It is true that I have never met Aunty Tope’s husband. She got married two years ago. It was only Mum and Dad that attended the wedding and since then, she had lived at Jos with her husband.
I quickly put on my dress and was eager to meet the man who married my lovely Aunt. I entered the living room and I nearly fainted at the sight of the man I saw. I came face to face with the man I strongly wished I never set my eyes on again in my entire life.
Of course, he recognized me too but quickly pretended as if he didn’t . I put up a straight face and greeted him. ‘Good morning Uncle’.
‘Good morning’, Angel he replied.
Hope you had a nice rest? Yes, I nodded.
‘She is not Angel, her name is Beauty’, my Aunt corrected her husband from the kitchen and entered the living room almost immediately.
Oh! Beauty, am sorry. My name is Badmus, welcome to our home.
‘Thank you Uncle’, I managed a smile.
‘Okay, Beauty, my Aunt called, let’s quickly get to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, we must leave home by 8:00am like I said earlier on’.
‘What happened to morning devotion in this house?’ I thought to myself. Thirty minutes later, breakfast was ready, we all ate on the dining table.
Uncle Badmus was the first to leave because his office was far from home. Aunty Tope is a trader.
She run a textile materials shop in a big market in town.
We both had our bath and we set out for the market in her car. All the way to the market,I kept pondering on what just happened back home. “Is this not from frying pan to fire?” I asked myself.
We soon got to the market and I forgot about my troubles temporarily.
I watched my Aunt and her customers haggle the price of goods. Some spoke Hausa language, my Aunt could also speak bit of it. I ate a sumptous lunch in the afternoon. I enjoyed my stay at the market and nearly forgot my problems until we were on our way back home.
Uncle Badmus got home before us because we left the market quite late.
‘Welcome honey’, he greeted his wife and planted a kiss on her forehead.
‘Hope you had a nice day?’
‘Yes sweet heart and you?’ Answered Aunty Tope.
‘Well, stressful as usual. I have prepared dinner already, can you please serve it and let us eat, I am famished?’
Thanks dear, that’s sweet of you, my Aunt replied gleefully as she dropped her bag and headed for the kitchen. As I turned to leave for my room, Uncle Badmus grabbed my arm and growled, *’what are you doing in my house?!’
This is my Aunt’s house!’ I winced.
‘You can go to hell for all I care’, he continued in whispers, ‘all I want is for you to get out of this house, don’t destroy my marriage!’
I struggled to free my arm from his grip and hurried straight to my room.
I entered the room and slammed the door heavily as if the poor door was the cause of my predicament.
‘What kind of life is this? Now, I am a home destroyer?’ I sat on the floor and broke down in hot tears.
Badmus raped me and took away my virginity when I was 10 years old. I was in JSS 1 at that time.
There was a man who owned an electrical equipment shop near our house back then . He was my very good friend and I liked him so much. He would buy me biscuits, put me on his laps, sing for me and playfully call me his wife.
One fateful day, I was sick. My siblings had all left for school. Mum had to go to the market that day to get some stuffs but she didn’t want to take me along because of the stress of the road. She decided to keep me at the electrician’s shop till she returned.
The man led me into the shop, promising my Mum that he would take good care of me. Mummy left and I felt at home with my Uncle-friend.
Few minutes later, I felt sleepy, maybe because of the antimalarial drugs that I took.
The man’s house was down the street so he offered to take me there so I could sleep comfortably. He stayed alone in his self-contain apartment but we met a friend of his who probably came visiting, watching T.V in the sitting room, that friend was Badmus.
He took me to his room where I laid comfortably on the bed. He left for his shop while Badmus remained in the sitting room. I almost fell asleep completely when I heard the creaking sound of the bedroom door. I opened my eyes weakly, It was the Uncle Badmus that I just saw at the sitting room.
Before I knew it, he started touching my body all over, then started removing his clothes. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked innocently. ‘I want to play with you’, he replied. But somehow, my mind was not at rest. I stood up and told him I wanted to go home but he pushed me to the bed and removed my skirt forcefully telling me he would kill me with a knife if I shouted. I cried uncontrollably…
He forced his way into me and some minutes later, he was done. The pain was so much.
I felt my private part was burning. I saw traces of blood but I was too young then to understand what it meant. I cried bitterly.
He took me to the bathroom to clean me up after which I quickly escaped out of the house. ‘If you ever tell anyone, you will be dead’, he threatened after me as I scrambled my way through the door. I went straight home but Mum wasn’t back yet so I waited for her at the verandah. Mum came back about an hour later and met me at the verandah of our house.
She was surprised that I wasn’t where she left me and I told her I just came to check if she was back. I was so sad and moody all through the day but Mum wasn’t sensitive enough to know what happened, she thought it was because of the malaria I had. I never told anyone about it because I was too scared to do so.
Since then, I never saw Badmus again until this morning. I also avoided his electrician friend like a plague because I believed they must be ‘birds of the same feather’. So, when I discovered that Badmus was my Aunty’s husband, I felt the vestige of my past coming back to me. How an Angel like Aunty Tope landed in the net of a criminal like Badmus was what I didn’t understand.
‘Beauty!’ My aunt called. ‘Yes Aunty’, I answered as I stepped out of my room to the kitchen, wiping my eyes with the back of my hands…
“Jesus! Why are your eyes as red as this?” My Aunt exclaimed. “I just remembered Daddy”, I lied.
“Oh dear, please don’t do that now okay? All will be well. Don’t worry, you have another Dad here, you will be fine”. She gave me a warm hug.
“Another Dad indeed! If only you know who your husband truly is…” I thought.
“Thank you Aunty.”
“You are welcome dear, now let us serve dinner”.
During my stay with Mr. & Mrs . Badmus, I avoided Mr Badmus. We hardly talked. My Aunt noticed it so she queried me one day.
“You seem not to like my husband, Beauty” I was shocked.
“No…. no…. no… I…Aunty I am…” I stammered.
“It’s alright, I only wondered why the two of you hardly talk, but never mind”
I pretended as if the food I was cooking was already burning. I quickly disapprared into the kitchen and never entered the living room till it was dinner time.
Exactly eight months after I got to Jos, I sat for the UME examination. I had a very good score. I did excellently well in my ‘O’ levels too. Luckily for me, I gained admission into the University to study Accountancy
My Aunt was so proud of me, likewise my Mum and siblings were overjoyed. I was so glad that at least, my entrance into the University would stop me from seeing the man I hated so much.
On a fateful day, about three weeks to the time I was supposed to resume fully at school, my Aunt travelled to the South West to attend a family function so I was left at home with her husband. She was meant to spend three days on the journey. The very night Aunty Tope travelled, Mr Badmus made the move to have sex with me again.
I escaped from his grip and fled from the house. I went to stay with a friend of mine who stayed with her grandmother down the street. I lied to them that Mr and Mrs Badmus had attended a function in the neighbouring town, and I was too scared to be home alone.
I returned home on the evening of the third day with the hope that my Aunt would be back before night fall but she didn’t. When I realized my Aunt might not return that day, I quickly entered my room, locked the door and kept the key near my pillow.
It was in the middle of the night, I was already sleeping but it wasn’t a deep sleep.
I kept waking up almost every five minutes. Then I heard a sound at my door. It didn’t occur to me that Uncle Badmus had a spare key to my room. He inserted the key and flung the door open. He immediately switched on the light and I sprang up from the bed. I wanted to run but he caught me. I screamed. He used his hand to press my throat till I started coughing.
Mr Badmus is a wolf in human skin. I started begging him, i told him I would leave his house that very night and never return if that was what he wanted but he refused. I struggled and struggled to no avail. My strength was nothing compared to his.
That very night, Mr Badmus had sex with me again without my permission. He raped me and still threatened to kill me if I ever told my Aunt. He also added that no one would believe me because he was a fervent worker in his church.
I cried and cried. I couldn’t sleep till dawn. Where will I go to in this big city? I do not know anybody.
I thought of borrowing a phone to call my Mum and tell her what I was passing through but I dismissed the idea immediately when I remembered what Badmus said. Maybe it is true that no one would believe me. I remembered my Aunt. She doesn’t deserve this. It will break her marriage if I ever speak out. She has been so good to me. She has been responsible for my feeding and clothing. She even promised to sponsor my schooling to any level I wish to attain.
If only Mummy had found time to come and visit me in Jos all these while, I would have summoned the courage to tell her. I burst into fresh tears as I sat on the floor of my room…
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