I was happy…I mean very happy until that knock on the door and my life came tumbling down.
If only my landlord hadn’t knocked that afternoon.
I turned off the gas, brought down my eguisi soup and hurried to the entrance before the old man breaks my door.
His face read worry and that made me worried.
‘Stella, sorry to disturb you. Idoko is very sick. I am just coming from his room now now. He has gone to the doctor and they have given him some drugs. But he needs food. Mama Chidinma has travelled for christmas. Its just you and l left in the compound and I don’t have strength to cook. Can you please just prepare something for him?’
That wasn’t a problem. I knew Idoko very well. Apart from the fact that we served as corp members in the same school, he was also my neigbour, a friendly one at that.
The Landlord held my hands. ‘The Lord bless you. I knew I could count on you. Thank you.’
I rushed to the market, returned home with pepper soup ingredients and got to work.
For many months, that guy would not let me rest. But I made my stand known to him. I was a christian and an ardent defender of sexual purity. He gave up and left me alone.
After preparing the pepper soup, I also made pap too and so holding two food flasks, I entered his room.
He was shivering underneath a blanket when I walked in.
Poor boy, I thought.
I sat on the edge of the bed.
‘Idoko, pele. I brought you something to eat. Sit up please.’
He struggled to sit but fell back to the bed, groaning in pain. I helped him to a sitting position and poured some of the pepper soup into a plate and held it out to him. He didn’t collect the plate from me.
‘Stella I’m so weak. Please feed me.’
I hesitated but his frailty weakened my disapproval to do what seemed to me like a romantic gesture.
I began to feed him.
‘ Big baby.’ I laughed. ‘I’ve never seen you like this before. So you can be like this. Ehnn..I’ll tell your students.’
He smiled, opening his mouth again. As I lifted the spoon the third time, he grabbed my waist. I was shocked at how strong his hands were. The spoon fell from my hand.
‘You are so beautiful. Every night I can’t stop thinking of you.’
I tried to pull away but he held me tighter and jerked forward pulling my face towards his with the back of hand.
‘Why are you so difficult. Am I not good enough for you?’ He pushed me to the bed. Before I knew it, he was on top of me.
I was afraid. ‘Please Idoko, don’t do this. I’ve been keeping this for my wedding night. Please. Don’t.’
I fought and cried but my screams were muffled by socks shoved into my mouth. All I felt was pain and more pain. How could this be happening a few days to my p.o.p?
Idoko finally came off me but the pain didn’t. I stayed there, too weak to stand up.
I didn’t move.
‘Are you deaf? Get up and leave my room now!’
I turned to him, his eyes full of disgust and irritation. For years that glare would come to haunt me. That expression of mockery, of a person discarded and dumped, would live with me for a long time.
If I had listened to Dad when he pleaded I come home for Christmas, this wouldn’t have happened. I brought this upon myself.
I stood up slowly and without a word left his room. When I got to my room, I wept. Why would God allow this to happen to me?
I felt dirty and worthless. All I wanted to do was have my bath and scrub the mess off. As I walked to the bathroom located at the back of the house, I heard laughter coming from Idoko’s room and I stopped to listen.
‘So you just had fun alone abi! Wicked guy! You no even fit share that fine babe with your friend. Yeye! ‘
That voice was familiar. Was that not Joe, Idoko’s friend? I moved closer.
‘Nothing dey that girl body I swear. She just stay for one spot like stick. I no no why I waste my time with am.’
I hurried to the bathroom. As I got to a corner, I bumped into the landlord. He held my hand when he saw the tears running down my face.
‘What happened?’ I shook my head. Idoko roared with laughter and the man stared at me in bewilderment. I rushed into the bathroom. I have never felt ashamed like I did that day.
The next day, long before dawn, I sneaked out of the house with some of my belongings. I would have to find a place to stay because I could never go home. Who cares for a tainted girl like me? Who would believe that I didn’t take the food to his room on purpose?
I remembered a blind woman who lived in a village far from my community. I would beg to stay with her until I found a place in the village market to trade.
On my way out, I threw my smashed phone and my shredded dream journal into the refuse bin and began my journey to a place where the world would never be able to reach me…
I got inspired to write this fictional piece after reading the story of Amnon and Tamar. One verse stuck so deeply.
...So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 2 Samuel 13:20.
I wished someone had reminded her of the God of Israel. I wished she had been told that Yahweh had great plans for her and with Him by her side, she could stand shoulder raised and fulfil all that she was created to be.
Did Tamar ever see the rising sun, feel the sweetness of spring, scream in delight at the arrival of the rain? Did she feel anything again after that incident?
Dear redeemed of the Lord, how long will you keep clinging to that abuse in your past.
Are you aware of the great plans God has for you?
Let the shame go. You are precious in His sight.
Even if you had deliberately made a terrible choice and now it seemed the whole world is laughing at you, or you feel like the Samaritan woman, who probably had to come get water from the well only when the other women had fetched theirs and gone home, see Christ coming to you in your moment of aloneness
See his love welling up in your heart more than ever before.
See Him revealing the depth, height, breath of His love and showing you how priceless you are.
Here God’s Word:
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
You’ve got to give Jesus a chance again.
You are no longer a slave to shame.
You don’t have to feel this. Infact you will not feel it. The truth is not to be felt but to be believed.
Again, I say unto you as I have said before.
You are no longer a slave to shame.
Rise, He is here.
Read: For better or worse