Click here to read previous episode ➡️ Episode 8
I had just gotten back from the heated up meeting with the disciplinary committee panel when Tope and Mirabel walked up to me. Tope interrogated me as usual, “How did it go Ugo?”
I was sure my expression had already said it all but I had to tell her what she wanted to hear, “it didn’t go well at all, I presented the little evidence I could gather: the letters and a picture of the blood inscription on the wall that was used to threaten me. I also narrated the rape incident to them but it was obvious that they didn’t believe me as they giggled and called my evidence false and a strategy to cover up my shame.” Tears dropped from my eyes as I narrated my ordeal to them.
I felt extremely helpless, I had been disgraced; my whole world was crumbling. “What was their judgement?” Mirabel asked with concern in her voice. “I will be told in a week from now at the next panel meeting; but why…why are these people so mean and unbelievable?” I bowed my head while trying to hold back my tears.
Tope wasn’t even helping matters; she interrupted, “Ugo I warned you, everyone did but you thought you’ll always have your way right? Not in every case; this is different. You can’t win this war. It is no longer between yourself and Mr Bamboye; it is now the school against you, Tunji’s wealthy family against you and your family against you. Can’t you see that you have shot yourself in the leg? Can’t you see? Just in a short while see all you’ve lost: Bayo, your friends, family, yourself and soon your education; in a week from now you will be rusticated and your dreams will be gone too.”
Mirabel cautioned her quickly, “Tope stop all this, stop blaming her because it could have happened to anyone else, stop being too hard on this girl, we are meant to be by her side now that she needs us more: please don’t be insensitive or you walk out of her life and stop adding to her worries. Mirabel already pissed off by Tope’s attitude towards me. I thought it was going to end there but I was wrong, Tope continued ranting, trying to prove her point, “Mirabel stop pitying her and tell her the truth, I’m not insensitive, I’m only being realistic. I would blame her over again because she brought this upon herself, did she think this was going to end like ‘Justice League’?”
I walked out of the room as both of them kept shouting at each other. After all Tope was right, I had lost everything I have including what I never had (Bayo). I watched people look at me, they always do this but this time it was different and more shameful. Some female students began to sing, “Prostitute, lose girl”. All I could do was bow my head in shame I didn’t know more of them were ahead waiting for.
I kept walking really fast when some guys started holding their manhood, laughing and shouting “Baby do you want some? How much for a night? I’ll pay you ₦500! Na ₦200 I get! Won’t you go give us discount?” I couldn’t fight the tears back, I began to cry; I had lost my pride as a woman. I could no longer speak, I couldn’t raise my head nor walk confidently and I had lost my value.
I walked to the famous Bazia River at the outskirt of the school. Bazia River alias ‘No return’ I guess it was called that because no one has lived to tell the tale of his return. It was perfect for me after all I couldn’t swim and I feared water so my death would be a lot quicker. I prepared to jump to my death, I stood on the pavement with my back facing the river and said to myself loudly, “This is it, we die her” I spread my arms dramatically.
I didn’t stop thinking out loud, a lot was going through my head as I said, “women who have seen pain, those who aspire greatness, women who are blamed for the wrongs of men, the ones who are treated as slaves, rags and dirt. This is how we die.” I closed my eyes and thought of Bayo, I was happy to end my suffering here and join him.”
I heard a whisper, “don’t give up!” I opened my eyes. Those words came out of nowhere: the voice was from afar. I neglected it and was ready to jump when I heard the masculine voice again, it was nearer this time. I opened my eyes and looked beside me only to find a man and his little daughter. He held his crutch on one hand and my hand on the other. He saw I was determined to take my life; as he pulled me from jumping backwards I fell with my face to the ground. I cried and screamed at him, “No! How dare you? Who are you to tell me what do? Why can’t all of you just let me be? Since no one wants me here allow me to go where I’ll be welcomed. I can’t do this any longer, I can’t survive here sir just let me go.” He was very calm, he picked me up and cleaned my cloth with his cap, he began to speak, “don’t give up! Listen my dear, when you feel things are becoming frustrating and unbearable that is the time to work harder. Life is only getting you prepared for greater things, just keep working, keep aiming high and don’t stop pushing forward. Do not give up no matter what. Face your fears; face your challenge that is the only road that leads to success.”
He kept talked to me for a few minutes, reinforced my confidence and made me feel better about myself. I watched him in awe and remembered Bayo’s exact words, “If it’s worth it, then chase it. Fight for it, die for it.” I smiled at him and stood up and thanked him for saving my life. He was right, this was not the time for me to feel sorry for myself. It was time for me to work harder than ever before. I had to prepare for my final exams, I had the peace of mind I needed. I walked back to my hostel feeling different about myself; I wiped my tears and waited for whatever came my way. Bring it on.
To be continued next Friday.
Written by: Ordeezy (2018)
Photos: Google Chrome Images.