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One wrong turn Episode 22 & 23

“When you left, he demanded for his money or another girl. But I guess your friend here has spent all the money. So they settled for Hannah instead, without her knowledge. Apparently Hannah refused to ‘[email protected]£’ two guys at the same time, so they resorted to coercion. They f0rç£d a substance into her mouth and nose. I’m not sure what it was, but from the description, it might be cocaine. Anyway Hannah pas-sed out, she had no idea what happened. When she woke up, she was bleeding and acting abnormally. So they brou-ght her here and disappeared. Well, your friend suffered from the effect of cocaine and the trauma she also pas-sed throu-gh. She had a miscarriage too.” Her last s£ntence shocked me, I almost jumped out of my seat.
“How is that possible?” I asked, with tears falling freely from my eyes.
“Well she told us she was six weeks pregnant, and Sarah here has been giving her pills to terminate it. I guess she has succeeded now” I stood up from my seat with uncontrollable anger, and [email protected]£d Sarah by her collar. I wanted to choke her badly.
“What have you done, you devil. If anything happens to Hannah, I will kill you myself ” I screamed at the t©p of my voice.
Sarah sat helplessly, ma-king no effort to defend herself. The gravity of her actions must have sunk de-ep into her head. The nurse ran across to us, and freed Hannah from my grip.
“Calm down, Hannah is stable now, the worst has past” she said as she pu-ll-ed me away from Sarah.
“Can I see her? “I asked calmly.
“Follow me” she ordered.
The three of us walked out of the office, as she lead us towards another room. She stood by the entrance, and directed us to go in and be brief. I opened the door and walked in, while Sarah held back. She was reluctant to see Hannah. Of course she had to be, it was difficult to predict what Hannah’s reaction will be.
I got closer to the be-d and called out to Hannah gently. She turned her head towards me slowly. Her pillow was soa-ked with tears, her eyes were pale and swollen. She looked nothing like the girl who left school with me this morning. She was still sobbing quietly when she signaled me to come closer.
I walked up to her and bent down to listen.
“Tell Sarah that I‘ll kill her and myself when I leave this hospital ” she whispered into my ears in between sobs. I could feel the pain and anger in her voice, she never deserved this. I’d kill Sarah too if I had the courage.
“plea-se don’t bring my parents into this” she continued, as she bur-st in another round of tears. I held her hand, and we cried together for a while. I couldn’t take it anymore, I had left the room. Sarah and the nurse were still standing outside. I looked at her coldly, with hatred and anger clearly visible. I felt the urge to choke her again. The nurse placed her hand on my shoulder, and spoke in a gentle voice.
“You have to help Hannah, we nee-d to contact her family, this is a psychiatric hospital. We have done our [email protected], we nee-d to refer her to the teaching hospital, she nee-ds an ultrasound which we can’t do here. So if you know any way of contacting her parents, plea-se tell me.”
I thought about it for a while, if Hannah’s parents entered the fray, it will only be a matter of time before my parents would know too. All our dirty secretes will be expo-sed. I’d probably get the beating of my life. But all that didn’t matter, I had to do the right thing, even if it would be a disaster for me. Hannah nee-ded help.
“I know her house” I blotted out.
“Fine, I will get my keys” she replied, and headed for her office.
“What are you doing? you are going to expo-se all of us” Sarah whispered. I had no idea how to reply her, I simply swung my hand around and struck her face. The [email protected] startled her, but she made no attempt to retaliate. She simply held her cheek. My reply was clearly delivered I suppose. I knew our little hide and seek had come to an end, but what I was left to anticipate was my parent’s reaction when they find who I had become.
I was still de-ep in thoughts when the nurse returned, with a bunch of keys. She signaled me to follow her. Sarah simply refused to follow us. We climbe-d down a flight of stairs leading to the exit. Her car was packed in front.
“Where are we going?”she asked, as we both took our sits in the car.
“Ikeja” I replied. She started the engine and our journey started.
As it progressed, I placed my head on the dash board, thinking and sobbing. A lot of thoughts flashed throu-gh my head. Hannah was pregnant, she was sold by our friend, drugged and m©l£st£d. I imagined the horror she went throu-gh, and her eventual hospitalization. I wasn’t left out of the suffering either. I had lost my vir-ginity and pride to a boy who had moved on very quic-kly. I was caught in a h0tel room with a boy, like a common prostitute. I also wondered what would have happened to me if I didn’t have the courage to escape from the h0tel. In all, my life had taken a negative turn, I hated who I had become. Is there any way back for me.? I wondered, as tears fell freely from my eyes.
I felt the car slowing down and pu-lling over. I knew we hadn’t gotten to Ikeja yet. I lifted my head from the dash board to see what was happening. It all seemed clear in front of me, there was no reason for us to st©p. I turned towards her with my tear filled face, wondering why she st©pped. Her attention was solely focused on me. She had a look of sadness and pity registered on her face. Her gaze provoked more tears, as I started sobbing loudly.
“Here, st©p crying” she said, handing over a white handkerchief.
“I can tell that you are different from your friends “she continued.
” How did you get involved with them? ” she asked
“I don’t know, I thought we were friends “I replied in between sobs. I couldn’t control my tears anymore, I was alre-ady crying bitterly. The reasons for my tears were many, sadness and sorrow overwhelmed me. I just felt like dying.
I opened the door quic-kly and ran out of the car, I had no idea where I was or what I was doing. I [email protected]£ to a st©p a short distance away from the car and fell on the shru-bs. I felt I was going mad. The nurse walked up to me, and held me up. She hvgged me, holding my head ti-ghtly to her shoulder.
“It’s okay, I know this must be difficult for you, just know I’m here for you.” she said, in the kindest voice I have ever heard.
I la-id helplessly on her shoulder, crying profusely. My tears soa-ked her white uniform. We were beginning to get attention from pas-sers-by. She held me by my [email protected]!st and lead me back to the car, and held the door open for me to sit.
“Ruth, talk to me, what have you girls been up to”? She asked again. I felt a little bit more comfortable, there was nothing else to hide, the truth will soon be out and everyone will know. I revealed all the events of the past few weeks, including all the minor details. I told her about our regular escape from school, and how we usually pay the gate man. She did not seem shocked to hear any of it, not even the escapades with Matthew. She listened patiently and quietly to my story.
“But why Ruth? Why did you choose to follow this path, why ignore your parents discipline? “She asked, looking straight at my eyes.
“I just wanted to be loved, I wanted someone to un-derstand me. He was just there for me, he……. ” I st©pped to wipe the tear from my eyes and control my weeping. She held my head up, and turned it towards her.
“I’m sure your parents love you, just give them a chance, you can be a better person”
“They don’t, no one has ever spoken to me like this. ” I replied coldly.
She let go of me and turned towards the windscreen.
“No one is a perfect parent, my daughter was about your age when she gave birth. ” she said, as a feeling of sadness overwhelmed her. I wiped my tears when I heard those words. I simply decided not to cry anymore, knowing that it could have been worse. She looked at me again and said
” you can be a better person, don’t give up on yourself.” She started the engines, and our journey continued.
Few minutes later, we were at Hannah’s house. It wasn’t exactly a mansion, it was the habitat of people who earned decent wages. Hannah’s mother’s car was parked outside. The nurse pu-ll-ed over at the side of the road, and we walked a short distance to Hannah’s house. The front door opened before we got to it. Hannah’s mother [email protected]£ out of the house, well-dressed with a bible un-der her armpit. She looked set for evening service. We hurried quic-kly to catch up with her, while she was struggling to lock the door.
“Excuse me ma” the nurse called out, to Hannah’s mum, as she hurried towards her.
I stayed back at the gate, fearing the reaction from Hannah’s mum when she hears about her daughter. I was too far out to hear the conversation that ensued between them, but Hannah’s mother’s countenance changed, she looked worried and began to panic. She got into her car in a hurry and drove off. While the nurse and I got into hers, and headed towards my house. I still managed to get home a little early.
My mum had returned from work, she was watching a movie in the sitting room. I greeted her and walked towards my room quic-kly to avoid being noticed. My eyes were swollen, and my face was a mess. I threw my school bag on the floor, took off my uniform and tied a towel. I wanted to wash off the day’s events from my b©dy and mind. I nee-ded to rest badly. As I headed for the bathroom, my room door opened. My mum walked in. I tried to hurry into the bathroom to avoid any confrontation with her, I did not want another fight.
“Ruth wait” she called out, halting me in my stride.
I st©pped, without turning around to look at her. I anticipated a question and answer session.
“What is wrong my daughter, you don’t look happy” she said in a rather nice tone . I was quite shocked, my mother doesn’t usually speak to me in such manner. I turned around to make sure it wasn’t someone else. My eyes met my mum’s. She noticed my swollen eyes and battered face.
“Have you been crying? ” she asked, moving closer to me. I paused for a moment, it was quite obvious. There was no use denying.
“Hannah is in the hospital ” I muttered.
“Oh what happened to her? ”
” She fainted” I replied, convinced within myself that I haven’t told a lie. My mum tried comforting me. Her attempts were lame but duly appreciated.
I went into the bathroom, as she left for the sitting room. I took my bath slowly, wondering what would transpire between Hannah and her mum. I stepped out of the bathroom after about fifteen minutes. I wore my night cloths, and retired for the day, hoping to fall asleep as quic-kly as possible. However, sleep eluded me. My eyes remained wi-de open. I continuously repla-yed the day’s events in my head, wondering how it would all end.
The sound of my door handle turning interrupted my thoughts. My mum walked in again, with her hand placed on her ear. She spoke for a while with the person at the other end before turning her attention to me.
“That was Hannah’s mother ” she said, giving me a suspicious look. I sat up on the be-d, knowing fully well that the game was up.
”She told me a lot of things I don’t un-derstand. Ruth, what happened? Who did you go to see in a h0tel? Is what I’m hearing true? ” I looked at my mum’s face, I could feel her disappointment and frustration . I bowed my head slowly and began to shed tears again. I knew I had let everyone down, I was a bad person.
“So it’s true? This is what you have become?” she said, with a shaky voice. She too was close to tears. She sat on my be-d and buried her head in her palm. She seemed greatly pained, and I knew it was all my fault. I knelt down beside her and began to apologise profusely. I tried to explain the day’s event to her as accurately as I could remember, while tactfully leaving out anything that had to do with Matthew.
“You see why I told you not to as-sociate with those girls? Imagine yourself in Hannah’s situation” My mum said after listening to my story.
“Promise me you won’t tell daddy” I pleaded.
My mum obliged, as she left me to continue in my thoughts. I heaved a sigh of relief as she left, believing that it was all over. I made a resolution within myself never to return to this way of life. I wanted to be a better person. I will ask God for forgiveness.
Hannah resumed school after about one month of abs£nce. She was looking quite different. She was much more withdrawn and anti-social than she used to be. The news of her miscarriage and apparent m©l£[email protected]!onhad been on everyone’sl-ips. Though there were different versions of the story, they all seemed to have emerged from one source, Sarah. She had made new friends, and never seemed to care about what happened to Hannah. I was the only person Hannah had. She never failed to express how much regret, pain and embarras-sment she had caused herself and her family. I could feel her pain, I was just thankful it wasn’t me.
We watched with keen interest as Sarah and her new found friends continuously absconded from school and returned unsuspectingly. It surprised me how easily she could influence people. Each time I saw her friends, it was like seeing myself all over again.
Two weeks pas-sed, as we neared the end of the term. It was a typical Monday morning. The last lecture before break had just began, Sarah and her friends left the clas-sroom with their bags hanging from their shoulders, heading towards the gate house.
Hannah and I went straight to the principal’s office, to alert him. The principal was a stout old man, known for his extreme punishments. He was angered by our news. He walked hurriedly towards the gatehouse at the back of the school, hoping to catch Sarah and her colleagues. Hannah and I walked briskly behind him, struggling to keep up with his pace.
Halfway throu-gh the journey, I felt thirsty and exhausted. I was [email protected] heavily. It had been going on for quite a while now, I waved it off as stress. As I struggled to keep pace, my vision [email protected]£ blurred, eventually turned dark, I felt weightless and powerless. I tried to call out to Hannah, but my vocal cord produced no sound.
From that moment, I had no idea where I was, or what was happening.

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