‘Lex….i need ur help’ Those words kept echoing in his hands as he matched the acceleration furiously driving on the highway as fast as he could.
He couldnt explain the joy he felt at hearing her voice again….at least he knew she hadnt died that night….that alone made him happy. All he wanted was a second chance and he was going to make it right. Ann meant alot to him. He might not love her but she was still a significant figure in his life.
She made him who he was. Together they had made wealth, she was a noble woman, a woman every great man needed in his life to boost his greatness. She had been a source of encouragement and his source of joy and happiness. Though she later turned into something he couldnt fathom later on, he understood what she felt. She had been fustrated when she had caught him sleeping with Sandra, when he had told her to her face that he didnt love her, when she had been forced to go to prison for his sake, when she had lost the baby….she passed through alot.
There was nothing he could do that would compensate her for all the pains she had gone through for him all because of love.
Love was a beautiful thing…..and it was also a sad thing.
‘who did u call?’ Fiona asked looking over her.
‘someone. Someone whom i know might be of help’ Ann replied staring into space.
‘i know….i know who might have taken Emmy’ Fiona felt guilty suddenly….she had never wished for her child to go through all this. Main reason why she had wanted to give her up for adoption immediately she gave birth to her but Rebecca had stopped her from doing such. That would have been better…..at least she wouldnt have to worry about the welfare of her child.
Ann turned sharply ‘who?’
Fiona shut her eyes tightly as tears rolled down. She immediately wiped it with her pals, she had promised herself never to shed tears for any reason, she had gone through alot already and she had become hardened.
‘talk to me Fiona’
‘i…..’ another tear came down and she raised her hands to wipe them immediately. She couldnt bring herself to say it. She had gone into the life of crime to be able to care for Emmy and support Rebecca’s family. Somehow, prostitution hadnt favoured her that much, seeing all she had achieved from it was buying a bungalow in the outskirts of town for Rebecca and her family and Emmy. There was a time business became bad and she couldnt even afford to pay for Emmy’s school fees, that was when he came along…..Ogba, popularly known as D’BOSS.
He had approached her that cold chilly night where she had sat alone in the bar, a plastic bottle of coke in her hands and she recognised him immediately…….the man she had always searched for.
‘hi bae’ he had smiled icily ‘how much per round? Heard u’re d biggest fu.ck here’
Her heart had leapt for joy…..knowing fully well that Emmy might live a comfortable life henceforth, since the man looked rich and comfortable.
She didnt know what to do….her heart had been so full of joy she didnt know how to go about telling him about Emmy.
But from the look in his eyes, she knew he hadnt recognised her….she didnt mind because she knew she wasnt mistaken….this was the man….the man who had insisted to go bare three years back….the man who had promised to pay double should he go without a condom….the man who had used her that night to the extent she became sore…..the man who had paid fifty thousand naira after eight rounds that night…..the man whom she had never seen his like….the man who deposited his sperm inside of her…..and the man whose sperm formed Emmy.
He had looked at her and dropped wads of naira note on the table ‘i like to go bare…..and i pay enough money for that….the expenses cover up abortion should incase a child is formed in the process and i dont accept kids from call girls….thats why i pay much’
Her heart had shattered immediately he said that, that meant he would never accept Emmy….so she hadnt said a word and had gone to bed with him again.
After the deal, he had looked at her with a cute smile and said ‘you’ll make a good employee, do u want to work for me? I’ll pay u very well’
And so she had been introduced into a life of crime. After working for Ogba for sixteen months, she had recieved a better offer to work for someone else, his rival and he paid her thrice the amount Ogba had paid her and he treated her with respect not lyk Ogba who felt he could use her anytime he liked.
She hated to say or even think about it but she had fallen in love with Ogba later on…..and that was why she left his side because she knew she had no future with him. Ogba was a fearless man who had no time for love…in order to be able to tame her feelings, she had left his side….but he would never let her go scot free and he had sought for her ever since…..wanting to kill her for betraying him.
‘Ogba’ she whispered.
Ann opened her mouth in bewilderment.
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TEN YEARS AGO.
‘Fiona! Fiona!!’ Rebecca called from the kitchen.
Fiona stood up from the worn out cushion she had sat on just a minute ago after cleaning everywhere in the house hoping to get some rest.
‘you fool! Didnt i tell you to mop the kitchen and boil rice for dinner? Didnt i? So after sweeping the house you went to relax abi? So that your mother will come and boil the rice for you abi?’ Rebecca said harshly landing a hot slap on her cheeks.
Fiona winced in pain as tears flooded her eyes ‘but aunty Rebecca…..i’m tired, i’ve been working since morning, besides i felt this sharp pain on my lower abdomen….its like my period is……’
‘eh hen? So it has gotten to this okwaya? You can now talk about at me? In my own house? What insolence!’ She picked up the kitchen broom beside her ‘you see this your period thats coming, u’ll use papers for it because i’ll not give you a single sanitary pad. You are a fool! A very big fool! I feed and house you so its ur responsibility to do all the chores in this house without complaints whatsoever! Dince your parents died ten years ago and my stupid and senseless husband insisted on keeping you here, i’ve been training you…..infact! I think its high time you left dis house since that stupid husband of mine is now gone for good. What are you still doing here anyways?!’
Fiona grabbed the handle to the kitchen door as Rebecca headed towards her panting angrily, swielding the full broom in her hands. She immediately knew that dis was going to be one of her days of going to bed without food.
Tears fell from her eyes ‘aunty i’m sorry’
‘sorry for your stupid self. Fiona, come here immediately!’
‘aunty please…….’ before she could complete her statement, Rebecca grabbed her throat….
THE NEXT DAY….
Fiona strolled down the streets under the scorching sun, her tray of groundnuts still on her head, sweating profusely.
She looked around searching for customers, she was going to be dead today, she knew it.
She hadnt made any sales today and it was already past 3pm. Her aunt had given her strict instructions to be home before three thirty with an empty tray so they could prepare for church.
She was close to crying, if she didnt sell any of the groundnuts, if not even all, Rebecca wasnt going to take it lightly with her. She was going to be mercilessly flogged and injured and denied food with excess work.
Tears fell from her eyes. Why did her uncle have to die? The torture was just too much for her. Each day that passes made her want to commit suicide, to just end it all.
At thirteen, all the veins in her skin were already stretching out, her palms were as hard as sandpaper. And she was very sure that if Rebecca had the opportunity of killing her, she would readily do so without blinking.
‘fine girl, why you dey cry?’ a haggard looking man called to her.
She wanted to ignore him at first….but she thought against it, maybe he could have pity on her and buy some groundnut from her. So she stopped and greeted him.
‘come’ he beckoned and she walked towards him with her tray. His eyes lingered on her sprouting breas.ts and she rolled her eyes, another pe.rvert. But it didnt matter if he was a perv.ert or not, she needed him to buy her groundnuts.
‘why u dey cry?’
‘uncle….na because say…i never sell anything today and my aunty go beat me if i no sell everything finish’
‘eyaa….na make u dey cry? How much for the groundnut?’
Her eyes lit up in hope as she lowered the tray on the floor ‘this one na fifty naira, this one na thirty naira’
‘no, i mean how much for everything?’
She nearly jumped up for joy ‘uncle! Talk true, u wan buy everything?’
‘yes na. I no want make your wicked aunty beat fine girl like you. Wetin be ur name sef?’
‘my name na Fiona. Everything wey dey dis tray na one thousand five hundred naira’
‘okay’ the man suddenly looked thoughtful ‘see Fiona, first, how many years u dey?’
‘i’m thirteen’ Fiona replied praying silently that he wasnt about to change his mind about buying the whole groundnuts….it meant alot to her.
‘eh hen. And u knw say u fyn wella, and u be big girl now. U don dey fu.ck?’
‘eh?’ Fiona asked confused.
‘i mean, u don sleep wit boy before?’
‘no oo. I be virgin oo’
‘really? Okay, u see eh, make we do business. U go just enter my house, i go touch u small, then i go give u money for d groundnut, u agree?’
And dat was how Fiona found her way home, her leps widely spread, crying and rejoicing at the same time. The man had given her three thousand naira and she was happy, she was going to save a thousand five hundred and give d oda to Rebecca.
And dat was how she frequented the man’s bed just for her groundnuts to be sold.
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