I was still deep in thoughts when the nurse returned, with a bunch of keys. She signaled me to follow her. Sarah simply refused to follow us. We climbed down a flight of stairs leading to the exit. Her car was packed in front. “Where are we going?”she asked, as we both took our sits in the car.
“Ikeja” I replied. She started the engine and our journey started. As it progressed, I placed my head on the dash board, thinking and sobbing. A lot of thoughts flashed through my head. Hannah was pregnant, she was sold by our friend, drugged and Molested. I imagined the horror she went through, and her eventual hospitalization. I wasn’t left out of the suffering either. I had lost my virginity and pride to a boy who had moved on very quickly. I was caught in a hotel room with a boy, like a common prostitute. I also wondered what would have happened to me if I didn’t have the courage to escape from the hotel. In all, my life had taken a negative turn, I hated who I had become. Is there any way back for me.? I wondered, as tears fell freely from my eyes. I felt the car slowing down and pulling over. I knew we hadn’t gotten to Ikeja yet. I lifted my head from the dash board to see what was happening. It all seemed clear in front of me, there was no reason for us to stop. I turned towards her with my tear filled face, wondering why she stopped. Her attention was solely focused on me. She had a look of sadness and pity registered on her face. Her gaze provoked more tears, as I started sobbing loudly. “Here, stop crying” she said, handing over a white handkerchief. “I can tell that you are different from your friends “she continued. How did you get involved with them? ” she asked
“I don’t know, I thought we were friends “I replied in between sobs. I couldn’t control my tears anymore, I was already crying bitterly. The reasons for my tears were many, sadness and sorrow overwhelmed me. I just felt like dying. I opened the door quickly and ran out of the car, I had no idea where I was or what I was doing. I came to a stop a short distance away from the car and fell on the shrubs. I felt I was going mad. The nurse walked up to me, and held me up. She hugged me, holding my head tightly to her shoulder.
“It’s okay, I know this must be difficult for you, just know I’m here for you.” she said, in the kindest voice I have ever heard.
I laid helplessly on her shoulder, crying profusely. My tears soaked her white uniform. We were beginning to get attention from passers-by. She held me by my waist and lead me back to the car, and held the door open for me to sit.
“Ruth, talk to me, what have you girls been up to”? She asked again. I felt a little bit more comfortable, there was nothing else to hide, the truth will soon be out and everyone will know. I revealed all the events of the past few weeks, including all the minor details. I told her about our regular escape from school, and how we usually pay the gate man. She did not seem shocked to hear any of it, not even the escapades with Matthew. She listened patiently and quietly to my story. “But why Ruth? Why did you choose to follow this path, why ignore your parents discipline? “She asked, looking straight at my eyes. “I just wanted to be loved, I wanted someone to understand me. He was just there for me, he……. ” I stopped to wipe the tear from my eyes and control my weeping. She held my head up, and turned it towards her.
“I’m sure your parents love you, just give them a chance, you can be a better person” “They don’t, no one has ever spoken to me like this. ” I replied coldly.
She let go of me and turned towards the windscreen. “No one is a perfect parent, my daughter was about your age when she gave birth. ” she said, as a feeling of sadness overwhelmed her. I wiped my tears when I heard those words. I simply decided not to cry anymore, knowing that it could have been worse. She looked at
me again and said” you can be a better person, don’t give up on yourself.” She started the engines, and our journey continued. Few minutes later, we were at Hannah’s house. It wasn’t exactly a mansion, it
was the habitat of people who earned decent wages. Hannah’s mother’s car was parked outside. The nurse pulled over at the side of the road, and we walked a short distance to Hannah’s house. The front door opened before we got to it. Hannah’s mother came out of the house, well-dressed with a bible under her armpit. She
looked set for evening service. We hurried quickly to catch up with her, while she was struggling to lock the door.
“Excuse me ma” the nurse called out, to Hannah’s mum, as she hurried towards her. I stayed back at the gate, fearing the reaction from Hannah’s mum when she hears about her daughter. I was too far out to hear the conversation that ensued between them, but Hannah’s mother’s countenance changed, she looked worried and began to panic. She got into her car in a hurry and drove off. While the nurse and I got into hers, and headed towards my house. I still managed to get home a little early. My mum had returned from work, she was watching a movie in the sitting room. I greeted her and walked towards my room quickly to avoid being noticed. My eyes were swollen, and my face was a mess. I threw my school bag on the floor, took off my uniform and tied a towel. I wanted to wash off the day’s events from my body and mind. I needed to rest badly. As I headed for the bathroom, my room door opened. My mum walked in. I tried to hurry into the bathroom to avoid any confrontation with her, I did not want another fight.
“Ruth wait” she called out, halting me in my stride.
I stopped, without turning around to look at her. I anticipated a question and answer session. “What is wrong my daughter, you don’t look happy” she said in a rather nice tone . I was quite shocked, my mother doesn’t usually speak to me in such manner. I turned around to make sure it wasn’t someone else. My eyes met my mum’s. She noticed my swollen eyes and battered face. “Have you been crying? ” she asked, moving closer to me. I paused for a moment, it was quite obvious. There was no use denying. “Hannah is in the hospital ” I muttered. “Oh what happened to her? ” She fainted” I replied, convinced within myself that I haven’t told a lie. My mum tried comforting me. Her attempts were lame but duly appreciated. I went into the bathroom, as she left for the sitting room. I took my bath slowly, wondering what would transpire between Hannah and her mum. I stepped out of the bathroom after about fifteen minutes. I wore my night cloths, and retired for the day, hoping to fall asleep as quickly as possible. However, sleep eluded me. My eyes remained wide open. I continuously replayed the day’s events in my head, wondering how it would all end.
The sound of my door handle turning interrupted my thoughts. My mum walked in again, with her hand placed on her ear. She spoke for a while with the person at the other end before turning her attention to me.
“That was Hannah’s mother ” she said, giving me a suspicious look. I sat up on the bed, knowing fully well that the
game was up. ”She told me a lot of things I don’t understand. Ruth, what happened? Who did you go to see in a hotel? Is what I’m hearing true? ” I looked at my mum’s face, I could feel her disappointment and frustration . I bowed my head slowly and began to shed tears again. I knew I had let everyone down, I was a bad person. “So it’s true? This is what you have become?” she said, with a shaky voice. She too was close to tears. She sat on my bed and buried her head in her palm. She seemed greatly pained, and I knew it was all my fault. I knelt down beside her and began to apologise profusely. I tried to explain the day’s event to her as accurately as I could remember, while tactfully leaving out anything that had to do with Matthew.
“You see why I told you not to associate with those girls? Imagine yourself in Hannah’s situation” My mum said after listening to my story.
“Promise me you won’t tell daddy” I pleaded.
My mum obliged, as she left me to continue in my thoughts. I heaved a sigh of relief as she left, believing that it was all over. I made a resolution within myself never to return to this way of life. I wanted to be a better person. I will ask God for forgiveness.
Hannah resumed school after about one month of absence. She was looking quite different. She was much more withdrawn and anti-social than she used to be. The news of her miscarriage and apparent molestation had been on everyone’s lips. Though there were different versions of the story, they all seemed to have emerged from one source, Sarah. She had made new friends, and never seemed to care about what happened to Hannah. I was the only person Hannah had. She never failed to express how much regret, pain and embarrassment she had caused herself and her family. I could feel her pain, I was just thankful it wasn’t me. We watched with keen interest as Sarah and her new found friends continuously absconded from school and returned unsuspectingly. It surprised me how easily she could influence people. Each time I saw her friends, it was like seeing myself all over again. Two weeks passed, as we neared the end of the term. It was a typical Monday morning. The last lecture before break had just began, Sarah and her friends left the classroom with their bags hanging from their shoulders, heading towards the gate house.
Hannah and I went straight to the principal’s office, to alert him. The principal was a stout old man, known for his extreme punishments. He was angered by our news. He walked hurriedly towards the gatehouse at the back of the school, hoping to catch Sarah and her colleagues. Hannah and I walked briskly behind him, struggling to keep up with his pace. Halfway through the journey, I felt thirsty and exhausted. I was panting heavily. It had been going on for quite a while now, I waved it off as stress. As I struggled to keep pace, my vision became blurred, eventually turned dark, I felt weightless and powerless. I tried to call out to Hannah, but my vocal cord produced no sound.
From that moment, I had no idea where I was, or what was happening.
I opened my eyes slowly, trying to figure out where I was. I knew I had passed out a while ago, but I couldn’t guess how long. I turned my head sideways to look properly at the figure sitting in front of me. My vision was inaccurate and blurry at first. As it began to brighten, I could see my mother sitting close, with tears flowing from her eyes. I looked around the room carefully, it was obvious I was in a hospital. Fear gripped me as I saw the sadness on my mum’s face. I was scared that something bad may have happened.
“What happened? “I asked, trying to prop myself up on the bed. My mum handed me a piece of paper. I snatched it from her, and scanned through it’s content. It made no sense to me, it was mainly medical jargons. “I don’t understand, what does it say? ” I asked as I handed the paper back to her.
“You are pregnant “she said, in between sobs. My heart skipped a beat, my head felt lighter. If I were standing, I’d have fainted again. I broke down in tears, thinking it was not possible. I remember I swallowed the pills Sarah gave me. “No no it has to be a mistake “I screamed. “Blood and urine tests have confirmed it” my mum replied
I held my head in my palm, utterly confused and dejected. I had no idea what to do or say. I felt like dying. I could feel my energy draining away. I wanted to cry, but It seemed my tear glands had dried up, or my pain was more than tears. My father burst into the room, and screamed at the top of his voice.
“so you have disgraced me finally, you have brought shame to me” He tried to hit me, but my mum held him back. “She is pregnant, don’t hit her please”.
I just laid motionless on the bed, at this point I couldn’t care less if I was dead. My life was empty and meaningless. “Who is responsible for this “my father shouted. ”Matthew!!! ” I blotted out without hesitation. “Get up, we are going to his father’s house”. My dad dragged me roughly from the bed, he led me out of the door, not minding my current state of health. My mum tagged along, as we headed for Matthew’s house.
The atmosphere was tense, the reception was hostile. Matthew’s dad had labelled my dad a failure for not being able to control the “small prostitute” he had in his house. He was convinced that his son wasn’t responsible for my pregnancy, even before hearing his side of the story . He ordered us out of his house, but my dad insisted on hearing from Matthew first. Matthew’s Dad called him over the phone, and ordered him to come home immediately. We sat and waited quietly for about 30 minutes. I stood behind my mum who was weeping profusely. My face was devoid of emotions, I had cried myself to the limit. Although I was falling apart inside, my countenance didn’t reveal much. Matthew arrived no sooner than expected, he entered the living room unannounced, perhaps expecting to find his father alone. The faces before him threw him back. He paused for a
while and examined our faces closely. No doubt, he must have deduced the situation appropriately. He reorganised himself and greeted everyone.
His father pointed a finger at me. “Do you know her?”he asked. “We attend the same church” he replied calmly. “She said she is pregnant for you”
“Jesus! “Matthew exclaimed, putting his hands on his head.
“Daddy, I don’t know what she is talking about” Matthew denied. “Shut up, the catechist caught both of you in church the other time” my father cut in. “That was then, she was my girlfriend, but we broke up when I caught her in a hotel with a man” Matthew continued.
“I told you she is a prostitute ” Matthew’s Dad contributed.
“She has been sleeping with my cousin, what ever she is carrying there must belong to him,” pointing at my abdomen. “Did I not catch you with him in a hotel? ” Matthew asked.
The entire scene was inhuman and embarrassing for me and my family. Being called a prostitute with circumstantial evidence made me want to die.
Who would have believed that Matthew would ever treat me like this? Few weeks ago, he took my virginity, he was my knight in shining armour. Today he is the one labelling me a whore. I bent my head in shame, as everyone turned towards me, waiting for a response . Any reply I give would make no difference, I’d be damned anyway. “His cousin has returned to Canada, you can take your prostitute daughter and grand child to him there, but for now get out of my house” Matthew’s Dad barked. My dad jumped to his feet and hurried out of sight. My mum and I walked slowly towards the door. I walked closer to Matthew and
whispered to him. You’ll come looking for your child someday.”
He totally avoided eye contact with me, he knew deep within himself that he was the father.
My dad’s car was not parked outside anymore, he had left us in anger. My mum and I took a cab home. We cried all the way home, other passengers looked at us in amusement, wondering what was wrong. We got home, me and my mum went in separate direction. I went to my room and continued my tears. Daniel joined me in my room, and cried along.
About 10pm, a sharp knock on the gate awakened everyone. Daniel went outside to open. My father staggered into the compound, towards the house. I came to the seating room to have a good view of him. The stench of alcohol and vomit escorted him as he staggered along. He began to utter several senseless words. “You disgrace me you disgrace yourself. I’m a failure, but your education is over, you and your life.” I knew he was referring to me, I was grieved. I had never seen my father drunk before. As I watched my father throwing up, and my mother weeping, I felt terrible. I knew I had brought shame and disgrace to my household, and myself. I had made mistakes that would change my life forever. All it really took was one wrong turn.
Am married to Jesus now, i’ve learnt my lesson and no going back on this. I’ve repented and ask God for forgiveness and I have the full assurance that my sins have been forgiven. Am fully reconciled with my parent and they’ve forgiven me. We are enjoying our new life episode in Christ.
I believe many ladies are about to take this step, some might have even taken such step, i’ve decided to share my story with you. My aim is to admonish you all to retrace your step back to God, don’t destroy your life, future and destiny once you get free from the bondage (as it is rightly tagged by teens) of your parent, rather hold on to the faith you believe in.
God bless you, Shalom!