheld him.
That was the word!
The word to describe how ravished I had become
He covered my mouth with the pillow as he dug at my blouse, like a Mephistophelian lion!
The whole earth ceased moving as I counted my breath- slowly!
I had had really bad days on earth but today…
Really really ‘badder’!
I limped out of the room where my blood had just been shed in pain and agony.
I wasn’t crying but tears flowed!
I didn’t have catarrh prior to this forceful intercourse but now, mucus flowed unstopped from my nostrils!
I was not so surprised that I was maltreated but I was flabbergasted that it could come from dad…and in that terrible manner.
I turned to look back at the door and he was there smacking his lips in an ‘I want more’ manner.
He looked like those hungry blood-thirsty vampires and ware wolves.
My heart yowled
I heard mum’s laughter and I looked towards the bathroom
She had soapy bubbles on her hands as she looked towards me.
She was laughing uncontrollably
“He has gone to deal with your evil spirit, right?” she laughed on
Really…was that the only thing she could see?
“He even broke your legs” she laughed even harder
Couldn’t she see far beyond that?
What was she whining about?
What was so funny?
Couldn’t she see that I was walking with such great difficulty?
Couldn’t she see blood on my cloth?
Couldn’t she hear noise from the room while the deed was been done?
Couldn’t she see?
Couldn’t she see that her ‘deacon’ husband had gone into a minor?
Was she that blindly insensitive?
“I told you that my husband could be more dangerous than I. All his niceness was just a camouflage. He even beats me when I mess up. So who are you!” she laughed loudly again
I heard her children’s giggles too.
I turned to continue my seemingly unending journey to my room, feeling the tingling pains in between my legs.
As I managed to get inside the room that I shared with Sissy, I locked the door with finality.
I flung myself to the bed and wept frenziedly
What a nightmare!
“I love this. I love that I am the first to rip you open. I am glad that I can touch a virgin’s spilt blood. I am glad” he had said like a dramatic fool with such glee!
He went on his knees with his fists thrown in the air like a victorious gladiator in a ring!
I saw it like a 6D camera…
I screamed as if my eyes were being plucked out.
The memories of the five minutes thrust haunted me…
“I love you…I love you…I loved you since I saw you as a baby…I nurtured this thought since then… it’s a dream come true” he said as he destroyed my life, looking deeply into my teary eyes
So this is love?
This is what it means when people say ‘make love’
Love my foot!
I’d rather hate than ‘Love’ this way!
“Don’t cry. Aren’t you loving it?” he said again as he laughed
The more he said that, the more I hated him
The more I wished to stab him dead on the spot, exposing his dirty act to the whole world.
“Jesus, this is fucking great!” he exclaimed with great ecstasy as he brushed his sweaty smelly nose against my cheek
So Jesus is even aware of all these?
Their Jesus could allow this to happen to an innocent girl like me…
He could mention His name in this dirty act and he didn’t act or do anything?
I thought they said He was powerful
Why did He create sex?
Why couldn’t He stop this beast?
Why couldn’t He send fire and brimstone from heaven?
“There is no Jesus!…if peradventure I am wrong, then He is not powerful! He isn’t a savior” those words poured out of my mouth accompanied by my tears
Wouldn’t He strike me down?
Wouldn’t He slap me for blasphemy?
I waited as I listened quietly, tears still streaming down
I heard nothing
I saw nothing!
“Maybe there isn’t any Jesus or God or whatever anyways” I concluded as I fell to the ground
The pain in my tummy, down my legs made my thin legs to shiver uncontrollably
I had never felt that way before
As I felt the cold shiver down my spine and I shook vigorously, it felt as if my heart wanted to jump out of its cage.
It was that bad!
There was a knock at the door.
“Open this door” Mum called from outside
I looked towards the door and it looked so far.
How many minutes would it take for me to get to the door?
That would be ages…
“My children are late for school. Open this door” She banged louder
Tears streamed down my face again
I wish I could garner strength from somewhere but I couldn’t.
I looked towards the wardrobe and there was Sissy’s uniform
I wished I could draw it out magically so that she could have it but no…I couldn’t!
I was so weak that I couldn’t move a finger.
The coldness of the bare floor gave me such comfortability that I had to just concur to its embrace and acceptance.
“Are you crazy Mercy? Better don’t let me utter what is in my mouth because if I do, the ground would be higher than you” she shouted
I didn’t move
I knew it was very dangerous
I knew that I had aroused such anger that if she caught me, the ground would have me in, buried lifelessly but I couldn’t move.
I could just cry…
…And I did it well!
“Bobo, get me the electric kettle with the water in it. I will cook someone to death today.” She said angrily and she meant it!
She doesn’t make empty threat
But I didn’t stand up.
It was soothing as it touched my tummy directly
What was that?
It was like a hot pack against my hurting tummy
I tried lifting my hand and I cringed as I touched it….
She sent hot water streaming down from under the door.
I tried to move away as I saw more steaming streams coming towards me.
“Mummy please” I screamed as I moved my sore body away from the door side
“Open this door, you fool!” she screamed the more
I shook my head as I could feel burns all over my body.
My tears continued on their trails
“Dear, wouldn’t you come and talk to this fish for me? Sissy’s uniform is inside the room and she doesn’t want to open the door” she screamed
“Knock harder” I heard his voice faintly from afar
“Its 8 o’clock already Mr. Man…the school bus is already around. Can’t you hear the honking? Come and break this door down for me please” she cried out again.
“I’m in the bathroom” he replied
“Oh God! What a mess! Mercy, just know that you are dead today. You are really dead today” she said in a shaky voice that was determined to do anything
“Get me more hot water” I could hear her voice once more but I drifted off into sleep, pillowing my head with my hands as more hot streams splashed into my sore tummy and legs
I felt it really bad
But I didn’t care …
I stretched as I wiped the drool off my mouth
Where was I?
Has it all been a dream?
A bad, scary dream?
The pain from my tummy down my lower rib jabbed me up.
I remembered so clearly what had happened
And it dawned on me that I was in a great huge mess because of what I had done.
I jumped to my feet and though I could still feel the pain, it had reduced
For how many minutes had I slept?
Soup don cook for me!
My heart started beating fast as I walked to the door
“Mum?” I called out
I had no response
I peeped through the key hole and it was dark.
She must have left
I needed to brace up courage and bath
I staggered to the adjoining bathroom and as the water from the shower ran through my hair into other parts of me, I wished it could wash me away too
The entire me!
Minutes later, I mopped my body and wore my school uniform.
As I was about pulling my hair into a ponytail and wear my sandals, there was a soft knock at the door
They hadn’t left?
Oh my God!
“Mercy’ it was a cool voice
Whose voice was that?
I walked to the door and turned the key twice
I opened the door
Hot water came travelling from the bowl mum held in her hands.
Just like in cartoon series, I quickly bowed and turned my side towards her in a movie-like slow motion.
The look on her face was murderous
As the hot liquid washed the outer layer of my right hand, my side and my leg away, I fell to the ground with a loud thud, banging my head on the bed
I screamed as my head seemed to be off my body.
Her revengeful laughter rang on in my ears like a killer bell before I started drifting away
I’m gonna die
I’m gonna die
I repeated silently as my spirit walked away gently and gradually from my body.
I heard the many loud bangs at the door
“Mama Mercy!” people called out urgently, banging the door
“Mercy!” I heard my friend who was our neighbor’s maid, Alice call out
I smiled ruefully
Alice came too late
Adieu Mon Amie!
(Adapted from a true life story)
I felt it very cold in my arms
It was as if my arm had been placed in a deep freezer
It was soothing!
I opened my eyes to find myself on the bed, Alice bent over me with her tears drenched face.
What’s wrong with her?
I looked around and found no one else.
The room was quite dim and I wondered what was wrong
“Alice” I called out to her
It was then I noticed she was the one that was applying something on my hand.
“Mercy. You are awake? Ah…My God is the Almighty!” she rejoiced as she hugged me slightly
A part of my head ached and I cringed
“Switched on the light please” I said and she stood up, moved to the window drapes and pulled them down.
She afterwards switched on the light and tiptoed to my side.
“What happened?” I asked as I saw awe in her face
She smiled happily
“When I saw you after falling, the look on your face said ‘Oh bye bye…till we meet at Jesus’ feet’. I was so scared” she said and I looked lost.
What was she saying?
I tried to stand and then I couldn’t.
I felt pain all over my body and I tried to recollect what had happened
“What happened?” I asked again as I saw my hand, heavily coated in a whitish substance
She looked at me so caringly
“That’s ogi…I mean akamu…pap…you get? My oga said it’s good for burns” she said
“Do I have any burns?” I asked and she looked lost
She came close and held my face in her hands like a mother holding her infant
“You can’t remember anything?” she asked
She gasped sadly
“My oga said it o… that since you banged your head against the bed, you might suffer from concussion. Is her word coming to pass already?” she was almost crying
“What happened exactly?” I asked again
I had to remember so vividly
“My oga was going to work and I helped her carry her bag. She was about to go when we heard a very loud cry from upstairs. We ran upstairs and found the door locked. Your mother didn’t open the door till after a while when my oga threatened to call the police” she explained
I didn’t get enough details
I was still in the dark
“So?” I asked.
I wanted more information
I couldn’t afford to be in the dark
“We hurried to your room and you were on the floor, your eyes half opened with a regretful smile on your face. My madam asked your mother what happened and they have gone to discuss outside” she said and I shook my head as tears ran down my face
I felt the hotness of my tears against my skin
I could remember so clearly what happened.
“So, why ogi?” I asked and she smiled
“My oga said she should take you to the hospital but your mother said they might ask for police report before attending to you and she can’t afford police wahala. So, she said ogi is also good.” She exclaimed
Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered all
So, all she could afford was ogi?
Who can I run to now in heaven and on earth?
“But what happened this time around?” she asked as I tried sitting up
I felt pain in my right side and she quickly supported me.
“Thank God it’s just a two-degree burn. My oga said three-degree burn would have required plastic surgery” she said again
“I don’t care if it’s one or two or three-degree Alice! I would have preferred a seven-degree death! I should have died” I cried out again as thick phlegm blocked my throat, causing my voice to be croaky
She looked at me, her eyes bulging out
“What happened? You wanna die?” she asked in a voice that sounded like Cat’s voice in Sam and Cat
I nodded vigorously
“No please don’t die. Jesus still loves you. He does” she said emotionally, tears gathering in her eyes
I covered my ears and shut my eyes as I screamed so loudly
“I don’t want to hear about any Jesus!” I screamed again, neglecting the humungous pains I felt in my side
I opened my eyes as the door was flung open
There stood my neighbor and my aunt, looking so shocked
“Are you crazy?” my mum shouted, folding her hands into fists
“No I am not” I replied curtly
I wasn’t scared of anything anymore
Do your worst!
My neighbor nudged her to calm down and she faced me. She walked closer
“Are you feeling better love?” She asked as she felt my temperature and pecked my forehead
I only looked on like a moron
“Sorry dear. Next time be careful with hot fluids and other dangerous instruments. Thank goodness your mum was home. If not, God knows what could have happened now” she said and my mouth got suspended
That was the new lie created today?
“Help me tell her o” she had the guts to say again
What an effrontery!
Because I don’t want to expose them right?
The door became open and my dad came inside.
I started swelling up in anger as I pointed at him.
I was shaking seriously and I shook even more when he touched me.
“My daughter…oh my Jesus!” he exclaimed and just like a possessed dog, I screamed as I pushed him away so hardly
“I don’t want to hear that name. Stop calling that name!” I screamed as he landed in a settee, holding his chest in shock
Everyone looked at me, so shocked.
I was panting heavily as dug my fingers in my hair
“Have you seen? She is possessed already oooo” mummy wailed as she fell on her husband who was on the settee
My neighbor stood up and gazed at me for a long time
“What’s it? Is there a problem?” she asked calmly
Alice held my hands and I wept, my head on her shoulders
“First she slapped her father…during devotion for that matter oooo! ah!” she yowled again, holding her tummy
“Then, she gave me a huge blow in my tummy all because I said that Jesus is Lord! She is possessed” she cried again and I could not close my mouth as Alice looked at me questionably
“Then , she took hot water and bath herself in it before fainting. The scream was even mine. It wasn’t from her. I screamed when I saw that she couldn’t feel pain again” she lied further and I looked at everyone around.
They all believed
Alice’s oga shook her head in utter disappointment
Alice looked deep into my eyes to ascertain the truth as her mouth was left open.
“She doesn’t just want the name of Jesus to be mentioned again. Its burning her” she said again and all eyes turned to me for reaction.
I did nothing.
The humongous lies were unbearable for me.
Who would believe that they were not my parents
And that my so called father molested me sexually before eventually raping and even glorying in the rape?
Who on earth would believe?
Who would believe that the woman crying so well as she delivered her falsehood-laden speech as if she was pitying me was the one behind the scalded part of me?
Who would believe that?
Where do I run to now?
Whom do I go to?
I panted like a blood-hungry vampire, tears from my eyes, mucus from my nostrils, lips wide apart as I uttered inaudible words, digging my fingers into my already rough hair
“Let’s leave her to rest then. I am late for work. I will check her when I come back” my neighbor said.
She had bought their lies
And she is a deaconess o
Didn’t the God they are killing themselves to worship reveal to her that it was all a lie?
I hissed loudly at the whole situation on ground and dad stood up, coming straight to me.
He caught my hands and pulled them to the back, tying them with a scarf, jabbing my chest forward
He placed his hands on my head and started speaking in tongues
“In the name of Jesus, I command that the tormenting spirit in my daughter Mercy Brown be destroyed by the power that is in the name of Jesus!” he screamed in prayers
With my eyes wide open and tears streaming out, I watched as all of them echoed a loud ‘Amen’
What the heck!
What devilish act!
I didn’t do anything but watch.
Where was this going to lead?
After their prayers, they all left the room and locked the door.
It looked like a film trick to me
I never imagined last night that I would be in the kind of mess I was in at that moment
My hands were still bound behind me.
What can save me from this kind of situation Lord?
Is this what happen to all orphans around the world?
Is this our devilish all Christians are?
Minutes later, Alice came back inside, tiptoeing to my side
She looked at me pitifully and quickly untied my hand.
“My friend, something is really wrong and you don’t want to tell me. What mummy has said is not true, right?” she asked and just looked at her on and on
I couldn’t trust her to tell her anything!
Do I still have trust in anybody?
Did I ever trust anybody?
But he destroyed the trust when he
destroyed my life
I felt like a badly deflated balloon!
I felt like a bone in between the dangerous teeth of a lion- crushed!
“Take this and read it. It’s true. Please believe it. I have to go now. They must have suspected that I had left following them” she dropped a paper in my hand and pecked my forehead.
She ran to the door, turned back, her face glistening with tears, she waved and then closed the door.
I stared into space for a very long time before I turned to look at the paper on my laps.
What is inside this paper?
Alice had been my very close friend since we moved to that neighborhood
She didn’t know how to read and write and her boss asked me to be teaching her. She had proved herself to be a very fast learner because within a space of 8 months after teaching her the basics of the language, she could speak and read fluently
The first day she was to read fluently, she had jumped inside he room to bring out a new, leather bound Bible
“What?” I asked, quite surprised
Her boss laughed
“She said that the first book she would read ever is the Bible. So I got her a brand new one” she had told me
She giggled happy as she read from Genesis 1:1
I looked on in wonder as she hugged me tightly screaming with joy ‘My friend, my friend’
I could only smile that day.
But what had she written in this letter?
I unfolded the paper as the pain in my right side throbbed painfully.
I peeped at my side as I lifted my blouse
Thank goodness I was wearing a very thick corduroy gown when the incidence happened.
It was just a scald that was on my body.
But for my right hand that was badly peeled!
My eyes fell on what was written on the paper and I read with rapt attention
My Dear Mercy,
Some people might carry a small bag, saying its money that is inside it fully
Some might even say that they have a houseful of money
Some might go to the extent of asking you to peep inside their rooms of money and
You would be awed when you see different currencies and denominations.
It would shock you however when the day to go to the market comes and they are unable to buy NOTHING with the currencies!
Because they are fake!
Does that mean that there are no real currencies?
Oh no…People that have it, have it!
That is how Christianity is too Mercy.
Some would tell you they are born again; some might even tell you that they hold different positions in the church.
When it is time for them to prove it, they would fail miserably.
Because they have the fake experience of salvation
Does that mean therefore that there is no real or genuine salvation?
Oh no! People that have it, have it.
That some people defame the Name does not reduce the fact that He exists
JESUS IS LORD AND JESUS REALLY LOVES YOU.
HE IS ALIVE AND HE IS REAL!
I stared at the paper for a long time before my heart burnt really well as if it was being roasted or grilled on an electric barbecue!
I screamed so loudly as I squeezed the paper with my two hands
“No!” I screamed so loudly that my intestines almost jumped out of my mouth
I threw the paper away as I tried to stand up from my bed!
Was it not just enough about this Jesus?
Even Alice could still say Jesus in this situation?
He loves me?
He is Lord?
He is alive?
He is real?
I screamed again as tore at my face with my fingernails.
I will fight this to the end
I had some new strength and I boiled with power.
I stood up with a kind of readiness.
I had a new resolve even as I rose up from my bed.
Since I already have a reputation of a possessed, devilish girl, I would show the whole family the stuff I am made of!
In school, if any guy dare come near me, or one teacher plays with me, oh…I pity such!
I will become the well anticipated demon.
If anybody wanna crush me again, I will crush such an individual
And if anybody says Jesus beside me, he/she would become a martyr!
I laughed hysterically to myself as the thoughts seemed too good for me
I felt a sharp pain between my legs.
Then, some warmth!
I looked down at the bed and there it was.
My bedwetting occurs in the day now, right?
It’s the beginning of new era indeed
I don’t give no damn no more!!!
I had become the shadow of myself
I didn’t care about the way I looked anymore
I didn’t care who looks at me or who doesn’t
I still followed them to church but my ears are always plugged with ear piece that if any usher comes around to stop me, I would show such the stuff I am made of.
I remembered one occasion when I was seated amongst the congregation in the adult church. An usher came to my side and pulled me with such force that I had to bite her hand.
What sort of a woman does that!
“I am a lady myself and not a small girl. That I am an elder’s daughter doesn’t mean you can drag me however you like” I screamed into her ears.
She was a very short woman so it was easy to speak straight into her ears.
She was shaken by what I said to her that she staggered before pulling my ears
“Your dad must hear about this” she said as she pulled me out of the auditorium since I was already becoming a distraction to the church
We met mummy on the way and she just scoffed
“Have you seen for yourself now? The girl needs prayers” she said as she moved past us
She dragged me on and on and I struggled to get myself freed
“It’s a lie o Mercy. You were never like this and it is a lie…the devil has failed over your life” she said on and on
I saw that she was approaching the elder’s office and that was where daddy was.
I quickly bit her finger and she staggered back as she wriggled in pains.
I picked up my shoes and started running towards the church gate.
Even I knew that I was becoming a nuisance already but I didn’t care
Not at all!
Alice saw me and came running towards me but I was determine to jab her if she ever tried to stop me.
Wouldn’t she just leave me alone?
After the incidence two weeks back, she had called my line severally but I had refused to pick up.
I had avoided her like plague
She was a Jesus’ girl after all!
“Catch her for me please” That was daddy’s voice
Oh my God!
I am in serious soup!
The security man and Alice got to me at the same time and held me
Alice looked into my face softly
“Oh my God! What is going on with you Mercy? You have never been violent. Why would you start within just three weeks? Why? What happened?” she asked on
Daddy patted the usher on the shoulders before he started to pull me into his office
Alice looked at me as I was dragged.
She looked so caring.
I reached out towards her as I started screaming
“Alice, save me! I don’t want to go into his office. I don’t want to go please. Save me” I cried bitterly but she shook her head
“He’s your dad. He knows the best” she said, tears in her eyes already
The earth stood still
I shook my head in total surrender and regret.
Could nobody look past the daddy, elder, pastor thing?
Couldn’t anybody feel my pain?
“God bless you my sister” he said as he locked the door and pushed me inside the inner office
He looked at me for a moment and I looked at him too fearlessly
“You have finally become a nuisance” he said and I looked at me, shaking my head
“And you? You have not only become a nuisance. You are a nonsense!” I said
Since the incidence, I had lost every pint of respect I had for the once noble personality of my father.
I had lost it all!
He laughed loudly as he slapped me playfully on my face
“Stop touching me! Would you stop that please!” I cried again
“I love you Mercy. Don’t see it as a punishment or molestation. See me as your husband. I took your virginity. You are mine. I love you” he said and started coming near me again.
Immediately I saw him approaching, I quickly stood form the chair and dodged
I developed a strong allergy from the three words ‘I love you’.
Those were part of the words he spoke to me while he ravaged me.
I would never appreciate someone telling me that anymore.
He followed after me and I stood for a moment
“What would you gain from all these things Mr. Brown? Aren’t you supposed to be in the church? Is the sermon today not to be handled by you?” I asked on
He nodded like an agama lizard
Dark passion written all over his face
“Yes I will go. Only after you have satisfied me. Only after you have said you love me too and you show it” he said like an evil beast and I loathed him immediately
What could save me from another painful experience today?
“Remember I have good plans for you. Remember I pay your expensive fees. Remember, you dress well. Remember everything”
If I scream now, who would save?
Wouldn’t I expose this man after all?
He caught me and pulled me down.
His strength overpowered me and I could not move again.
Within two minutes, it was over and he stood up, went on his knees beside his table to pray while I looked and picked up his bible.
“Stand up and lets go” he said and I looked at him from where I was with great abhor
I shook my head as tears ran down my face
He came near me and pulled me with a hand which I bit as if I was going to chop off a chunk of his flesh.
“I rebuke you in Jesus’ name” he screamed as he downloaded two dirty slaps in my face
I saw different stars before I tumbled and fell into a settee.
He pulled me by the arm again as he opened the door.
He closed the door and locked it.
He left me on the porch of his office as he left for the main auditorium
I was battered!
I didn’t know what could happen next
‘Is this how this would continue?’ I cried on
There was nobody available.
I tried to sit up but I couldn’t bear the sight of myself
I couldn’t even forgive myself either.
I said I was going to really be a devil
What had happened to my resolve?
“Should I just go and take the mic and confess to the whole church? Should I tell the whole world how devilish this man I call father is?” I shouted into the air.
“No please. Don’t” a voice said from behind me.
I turned back to look at the person talking
Her fair face was as red as pepper!
Tears kept falling down her face as she came close to me, sat down and hugged me tightly
I was dazed
What was going on?
What did she know?
Why was she crying?
“I am sorry. I am really sorry” she continued saying as she cried harder
I had to forget all my worries and focused on this crying woman
After weeping for a while without me moving, she looked into my face.
Her eyes were blood shot
“What is it?” I asked her and her mouth scattered again as she burst into another round of tears
“I know. Now I know…what was being cooked that had burnt down the whole house. Now I know” she said and I looked stunned
I smiled to cover everything up.
“What do you know?”
She looked deep into my eyes again
“Exactly what is making you cry. Exactly what has made everyone to term you possessed” she said
My legs grew weak
She must not know!
How would she be looking at me henceforth?
Many ‘how’ questions flooded my mind
“What are you saying? I am just going through some emotional issh….i am..plus…please?” I stammered and she covered my mouth
“I understand my dear. What a very young girl of your age is going through…ah! It’s too much…it’s too much oh Lord!” she cried on and my heart shook vehemently in its cage
“What are you saying? Because daddy beat me inside? I was being rude that’s why” I tried to justify the whole situation
She held my hand and smiled ruefully
“You need not lie. What you did is understandable! Being rude by plugging your ears in the church as you didn’t want to hear your molesters preaching. Biting Mrs. Haruna as she dragged you into the hole of your molester and eventually being thrown away like pure water sachet after being crushed. I understand” she said truthfully and my heart dropped
How did she know?
The truth was what she had said but I could not contain it.
The truth of course is bitter!
I stood up and backed her
“What are you saying Alice? Exactly what?” I said, feigning ignorance
She touched my shoulders and I balked
“Don’t touch me. You know absolutely nothing about me. You can’t just say what you like and think you know how to talk. Leave me alone!” I almost shouted
“You mean I am wrong?” she asked
“Yes you are wrong! How dare you say that about me? How dare you say that about my father? How could you belittle a man of God like that?” I said further, looking away from her
She looked shocked
“You don’t need to run away from the tru…” she wanted to start saying again
“There is no truth in what you are saying ma. Stop it!” I screamed and I started walking away from her
Where should I go to?
If I stayed around these people, I would be battered the more
What should I do?
How did this lady find out?
She was the only person I still had in the whole wide world asides Mr. Brown who still listened to me.
Why would she find out?
It’s a battle I can fight
I need nobody else to fight with me.
“Mercy” I heard a voice call out
It was a very dear voice
But, I didn’t want to see him at that time
“Mercy” Jean called out again
Jean was our Proprietor’s son and he had been a friend from childhood.
We did almost everything in common until we got to J.SS 2 when there was a huge gap between us.
We no longer spoke on phone nor did we gist as we normally did as kids
Now that we are in the senior class, I realized that I was attracted to him.
Everything about him appealed to my senses
I never showed it nor told anyone about it though.
Exactly what he wanted for me now is what I don’t understand.
As much as I loved him and really did care, I wouldn’t want him near me because if he did, I would really hurt him.
He didn’t seem to like me though
He just saw me as a friend
I saw him more than that; hence he should leave me alone!
For now, all male gender should leave me alone!
“Mercy” he called as he moved close
I was walking like I was being chased
“Leave me alone!” I screamed so loudly that my voice rang in the whole compound of the church.
I ran towards the gate but I was bundled into the dark room of the security department of the church.
I panted as air rushed through my nasal cavity as if I had oxygen tubes attached to it.
…..it gets tougher please.
Get me a sharp blade…
Those were the words mum said as we ended the prayers that we devotionally say after every church service.
Dad didn’t follow us home because he had to wait behind for a post-service meeting.
I looked into mum’s face, wondering why the tone with which she spoke was so fierce.
I had expected a severe punishment after the scene I created in church in the morning anyways
But a blade?
I couldn’t just understand
“Mercy, move here” she said as her daughter handed a razor to her
She examined the blade as I drew close to her
I was anxious and restless
“What sort of a stupid blade is this Sissy? Bobo, go to the toilet and check under the towel rack. I kept a broken piece of louver…” she kept saying when he cut in
“Is it the one that you angrily broke when daddy said the food you cooked was salty?” he asked on and she widened her eyes
“Jesus! Bobo, are you mad?” she screamed.
Bobo, sensing trouble quickly ran away, giggling as he did
I shook my head and sighed aloud
“Stupid boy” she cursed out and looked at me angrily, eyeing me disdainfully
“You this good for nothing, mischievous girl, you had better moved here before I slap you with the back of my hand” she said as she faced me
If she was earlier angry, she had become anger itself now!
I went close to her as she pulled on a tall stool on which she sat.
I looked on at her while she looked at me too.
She dipped her small finger into my eyes suddenly.
I felt the salty peppery sensation travelling through my eyes down to my brain and forth.
I screamed in pain as I jumped out of motion
“I was looking at you and then you had the guts to look on at me too? Chai! You have made a mistake ooo because I am soaked in the blood of Jesus. You can do me no harm”
She pulled me and bent me down until I was seated on the cold tiles in front of her.
I had started crying
She kept my head between her laps forcefully occasionally depositing hot knocks into it when I resisted.
“Sissy, bring me the keg of palm oil like a good girl. If you like too, come and remind me that your dad screamed like a mad dog before he gave me the money to buy the oil when we were coming from Kemi and Femi’s wedding in Akure, that day that it was raining. You bastards!” she cursed on as she bent my head further, clamping it with her big laps.
She was just a definition of a talkative!
She had just said herself what probably nobody even knew
Bobo peeped from the window and whistled
“Mum, your broken louver is here” he said
“Bring it here before I say what is in my mouth to you because it will be binding forever” she said angrily and Bobo suddenly walked out of his hiding place, a wide smile on his face.
He slid the piece of louver on the floor and it came straight to Mum’s leg
“Yeh!” she cried loud as she pulled at my back in a tight pinch
“Sorry” he said as he ran back inside the room, locking the door behind him.
“Sorry ma” I said and she hissed as she slapped my back angrily
“That’s all you could say abi? You watched as the boy insulted me abi? You have failed o Mercy! You are so messy…no wonder everyone calls you Messy Mercy…that’s the name that suits you o…mermaid!” she shouted at me again raining down two solid blows on my lower back where it hurts most
I screamed as tears streamed down freely
It was just a transfer of aggression
It was not a new thing but it was so frustrating- why must it be me everytime?
Suddenly, she held the tips of my long cornrows in one hand.
“If it is this hair that is making you really possessed, I will put an end to it today. Today is the day!” she said and I realized what she was up to
“You wanna cut my hair?” I asked, facing her suddenly.
“Yes” she said, smiling devilishly as she aimed at my face with the edge of the broken louvre
I quickly faced front
“You were supposed to wait and dare me if I wouldn’t even write you wonderfully made tribal marks” she laughed loudly
My heart started racing
I hated low cut like anything- it always made me feel like my head was big
I had maintained, cultured and nurtured my long sleek dark hair with such care that cutting it would mean a serious heartbreak that would take decades to heal
That was how I felt until I felt the struggle she had as she cut my hair with the edge of the piece of louver in her hand
“Please ma…don’t do that. Please. You can kill me if you like but my hair? Please” I cried as I held one of my long weave that had fallen off my shoulders.
She had started cutting my hair!
I held her leg as I pleaded but she didn’t response at all
“Keep shaking around like a barber’s chair…is it me that would get cut? Rara oo…it’s you…when you were behaving possessed in the church, you didn’t know right? Biting people here and there…Kai! Before you kill us, we will kill you first. You evil girl!” she screamed into my ear.
“You have cut the length but please don’t touch my head please ma. Please” I cried on and she laughed scornfully
“Mum, but why are you cutting her hair? Why?” Sissy cried, tears on her face
Mum was shocked as I was too
“You are crying?” she asked, surprised greatly
“Its not fair” she cried further
This was the first time both children would tackle their mum since I knew them
They had never supported me
The support Sissy gave me really touched my heart that it bled the more
“Would you get inside now” She said to her
Sissy banged her legs on the floor as she went
“That’s what you do whenever you are wrong! Always sending us in” she said as she entered
She handled my head more fiercely
“You think you have succeeded in turning my children’s back at me? Na lie ooo” she sang on until she had finished scrapping my head, so low that it would never be noticed that the hair of over 50cm long had grown from the pores ever !
I cried so hard as I held the massive, soft, black sleek silky endowment from God which had been uprooted from my head.
I rolled on the floor as I rubbed my plainly scraped head.
She pulled me closer again and was about rubbing in palm oil.
The door opened and Dad stepped in.
I stood up and started going to the bedroom.
“Stop there” he said as he dropped his briefcase on a stool
His wife stood and walked towards him
“Welcome dearie. How was the meeting?” she asked on
There was no response as his eyes were glued on me
“Come over here” he shouted and I twisted my mouth to a side
What is it again?
I sobbed on occasionally, heaving deeply and loudly as I did
“Did you now see Pastor Abolade and Jegede that you wanted to see? Did you tell him that the way he really did at the Pastor’s thanksgiving programme was very…” she ranted on.
Her husband took her hand and pushed her into a cushion chair
“What happened to her hair?” he shouted as his eyes had suddenly gone red
She was shocked
“It was a punishment for all she did in…” she went on
My eyes jumped out of its socket as I saw as a very time-changing blow descended on mum’s chin
She screamed as her mouth bled
“I am not asking for stories…” he screamed, panting for air
“What did you do to her hair?…what?” He asked again, shaking vehemently
She screamed on and on
“I cut it…it was in your defense o…ahhh” she cried on and on as different slaps and punches landed on every parts of her body
It had never happened before
He had never been too provoked to lay hands on her before.
I was so shocked
“Now I am in serious soup” I said to myself as I tried to hold in my sobs
I needed to something about this whole thing
I was confused
I swallowed hand as I placed my hand on my head
“Stop!” I screamed so loudly that he stopped at that instance, panting like a demonic beast.
“Yeh o…elder has killed his wife oo…ahhh…Dimeji, you have killed me….because of one small witch….you want to kill the mother of your children….Ahhh…Somebody help…” she cried on as she ran to the door.
He looked at her side and threw his fist into the air
“If you get out of this house, that is the end of this marriage and I mean it!” he said angrily
She fell to the ground and tugged at her hair
“I have suffered” she repeated as many times as she could, looking at me and spreading her two palms at me, muttering some words as she sobbed heavily
“Come over here” he said authoritatively, his stony eyes running down my body
“There is no need for that. Thanks” I said and his wife looked shocked, still sobbing heavily
He walked closer to me and took hold of my hand even as I struggled
Exactly what was the display for?
Just for sexual pleasure?
I already saw it in his face
Anytime he felt so excited, joyful, bored, angry or something, that would be when he would approach his available sex doll for it.
“The spoilt brat that he is supposed to beat to stupor so she can change, he won’t deal with at all. Its his poor wife always” she said as he walked towards the door.
He kicked her rear as he pulled me out through the door.
“Where are you taking me to? Exactly where?” I asked on but got no response
He opened the car door and stuffed me unto the front seat while he entered the driver’s seat.
He fastened the seat belt for me and so, his Pathfinder car glided out of the compound as neighbors watched on.
“What was the show for Pastor Elder? Where are you taking me to? Where?” I asked weakly and he looked towards me
“For the first time, I beat my wife. All for you my dear…do you still need an interpreter to tell you that I love you?” he asked and I felt that disgust from inside
I started puffing as my chest rose and fell
“I don’t want you to ever tell me such ever in your life…never!” I screamed at him and he laughed
I looked into his face
When did this good man become like this?
Where has the one I had always called dad evaporated into?
Into the thin air?
I wondered on
It was when he held my chin that I realized that he had brought the car to a halt
“Confess that you never liked it too” he said, smiling devilishly
I looked around where we were and it was in the middle of a bushy area…tall grasses everywhere
Only God knows since when he had been planning this next scheme
He laughed scornfully into my ears and then grinned and then frowned as he rubbed my head.
A cold shiver ran down my spine as it dawned on me that I had already lost what was most precious to me after my eyes and virginity- my hair
Tears ran down my face again
He held my hands and rubbed it softly
“Don’t cry baby. That’s why I am here. I will continue to protect and defend you from now on until you accept me. Until you accept my love. I won’t stop because it’s you I love” he said and I looked into his face
Was he crazy?
Is insanity running in his family?
Didn’t he know the repercussion of what he was saying?
Did it even make sense?
But I could not talk!
How my life became this way and what my offence was that God, if He truly exists would allow this was what I couldn’t fathom
“Where do you prefer? The grass outside or here?” He asked, coveteously
“Anywhere is okay by me” I replied and and he looked lost
“It’s okay here” I said, pursing my lips
His eyes widened
“Wow! For the first time, my baby consented …good!” he said and then looked into my face
Tears ran down in quick succession as I held the chair firmly with my two hands.
I was going mad!
He wiped my tears as he smiled coyly
“You don’t need to cry baby mi. That is why I am here- to comfort you!” he said as he started easing me off my clothes.
It was without any resistance!
…..And that was how he did it the way he had always done….
Since this experience, he had had a carnal knowledge of me countless times, meeting with no restrictions of any type.
I had graduated to a point that even if a goat came to me, it would have been a yes!
Two eyes were looking at me…
Whose were they?
Everyone had already gone on break…
I thought I was alone until I saw some eyes staring at me… but who was it?
My head was on my locker as I was having serious stomach ache- maybe it was my period that was coming or something, I didn’t know at all
The students after about a month of bullying me because of my skinny haircut and calling me different nicknames have stopped since my hair had started growing again.
I still led in every subjects in class as my intelligence was natural
Not that I read or practiced Maths much- it was just luck!
But who was staring hard attempts me?
I tried to shift in the chair that I was seated in and supported my side with my bag
I looked to my right and there he was- Jean!
My heart danced like a rubber bounce!
The look on his face….
What was that?
What was that exactly?
“Everyone thinks you are weird recently” he said eventually and I looked at him, not knowing how to talk to him
My mouth was filled with saliva- fever symptom
“But I don’t think that way. I think that there is more to your recent wildness” he said in his ‘ tush’ accent and my heart jumped the more
Did he mean it?
Was he going to tell me about Jesus too?
If he could successfully say whatever it was that he wanted to say without touching me in a way of petting or mentioning the name Jesus, there would be no problem
But if any of the blunders is committed….
Akoi wahala sose! (There would be big problem)
“Could you tell me what is wrong?” he asked and I blinked severally
Someone wanted an explanation?
And he expected an answer?
Never would those words fall out of my mouth
The day I say those words would be the day I would die, I swear!
“If you don’t want to tell me, then don’t tell me. But, let’s be friends” he said, stretching his hands towards me
Fresh hands tho!
Nice brown skin!
The friendship I so wanted was being offered me on a platter of gold
I had to say something to this guy but my mouth was saliva-filled
He stood up and went to our bag shelf.
He checked through his bag and brought out a roll of tissue paper.
He took an ample size and walked swiftly to my side
I looked at the tissue paper
“What?” I signaled with my hand
“There is spittle in your mouth. Throw it here please” he said as he tried to help me up
He touched my shoulders as he did
He had aroused the devil in me!
But I was weak
What punishment could I give him for this?
With one of his hands on my shoulder and another trying to adjust my bag, I released the imprisoned, warm spit on his hand and he jumped up as he left my bag
“What was that? That was why I brought tissue paper Mercy! What’s all these? What?” he asked, irritation written boldly on his face
I looked away
“That would tell you never to touch me anyhow” I said weakly and he looked at me, shocked
“I was just trying to be nice, as a friend” he said again, cleaning my dirt off his hand with the tissue paper and I shook my head
“We aren’t friends” I said and he looked into my face, hurt
“Really” he said, widening his eyes
“Really!” I replied him
I was not worth his friendship
Not when I had become a sex doll to someone who I called father!
“Now I get it. You know how many people wanna be my friends but hadn’t given them a bit of attention? You ain’t even appreciative at all and all I could get was a bit of your shit? Gosh!” he said, loudly
No matter the boldness and ‘I don’t Care’ attitude he wore, I knew he was deeply hurt and I was very sad.
He had turned his back at me and had started going when I wanted to call him
He looked back just then
But he talked first and what he said, killed me totally!
“No wonder they call you Messy Mercy!” he said, hissed and walked out of the class.
I was broken!
I was crushed!
I was shattered!
It was as if my whole world had come crashing down.
I was stuck for some minutes, blinking so hard as tears ran down my face
I picked up my note and pen and jotted down as I did everyday
“I just don’t worth Jean’s friendship! I am filthy and dirty that saying yes to his friendship proposal would even be a sin! But who would understand my predicament? Nobody! But he broke my heart! He just joined the bandwagon to call me Messy Mercy!
I was very pained
As the beast in me roared so high, I stood up, carried my locker and straight at the wall, I banged it hard, screaming hard as I did
As the heavy, metal locker came crashing down, I fell on it too and screamed loudly
As I grew weak and fainted gradually, I heard some movements
“Mummy” I heard Jean’s voice as he screamed
I heard some hasty footsteps
“Jesus!” a woman screamed too as she came closer, pulled me and held me close to her chest
It was Jean’s mother- our proprietress!
“Pack all her books in her bag and let’s take her to the clinic. She is bleeding” she said and my ears became duller
“Jesus! Bleeding? See her uniform…oh Lord!” Jean exclaimed too
Why would I be bleeding?
She lifted me up and seemed to look back
“Let’s go this boy” she said and started moving again
She stopped suddenly and looked back
“Wait! You just put a book inside now. Bring it out” she said and I think he obliged
“Something is written behind it…read” she said and he started reading it
I started wriggling in her hands if I could get down and collect the book from him
I never would want anybody to read that!
But the more I tried was the more I fainted!
But he broke my heart!
Those were the last words I heard him read before I finally passed out
…..I wished never to wake up again!
TO BE CONTINUED