Right from my childhood days, I have borne the brunt of life’s painful script. At the tender age of nine, I’d learned to pedal the wheels of life with utmost toughness. Being an orphan at that age, I had thought before now, was the worst thing in life. At the age of eleven, I was raped. From then on till I was sixteen, I had series of rapes from different men; single or married. I lived every day with pains. I had no one to talk to, not even my aunty: she treated me worse than a piece of rag. Some men were just beasts in human form, who just wanted to lay with me, due to my curvaceous nature. On several occasions, my aunt’s husband raped me, admonishing me with threats of death, not to report him. On a certain day, my aunt had just left for market, when her husband pushed me to the bed as usual. I didn’t make any effort to resist him; I was already used to it. But this day, he made me an object for practical: the day I had anal penetration; after he’d explored my womanhood to his satisfaction. I’d thought I was going to die that hour. It was the most horrific experience I had from incessant rapes. When he was done with me, he left the house and I was alone; weak and helpless. I couldn’t move, but I did manage to crawl down from the bed unto a chair. Few minutes later, my aunt returned from the market and met me in an exhausted state. She could tell something was wrong. I was weeping.
“Ruth, what’s the problem?” She asked, sniffing. I was silent. “And by the way, why are you covering yourself with the bedspread, sitting on the chair?” She said. I stared timidly at her. Angrily, she took the bedspread off me, and saw me naked. “What rubbish?!” She snapped.
“He forced me.” I said
“Forced you! How d’you mean?”
“He raped me.”
I was silent and I peeked on her every second.
“I said who?” She held my earlobe, pulled and twisted it; “are you now deaf? Who raped you in my room?”
Just as I was about to break my silence, her husband walked in. “What’s happening here?” He asked as if he knew nothing about this.
“Can you imagine this?” She pointed at me, I was still naked. “She said somebody raped her in this room, and she doesn’t want to mention the person’s name” She added.
“What?” He said, looking at my aunty. He continued; “All these useless boys in this compound. What arrant nonsense!” He dashed behind the door where his mechanic tools were kept, and picked an iron rod. “Somebody will die in this compound today” He said. My aunty held him before he could walk past the door.
“You don’t have to kill anybody over this slut. Haven’t I warned her against the boys in this compound?” She said, taking the rod off him. She added; “She brought in a boy here to sleep with her. She agreed to it. She is lying now because she didn’t know we would come on time”.
And so my ordeal persisted. Six months later, the doctor confirmed I was three months pregnant. Within this period of six months, I was his sex object to offer sacrifice to his bestial libido.
“Ruth, who is responsible for your pregnancy?” She asked me severally. How was I going to tell her that the man she’d been married to for over 10 years without a child, was responsible for my pregnancy? In the last six months, no other man had slept with me, except my auntie’s husband who raped me at least once in a week when ever my aunt was not in the house.
“Ruth, are you deaf?” She was hitting me with a stick.
“I don’t know” I finally said.
“How would you know, when you open your legs for all boys?” She said.
She asked me to leave the house, but her husband insisted I stayed, since I had nowhere else to go.
I went through hell during this period of pregnancy. I later gave birth to a boy, whom I abandoned in their hands, after I’d breast fed him for four months. I was just 17. I ran away to where they would never see me, and started working in at restaurant.
I went to my auntie’s house, 2 years later, to see my son, but I was told they had packed out of the house. For years, I searched for them in a bid to see my son, but to no avail.
27 Years after I’d abandoned my child, I met Richard. I was now 44 years old. Richard came to drink in my beer parlour. Many guys made advances at me because of my prettiness and youthful looks. But I preferred Richard. He’s handsome, charming, and much matured. One thing led to another, we started dating. Months later, I was pregnant for him. I’d wanted to abort the baby, but Richard, to my amazement, insisted I keep the baby, that he would marry me, even though he knew I’m older than he is. Though I lied to him that I’m 34. Last week, (now in the 8th month) we decided to visit his parents’ home. On getting to the house, my aunty and her husband were seated in the parlour. I was wondering what they were doing there. They were shocked. “Mum… dad…” Richard said, ignorant of what was going on. “This is the lady I told you about, my wife.”
My aunty broke down in tears.
“Mum? Why… “
“Richard, this woman is your mother” My aunty’s husband told Richard.
I’m dead traumatized, wishing for death. Richard, my son, is in pains. The world has finally crumbled on me. My aunt has not seized to pour insults on me, I know she will run mad should I tell her that her husband is Richard’s biological father. Right now, I’m lost in a complicated taboo.