And, dejectedly, with fear written all over me, I left for home. The following three days were the longest ever for me. I was scared to be in my mother’s company for too long. She needed to spend just a few minutes with me to know something was terribly wrong with me. Despite that I tried hard to avoid being under her scrutiny, I could still feel her eyes all over me in the house, following me wherever I go.
Already, I could feel some changes taking place in my body. Whenever I go to sleep, I slept like a baby. I was always feeling heavy and in need of some sleep. And oftentimes when I woke up, I got up feeling a little tired and in need of more sleep, even when I had been asleep for several hours. Already, I had started feeling nauseous, wanting to throw up a few times. But I always held myself back.
Eventually, the three days were over. I prayed hard the night before the morning I was to see Bobby’s uncle. I prayed he would be able to bring Bobby with him as he had promised so I can look him in the eye and call him a bastard. How could he even have thought of just leaving the village and running to Lagos, leaving me alone to face the consequences of the mess he put me in. But, more than anything else, beyond letting out my anger on him, I hoped we would finally be able to find a solution to this problem. I was still able to go back and forth Bobby’s place, hoping for a solution because my father had not gotten wind of what was happening. I knew that if he found out, he would totally skin me alive.
I knocked on the door and few seconds after, it was Bobby’s uncle who opened the door.
“Good morning, sir,” I greeted him as he stepped aside for me to go inside the house.
“How are you doing, dear?” he asked.
“Fine, thank you, sir.” I took a quick look around, there was no Bobby. I couldn’t find a sign that he was in that house.
And as though he was reading my thoughts, the uncle said, “Bobby didn’t return with me.”
“But…but, why, sir? He should be here. He can’t possibly leave me to clean up a mess he created…” I was almost crying. Then, the man dropped the shocker. It was the last thing I expected to hear from him.
“Bobby said he would not come with me because all that you said happened between both of you didn’t happen! He said he never raped you or any girl for that matter, and that all you have said are nothing but lies!”
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 him.
“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?”