Lady B drove back home and was surprised to see Toke lying down on the bare floor beside her flat. She ran up to her and hugged her, surprising Toke whose heart began to beat wildly when she saw Lady B drive in.
Lady B: “you are here and I have been looking for you all over the place” she said glad to have found the girl alive.
Toke: “you…you were looking for me?” she asked, unable to believe the changes in Lady B’s attitude towards her. Just last night, she had sent her out of her house and today she was hugging her and telling her unbelievable things.
Lady B: “yes, where have you been since last night?”
Toke: “as soon as you drove off last night, I returned back here to sleep because I was too scared to go out of this compound considering my experience the last time you sent me away. It can be so dangerous out there. I thought of staying here and praying to God to change your mind so that you can take me back in” she said.
Lady B: “I don’t believe in any God but then that prayer of yours was surely answered. It was actually a terrible night mare that forced me to go in search of you” she said searching her bag for the key to her apartment.
Toke: “dream? What sort of a dream?”
Lady B: “don’t worry; I will not scare you with the details of the dream. Let us go in, you are staying with me whether you join my business or not, I cannot afford to send you out there without a place to go”
Toke’s heart leaped for joy when she heard that.
Toke: “thank you very much, ma. God will bless you and grant you whatever you desire in this life. I am sorry for what happened yesterday, it is just that I couldn’t bring myself to do it even though deep within my heart, I wanted to do it just to please you”
Lady B: “it is okay, get inside, I need to rush to the airport now” she said and let the girl in.
Lady B took her time to dress well and make up her face when before going out like she always did. When she was sure that all was in order, she went to Toke’s room to drop some money with her in case she would need to buy anything while she was away.
Lady B: “that is ten thousand naira; I don’t know how long I will be away because my friend called to tell me that some foreign women who are on a visit to Nigeria need women who are good at giving their fellow women pleasure. The pay is good and so I will be there in Port Harcourt where they are on a sigh seeing till they return. As usual, we have foodstuff and ingredients in the house. I am dropping this money in case you will need to buy anything while I am away. Make sure you don’t step out of the house unnecessarily o, ritualists are out there, prowling around like lions looking for who to devour. And always make sure you lock the door properly before you go to bed. You still have that Nokia phone I gave to you, right?”
Toke: “yes, ma”
Lady B: “okay, I will call you as soon as I get to Port Harcourt. Take care of the house” she said for emphasis and turned to leave but Toke interrupted her.
Toke: “excuse me, ma”
Lady B: “yes, what is it? I need to hurry; they are already waiting for me over there”
Toke got down on her knees.
“I know I have no right to say this but my conscience will not allow me if I don’t talk”
Lady B: “Toke, go straight to the point, I just told you that I have limited time to leave here”
Toke: “ma, the few times that I have lived in your house has drawn me closer to God and I can tell you that he is able to provide all our needs if only we will trust Him. In fact, I only said a little prayer yesterday even though the situation was looking bleak but God heard my cry and made you take me back in, that is a pointer to what he can do if only we call on him”
Lady B: “preacher, what has that got to do with my trip?”
Toke: “you told me that you had a terrible dream about me last night even though you did not tell me the details of the dream. I also dreamt about you and in the dream, you were used for ritual by one of your female clients. I was called upon by the hotel management to identify your corpse and when I got there, I saw that your private parts were missing. Please, I think it is time for you to call off this trade. You have made enough money out of it, you told me yourself that you have more than ten million naira in your account. You have investment in gold jewelries, you have 2 exotic cars, you own this apartment that we are living in, you told me you have huge investments in the oil and gas sector after you dated one top notch female business tycoon in the oil and gas sector. You are all alone in the world and so all these things that I have listed are more than enough to sustain you. In fact, some of them will even outlive you. Please quit this job and give your life to God so that my dream will not come true. I beg you in the name of God”
Lady B: “I already told you that I don’t believe in any God. Having said that, I was actually thinking of quitting because I have acquired more than enough cash, properties and investments but you see, I have to go for this last trip, these are foreign women we are talking about and I will get paid in raw cash, pounds and dollars! I need to buy the lasted edition of the Range Rover sport and that is what I will do with the money I will make for this trip. After this, I quit” she said.
Toke: “we should not take the mercy of God for granted. Who knows if this last time will be your undoing? Please don’t allow greed becloud your sense of reasoning. I just have this ill feeling after you told me that you were travelling. Please don’t go”
Lady B: “you are over stepping your boundaries o. Who is greedy? Anyway, shebi your God is a merciful God? Help me pray to Him to make my trip successful because I actually do not believe in Him. I am going to get that hard currency and that is final. And by the way, who said dreams come through. Last night I dreamt that you were dead and here you are today preaching to me. If not that you don’t want to do it, I would have travelled with you and given you to one of the women, you would have made big money” she said and left the house before Toke could say anything.
Baba Gift returned to the shrine after seven days and the herbalist gave him the knife and went into incantations to summon Toke’s spirit. After the incantation, instead of Toke’s spirit to appear, it was Toke’s guardian angel that appeared and the herbalist and baba Gift fell back in fear.
Angel: “leave the poor girl alone, she has done nothing wrong. Leave her alone and desist from your evil ways. Repent and give your lives to God for he is merciful and ever willing to forgive” he said to the two of them and vanished.
Baba Gift and herbalist: “you lie, that girl must die, she deserves to die” they chorus simultaneously and went about summoning her spirit again.
After some minutes of chants and incantations, Toke’s spirit appeared. Baba Gift raised up the knife to stab her but lightening from heaven struck him with and madness and he ran out of the shrine confessing how he had been raping little girls including Toke. The herbalist on his part was struck dead by the lightening.
Two weeks after Lady B travelled, she called Toke to inform her that she had just flew into Abuja from Port Harcourt and that she was taking a taxi back home, so Toke could make something for her to eat. Toke ran excitedly into the kitchen to make something palatable for her, in less than 30 minutes after the call, she received another anonymous call and this time around she was informed that Lady B was involved in a ghastly motor accident.
Toke picked a cab and went straight to the address of the hospital where lady B who had lost so much blood was in intensive care on a life supporting machine. Toke had her blood screened and donated her blood several times to save lady B’s life.
Lady B stayed in the hospital for several months and after she was discharged, she returned home on a wheel chair because the accident had affected her spinal cord, thereby rendering her crippled for life. After some months, seeing the way Toke took care of her like her own sister without minding the fact that she was helpless and defecating on herself, she and Toke took a taxi to the bank and there she opened an account and transferred all the money in her account into Toke’s account. She also changed the name on her certificate of occupancy into Toke’s name and handed her the papers of her house, lands and all other investments.
Lady B: “Toke, you have stood by me in my trying times even though I refused to heed your warning to give up this job before it is too late. All that I have is yours, use it wisely and train yourself to any level of education you desire. Be great and successful, you are the sister I never had” she said and gave up the ghost.
Few months after the death of Lady B, Toke went to a Church for the first time since she ran away from the village to pray for the repose of her soul. She was lonely in the big house that Lady B had willed to her and she sought God’s help on how to manage all that she had inherited.
After service that evening, the Pastor called parishioners to make free will donations to the widows that the Church was feeding and accommodating. Toke who wanted to reach out to many of them asked the pastor to schedule a meeting with them in her house so that she could listen to their plights and see how she could empower then and give them capital to start up businesses.
On the day of the meeting, all the widows came around and one by one, Toke listened to them and discussed ways in which she could help them. Finally, the last widow came in and Toke’s heart struck a beat. The widow also stopped midway when she ran Toke.
Widow: “Toke!” she exclaimed and collapsed.
Toke ran up to her and helped revive her with the help of the other widows. “Mama, she is my mother! My mother is back from the dead” she exclaimed when she saw the woman’s face.
Toke took her mother into her room, gave her something to eat and drink. When her mother was stable, she dared to ask. “Did you resurrect from the land of the dead? You died long ago and they brought home a headless body and told me that it was you. I couldn’t even look at the body before it was buried because it was already decomposing and I was afraid of facing the reality that you were dead and gone. They said the human hunters had caught you where you went to hawk in the nieighboring village and had cut off your head and had used it to bury their king.
Mama Toke: “hmmn, my dear, our God is wonderful. In fact I don’t even know how to start narrating the story”
Toke: “how do you mean? Did you resurrect from the dead or something? I have touched you, you are flesh and blood and not a ghost so I am not seeing an apparition. What happened?”
Mama Toke: “on that fateful day, I left our village very early so that I could make enough sales and then return and pay your examination fees. After the sales, I made enough profit and I went to the market to buy soup ingredients so that we could at least eat a decent meal that night. My friend who was a trader in the market tried to convince me against going because of the human hunters but I refused. It started raining heavily on my way back and I sort shelter under a tree. Then the human hunters struck me with their hatchet and when they thought I had died, they left me and the other dead bodies with one of the guards so they could go and hunt for more victims. Some rituals were to be performed on us before they could cut off our heads. I miraculously woke up some minutes later and even though I was in excruciating pain, I recognized the guard whom they had left to guard me and the other dead bodies as the son of my friend whom I had met in the market. I summoned courage and called him by the pet name his mother used to call him. He was just about 20 years old and after I told him that I was a widow like his mother who is my good friend and that I was risking my life because of my daughter who was about his age, he had pity on me and removed all my clothes. Then he wore it on the body of one of the dead women and gave me her own wrappers. Then he smuggled me out of the bush and showed me the way to his mother’s house. I went there and she helped to hide me in her house treat my injury but I had to lay low for fear of the elders finding out what her son had done.
When the people from our village came in search of my body, they picked the decomposing body of one of the women who had been beheaded and took it home. I thought you will recognize the headless body as that of a stranger and come to the village afterwards and look for me”
Toke: “somewhere within me, I never believed that you were dead and since I couldn’t look at the headless and decomposing body, I didn’t know it that was not you. And remember that I didn’t see you before you left that morning and so I didn’t know what wrapper you wore. Besides, the villagers didn’t even allow me come close to see your body, they said it was not a sight for a young girl as me, they had the headless body all wrapped up when they brought it and after they placed it in the grave, I poured sand on it and ran all the way back home to cry”
Mama Toke: “it is okay, my dear. Anyway, after about six months, I disguised myself and went to the village in the middle of the night and I found out that you had moved to baba Gift’s house and that you had resumed schooling. I decided to let you finish your junior secondary school exams and start senior secondary school since I didn’t have the means to train you before I showed myself to you again. After a while, my friend told me that the elders were suspicious of my stay in the village and so I had to run away to save her and her children but before then, she made me to vow that I would not return to our village for fear of how her son had saved me leaking out. I came to Abuja and went to the Church and told them that I was a childless widow. They took me in and I in turn gave my life to Christ and stayed around the Church cleaning and praying for you.
One day, I decided to go to the village and show myself to you and face whatever was the consequences because I had missed you terrible and I longed to know how you were faring. A kind neighbour told me as soon as I stepped my feet in the village that you had stabbed baba Gift and then run away. I knew that they would hold me and make me pay for your crimes if they see me so I came back here. I have been living in the Church premises” she said with tears of joy flowing from her eyes uncontrollably.
Toke: “oh God, you are a covenant keeping God. Mama, why did you decide to come to Abuja of all the cities in Nigeria?”
Mama Toke: “I have always told you that Abuja is the land of opportunities. I came here because I remember how you used to tell me that when you become an engineer, you will build a big mansion for me in Abuja. When I heard that you had run away from the village, I knew that you would come here and since then I have been praying to set my eyes on you even if it is just for a second before the good God calls me home”
Toke: “mama, my dear mother who risked her life just to feed and send me to school. I thought I had lost you forever to the cold hands of death. A lot happened when I started living with baba Gift and I thought God was being wicked and unfair to me. I didn’t know that just as gold is being refined by fire, he was taking me through those challenges so that I can be qualified to occupy the greatness that he had set aside for me in due time” she said, hugging her mother and weeping too.
Mama Toke: “my experience these past few years has taught me to hold on to God and to forgive and leave vengeance for God. I was so bitter with God because of the way things turned around after the death of your father and I used every opportunity I had to curse my tormentors but it pays to leave everything for God. In his own time, he will avenge. But wait, how did you come to acquire all these and even have enough to empower widows?”
Toke: “mama, I am very rich now o. ehn, God has been more than faithful. Don’t give me that look; I am not into prostitution or any ungodly thing. This is how it all happened…” she narrated all that had happened after she ran away from the village and how she had come to inherit all of Lady B’s properties.
When baba Gift left the shrine, he ran back home and confessed to how he had been raping girls and how he had raped Toke and maltreated her and attempted to kill her by visiting a notorious herbalist in the neighborhood. His wife, daughter and neighbours tried to hold him down when they noticed that he was talking like a man mad but he escaped their hold and ran away to the market and confessed to all his crimes. He continued to roam the streets as a mad man for months, defecating on himself, eating his faeces and eating animal dung and grass. One day, a woman caught him having sex with a goat and alerted the irate villagers who angered by his wickedness and the abomination he was began to beat him with sticks and machetes and some threw big stones at him. When they discovered that he had fainted, they all ran away and there he bled to death.
That same day, Gift, his daughter who had discovered that she was pregnant for the village tout went to a quack doctor for an abortion because she was afraid of her parents reaction when they discover that she was pregnant. The quack doctor mutilated her womb and there on the abortion table, she bled heavily and was rushed to another hospital where she was informed to have lost her womb and that meant she could never give birth. After she was discharged, she ran away from the village and ended up as a local prostitute and drug maniac after she abandoned her education.
Her mother seeing what had befallen her husband and daughter and how everybody in the village had ostracized her swallowed the rat poison in her kitchen and died in her room. Few days later, the smell of her decomposing and bloated body attracted the attention of her neighbors. After the necessary cleansing, her body was thrown into the evil forest the same way they had done to her husband.
Chief Oko was shot dead by armed robbers when he was returning from a business trip and refused to hand over the money he had on him to the robbers.
Toke donated half of what she had inherited from lady B to orphans and widows and with the rest, she trained herself to the university level where she graduated with a First class degree in Engineering.
Today, Toke is happily married with 4 kids and she owns a foundation where she caters for widows, widowers, orphans, rape victims and the poor who cannot afford basic education. She named the foundation after Lady B for the memory of these two spurred her to attain excellence in all she did.
Her mother and the woman whose son helped her live in the house lady B gave to Toke. Toke feeds and sponsors the woman’s children to school while she set up businesses for the woman and her mother so that they could keep themselves busy.
Thank you all for going with us through this story. I promised you at the beginning that it was going to be a heart touching story and from the comments, I know that it has really touched us.
The truth is that there are so many people like Toke in our society, let us try and reach out to them in any way we can. Let us not like the principal wait till it is too late before we reach out for help.
Remember to help the helpless in the society in any capacity you find yourself just like the boy who saved mama Toke’s life and ended up securing a better future for himself, his mother and his siblings.
Also, do not discard the advice of good friends, mama Toke almost lost her life to that.
Like Toke, we must refuse all snares by the devil to deceive us out of what God has planned for us even. If she had joined Lady B in her trade out of frustration, she wouldn’t have been able to attain the success that God had already planned for her. Remember, when the devil gives you a shoe, trust me he will take your leg as payment.
Keep your head high no matter how difficult it gets because the heavier the cross, the better the crown. Remember the darkest part of the night is nearest the morning.
To all our wonderful fans who have been commenting, time will not permit me to list your names as I had wanted to do but this is just to let you know that I read and appreciate all the comments and that I love you dearly. Your reward is on the way, just keep your fingers crossed.
Have a pleasant night rest and a fruitful and prosperous week ahead. Matty loves you scatter!
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