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May 08, 2017
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As I sat there hoping and praying in my heart that I wouldn’t die that night he gently lifted, put me on the bed and though this seemed tough to handle, I thought I sensed a bit of care. As I laid on my back with my eyes closed, I could hear him undress, and I wished that I would die that night, instead of having to go through something so unknown. I don’t know if it was my fear of not knowing what was going to happen next or the fear of alhaji, but I was afraid. Budde! Budde!! He screamed and yanked me off the comfort in my thought. Again, I shook and as I didn’t, respond, he used his giant hands, tore off my wrapper and the next thing I could feel was a terrible pain that shot through my private part.
The next morning was difficult for me and I couldn’t get out of bed, but I had help. She looked at me with so much pity and her eyes kept saying these words to me “I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but there will be more”. Don’t ask me how I could read that from somebody’s eyes, but yes as I read it, so it was. It happened again, and again, and again. So much so that I tried to be used to it and probably enjoy it too but it never worked. One day I began to wonder if every man was like this, and if my mother was treated this way too. So as alhaji came to my room again, I had a request before he asked me to open my legs. I wanted to visit my mother. And it was like magic, he agreed and by morning the cars were loaded with gifts for my family. And  I, felt like a queen returning from a voyage with so much gifts and blessings for her people. As I stepped down from the car, everyone welcomed me. I wasn’t the secondary school girl any more. Somehow I felt different. We got talking and father retuned, his first question to my surprise was, how are you?. Stop thinking what he would have asked, considering the way he gave me away, I thought his question would be if I’d run away.  Well, I responded; I’m alive. I went to help my mother in the kitchen and she asked; Has he…..before she completed the question I replied yes. And a lot. And that was it. I was forced to wonder if everyone was just so cold, or if it was just me cooking up ideas in my head. Well, I had a reason for coming here and I wasn’t going without it. Did he force you? She looked at me for a long time, and then said no. And I couldn’t help, but ask why they had forced me into the hands of a man who forced me to have sex every time? She had no answers but tears rolled down her cheeks.  As I tried to console her, I heard the voice of George, the son of our Idoma neighbors. We used to play together till he went to boarding school at Benue state. As he greeted dad and came in, I couldn’t believe what I saw, he had become so grown. I said hello and for a while he didn’t recognize me. When he finally did, he asked where I’d been?  And my mum, quickly said, she got married, and right before she finished her statement I interrupted and said, pointing to my dad and mum, “they sold me off”. Of course they both screamed, but then one good thing about being married to alhaji was that no one could completely look at me talk less of harming me. Wait a second, right in that moment, someone was looking at me just like that, like he wanted to eat me up, and I couldn’t help but that got me thinking, just maybe there are other ways out of my predicament. I mean, it looked like one was sitting right opposite me with eyes that had undressed me in his mind.

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