The same incidence of beatings and starvation continued all through that year until Toke sat for her examination and the school went on vacation.
After the vacation, she resumed her roles as the domestic help and hawker. She was already used to it and as such it did not take too much toil on her. her foster mother would give her goods and when there was no sales, she would ask her to deliver to chief Oko who was one of their biggest customers. As usual, chief Oko would ask her to follow him to his house and there he would pay her after collecting the goods.
On this fateful day, chief Oko drove her to his house under the pretence of going to pay her there like he always did. When he got into the compound, he went into his room and then called her to bring the goods inside. She reluctantly went in since chief Oko had over the time won her trust. When she got in, chief Oko asked her to take the things to his kitchen. She did and when she saw how dirty and unkept his kitchen was, she wondered why he was not married at that his age.
Toke: “I have kept them in the kitchen. Let me have the money now so that I can leave” she said to him.
Chief Oko: “oh common, you have been coming to my house for a number of times now and I have never entertained you. I think today is the right day to do so after all the day is still young” he said to her.
Toke: “I am not interested in any entertainment. Let me just have my money, my mother must be waiting for me by now”
Chief Oko: “which mother? We all know that your mother is dead. How can you call another woman who doesn’t treat you like her own daughter your mother?” he asked her.
Toke: “I will still call her my mother no matter what because they took me in after the death of my mother and they gave me a roof over my head and food, that is more than enough” she said thoughtfully.
Chief Oko: “oh please, as if you don’t work for the food you eat. Anyway, as you can see, I am not married and that is because I am not ready to be imprisoned by the walls of marriage. I love my freedom a lot and I know that getting married is like relinquishing my freedom to a woman who would begin to lord it over my life and monitor my every move”
Toke: “but sir, what do you do with all the ingredients you buy from us since you are not married?” she summoned courage and asked the question that had been on her lips since she started selling to him.
Chief Oko: “I have female friends who come around to cook for me over the weekend. They make different pots of soup for me and I keep them in the freezer until the next weekend when you will bring other ingredients”
Toke: “okay, sir. Can I have the money now, I have lots of things to do at home”
“Ohh, we are relaxing and having a cool gist and you are saying you want to go home and work. Is it that you love suffering or what? Anyway, none of my friends will come around this weekend so why don’t you go into the kitchen and prepare something delicious for you and I? we can take it up from there” he said.
Toke: “no, sir. I cannot”
Chief Oko got up and went to her where she was standing beside the door.
Chief Oko: “you don’t have anything to worry about. I have enough money and I will take care of all your needs, all you have to do is become my girlfriend and I will take you away from that house of suffering. If you allow me enter you like this, I will just marry you as soon as you get pregnant and you know what it is to be the wife of chief Oko, the biggest merchant in this village” he said attempting to fondle her breasts but she pushed his hands away.
Toke: “I am not interested!” she said and made to step out but chief Oko held her by the hand and dragged her back into the room.
Chief Oko: “come back here now, we have not finished talking baby’m. your father was my very good friend and it is my duty to take care of your needs if you will allow me” he said and brought his beard surrounded lips to kiss her.
Toke pushed him with all her strength and he fell on the floor. She seized the opportunity and bolted out of the room but he followed her and caught up with her.
Chief Oko: “where do you think you are running to” he said holding on to her.
Toke: “leave me alone, you are hurting me” she said trying to ease from his embrace.
He held on to her and pushed her back into the room. She fell down and smashed her head against the center table and she began to scream. Chief Oko placed his hands over her mouth, stifling her cry. She kicked and scratched with her hands and legs but he was not deterred. With one hand, he pulled up her dress and dragged down her pants. With another hand he removed her pants and unzipped his trousers with the same hand.
Despite her pleas and cry, chief Oko entered her and deflowered her. It was a very painful experience for her as he forced his way into her tight vagina, tearing into her most cherished depths. After few minutes of thrusting in and out of her, he released his semen outside and rolled away from her leaving her to nurse the pain inbetween her thighs and the pain in her heart.
Chief Oko: “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to take it by force but you pushed me” he said to her.
Toke stayed behind and cried her eyes out. When she was tired of crying, she picked her tray and got up to leave.
Chief Oko: “you cannot go back home like this. You look all messed up. Go to the bathroom and freshen up before you leave” he said but she ignored him. She wanted to go far away from him as possible before he molested her again.
Chief Oko: “you don’t want to talk to me? Well, I am only trying to be nice. Here, five thousand naira, remove the money for what I bought and then use the remaining balance to take care of yourself” he said throwing the money at her.
She bent down, picked the exact amount of the goods that she had sold to him and kept the rest on the floor.
“God knows that if not for my step mother’s goods, I will not collect a dime from this man” she thought and left the house.
Mama Gift: “so what you telling me now is that chief Oko raped you?” she asked when Toke returned back to the shop crying.
Toke: “yes, he raped me when he asked me to follow him to the house and collect the money for what I sold to him” she said crying.
“Will you clean those crocodile tears and speak audibly? How can chief Oko rape you when he has more than enough money to pay for the services of prostitutes?”
Toke: “he raped me in his house, I swear”
Mama Gift: “I don’t believe you. I am sure it is that your school boyfriend that my daughter talked about that raped you and you are here shedding some crocodile tears. What is my own if you are raped seff? All I know is that the day you get pregnant is the day you will leave my house. Now go home and prepare dinner for us” she said and dismissed her.
Toke went home as she was ordered but she had another plan, this was just about the right time to use the rat poison that they had in the house.
Question: OMG, this is so painful and it is true life story but the names of the characters have been changed for privacy purposes. What does Toke intend to do with the rat poison? To kill herself or her foster family?
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