The words were coming out of his mouth but they were not making sense to me. It was as though he was merely opening his mouth, the words were coming out but they were not making sense to me. But when he made the last utterance, that jolted me to reality. “He said he had never raped any girl for that matter, and that all you have said are nothing but lies!”
“No! Nooooooooooo!!!!” I screamed out loud, my voice reverberating against the walls of the room. “He raped me! Bobby raped me, I swear!”
“Stop shouting, young lady, do you want the neighbours to come rushing into my apartment rushing in here, wondering what is going on? Please, get hold of yourself and calm down!” the man snapped at me. Inside my head, a thousand-one thoughts were coming through. I was suddenly contemplating suicide. If Bobby was saying there was nothing between him and I, that he never raped me, then, what am I to do? I’m as good as dead because my father would practically bury me alive if he finds out about this. I had another thought to go to my mother to confess my sins to her and see if she could hopefully save my skin. But, I had to immediately discard the thought. Knowing my mum, she would not do anything about the situation without involving my father. That was how much she feared and respected him. Or could I possibly go report the incident to the police and see if they could fish out Bobby through his uncle? All of these thoughts appeared like long shots to me, the only sensible thing to do at the time was suicide. It was better to save myself all the humiliation by taking the honourable way out.
“Rosemary, you’re not saying anything, what do we do now that Bobby has said he never raped you?” Bobby’s Uncle’s voice barged into my thoughts. My mind had drifted far away from him, trying to figure out the best way out of misery.
“But, sir, do you think I am lying? Do you think I would make up all the things I told you if they didn’t happen the way they did?” I asked him, tears running slowly down my face.
The man shook his head. “You don’t seem to understand, Rosemary, it’s not what I think or believe that matters, it’s what Bobby said that is the issue here. It would’ve been nice if he was here so I can ask both of you to confront each other but he’s not here. He cannot defend whatever allegations you make against him.”
“So, that means you also think I could be lying, right?” I asked him. He looked away from me, he couldn’t utter a word. I got the message.
“Okay, sir, now that you don’t believe me, what do you suggest I do now? Go and kill myself?” I asked him. But he was not saying anything. He just sat there motionlessly, staring into space as though I wasn’t even there with him in the room.
I stood up. “Maybe I should go to the police. I’m sure they will be able to get Bobby out from wherever he is hiding in Lagos.” And as I headed for the door, without saying goodbye, the man called out to me.
“Rosemary, wait a minute.” He said to me. I stopped and turned to face him. “Going to the police won’t help your case, you will only end up making a mockery of yourself because everyone in the community will now know what happened to you.”
He was right. But I also knew he was scared that the police would also involve him in the case being the uncle of the bastard that raped me.
“I know what you’re going through and I can help you,” he said, sounding like he genuinely felt my pain. “Oh, thank you so much, sir….” I thanked me.
“But it’s an offer though, and it’s entirely up to you to accept it or not,” he’d continued.
“Okay, sir, I’m listening, I don’t have any other choice now, do I?” I told him.
“Good,” he said, and then continued, “I have a doctor I have known for a long while now. I can arrange with him to handle the abortion for you. And I will pay for everything.”
“Oh, thank you, sir, God bless you, sir….”
“Hold on a minute, Rosemary, here is the condition attached to it,” he paused for a while, looked straight into my eyes and then said, “you will have sex with me before you go for the abortion and then after the abortion when you’re fully recovered! So, what is it going to be, are you taking my offer or not?”
The whole of my head was spinning so fast I could barely think. What did this man just say? Did I hear him right or am I imagining what I just heard? No, I was certain he didn’t say what I thought I heard him say.
“Sir, I didn’t quite hear you well, sir….” I was trying to carefully put the words together. “What did you say I will have to do if you’re going to help me?” I asked him, my voice low and unsteady.
“Listen, young lady, you don’t need to make me repeat myself, alright?” he’d thrown at me, his voice no longer cool and compassionate like it was before. “The choice is all yours, okay? Have sex with me and I will give you the help you’re looking for. We make love before the D&C and after. But if you’re not interested, let me know, I have better things to do with my time.”
I almost couldn’t believe my ears. “But, sir, I’m young enough to be your daughter, please…”
“Will you stop that nonsense!” he snapped at me, stopping me from speaking further. “I don’t have a daughter, I do not even have a child yet, so don’t start telling me you’re young enough to be my daughter!”
“Sir, I’m sorry, I was just trying to…..”
“Trying to do what?” he’d cut in again before I was done talking. “Wait, how could you have thought I would simply volunteer to help you, spend my own money to get rid of a pregnancy that I know nothing about and I won’t even get anything in return for my efforts and investment, you think that’s how things work? After all, you’re obviously no longer a virgin. From what I see, you’re very mature and you know how to p[lay the ‘game,’ is that not so?”
For several seconds, my mouth just hung open. I couldn’t believe the nonsense that this man was spewing out of his mouth. “But, sir, I don’t understand what you mean by playing the game, I have explained to you that it was Bobby who raped me right here ij this apartment, and now you’re making me look like the bad person…” And the tears began to flow freely from my eyes. It was all too much for me to take.
“And the boy said he never had anything to do with you. He couldn’t even remember your name. Now, am I supposed to believe you over my own nephew who is like a son to me? Please, make up your mind and let me know what the next line of action is” he said with finality.
I was distraught. I had no idea how to wriggle out of the shit I’d found myself.
“Listen, you’re seriously wasting my time. Shedding tears won’t solve your problem, its money that will solve the problem for you, so, I won’t ask you a third time, are you taking the deal or not?”