If you haven’t read the previous episode, please click episode 15
Three weeks later…..
Life went on as usual, assignments to do, tests to read for, calls from home and even uncle Sam. Trust me, I took life like nothing serious had happened before. I let go of the past, not that I forgot or wasn’t still hurt but it wasn’t as hurtful as I imagined it would be. As long as I wasn’t pregnant or ill and no one knew about it, It didn’t bother me. I was just fine, so my young mind made me believe anyway. I still got to see senior Daniel at our usual spot who just always made me happy. At least, he still had one more year to spend before leaving secondary school. I would really miss him and all his caring and loving features, I kept telling myself. I was even closer to him than I was to my school mother.
Speaking of my school mother, senior Onome. She called me one evening after prep and told me to come arrange some things in her room. As much as I hated going to seniors room, I obeyed. When I got to her room, she pointed at a heap clothes on her bed and asked me to fold them neatly and put in her locker. I really hated her that moment as I was doing an assignment with Anabelle. Anyway, I started folding the clothes and I noticed they weren’t the normal type of clothes you would expect students to have with them in the hostel. They were fancy and actually pretty. I saw some dresses that got me looking for the hand and some I thought were smaller than her size. While I was arranging, I slowly chipped into senior Onome’s conversation with her other friends.
They were talking about parties and boys and what not, not that I really wanted to hear it but their voices weren’t as low either. I heard one of the seniors say something about ‘doing it’. Although I didn’t understand at first, I knew what she meant when she said some other things. She was talking about how much she enjoyed her first time with a married man and this time, my eyes opened with shock. But as shocked as I was, I made sure it wasn’t obvious that I heard. She mentioned some other things about how she gets money from them just by having sex with them, calling it ‘a small thing’. Not only did she say married men, but our school teachers. I could remember her mentioning Mr. Pete, one of the science teachers. The man had always been a pervert anyway. They went on and on with topics like this and I could see them jumping up and being all excited. Senior Onome and the other senior wanted to try all the things the other girl had been saying so they were too engrossed in their topic to notice that I was done with the clothes. As I was about to leave, senior Onome finally noticed and called me back.
“Ehen Mesonma! Did I tell you to leave? Am I done with you?” senior Onome spoke out.
I shook my head not saying a word.
“I hope you didn’t hear anything. If you open this your mouth to say anything about us ehn. You’ll know how far. Get out.”
I ran out of the room not looking back. I couldn’t believe my ears. I always knew things like this occurred in school but it was just my first time hearing it from the executors themselves. I didn’t forget it instantly as I thought about all they were saying. They made everything seem so right. I mean my mates were already having boyfriends with boys even their seniors and doing things that you wouldn’t imagine them do. The seniors even did worse and some teachers were even involved. I just came to think that it wasn’t bad after all. I thought it was a normal thing and so I didn’t see it as something wrong even though Anabelle still saw it as something not right.
The next Saturday, my uncle with Esther came to see me. He had said Esther really wanted to see me. And since my parents weren’t able to bring her, he had offered to bring her as he also missed me. Remember I made mention that I was no longer angry with my uncle. I was actually happy to see him. I talked and played with Esther until it was time for them to go home which got both of us really sad. Uncle Sam told Esther to wait for him in the car while he spoke to me for a while.
“Can I sit at the front now uncle Sam?” Esther asked.
“For now, just sit there but you know when I come, you’ll have to sit at the back”
“Okay…,” Esther replied with a sad face. She always wanted to sit at the front but they never allowed because she wasn’t always behaved. And she could be a distraction to the person driving even though children under twelve weren’t adviced to sit at the front.
Anyway, in order not to digress, I spoke to uncle Sam for a while and he asked about school and everything in general. Saying he couldn’t wait for me to come home for the break. He mentioned how much he loved me and I told him I loved him too. Despite the fact that he did what he did to me in the past, I still thought he was very loving and caring. He fed me with a lot of things that I enjoyed hearing. Things that I didn’t hear often. This was my uncle but it started to feel like he wasn’t. It felt different, more like a boyfriend. Yes, very stupid of a thought especially because I was still so young and he was my uncle but it felt that way. Maybe because I wanted to feel what my other mates said they felt with their boyfriends or maybe it was just because of the situation and the way my uncle was. I really couldn’t tell. I hugged him when we were done talking and went back to my hostel.
Now this was when things got…..
After the term’s exams, we were usually supposed to stay in school a week before going on our holiday. I guess it was because they wanted to finish compiling our results for us to have them before going home. Some people lived in other states and very far from school so it was more convenient.
On a very calm night, Just two days before school was to close for the break. I was returning from where I went to meet senior Daniel when I saw some other senior boys at the extreme end of the uncompleted admin building calling out to me. Initially I thought they were saying something else or calling someone else but I noticed it was me when I saw that there was no one else around. I did like I didn’t hear because they didn’t look like they were in their right senses and I knew that corner wasn’t safe either. I kept walking hoping that they wouldn’t call out again but I was wrong. They all walked up to me and grabbed me scolding me for not answering but it didn’t end there. They dragged me to the uncompleted building even when I was shouting for them to let me go. I struggled and struggled and hoped it wasn’t what I thought they wanted to do to me. These boys didn’t even look like high school boys even though they were. They were big boys who looked drunk of some sort.
I kept struggling and started screaming when I saw one of them fumbling with his belts and trouser. I screamed and screamed thinking this would be another case of rape. I couldn’t and wasn’t ready to go through it again. I almost bit the one pressing me to the ground but he realized on time and removed his hands. The two boys kept on telling the one pressing me down to be fast. At that point, I was ready to give up but I kept screaming and not long after senior Daniel came to my rescue. I guess he had just been leaving our spot when he heard me scream. Immediately senior Daniel got to where we were, two of the boys ran away. The other one who was pressing me to the ground was too slow as senior Daniel punched him in the face. He kept punching him and I could see the anger in his eyes. That was the first time I saw him very serious and angry. I began to get scared for the boy so I started pleading for him. I told senior Daniel to let him go as I was okay now but he didn’t even listen to me. He kept beating him up even as I kept pleading. I could see blood on his face and how weak the boy was getting until he was too weak to even move.
To be continued….