Ayokunmi sat in her parent’s sitting room watching TV but not connecting with the program. She felt weighed down by the sadness that had engulfed her family and wished only that they could go back to the times they used to be so happy. At 16, she knew enough to know that only a miracle could make that happen ever again.
Her father had left the house for almost 2 months now, taking all of her siblings with him except her brother, Ayokunle. He had wanted to take her too but she had refused and insisted on staying with her mother and her younger brother who had Down’s syndrome.
After an acid fight with a woman who had had a son for her father, her mother was now badly disfigured and blind. Nobody wanted to tell her the truth but she heard that her mother had been the one to take the acid to the scene of the fight and in the course of struggling, the acid had poured on both of them.
The other woman had ingested some of it and died a few hours later at the hospital while her mother had totally destroyed herself. Her entire head looked like a big sore, her left ear had closed while her eyes had been destroyed by the acid. The only things she still had control over were her nose and mouth.
Kunmi knew that if she left with all her sisters, her father would totally abandon her mother like he had threatened and she didn’t want that to happen to her mother. She didn’t stay because she loved her mother or because her mother loved them. In fact, it had been a very long time since she had felt any kind of love from her mother’s end. But her mother was getting badly depressed and she didn’t want her to kill herself.
Today, after she got home from school, it was to find her mother fighting with the only maid left in the house. Considering that her mother couldn’t see or hear, it was a testament to the maid’s character that she hadn’t locked the door and beaten her mother properly like she deserved.
Kunmi had waged into the fight but had gotten a slap from her mother for all her efforts. Her mother had started saying mean things to her and even called her a bastard, all because she wanted to help. She felt so hurt and angry, did her mother even know how much effort she was putting into making sure she was okay?
She knew that if they lost this maid like they had lost all the others, her father would never employ another one. In a few months she would go to the University, who would then take care of the house chores or her brother?
Her mother didn’t even realise what kind of sacrifice she was making to stay with her. She could have gone with her father and sisters instead of staying in a place saturated with bitterness and anger but she didn’t. Did her mother not appreciate her?
She cleaned her eyes when she heard her phone ringing and picked up her call, seeing it was her friend, Sandra.
Kunmi: “Sandra, what’s up?”
Sandra: “Hey, dear, where are you?”
Kunmi: “At home, of course, what of you?”
Sandra: “Babe, its Friday, let’s go and hang out now.”
Kunmi: “Honestly Sandra, I’m not in the mood.”
Sandra: “Come on, Todimu is here oh!” she giggled.
Kunmi could not help rolling her eyes. Todimu was Sandra’s neighbour and she had had a crush on the handsome medical student ever since she saw him a few months ago. She knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Kunmi: “Where are we hanging out?”
Sandra: “We will go to Todimu’s place. He’s having a party.”
Kunmi: “Oh, Sandra, I want to come. I like that boy!!”
Sandra: “I know!!” She giggled.
Kunmi: “Let me ask my mom!” She quickly ran out of her room to her mother’s new room downstairs to get permission only to hear her mother fighting with her little brother who slept across the hall. She quickly retraced her steps to his room where her mother was shouting.
Kunmi carried her crying brother out of the room, knowing that his tears were as much from his mother’s shouts as well from his mother’s new scary looks.
Lanke: “What is happening? Where is he going?” She asked as she heard his cries getting more distant.
Kunmi: “Mummy, I’m taking him away” she answered her mother.
Lanke: “To where? You stupid disobedient bitch! How dare you?” She said as she followed after her daughter angrily and slammed into a wall. “Oh my God!! Kunmi, I will kill you!”
After dropping her brother with the maid, Kunmi decided not to tell her mother about the outing, she could not be in more problems with her mum. She quickly dressed up and left the house for Sandra’s place from where they went to Todimu’s house.
Todimu’s parent’s house was large and quiet after the small hangout ended. Kunmi sat on the chair watching Nickoledeon, her favourite channel while he sat on the other end of the couch. At least that’s how it was until Sandra winked at her and left and he moved right beside her. She was scared at first when Sandra left but she was also pretty excited too. She had once told Sandra that she wouldn’t mind if Todimu turned out to be her first kiss.
So, while she was watching TV and he started rubbing her shoulders, she didn’t react, trying to dampen the nervous excitement inside her. When Todimu put his hands on the back of her head and turned her in his direction, she turned willingly enough and when he put his lips to hers, she allowed and even shivered a little. She finally got her first kiss.
Todimu took the kiss deeper and she was responsive. They kissed for about 3 minutes before he put his hands on her breasts. She withdrew a little at that but that didn’t stop him. He pushed her on the couch and put his hands under her top, trailing from her stomach to her bra covered breasts. Pushing the bra out of the way, he palmed her nipples and she pushed his hands and seeking mouth away.
Kunmi: “Todimu, please you’re going too fast.”
Todimu: “Going too fast as how? You want this now, what’s wrong with you? Your friend told me you had been panting after me for a while now so why are you acting up?”
Kunmi pushed him away from on top her as she got up from the chair.
Kunmi: “What do you mean by that? Yes, I had a crush on you, that doesn’t mean I expect you to try and have sex with me!”
Todimu: “Don’t dare play with me.” He said menacingly as he took off the belt on his jean trousers and unzipped. “I paid your friend for you already so don’t waste my time!!”
Kunmi: “Wh….ich friend?” She asked as she moved a step back, seeing the look of determination on Todimu’s face. “I don’t know what Sandra told you but I am not that kind of girl at all.”
Kunmi circled behind the chair to avoid Todimu. Opposite her, he took off his trousers and boxers, she saw his organ, bulging. Quickly, she ran towards the door and tried to open it only to find it had been locked. There, Todimu tackled her against the door and pushed her to the floor. She started screaming for help as Todimu tore off her top and grabbed her breasts.
His hands seemed to be everywhere at once and her tears and struggles seemed useless against him. He pushed up her flared skirt and tore off her panties and she cried even louder. She felt like she was going to be torn into two when he thrust into her violently and she nearly died then. It seemed to go on forever and by the time he was done, she was too shocked to even stand up.
Todimu: He stood up, smiled at her on the floor. “Sandra was right, you are very hot oh!” He picked up his clothing scattered in the small sitting room and went into a room. When he came back outside she was gone.
As Kunmi left his house, her torn shirt covering her breasts, she seemed mindless. She dialled her father’s number on automaton and told him where she was. She had walked almost all the way home when her father’s car stopped beside her. When he got out of the car and rushed to grab her, she went into his arms, bawling her eyes out.
Although all she wanted to do at that point was wash herself, her father insisted they go to hospital and also report to the Police. After much cajoling, she tearfully agreed and allowed him to take her to their family hospital where she was attended to. An hour later, he had called in a favour and 2 police women were there to question her and take her statement.
Her father felt incredibly guilty for leaving her with her mother despite knowing how selfish Lanke was and how much worse she would be right now. He also knew deep in his heart that he was responsible for how scattered his family was. His and his parent’s desire for a son had made him behave irresponsibly and had jeopardised the life of everyone connected to him.
As the police interviewed his daughter, he waited in the hospital corridor and started crying. He wished something like this hadn’t happened to Kunmi. She was goodness and kindness together and she didn’t deserve this punishment for the failings of her parents. He made a decision then, he would get Kunmi and her brother to come and stay with him and their other siblings, he would sell the old house and put Lanke in a nursing home somewhere.
A few hours after that, Todimu and Sandra were arrested while Lanke paced in a circle at home with her walking stick, not knowing where her daughter was. She was still pacing when she heard the door open,
Lanke: “Kunmi, is that you?!! Where have you been?!! Did you…?”
Lanre: “It’s not Kunmi, it is me, Lanre.”
Lanke: “Oh, what are you doing here?” She sneered.
Lanre: “Something happened and I wanted you to know…..” He sighed as he sat on the sofa.
Lanke: “I don’t want to know. Thank you!” She folded her arms across her chest and turned away from the sound of his voice.
Lanre looked at her from his position and was still amazed at how she looked. Lanke used to be so beautiful and elegant, with lovely teeth and gorgeous hair. These days she looked like a very ugly monster. They used to be so in lust, they called themselves Lanlan until he couldn’t stand her or their marriage anymore. He knew he failed and this was his punishment.
Lanre: “Kunmi went out to her friend’s place, her friend took her to a boy’s house and there, she was raped.”
Lanke: Gasping “Nooooo! You’re lying!! You’re lying!”
Lanre: “I am not!” He shouted at her as she covered her working ear and shook her head.
Lanke: “No, God, please no!”
Lanre: “The boy and Sandra have been arrested.”
Lanke: “Sandra? It was Sandra? How could Sandra do that to Kunmi? How could she? They were friends!!” She cried out even as she knew the answer to that question.
She moved herself to the single seater couch and started crying, seemingly heartbroken.
Lanre: “Lanke, it’s okay.” He was surprised at her tears, he had expected anger and plans for retribution, not this apparent heartbreak. He stood up and tried not to cringe as he went to comfort her. “We have arrested them, Lanke. I will make sure they are properly dealt with and punished.”
Lanke: “It’s my fault!” She said dejected. “It’s my fault.”
Lanre: “No, it isn’t. It was a terrible thing to happen to our child but if anyone has a fault here, it’s me.”
Lanke: She shrugged the hands he had been rubbing on her back away. “You think I don’t know what I’m saying?” She screamed. “God is punishing me!! Me!! Me!! Me!!””
Lanre: “Lanke, calm down. God won’t p…….”
Lanke: “I betrayed my friends in school. When I was a student, I led a friend to a group of guys and I knew one of them planned to rape her. I was even happy about it and i wanted to follow them so I could watch….”
Lanre: “Lanke, Jesus! You didn’t!!”
Lanke: “I did. I did! The worst part was she never returned. I don’t know what happened to her but she didn’t return to school again!!” she wept.
Lanre: “She left school without mentioning your name?
Lanke: “No, I think they killed her after that day but I never told anyone…”
Lanre: “Oh my God, you are evil.”
Lanke: “I know!” She cried, “God is punishing me!! On top of everything, when my closest friend threatened to unravel her secret, I told the guys about it and I would have led her to them too if she hadn’t packed her things and left the school. I deserve what is happening to me.” She cried out but there were no tears for she had no eyes.
Lanre: “Yes, you deserve what happened to you! My daughter however did not deserve that fate but the evil you did brought this upon her. You selfish, wicked bitch!! You’re evil; and I never want to see you again. Tomorrow, when Kunmi is released from the hospital, I will have her come and pack her things and Kunle too. Then I will wash my hands off you!! No wonder you could kill Odun so easily!!”
Lanke: “Nooo! Lanre, please don’t leave me here alone, those children are all I have left!” She cried out but her only answer was the sound of the door slamming. Lanre had gone.
Later that night, she wondered if she would have done anything in her life differently. At 39, her life should just be starting but hers was almost over. She had 6 children, 1 was retarded, four had left her without a backward glance and the one who was kind enough to stay had been dealt with, a recompense for her mother’s sin.
She thought back to the time with Ada and realised how mean and selfish she had been to actually lead a friend out to rape, humiliation and death. She thought she had gotten away with it but she didn’t know that Karma was just in front, waiting for her.
She wept bitterly for the dreams she would never see fulfilled and for the children who would not miss her and the husband who would probably be relieved if she ceased to exist. She opened her bedside drawer and got out all the drugs prescribed for her and poured them out of their bottles and unto her bed. After saying a short prayer for God to accept her soul, she picked as many as she could and swallowed them at once.
An hour later, Lanke was gone.
The mothers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge! Poor Ayokunmi!
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