He pulled her into the bamboo hut. It was dark, quiet and empty. She squinted her eyes. There was no form of furniture in the small space.
She wondered what sort of religious meeting was held in the hut.
“Can we go now?”
He shook his head and pushed her. She fell on the sand with a thud. He snatched her bag, flung it, grabbed her shoes, threw it and pinned her down with his weight. Fear gripped her.
What is he doing? Gone was the friendly look in his brown eyes. It had been replaced by a dark sinister stare.
“Tonight, you are all mine,” he made a devilish throaty laugh. It sent shivers down her spine. She struggled for freedom beneath him, but his grip on her was firm and steel-like. The thought of what could happen to her that night made her to break out in sweat, despite the dry cold air.
Oh God… Please help me!
He ripped her blouse apart with one hand and raised her short brown skirt. Her fear multiplied. She whimpered and fought him.
“Be still!” he struck her on the side of her face. The stinging pain made hot tears to gush out of her eyes and spilled all over her face.
“Please… I beg you… let me go…” she sobbed.
“Hey… ssssh… don’t cry,” he wiped her wet face with her torn blouse.
“Please…” she pleaded.
“Ssssh… don’t worry, I will be gentle,” he licked her face. She felt sick in the tummy. No man had ever gotten that close to her. She had
decided a long time ago to preserve herself and give her virginity to her husband as a gift. Regardless of the temptations she had faced, she had never gone beyond kissing a guy. The thought of losing her virginity to a total stranger made something snap within her.
“Somebody help me!” Her shriek caught him unawares. He tried to cover her mouth, but she bit him.
He slapped her twice on both sides of the face, cutting short her screams. He looked towards the entrance. There was no sound. He relaxed.
No one heard her.
“No one is going to save you, you are all mine,” he pulled off her bra and stuffed it into her mouth. The lascivious look in his eyes made her
heart to pound erratically against her chest. He dropped his head and chewed at her bosom, one after the other. The sound of her cries was stifled by the cloth in her mouth. He held her hands above her head and tore off her underwear. He kicked her thighs apart and drove into her. He met a resistance within. He pushed in further and rode her like a horse. Excruciating pains attacked her nerve cells and spread all over her body like wild fire.
Osabohen sipped at the glass of wine and sat cross legged on the sofa. She stared at the television but paid no attention to it. She saw her parents talking in whispers at a corner. Were they still worried about her sister? She laughed lightly. Their perfect daughter wasn’t that perfect after all. As far back as she could remember, her parents, especially her father had dotted on Osayuki. She wasn’t as dark, tall and big as they all were. She was different. What was so special about her? She had heard that her elder sister looked like her late paternal granny. What does that have to do with anything? Could the resemblance be the root of her father’s favouritism towards her?
She drained her glass and felt like smashing it on the white painted wall. It would cause a scene. Her father would scold her and her mother would never let her hear the end of it.
Mrs. Prim and Proper.
She hissed and hissed again. Dinner was over; she might as way head home.
Osaretin glanced at the gold plated wall clock. It was half past nine. It had been a good dinner. It was even better since Osayuki didn’t show up at all. She didn’t even bother to call. At least, their parents had more time for them. If she had been around, it would have been all about her. He would have been invincible. He leaned back on the chair and tried to listen to the CNN program on the television.
Osarodion approached his parents. They stopped talking.
“I have to leave now. You know how the traffic is at Lekki.”
“All right son,” Nosakhare looked up at him.
“Drive safely,” Etinosa smiled at him.
He leaned towards her and pecked her on both cheeks.
“I have to go too,” Osaretin came up behind his elder brother.
“But, you live on the Island. Why do you have to leave now?” she directed her gaze at him.
“I have some things to do before midnight mum,” he pecked her on both cheeks.
“I think I will call it a day too,” Osabohen approached her parents.
“I can’t believe they are all deserting us,” Etinosa glanced at her husband.
He squeezed her shoulder gently.
“Dad, mum, goodnight,” she waved at them and followed her brothers to the front door.
“Drive safely angel,” Nosakhare waved back.
They watched their children leave.
“I will call Osayuki again. She has some explaining to do.”
Nosakhare smiled and leaned back on the chair. Wherever his daughter was, he was sure she had a good reason for not showing up that night.
“She should have called if she knew she wouldn’t be able to make it,” she mumbled and stood up.
He looked up at her.
“Look at the stress Mrs. Grace went through today to make sure that dinner was perfect. Her behavior is unacceptable.”
He shook his head and held his tongue.
She lifted herself and sat up. Her torn blouse hung on her frail sandy chest like a piece of rag. Her skirt was rumpled and covered with her own blood. She began to cry. She looked around the dark hut and searched for her shoes and bag with her freezing hands. She found them and tried to get up. Her knees buckled. She fell on her buttocks and lifted herself up again and stood. She held her shoes and pouch with one hand and tried to hold the torn blouse together with the other hand. She staggered out of the hut and saw two figures a few feet away. She leaned against the bamboo pillar and cried out for help. They looked in her direction, contemplating whether to approach her or walk away.
“Pleeeaasssse… help me…”
They exchanged glances and walked towards her.
“Who you be?” one of them seized her up.
“Wetin you dey do for here?” the other stared in her face.
She didn’t quite understand what they were saying. She needed them to help her get to the nearest hospital. How does she communicate what she wanted them to do?
“Abi this one na ashawo?”
They exchanged glances again.
“Maga no pay?”
“Bros, make we chop our own clean mouth.”
“Correct,” they shook hands and pushed her back into the hut.
She panicked and screamed. They held her down and shredded the rest of her clothing. The reality of her situation dawned on her.
“Please… no! Please…”
One of them held her hands while the other mounted her. She noticed that he had a deep scar on the left side of his dark face. The other had a disfigured right ear. They both looked like hoodlums. She must have attracted riffraffs.
Oh God! Save me!
The man with the scar rammed into her like a cow on heat, with the intensity of bullets flying out of a machine gun. At some point, she passed out and woke up when the second man took over. His hands were all over her, like a treasure hunter. He turned her over and possessed her from behind. Blinding pain made her gasp for breath. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she gave in to the darkness that engulfed her.
She regained consciousness. It was dark and very cold. She tried to move but severe pains attacked her body. She needed to leave the beach. She didn’t want to fall into the wrong hands again. She got on her knees and used her hands to search for her clothes, shoes and bag. She found nothing. She started to sob. She couldn’t leave the hut Unclad. She thought of the dusty dirty blankets that covered the hut. She crawled to the entrance and pulled at one of the blankets with all her might. One fell on the sand. The dust that emanated from it made her to start coughing. She wrapped it around her body and pulled her weight up by holding the wooden frame firmly. One step after the other, she walked towards the exit. She made it to the roadside and stopped the first taxi that she saw.
“Madam, where you dey go?”
She thought for a while. Should she go home? Should she go to the police station? She needed medical attention. Their family doctor worked at Saint Nicholas hospital. It was close enough. She hoped he was still on duty.
“Take me to Saint Nicholas.”
He unlocked the back seat door. She opened the door and climbed into the car. She closed the door and lay back on the seats.
“Madam, you dey okay?” he watched her through the mirror.
“Take me to the hospital, fast.”
He nosed the car into the road and drove off. Ten minutes later, he parked at the hospital gate.
“Madam, we don reach.”
“Go in and ask for Doctor Bia.”
“Wetin be all this wahala sef. Abeg pay me my money make I commot for here.”
She sat up, “Please, go in and ask for Doctor Bia. He will pay you any amount you want.”
He hissed and killed the engine. He got down, mumbling to himself, closed the door and hurried into the large compound. He returned with an elderly man in his fifties. The moment the doctor saw her, he ran back into the hospital and returned with two nurses carrying a wheel chair.
The ringing of his phone woke him up. He heard his wife hissed. It must have woken her too. He sat up and switched on the bedside lamp. He reached out for the phone which was on the bedside drawer and picked the call.
“Sorry to disturb you Mr. Ehaekpen.”
“Doctor Bia… morning,” he recognized the family doctor’s voice.
“Morning sir, sir, Osayuki is right here with us.”
His heart beat accelerated.
“Sir, she is in a critical condition.”
“What happened to my daughter?”
“Sir, you need to come right away.”
“I am on my way.”
Etinosa sat up and saw the panic on her husband’s face, “What is it?”
He turned to look at her, “Osayuki is in the hospital.”
“Call the driver; we need to get there right away.”
She nodded and fished for her blackberry phone which was under her pillow.
“Call the children too. They need to meet us at the hospital.”
She nodded in agreement. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer.
Osabohen picked up her blackberry phone. It seemed whoever was calling her was desperate to get her attention. She checked the caller’s I.D. It was her mother. She glanced at the wall clock. It was past two. What was so important that couldn’t wait till the sun rose?
“Sabby, you need to meet us at St. Nicholas hospital.”
She sat up. What was going on? Was she ill or worse, did her father fall sick?
She liked it whenever her mum called her ‘Sabby’. It felt like an endearment, “Mum, what is going on?”
“Your sister has been admitted?”
“Do you have any other sister?”
Was her sister sick? Was that why she didn’t show up for the family dinner?
“Your father and I are on our way to hospital. Meet us there.”
She climbed down from the bed. It would take her about fifteen minutes to get to the hospital from her place in Lagos Island. She thought of calling her brothers. Her mother would have called them. She looked around for her car key. Where did she drop it?
Osaretin got out of bed. He had just received a call from his mother that his younger sister had been admitted into the hospital. He didn’t understand why he should be dragged there as well. Was he a doctor? He flung his wardrobe open. What was he going to wear?
Osayuki, Osayuki, Osayuki. It was always Osayuki.
He hit his fist on the wooden door.
“Ouch!” he held his hand in pain. He could sense it already; it was going to be a very long day.
Osarodion joined his parents and younger sister in the waiting room. It turned out that he wasn’t the only one in pajamas. His father had a big black coat over his green pajamas. His mother had a red long coat over her blue pajamas. His sister had a blue jean jacket over her pink pajamas. They all looked like attendees for a slumber party.
“Have you seen her?” he sat beside his mother. She shook her head in response. Her eyes were red. She must have been crying. He glanced
at his father. He looked worse. He directed his gaze at his younger sister who was seated behind them, fiddling with her phone.
Osaretin strolled in, in a red tee-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and matching blue boots. He had his phones in one hand and the key to his car in another. He greeted his parents and siblings and sat beside his sister.
Nosakhare raised his head and saw the doctor approaching them. He took a long deep breath.
“Good morning everyone,” doctor Bia addressed them.
“Good morning doctor,” they chorused.
“Osayuki came in a taxi before dawn, Unclad, bruised and… we discovered that she had been molested.”
Etinosa covered her mouth with her right hand, stifling a scream. Tears rolled down her smooth dark face.
“Molested…” Nosakhare repeated. It was hard to believe that something that gruesome could happen to his daughter.
“The extent of the injuries in her private part showed that she had been molested by more than one person.”
“What?!” Osaretin jumped to his feet.
Osabohen felt goose bumps crawling all over her body. She wrapped her arms around herself and tried to block the scary thoughts that
flooded her mind.
“She was able to confirm the sexual assault before she drifted into unconsciousness.”
“Where did the taxi driver pick her up from?” Osarodion boiled with anger. He hated weaklings who called themselves men, men who took
advantage of women to satisfy their despicable sexual pervasions.
“He claimed that she stopped him along the roadside, by Bar beach.”
“Bar beach?” Osarodion and Osaretin chorused.
Doctor Bia faced Nosakhare, “I have notified the police. The taxi driver has taken them to the spot he found her. They promised to continue
their investigations from there.”
He pulled his wife into his arms. She started to cry out loud. She felt as if she was going to die. Osabohen stared at her parents with pity.
She couldn’t imagine what they were going through.
“If you are ready, you can all see her now.”
He helped his wife to her feet. They followed the doctor
down the hall. Their children walked behind them with unsteady steps.
The doctor led them into a private room. They found Osayuki covered up with bandages.
Osabohen sat at the bedside. She couldn’t imagine what her sister had been through. She would not wish such a thing on her worst enemy.
She hated rape stories. She felt angry, hurt and helpless all at once. She hoped her sister’s attackers would be caught and brought to justice.
“Thank you for everything,” Nosakhare shook hands with the doctor. Doctor Bia nodded and left the room.
Etinosa sat at the other side of the bed, “Oh God… look at my baby,” she wept.
Nosakhare folded his hands across his chest. He couldn’t hold back the tears again. He let it flow freely. His chest tightened in anguish.
“Those bastards are going to pay. I swear on everything I hold dear, they will pay!” Osarodion seethed.
Osaretin glanced at his elder brother, his anger was infectious.
…to be continued