‘How dare you?’ She yelled at me. ‘I feed and clothe you, I foot every of your bills and yet you seduce my husband? You want to destroy my home. You Beauty, of all people? Is that how you repay me?’ I looked at Badmus, he was wearing a smile of revenge. My eyes were red with anger.
‘It is not what you think Aunty Tope…’ before I could finish my statement, another slap landed on my other cheek. My eyes went blank . I crashed to the floor still holding my cheeks. Why have I really suffered so much in my innocent life? I thought to myself. Hot tears started streaming down my face.
Aunty Tope charged at me again, but her husband held her back before she could reach me.
‘Get out of my house,’ she said quietly.
Just then, there was a loud knock on the door.
Aunty Tope opened. It was Pastor, his wife and one other man. Mr and Mrs Badmus were surprised to see Pastor in their house without being notified of his visit. I rose from where I sat on the floor and greeted them.
‘Welcome Pastor, welcome Mummy, Aunty Tope greeted as she offered them where to sit.
‘Welcome sir and ma,’ Mr Badmus also greeted.
‘Thanks Brother Badmus, it is you we have come to see’. Pastor announced.
‘Me?’ Badmus asked surprisingly. ‘Yes, you’, Pastor answered and continued, ‘Beauty, please repeat everything you just told us some minutes back.’ I started narrating my story all over again starting from when I was 10years old till that very evening.
How Badmus had been victimizing and threatening me. How he bought me different gifts and finally, how I eavesdropped his conversation with my Aunt and heard him lie against me.
I stopped talking and resumed my tears. Pastor responded, ‘It’s okay Beauty. Mr Badmus what do you have to say about this?’
‘Liar!’ Badmus glared at me and turned to his wife, ‘she was the one that has been seducing me anytime you were not around.
‘Ha!’ I shouted.
‘Keep calm Beauty, let me handle this,’ Pastor ordered calmly and brought out the Diary I gave to him. He handed over the Diary to Aunty Tope to read it. She read carefully through the Diary, shook her head and shouted ‘I can’t believe this. You Badmus?’
‘Beauty! Pastor called out again. ‘Yes sir’ I answered. ‘Go and bring all the gifts that Bro Badmus had been giving you all this while. I went to my room, opened my wardrobe and brought out the bag which contained all the gifts. I gave it to Pastor who in turn handed it over to Aunty Tope again to check the content.
She opened the bag and checked the gifts one after the other. They were all expensive items which she knew very well that I could never had been able to afford. ‘I am finished,’ Aunty Tope shouted and collapsed on her chair weeping profusely.
Suddenly, she stood up, grabbed her husband by the neck and planted her teeth into one of his arms. Badmus screamed. If not for the quick intervention of Pastor, she would have torn his flesh. She continued crying, I felt so much pity for her…
By now, Badmus could not say anything, he kept staring at the rug on the floor of the living room. There was a little moment of silence which had the soft cries of Aunty Tope at the background.
Pastor’s wife was the first to speak. ‘Bro Badmus, you are a disgrace to manhood and to the church. As devoted as you are to God’s service, how can one know that you are this evil? This is great wickedness . You really want to destroy the life of this girl? What of if she had died in the process of aborting the pregnancy, you would have said she had a lot of boyfriends, meanwhile, you are the perpetrator.’
‘Thank God she didn’t die. Only God knows how many girls you have done this same thing to aside from Beauty. May God have mercy on your soul…’ Her speech was interrupted by a knock on the door. ‘Come in,’ Pastor called out. It turned out to be the family Doctor.
She brought with her a result of Mrs Badmus’s pregnancy test. She was just like a family friend, so she dropped by on her way from work to deliver the long awaited good news to the couple personally. ‘May I see you privately, Mr and Mrs Badmus?’ ‘You can talk to us here Doctor, no need for privacy, Aunty Tope responded.
‘Okay then, said the doctor, ‘Congratulations, you are eight weeks gone Mrs Tope Badmus’, she announced with a bright smile. Eight weeks gone to where? My Aunt asked
‘You are pregnant of course’, Doctor replied. ‘You mean for this animal?’ Aunty Tope asked pointing at Badmus.
‘Ha ha, animal ke? When did your husband become one, I expected you both to be glad, doctor said surprisingly’.
‘Not anymore doctor, I wish I never married him talkless of being pregnant for him…’ Pastor interrupted her by clearing his throat. He thanked the doctor for dropping by to share the good news and then told her that we were in the midst of a critical issue. ‘Okay sir, you are welcome and Tope please take it easy on yourself because of your condition,’ the doctor advised and took her leave.
Pastor looked at Badmus and shook his head. ‘I am ashamed of you, ‘Wolf in human skin,’ that is what you are. I do not have much to say to you. Sister Tope, how I wish you prayed very well and sought God’s face earnestly before you accepted to marry this man, God would have shown you his true personality. You would not have become a victim in his net. Well, the past is gone, please take it easy because of your condition like the Doctor rightly said.
Your baby needs you to be healthy at this point in time.’ Please take heart, may the Lord console you. As for you Beauty, from now henceforth, you will stay with us till you get through with your University education. We will cater for all your needs by God’s grace.I looked at Pastor’s wife, she nodded her head in affirmation of what Pastor just said. I went on both knees and thanked them, fresh tears strolling down my face. God has finally fought for me…
Pastor then turned to the man who came with him and said, ‘Officer, please do your job.’ The man in turn, introduced himself as a Police Officer and said to Badmus, ‘Mr Badmus, you are under arrest!’ He started pleading for mercy but no one listened to him, not even his wife.
Badmus was arrested and was charged to court for Rape, Child Abuse and Violence. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Pastor and his wife adopted me temporarily, they were just like my real parents. They shouldered every of my responsibilities . They catered for Aunty Tope’s needs too because since her husband had been to jail, she had not been too healthy so Doctor advised her to stop going to the market till she would have her baby.
Six months later, Aunty Tope delivered a bouncing baby boy through Cesarean Section.
We were all filled with joy. Pastor paid for the hospital bills while Pastor’s wife took very good care of my Aunt. I left campus hastily the next day in eagerness to see my darling cousin, my joy was unspeakable…
A year later, I graduated with a First Class! And for the first time since I parted with my Mum, I felt so fulfilled. Mummy was present at my convocation, Aunty Tope and little Henry alongside Pastor and his wife were there too.
They all cheered wildly as I went to the podium to receive an award for coming first both in my Department and Faculty.
‘Go Beauty! Go Beauty! ‘ Wuraola and Becky shouted continuously. They were all happy for me. Tears of joy clouded my eyes as I received the award amidst applauds and loud cheers from the crowd…
Five years later, I became a Chartered Accountant and also got married to Pastor’s first son, Joseph that same year. Joseph was the man of my dreams. Gentle, God fearing and kindhearted, just like my Dad.
Our wedding was a glorious one. I remembered the dream I had the first night I spent in Jos, it actually came to pass.
Now, I have a lovely husband, a happy home, a good job and I am blessed with beautiful children. The Lord has indeed given me Beauty for Ashes, The Oil of Joy for Mourning and The Garment of Praise for the spirit of Heaviness… I did not speak out on time but thank God I later did. God gave me the courage and boldness I needed to SPEAK OUT the day I came across that scripture that says: ’God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’
Only God knows where I would be by now if I refused to Speak Out.
It really pays to serve Jesus!
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