BY OZOVEHE EMMANUEL
I have always wondered how people end up becoming what they become. I was judgemental; a critic who never believed people could do bad for good reasons. I was a pious religious young lady who was brought up in a decent home.Life was fun for us all the way. I had a dad who was in legit business and a good woman I could call mum. Our family was the toast of town and the envy of people in Kalas.Two years after secondary school, tragedy ran into our house without knocking; Mama and Papa took their last breath and waved life goodbye. We were not prepared for this, so we took to crying to ease our minds of the grief but we were quickly exposed to the harsh reality of life when my father’s irresponsible brothers plotted the coup that led to our ousting.My father’s brothers wasted no time to make us slaves in our homes. They and their village wives ensured that we were served three course meal of suffering daily so we need not ask for more. They didn’t want to be seen as wicked so they allowed us stay as tenants in our house and ensured that our slavery was the rent we paid.After three years of living in hell, I decided that I and younger sister have had enough so it was time to seek greener pasture. We seized our opportunity when the new house owners were asleep and we hit the street. Not knowing what will happen, we ran.The only thing on our minds was freedom. Freedom was in front we thought so we ran, and ran. Then when our strength failed, we decided to rest in front of a small container in another town we never have been.It was this town that herald the dawn of my change. We woke up the following morning with hunger knocking on the door of our stomach. So we decided to go into the begging trade; it was in the course of the trade that we met Madam Love who metamorphosed my life forever.Madam Love was one of the few people that took pity on me and my sister. She took us to her house, had us washed up and gave us our first meal for the day. She assured us that all was going to be fine after hearing our story. She looked at me and said “you need to be ready to work to survive”. I just nodded in affirmation.It is now three weeks after I met Madam Love; it is three weeks since I have gone round town in search for a job. I have explored all opportunities to no avail. No one was willing to offer me a job. “We would call on you if anything comes up” was the best reply I got.I stayed out in my search for a job that I was not aware when Day handed Night the mantle of governance. I was deep in my thought as I returned from my search when I was blocked by two huge looking men on the lonely path that leads to the place I now call home.“Young Baby, come give us the thing” the one with the husky voice said. I stopped and looked them in the face and responded “I am not holding anything I can give you”. I had given my response based on the fact that I thought they needed money but I was wrong.The other guy winked at the one who had first spoken and the next thing I know was that I was floating on the air with a hand over my mouth. I was taken to the nearby bush and crossed by these dogs. One after the other, they took turns as they dented my body make up. They didn’t care that this was my first time, as they inserted their huge plantains into me.I cried and shouted for help but the world was deaf to me. They molested me and raped strength out of my body and after taking a full tank of satisfaction from my well, they abandoned me in the pool of my blood.My strength had ran away after much struggle and so has my voice. I laid there looking upwards wondering if God was on break. I looked to my side and seeing just bushes, I asked why mother -nature didn’t come to my aid. At this point, my fears were gone. I struggled to summon all my remaining ounce of strength as my body structure staggered in search for home. I got home that evening to meet a disturbed Madam Love waiting with my younger sister for me to arrive home.She stood up to come meet me halfway with her face asking the questions. I could not even get myself to narrate the horrific incident. But as Madam Love and my sister supported me as they took me in, the scene of this horrifying incident was on replay in my mind.Days passed, weeks came by and months strolled by after this despicable event but I could take my mind of it. I ate but food has lost taste and life itself was no more worth living for me. Madam Love tried all she could to help me but she just could not get psychologically close to me.Six months after, another round of tragedy hit me; I lost Madam Love. She was hit by a stray on her way back from the market. As her carcass was brought home, my heart gushed with blood. “ What have I done to God?” this was the question my heart sought to answer.After the death of Madam Love, I knew it was time to move on, so I took my sister and we left. We traveled to the next close by community and that was where I became a strumpet. I would not give any rational reason for joining the trade; but after ten days of begging people to survive and the insults I was exposed to during that period; I decided to join the League of Sex Hawkers.I quickly learnt the trade and the intrigues in it. Because I didn’t want the same life for my younger sister, enrolled her in school and got a house far away from our brothel. It didn’t take long before I became the toast of the business. I was good at what I did.It was during this period I realised that our trade was also being affected by the economic situation in the country. During fuel scarcity, prices for a round of pleasure increases from N500 to N1000 short time and Overnight increases from N4000 to N8000. At this period, we were really sort after.I sometimes wonder why people patronize us but I still cannot answer that question. Then when there was increase in the price of dollar, most of us hit gold mines as our price was triple.A man had worked up to me some days ago in search of my service and the following transpired:“Omoge sexy, how you dey na?” He asked.“I fine oo. Wetin I fit do for you?” I replied, as I probed him.“Na how much?” He asked.“Na which one you want because the price different? If na ST, na N5000 and ON na N20000” I replied smilingas the man’s face changed.“Haba na, wetin happen? Na gold I wan buy? Abeg remove something make I for fit do ON na? Why your price too high?” He responded.“Oga no be me oo, things don cost. This change regime don make things change ooo. You sabi say dollar price don go up and fuel scarce so we must increase our price to survive” I said.“my sister, I sabi this thing but reduce something for me, you sabi say if you do me well, I go fit just marry you. You know say bible say is good to be good and love your neighjbobour as yourself. I go give you N15000”. He said.“Bros abeg make we no just talk go God side onto this matter. Abi you hear say God dey do ashawo work? Abi Him tell you say Him like our business? Anyway, I go collect N19000 from you make e no be like say I no wan gree, but the way I dey see you ehn, I dey feel like say you go wound me” I responded as both of us laughed as we walked away together. The rest was story.The good thing about our job is the fact that you have to be customer-centric and jovial, so we never let ourselves get angry. I stayed as a practising prostitute for the next fifteen years; at this point my younger sister was in her final year.One fateful night, I was in a club for my normal routine when I came face to face with one of the devils that desecrated me. At his sight, the horrendous video of the event that took place on that night when I was robbed my innocence played quickly in my mind’s DVD player.The Monster walked up to me and asked me for a dance and went further to ask me to spend a night with him. I accepted without giving it a second thought after all it was business.We finished at the club and made way to his house with our bottles of Vodca. I already collected my fee from him and ensured we had much to drink. We were both walking uselessly and ‘leglessly’ to his house as the four cardinal points met in my head. As soon as we were in his one bedroom apartment, I went to use the ladies while the monster lay on the bed waiting to get his dues.I stayed in the loo a bit longer and he dozed off. When I was refreshed and came out, I saw the still lying figure of this monster on the bed; it was at this point I made up my mind that this was going to be his last day on earth. I saw a heavy metal which I picked and made my way towards his still body.I raised the metal to hit him, but I could not let go. A million possible outcomes ran through my mind but I decided that it was the right thing to take his life. I raised the metal up and as it came down, it went straight to his head which just popped like an over-ripe pawpaw.As I picked the metal to go a second time, I noticed he didn’t move when I hit the first time. I knew something was wrong so I reached out for the switch and when the light came up, I beheld the devil in the pool of his blood and his mouth foaming.He must have been poisoned. Someone had taken him before me, I stood over his body and shook him hoping he could just breathe and let me be the one that finish him off. I was now angry, why would someone take my revenge.I had shouted without knowing and his neighbours came banging the door, I opened up with the metal stained with blood in my hands while the people rushed in. They were all astonished; no one said a word to me or tried to attack me. They just stood staring at me; as my eyes went flame red.The police came in few minutes later and arrested me and the Corpse. I did not resist arrest; I instead clung to the metal I held, as tears flooded my eyes. I could hear some section of the crowd whispering as I was taken away “wonder shall never end, the girl kill am finish, yet she dey cry”.