The Elder’s Daughter – Episode 22
© Jennipher Duru
Esther took the tablets. She looked at them closely. “What is there to live for when I have no worth here on earth?” she thought to herself. She opened the bottle and took out as many tablets as she could. She poured some water in a glass and, with tears flowing from her eyes, was about to put all the tablets in her mouth. Suddenly, she felt like someone touched her shoulder. Out of fear, she threw the medicine on the ground and looked behind to see who it was: there was nobody. However, she could still feel the presence of someone in the room. Esther put on her slippers and ran out of the room. She even forgot that she had been limping a while ago. Some students starred at her as she ran. She ran all the way to the main entrance of the girls’ hostels and stopped near the public garden, panting like someone who had just seen a ghost. She went to sit on one the garden chairs made of stones. She wondered what had just happened to her. “Oh my God! What was that?” she thought to herself. She was so afraid that she didn’t think she could go back to the room alone. She stayed at the garden for almost two hours before she decided to go to the library. As she was about to enter the library, Angela came running towards her “Esther, Esther! Where have you been? I have been looking for you for almost an hour now.” She said. “Oh really, I was at the public garden” Esther said. Angela looked surprised. She touched Esther’s forehead and asked “Are you alright? What happened in that room? I found almost all the tablets on the floor, with a bottle of water”
Esther did not know what to say anymore. She started crying again. Angela held her by the hand and took her to the public garden again. “Esther, please tell me what is going on” she said, looking very worried. Esther was not ready to tell Angela that Jacob had raped her. She only narrated her attempted suicide and the presence of a strange being inside the room. “I could swear there was someone in the room. I felt the person’s hand on my shoulder” Esther said as she narrated the story. Angela shook her head in wonder “My God! I hope we are not living with a ghost in that room. But Esther, how can you even think of doing such a thing? Don’t you know that it is a big sin before God to take one’s life?
Esther: To tell you the truth Esther, I do not think I believe in God anymore
Angela: What! Esther stop it!
Esther: I am serious. If God was truly real, do you think He would allow me to go through what I am going through right now? I have been a good girl all my life. I have always tried to please Him: I go to church, I don’t misbehave, and I respect my parents, so why would He allow me to be treated like dirt?
Angela: Well, you know what? I might not have an answer to your question and query, but one thing I know is that your situation is not critical enough to push you to doubt God’s existence. Maybe you have never seen people who suffer. There are some people that have been condemned to life imprisonment for a crime they did not commit, others are sleeping under bridges because they have no shelter, but they have not taken their lives. You need to have hope for a better tomorrow.
Esther: I don’t know if hope exists. Right now I just feel like I have no more reasons to live on Earth again. I just feel like digging a pit and falling into it.
Angela: Just because of a man? Esther I thought you were more than this my dear. Listen, when you start working, just get yourself a flat and put an end to your relationship with this beast. Your father will be upset in the beginning, but he will definitely calm down later on. He cannot abandon his daughter because of an outsider, especially when he hears what he has been doing to you. Blood is thicker than water.
Angela and Esther discussed for a long time. Angela tried to convince Esther to keep her hope alive. Esther did not seem to be very motivated even though she reluctantly said she had hearkened to Angela’s advice. They later went to the library to do some revisions. As they went back to their room that evening, Esther and Angela were afraid to meet the “strange being”. They both walked inside the room quietly and sat on their beds. After a while, Angela burst into laughter “Oh my God, I can’t believe we are actually fearing the unknown!” she said. Esther just smiled.
Angela: Ok my dear. Let us just pray and sleep. My mother says we should quote and read out Psalm 23 if ever we are afraid. Please bring out your Bible so that we can pray together
Esther: I am not in the mood of praying.
Angela: Don’t say that Esther. We all need God’s help. Just get that Bible, let us pray
Esther: I don’t need God’s help. If He is as powerful as we say, He should be able to know that I needed his help when I was being raped
Angela stood up in total shock “Esther what did you just say? You mean to say Jacob raped you?” she shouted. Esther was shaking already. She had not planned to reveal the secret. “I didn’t mean to say that. He didn’t rape me!” Esther said as she tried to cover herself with the blanket. “Oh yes he did! Now I know what you have been hiding from me. Esther how can you allow this man to do this to you and you stay quiet about it? That is it! I am going to tell David so that we can go to the police” Angela said as she put on her sandals, ready to go out. Esther rose up from the bed and pushed Angela on the bed. “Don’t you dare do that! It has nothing to do with any of you. It’s my life and I choose to live it the way I wish!” she screamed. Angela was surprised to see her in such a state. She sat down on her bed and shook her head. Esther went to the door and removed Angela’s keys. She then put them under her pillow and lay down. Angela watched her in total dismay. “Esther, I know that what you went through is horrible, but you cannot allow this man to get away with this crime. He needs to pay for his deeds. You can at least inform your father. And it will be a good reason for you to finally be free from him” she said gently.
“Don’t say you know what I am going through, because you have no clue at all of the kind of mental torture that I am suffering from. I don’t plan to involve anyone in this. I am going to forget about it and move on. That goes for you too. If I ever hear that you have told anyone, I will hate you for the rest of my life”” Esther answered with anger. Angela shook her head “My God. Lord please help” she said. That night, both of them failed to sleep. Even though they had switched off the lights, both of them could not close their eyes for a while. “If anyone else knows about this, I will be treated as a useless girl and no man will ever want to be with me again. I am truly a worthless person, it is being confirmed every single day” Esther thought to herself.
“I need to inform David about this. He is the only one that can help us to report this matter to the police. Or maybe I can steal her father’s number and call him? But I fear her reaction. I know that right now she is so hurt, maybe I should give her some time when she is much calmer. But it is always better to report such cases earlier. Oh God! What will I do? I can’t allow this man to hurt her just like this and go scot-free” Angela thought to herself.
The following morning as they were getting ready to go for classes, Esther knelt down before Angela and pleaded “Please Angela, I beg you not to tell anyone about what I told you. If you do so, I will feel so used and worthless. Help me to keep the little dignity I have left. You are the only friend I can trust, so please promise me you will not do it. Jacob is a rich guy so I don’t think I can win this case against him even if I had to report the matter to the police.” Angela felt so bad within her. Her plans to inform David about the situation had just been cut off by Esther’s plea. “There, there. Get up now. You don’t need to beg me. I promise I won’t say anything to anyone” she said as she helped Esther to be on her feet. She gave her a consoling hug and they both left.
In the afternoon, Esther received a call from Jacob who informed her that he was not able to see her before leaving. According to him, he had some pressing issues to attend to and therefore, could not have enough time to pass by the Campus. Esther was glad that she was not going to see such a monster.
Days went by. Esther was more than ever, losing hope for her life. Her only aim was to complete her third year and find a place to live alone. Jacob had only been sending some text messages once in a while, but did not call her. That didn’t seem to bother Esther at all.
On a certain Saturday, Esther woke up feeling very weak. She cleared her throat as she sat on her bed. Angela was awakened by the noise. “Esther, what is it? Are you having a cold?” she asked. Esther continued clearing her throat as if she has swallowed something unpleasant. “I don’t understand what is going on. I feel so weak and my throat hurts. My back aches too. Ouch!” she said. “Oh sorry dear, maybe you are about to have a sore throat. Let’s take a bath then we can go to the dispensary. I guess it’s because of the weather” Angela said. Esther nodded her head and they both went to take a bath. When they arrived at the dispensary, there were a lot of patients waiting to be attended to. All seats at the waiting area were occupied. Esther and Angela stood at the back as they waited for some seats to be vacant. All of a sudden, Esther fainted. The assistant-nurses rushed to attend to her. Angela was in tears as all the students watched what was going on. Betty was among those that helped to resuscitate her. Esther opened her eyes and wondered what had just happened. One of the male nurses helped them to lift her up and they took her inside for consultation. Angela stayed behind, trembling “Oh Lord, please help my friend” she prayed. After about 20 minutes, one of the nurses called her. “You will need to accompany your friend to the general hospital in town. There are some tests that will need to be carried out on her as we don’t have the necessary equipment here. Betty will go with you. She will drive you to the hospital in her car” the nurse said. Esther put her hands around Angela’s shoulders as they followed Betty to her car.
When they arrived at the hospital, the doctor carried out some tests on Esther and asked her to wait. Angela waited impatiently at the waiting area. After close to an hour, the doctor came back with the results and asked Esther and Betty to come in his office. “Please sit down” he said. Esther and Betty sat down as they looked at the doctor who was going through the results, nodding his head to show his understanding. He looked at Esther and said “Young lady, are you sexually active?” Esther felt rather embarrassed. “No, no sir, I am not” she said. The Doctor smiled
Doctor: You don’t have to be ashamed. I am a Doctor and Betty here is also a nurse, so you don’t have to worry about confidentiality. I know why I am asking you this question
Esther: But I am not sexually active. In fact I have never had sex with anyone in my life, except…except…
Doctor: Hahahaha. Except what? You ladies of nowadays are funny. Well, you can lie to me, but the results here are quite clear. You have a sexually transmitted infection.
Esther: What? What do you mean? No I can’t have it
Doctor: Well, yes you do. That is why you are having all these symptoms of sore throat, back pain, itching beneath and others. But no need to worry about that, I am going to prescribe the specific medicine that you will need to take and you should be fine in no time. But please as a father I would like to admonish you to be very careful with your life. You are so young and you have a bright future. Don’t allow boys or men to rob you of your precious destiny. Abstain from sexual activities and preserve not only your future, but your body too because there are so many disease out there.
Esther broke down and cried. Betty hugged her “Don’t cry. It happens. You just need to be more careful now. Once you take your medication, you will be fine” Betty said. “But I am innocent in all this. Why is it happening to me?” Esther said. Betty hugged her again and gave her a face tissue to wipe her tears. She collected the prescription and they left the Doctor’s office. As they came out, Esther ran to Angela and put her head on her chest “Angela, I am innocent” she cried. Angela rubbed her hand on her back “It’s ok Esther. Let’s go. You’ll explain to me later.” Betty passed by the pharmacy and bought the prescribed medicine for her. “There you go Esther, don’t worry about the money. I have offered it to you” she said. “Thank you” Esther said, sobbing.
“Oh my God! I can’t believe this. That b****** not only raped you, but also infected you with an STI. May he rot in hell!” Angela shouted that day as Esther told her about the results. Esther just sat on her bed, starring at the ceiling as Angela rumbled and shouted, cursing Jacob. Esther went straight to her bag and took out her Bible. She mercilessly tore it into pieces like a mad man and threw it in the dustbin. Angela watched the scene with her hand on the mouth. Esther lifted her head up and shouted, as though she was talking to God “I don’t believe you exist. You are fake!” Angela did not have the courage to stop her as she looked quite violent. Esther threw herself on the bed and slept.
Meanwhile Betty ran to David’s shop. “David, David. We need to talk my dear” she said. David, who was just about to leave the shop, looked surprised “What is the matter? Is everything ok?” he asked. Betty pulled him by the hand and took him behind the shop.
Betty: David. You won’t believe what I am about to tell you. Your so called friend, Esther is a whore!
David: What! What do you mean?
Betty: She was brought at the dispensary today by her friend Angela. She fainted as she waited for her turn to come so we rushed her to the general hospital. After running some tests on her, we discovered that she has an STI.
David: Impossible! Esther is not that type of a girl
Betty: Well, are you saying I am lying? I was there when the doctor gave her the results. I even bought the medicine for her. Check this out…This is the prescription that was given to her. The girl is a pretender. She has been sleeping with men and she pretends to be holy
David: My Lord! I guess it’s her fiancé that passed it on to her. I feel so bad for her
Betty: Fiance or not, she is infected. I just thought I should tell you since both of you were very close and you’ve always told me how much you like her. Be careful my dear, before you get infected.
David stood there thinking about Esther. “I guess I have completely lost her. If she can be having such diseases, it means that she is really into her fiancé. I Just pray he doesn’t infect her with an incurable disease” he thought to himself. Betty smiled and pinched him gently “Hey, don’t think too much my dear. Just thank God that He has revealed this to you. Who knows what diseases she could have given you if your plan to run away with her had worked?” she said
To be continued