Click HERE for previous episodes of Journey To The Future
They say family is everything, so you should understand me when I say Bisi is my life. I kept calling her number, and that feminine computerized voice kept notifying me that it was switched off, as if to appease me. Rape? No. I have been raped twice now, but not my sister. What misfortune is this? As I stood up in panic, my phone fell to the floor and its screen crashed. Keji tried to calm me and I yelled at her,
“Someone has been raping my only family, and here you are telling me to calm down.”
“Kunle, screaming doesn’t change a thing. You need to think, we need to think of how to help her or something,” Keji persuaded, but that only irritated me further.
“Do not tell me to be calm! Do you know what it feels like to be raped? I don’t think so. You wouldn’t know what it feels like for your soul to be ripped apart while your ego is being bruised aggressively. The continuous pounding of your heart as the monster holds you down and tears through you forcefully; he is sweating from excitement and contentment; you are bleeding with a cry for help.”
“I can’t claim to understand what you feel, but I know the anger you feel right now won’t help Bisi. Kunle, please take it easy on yourself” Keji cut in cautiously.
“Okay, okay” I mumbled. I took a deep breath and then raged further, “Yet, that’s not the grievous part. It is the memory of that moment that haunts you for the rest of your life; the low self-esteem that drowns you, and the mental loneliness that envelopes your confidence. I still see the smirk on presido’s face whenever I close my eyes, and hear his taunts whenever there is little silence.”
Silence ensued after my resentful rage. I began to weep like a toddler who lost trail of his mother in the market square as I sank into the floor; my body vibrating, and my hands on my head. Keji approached with caution again, sat beside me and patted me gently, whispering “I am sorry.” I snapped out of my woe immediately, how could I have forgotten to call my uncle?
“Do you have airtime on your phone?” I asked Keji,
“Please I’d like to call my uncle”
“Okay.” She reached for her phone and handed it to me. I dialed my uncle’s number offhand and hit the send button. I sighed with relief when he picked at the first ring,
“Hello, who is this?” my uncle inquired,
“Uncle, it is Kunle” I responded,
“Kunle, why are you kids like this? If your sister doesn’t know well to call to inform me of her arrival in Ibadan, shouldn’t you know better?”
Shocked, I replied, “Ibadan ke!”
“What do you mean Ibadan ke? Your sister left for Ibadan yesterday. She said she was coming to meet you, claiming she has been having nightmares about you. I declined at first but let her go after my wife persuaded me to let her go; she is sixteen and old enough to travel.”
“Ah, Uncle, Bisi is not in Ibadan. She is not with me.”
“What do you mean your sister is not with you? Mogbe!” my uncle lost his cool, “omo olomo.”
Confusion sets in, “Bisi called me earlier, panicking and begging me to come home. She talked about someone haven raped her and…”
“Rape! Aye mi daa, I am in trouble,” I could hear him telling his wife on the background, “My dear, he said Bisi has been raped”
“Rape who? Ikunle abiamo o – travails of motherhood” my uncle’s wife screeched, and the next thing I heard was a disconnect tone. I had exhausted Keji’s credit; the network provider had informed me some seconds earlier that I was running out of credit. I put on a shirt in a rush, grabbed the money Kike had dropped earlier and I stormed out of the house to get airtime. I was about to step outside the gate when I collided into Kike, I was aggressively lost in thoughts and didn’t see her approaching. She was sweating profusely, looking terrified and gasping for air.
I managed to ask, “What is it?” but couldn’t care less, my sister was my priority. I hurried away when she didn’t give an answer, but I noticed the tears in her eyes. Keji came outside also and she tasked herself with attending to Kike. I halted at the sound of Keji’s ringtone, it was my uncle, and he was calling back.
“Bisi said she was coming to meet you at your friend’s place. She called him in my presence, and that was what further strengthened my wife’s appeal to let her go.”
“Bade, Bade, Bade” I repeated confusingly, “Yes, Ba…” I pressed the disconnect button before my uncle could say another word. I paused as several negative thoughts rushed through my mind, including how I will kill Bade if he was responsible for Bisi’s molestation. I turned around in a numb manner and dragged along as I approached both girls. The anger I bottled within made me weak, yet I knew it was soon to become an outburst, the result of which I couldn’t envisage.
“I told you your friend is a beast” Kike cried out, “I went to his house to retrieve my stuffs, on approaching his window I heard a lady screaming. I peeped and caught a disgustful sight; he was raping a young girl. The poor girl was helpless.” She cried on. I had already figured it out, so I just let out my greatest fear,
“It was Bisi. Bade was raping my sister, Bisi.”
“Oh my God” both ladies screamed in synchrony. Right there I knew my life was about to take a drift, into a dark path.
“I screamed and call the neighbours attention to it. Bade fled, but Mr. Chukwu helped rush her to the hospital,” Kike confirmed. I just walked away.
Kike stood beside me and held my hand as I watched my sister lay helplessly on the same bed I laid few days earlier. In the ICU, breathing with the help of a nasal cannula, and a momentarily beep of the life support monitor. Keji soon returned with Lizzy. Lizzy hugged me and whispered “Let me talk to the doctor on call, I will be right back.” As soon as Lizzy exited the room, Keji came closer and held my other hand. Three women trying to comfort me, but I wasn’t comforted.
“This is Dr. Raymond” Lizzy introduced us to the doctor that admitted my sister. We shook hands as he expressed his sympathy.
“How is she?” I inquired. He took a deep breath and answered, “She is unconscious at the moment. She wasn’t just raped; she was badly beaten and bruised. Result of the X-ray conducted shows two broken ribs,” he pointed it out to Lizzy with his finger. “I’m afraid, her chance of surviving is fifty percent” he concluded.
I was subconsciously absent for the rest of the conversation between Dr. Raymond and Lizzy, I didn’t realize when he left the room. I sat beside Bisi all night with my eyes wide open, blaming God for watching while my joy was being withered; Pleading with Bisi to open her eyes and assure me she was going to be fine, but she didn’t even blink. Keji relieved me at daybreak, insisting that I go home to get some sleep. I exited the hospital few minutes later.
“Hello, who dey talk?” he asked with his husky voice.
“Na me, fine boy”
“The same fine boy? The one wey I sign for hin yansh?”
“Yes, na me”
“Wetin presido fit do for you? abi you wan make I do more?” he said fearlessly, “I go allow you knack me again, but you go gimme gun” I answered without pride.
“If I knack you finish, you no go need gun. I go kill anybody for you, fine boy.”
The moment I walked into my former office to lobby barrister for presido’s number, I was determined to sell my soul to the devil; to kill or be killed.
Written by Femi Fragile (Twitter: @fragiletimbzz | IG: femifragile)
Click HERE to subscribe to this blog via email for immediate notification.