Fiona sat on d bed feeling anxious, waiting for her very first customer to pounce on her. She closed her eyes and said a prayer of mercy. Tears gathered in her eyes but she wouldnt let them fall. She had to be strong in order to survive. She promised herself dat she wouldnt be a prostitute forever. She was going to use d money for her education, then study hard and be d doctor she had always wanted to be, dat was her dream.
She opened her eyes and saw her customer totally unclad and stroking his erect manhood making jerking sounds. She flinched, not that this was her first time of seeing an erect manhood, but dis particular sight disgusted her.
The tears dat had been welling up in her eyes began to pour. She tried to stop dem but she couldnt, they wouldnt stop flowing. What kind of suffering was dis? Why did uncle Efe have to die?
‘pull ur cloth now. Why u dey waste time?’ d harsh voice of d man came to her hearing.
She immediately looked at him. She had to survive, she had to. She took off her top and cleaned her eyes with it….
FIVE YEARS LATER.
‘you fool! How did u get urself pregnant! What kind of nonsense is dis? Arent u big enough to know to use of a condom?’ Rebecca barked ‘how many of ur colleagues had ended up pregnant? Why must ur case be different Fiona? Of what breed are u?’
Fiona winced. It wasnt her fault dat she was pregnant right now. Rebecca had been terribly sick d past few weeks and she needed money to pay for her treatments, she couldnt afford to lose Rebecca, she was all she had.
And dat was why she gave into that man’s strange request of sleeping with her without a condom for eight rounds and paying her fifty thousand naira.
She had never earned dat amount of money even for a day even after sleeping with five to six men a day. And so she had made use of the opportunity.
But now, her aunt was blaming her. When she was d one to introduce her to d business of prostitution….when she was d one who had encouraged her dat day to sleep with as many men as possible just so she could bring money home for her treatment, when she had been d one to use up all of d money.
Since she started working as a call worker, she hadnt had any money to herself. Rebecca had always siezed d money and no matter how she had tried to hide it, Rebecca always found it.
She had cried so much d past few days, her eyes had refused to bring out more water.
‘why are u dis shameless? How are u going to raise dis useless child u’ve chosen to bring into dis world? Tell me, how? How are u going to explain to d child of d womb who d father is? Do u even know d father?!’
‘aunty….d condom we used broke, we didnt know until we finished’ Fiona stammered….dat was d only way she could think of escaping Rebecca’s rants.
‘dats because u are not intelligent enough……see, i did dis business for seven years before i met Efe and i know when d condom has broken or not…..and immediately after d s-x, i take necessary precautions, either i take drugs or i wash myself! Infact i always have an expensive and durable condom in my bag and d men must buy it from me, if they choose not to use dat particular condom i sell, den there’s no deal. I was wise! I sold condoms, even to other call workers and customers, i used one stone to kill two birds. I was making money and also taking precautions. Cant u be as wise as me? Cant u also work as a call girl and do business, or do u want to be a call girl all ur life?!’ Rebecca thundered not bothering if neighbours were hearing her or not.
Fiona looked down at her toes. How would she have money to trade when Rebecca always seized all d money she made from prostitution.
‘you are so shameless! I am saying dat d situation of d country is hard and if not for d money u bring in daily, we barely feed and u are trying to add one more mouth….infact, dont let me lay a curse on u Fiona’
‘do what u want to aunty!’ Fiona looked around, who just said that, certainly it wasnt her. She didnt have d courage to or did she? She further surprised herself however when she spoke more ignoring d look of surprise mixed with shock in her aunty’s eyes.
‘all my life, i have laboured for u aunty! I have hawked for u, i have struggled for u, even stolen for u aunty. Y cant u appreciate my efforts for once aunty?
I’ve never argued with u for once, i always do whatever u say….but when i do it and d outcome becomes bad, u turn all d blame on me? Who put me to dis? Who put me to sleeping with different men to earn money? U aunty. And who enjoys all d benefits? U aunty. I became unlucky and got pregnant, there’s a way to scold me to correct me….but no! U are just trying to make me look bad and foolish when u know i’m in dis situation because of u.
What have i done to be treated dis way? What have i done to deserve all dis maltreatment from u? Why are u dis wicked aunty? Fyn, i’m not ur blood but uncle Efe had looked upon me lyk i was his daughter, y cant u do d same? I am not telling u to treat me d way u treat Tega and Juli….but at least try to be fair for once! Do not sieze every opportunity to remind me of how useless i am….even though i’m not useless…..at least to u’ She stormed into d house.
She was having none of it anymore. She was leaving dis house, she had no one but she was confident Shola was going to help her. He was her best friend and brother, he showered her with love, no one except her late immediate family had showered on her. Surely, he would take her in, afterall he lived alone and had no responsibilities.
Or so she thought.
Life didnt always go as planned. D people we think cares may actually be d people who do not care one bit.
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‘Fiona will u do something about dat baby’s loud wailing? Its so annoying!’ Rebecca barked angrily.
Fiona closed her eyes and pushed her sore ni.pples into d baby’s mouth hoping she wasnt going to bite it again.
Immediately her baby’s mouth touched her ni.pples, she giggled and Fiona laughed ‘food food baby, dont kill me oo!’
Rebecca eyed her angrily ‘will you feed dat baby fast so u can fetch water from d well at d backyard and fill all d drums, fool!’
Fiona stared hard at her aunt and looked away.
She had plans. Plans she wasnt going to involve anyone in. Shola had broken her heart. She had loved him with all her soul but he treated her like trash.
She still remembered d day very clearly, when she had left her aunt’s house and gone to his house for help, d hurtful words he had said to her, how he had threw her out and told her to take responsibility for her actions.
She had always thought he had feelings for her but she had been wrong. She had been d one doing d loving all d time.
Why was life so unfair to her?
She had always fantasised about Shola taking her out to a fancy restaurant, feeding her ice-cream and then ask her to be his girlfriend, she had always thought dat day was going to come but alas! It never did.
‘ah!’ Fiona screamed. D baby had bitten her ni.pples again….but she couldnt take it out because once she did, the baby was going to cry and she didnt want troubles from her aunt.
‘Fiona stand up!’ Rebecca ordered ‘stand up immediately!’
Fiona hesitated then stood up managing to carry d baby as she continually bit on her ni.pples.
‘get out! Get out of dis house immediately, u are nothing but trash! How dare u show me how u moan when ur filthy customers are on top of u? Go out and feed dat useless child of urs, and not even a sound from u. I wont have an imp like u disturb me with ur nonsense sounds…..and i give u five minutes to feed dat trash in ur arms else…..i’ll throw it in d dustbin’
‘my baby is not an “it” as u put it, she’s Emerald just incase u’ve forgotten’ Fiona said rolling her eyes.
Rebecca stood up angrily stamping her foot on d floor ‘how dare u talk back at me in my own house? Are u mad!!’ She approached Fiona menancingly and had it not been Tega’s timely intervention, Fiona was sure she would have flung her baby away, Rebecca had always found every opportunity to smack little Emerald for no just reason.
Fiona eyed mother and son….they were both like terms.
She opened d door and stepped out, d cool breeze caressing her exposed skin, blowing her hair to her face.
It felt refreshing and cool and she loved it.
Emerald’s soft cries drew her attention to her baby and she quickly cuddled her ‘my baby, my beautiful baby’
Tears were beginning to well up in her eyes as she beheld d wonderful sight of her baby…….and for d first time in a long while, she was grateful to Rebecca.
She had wanted to give up her baby when she gave birth but Rebecca had harshly warned her not to and dat she was not a fan of abortion or abandoning a child…..had it not been for Rebecca, she would have given dat child up.
She felt guilty for ever harbouring d thought of giving up her own child, but she hoped d baby would understand. She was too young to have a baby besides, she wasnt hundred percent guaranteed of d child’s welfare.
How would she buy clothes for d child? D ones she had been using were Juli’s clothes when she was a baby and most of dem were worn out and old.
How was she going to send d child to school?
How was she going to protect d child from aunty Rebecca’s wickedness? She was very sure dat Rebecca wasnt going to hesitate in passing d hatred she harboured for her down to her innocent child.
D breeze touched her cheeks as more tears poured down. She looked at her child and cried.
‘i’m so sorry…..i’m so so sorry for bringing u into dis world to suffer….i’m sorry for making u go through all dis…..i promise to survive for u….i promise u a gud life. I will never abandon u Emerald……i’ll do d best i can to protect u from Rebecca and her children and i’ll make sure u get d best education d world could get. I love u my child’
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