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The third time he hit the chisel on the door, a chunk of wood fell off. He pushed again, this time with all his strength and the door opened.

Ronke was standing behind the curtain but it was too transparent to cover her properly. You could easily see her body frame from a distance. One of the men pulled her out and a slap landed on her face. She screamed. As he raised his hand to slap her again, his partner stopped him.

‘That’s not part of what we were asked to do. The Pastor must not find us here.’

‘Pastor cannot come now jare. The man has gone to ile-Ife. Guy, let’s have a taste of this fine babe. You know how we dey roll things.’

‘I’m not comfortable here. We can’t be doing this in the Pastor’s bedroom. If you go and die on top the girl nko. Let’s go.’

‘One minute, I swear.’ He pulled down his trousers. Ronke ran behind the curtain. He pulled her out again and this time hit her on the face. She fell with force of it. With his strong hands, he grabbed her hand and pushed her to the bed.

‘Please!’ Ronke cried. ‘I promise I’ll go with you.’

‘Raj, abeg do fast fast.’

Raj pulled Ronke underneath him and covered her mouth as he made his entrance into her. The more she struggled, the stronger the pain she felt and so she stayed there, her eyes closed, blocking out the pain.

He got off and motioned for his partner to take over. The man whistled excitedly, moving quickly towards Ronke.

‘Do fast o.’ Raj said

As he climbed the bed, a door opened. Footsteps could be heard from a distance. He jumped down, eyes wide. He stared at his partner. Their eyes went quickly to the window.

‘Help me!’ Ronke screamed. Raj got out a pen knife from his pocket and began to tear at the window net.

‘Stop right there.’ A uniformed man pointed a gun at them. Behind him was another man in a black suit. They raised their hands as the two men approached them. A tall woman in her mid thirties, strode into the room and when she saw Ronke crying, rushed to her side.

Ronke tried to sit up but her thighs hurt. It hurt like salt sprinkled on a fresh sore. She fell back.

‘Where is Mummy Nike?’ Ronke asked.

‘She has been rushed to the clinic. Those men, they raped you?’

‘One of them.’

She sighed. ‘You’ll be fine okay? Nike has told me everything about you. By the way, I am Eunice Attabor, a women’s right advocate. I promise you that they will never hurt you again. We are going to do everything to get justice for you.’ She brought out a bottle from her bag and poured out two white tablets into her palm.

‘Swallow this, you’ll feel better.’ As she stood up to leave, Ronke held her hand.

‘Don’t leave me here please.’

‘I’m not leaving you. I want to get water for you to take the tablets.’

Ronke swallowed them. ‘You see, I don’t need the water. Please stay here with me.’

Eunice returned to her place beside the bed. ‘Come here.’ She drew Ronke into a warm embrace. As she patted the girl’s back, she could feel her body trembling. Tears strung Eunice’s eyes but she tried to look brave.

The first person Nike saw when she opened her eyes was Mary. She frowned, wondering why Mary was sitting on the bed staring at her pitifully. She raised her eyes to see Joshua and her husband standing beside the bed. Mary stood up and David took her place.

Where am I? She turned the other way and it was then she saw a man on a bed next to hers. He had his veins hooked to an intravenous drip.

‘How are you feeling now?’ David asked.

Nike smiled.

Mary leaned forward and touched her forehead. ‘We are so sorry about what happened to you. My husband is doing everything possible to get to the root of this. I know the men who attacked you will be caught.’

Men. Attack. What was Mary talking about? How did-

Then she remembered. Ronke. Where was she? Pain lanced through her head like nails hammered into her head. She bit her lips and exhaled before forcing herself to speak.

‘Where is Ronke?’

David turned his face away.

Joshua folded his hands. ‘We have been looking for her. Her mother is dead worried. Do you know where she went to when the men attacked her?’

Nike hesitated, playing back the incident. ‘She ran into one of the bedrooms.’ Her eyes were suddenly filled with fear. ‘I have to go find her.’

As she tried to stand up, David pushed her back and winked at her. That was their unspoken communication. A wink meant everything was under control. A pout, ‘stop talking’ and a clap, ‘let’s go.’

She relaxed and sighed in relief.

‘I’ll go prepare food for you. What would you like to eat?’ Mary asked.

‘Rice is fine. Thank you so much.’

‘I’m sorry you had to experience this. We shall be back by evening.’ Joshua said, his hand on Mary’s waist. The couple left and immediately, Nike turned to husband for answers.

‘Ok. She is fine. Doctor Afolabi told me not to disclose her whereabout to Pastor Joshua. I don’t understand but it seems this man has something up his sleeves.

‘Where exactly is she?’

‘Eunice has taken her to Ife.’

Nike eyes lit up. ‘So Eunice finally came. I’m so happy she is in safe hands.’

‘One of the men raped her.’.

The smile disappeared from Nike’s face and was replaced by anger.

‘Listen, Nike I’m worried about you. I’m beginning to think we made a mistake coming here. Maybe we should call the Pastor and let him know things got out of hand and we can’t handle this place.’

Nike shook her head. ‘Sweetheart, I am not going anywhere. I’m staying right here.’

‘What if those men had raped you? What if something worse had happened? I think we should return to Lagos.’

Nike didn’t respond. Doctor Afolabi entered the ward and began to check her pulse. Nike kept her gaze on the doctor. What was it about this woman that made her feel there was something more. How old was she? Thirty? Thirty-five? No she couldn’t be up to forty. She had no friend. Even though she was warm with her patients, she never got too close to anyone.

She met Nike’s gaze. ‘I think you should leave this town at least for a while.’

David gave her the ‘I told you so’ look.

‘I’m not going anywhere. I don’t run from a fight.’

David held her hand. ‘This is your life we are talking about here.’

‘I’m not going anywhere.’

‘Do you know exactly what you are doing?’ The doctor was clearly irritated. ‘Your human right activism will not pay off here. You are in the wrong place.’

‘Let me determine that. I will deal with all of them. Nonsense. I am not afraid of them. Iya Abeke or what do they call her. If she is behind this, I will bring her before the law. Darling, I am not leaving Ipetumodu.’

David thrust his hand into his pocket and shook his head.

‘She will be discharged tomorrow morning.’ The doctor announced and left quietly.

Shortly after Nike arrived home, Iya Ronke showed up at her door. When she opened the door, the trembling woman immediately went on her knees.

E dakun, iyawo Pastor, where is my daughter?’

‘Did you plan with those men to kill me?’

Oya Ronke stood up. ‘No, I didn’t. I told my husband that you refused to let Ronke come with me. He didn’t tell me he was sending men to kill you. I don’t know anything about this. Please where is my daughter?’

‘She is not in my house but she is safe. I can’t tell you where she is now without her consent. But she is fine.’

Iya Ronke nodded her head. ‘I’ve been a fool. I don’t know why I allowed this to happen to me. This man never paid my bride price and see what he did to me. This is my address.’ She pulls out a piece of paper from her purse. ‘I’m moving to my mother’s house in Moro. Please when you see Ronke, tell-‘

Iya Ronke disappeared to the back of the house. Nike turned sharply to see what had chased her away and from a distance, she saw Iya Abeke walking towards the house. She was swinging her waist and singing as  she approached the Pastor’s Lodge.

She stopped in front of Nike. There was something captivating about the woman that left you spell bound. Nike stood there tongue-tied and it was only when she looked away that she was able to compose herself.

‘Iyawo Pastor, I’m sorry I didn’t come to see you in the hospital. I’ve been so busy. How is your body?’

Nike folded her hand and faced her. ‘What do you want?’

Iya Abeke was taken aback by Nike’s reaction. ‘Can’t I come and greet you?’

‘Ok. Thank you for coming. Can you leave now.’

Iya Abeke laughed. ‘You are asking me to go away?’

Nike suddenly felt dizzy. ‘I need to go in and rest.’

As she turned to go, Iya Abeke stopped her.

‘Ehn…I want to also warn you to be careful in this town. This is not Lagos o. Be careful with the way you do your things. We are a peaceful and happy people. We don’t want trouble.’

Nike flared up. ‘What I see here is molestation and abuse. If that’s your definition of happiness, I’m sorry but I have come with a sword.  You have not seen anything yet.’ She hissed and stormed into the house..

The frightened woman from her hiding place saw Iya Abeke spit into something which she dropped on the floor. Iya Ronke took to her heels through the bush path.

‘Who was that?’ David stretched out on the bed and rubbed his eyes as Nike entered.

‘I’m not in the mood to talk right now. What I’m going to do in this town, they will never forget that Nike came here.’ She picked up the clothes from the bed and began to fold them. Her hands would not stay still. She dropped the clothes and left the room for the kitchen to wash the dishes.

‘Leave the dishes. I’ll do them. Just come and rest.’  David wrapped his hands underneath her chin and tried to pull her away from the sink.

‘David, leave me. I said leave me!’ She tore his hand away. ‘I know Iya Abeke is behind this. That woman is evil.’

‘How do you know that? Has she harmed you before? First, it was Pastor Joshua, now Iya Abeke. Don’t forget that these people are active members of our church. If you keep fighting against our own people, how do you want the church to stand? A house divided against itself cannot stand.’

Nike shot him an angry glance. ‘So I am the destroyer of the church? I am the one pulling down your ministry?’

He walked out of the house, slamming the door behind him.

There was a bench resting against the wall. He walked over to it and sat down.

His mind went to Doctor Afolabi.

That was a calm and gentle woman, not like his stubborn wife.

He still remembered her warm smile the first time he entered her clinic. He wondered what it would be like marrying her. She would be submissive and ready to do whatever he says. What would it be like to have her in his arms? He would kiss her and ask her to take him to her bedroom office and…

He stood up, trying to shake off the thought but she stayed on his mind.

‘You spirit of lust, I resist you in the name of Jesus. I love my wife and nothing can separate us. Besides, I have the mind of Christ and therefore you have no space here.’

The thought left for a while and her face appeared again. He sat back on the bench and began to pray in tongues. Nike came out of the house and joined him on the bench. She rested her head on his shoulders.

‘I’m sorry.’ She whispered. He kissed her and pulled her close.

1a.m that night, a call came in from Pastor Joshua. The church was on fire.

By the time the Pastor and his wife would get there, the fire had gone out of control. David rolled up his trousers and joined some men who were pouring water to stop the fire. It didn’t stop the fire from razing the building to the ground. By the time the fire truck showed up, there was nothing left of the building.

Nike stood there, trembling. The scripture she had read that morning flashed across her mind.

..For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers in dark places. 

She wiped a tear from her eye as Mary held her hands.

‘Oh Jesus! How do we survive this?’

Be strong in the Lord…and in the power of his might.


Episode 8 comes next.





About the author

Ife Grace

I am a faith blogger with a passion to contribute my quota to the body of Christ. I am also the author of two books: The Reunion and Spring.



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