Victims – Episode 23
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
It was easy for him to take her without drawing the attentions of pas-sers-by. The city has started regaining its usual day to day hustle and most people were beginning to relax on their security consciousness.
He had honked and beckoned on her to come closer, at first he thought she wouldn’t come as she hesitated, but when she finally placed a step before another, he knew this would be his lucky day.
The young officer had employed the help of two more men, he didn’t want to leave anything to chance, one of the men stepped down from the back seat when the girl drew near and before Ifeoluwa could realize the horror she placed herself in, she was alre-ady going with them in the gray Honda Civic, with her mouth stuffed with a piece of rag and sealed with a mastic tape.
His heart was exploding with joy and de-sire, seeing her wiggle like a fish out of water arou-sedhim, he couldn’t wait to get the quiet ceremony done with and have her spre-ad like Jam on his little be-d; the be-d was small he knew, not enough for him to do all he had dreamt of doing to her, he could make use of the floor, all he nee-ded was to get more poles.
Imam Husayn had told him that the best thing to do was to marry the girl, he had not thought of it before but that wouldn’t be a bad idea, knowing he would be able to do anything he wished with her without drawing any attention from others while she screamed; he loved it when she screams. He looked at her from the rear Mirror, she had st©pped fighting and had coiled herself like a little snake, he knew she had not recognized him yet, but he would make her known he was, in his own beautiful and horrible way.
Ukwuoma c@m£ back and met no one at home, it was one of those days she had to echo words uncountable times before the kids could spell it.
“Salaam” she greeted the two women seated by the tap that had never run since she moved into that compound with Tunde and the kids
“Salaam” the responded
Uwa musa has been avoiding her since the day her husband turned Ife away without food, though Ukwuoma had tried to make her feel at ease but she would always turn her face away when responding to Ukwuoma’s greetings, probably out of shame or guilt.
With Ogugua tugging her Sk-irt and whining, she pushed her door open and r0ûghly pu-ll-ed the boy inside. The boy had refused to be dragged away from his friends whom were pla-ying with him behind the school dil@pid@t£d toilet.
She met Ife abs£nt and the food she kept for the girl unt©uçhed. She called out for her but her voice bounced back at her. Ogugua was beginning to increase his whining to loud protesting crying, out of Anger and frustration, she shoved him off her back, he landed on the floor with his bu-ttocks and re-leased the wail that was building up like a balloon filled with water.
The girl has never left the house without Ukwuoma knowing, no matter how much Ukwuoma wanted to calm down, she couldn’t;
“Kin ka gan mu yar na? (Did you see my daughter)” Ukwuoma asked one of her neighbors
“A a! Ban gan ta ba tun da safe (I saw her in the morning)” the woman responded, l!çk!ng some Kunu that was running from her f!ngersto her elbow, she sma-cked the ti-p of her ton-gue and herl-ips together, tilting her head one side to savor the Kunu taste before scooping some and offered to Ukwuoma
Ukwuoma would have said ‘NO’ on a normal day, but that day wasn’t a normal day. In fact, no day has been a normal one since the day she lost everything. That was why even with the little girl defecating beside the woman and a whole village of flies having a feast from the poop to the Kunu, she found herself accepting the cu-p of Kunu;
“Na gode (Thank you)” she said and walked back inside the house.
She would give the drink to Ogugua while they save the little food remaining for dinner. When the boy finally sle-pt off, she sat on her husband’s favorite chair and waited with fury and worry for the Girl who may never return.
It was alre-ady Night by the time Issa brou-ght his new wife home. It has been a long day which he thought would never end. He had paid little attention to the Hadith being re-ad by Imam Husayn as he fantasized throu-ghout the ceremony;
“…By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God fearing, and among you all, I am the super most to save myself from the wrath of Allah… ”
Issa looked at the frightful girl that would soon become his, a crooked smile formed at the corner of hisl-ips, this would be his happiest moment, he de-sired her the more, with her eyes wi-de-ned and tears trick-ling down her cheeks, he knew he made the right decision and he would enjoy every p@rt of it;
“…Yet my state is that I observe to sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them, I marry women also, and he who turns away from my sunnah has no relation with me” Husayn concluded
Reception was a not a lavished one, Issa watched as Ife was esc-rted out by the women while he was supposed to dined with the Imam, Ishmila and Yusuf.
It was a torturing three days ceremony for him and when it was over, he couldn’t wait to take his little pet home where he had set the table and the chains like roses in wait for the fragile one.
The girl looked older than fourteen, but that didn’t bother Issa
“We will entertain each other my little puppy”
The girl stood while he walked towards his entrance door, he turned back and dragged her, she whimpered as she stumbled, he held her by the n£¢k and brou-ght her to her feet again before pushing her inside and closed the door behind him.
“Get undressed puppy, I want to see your unclothedness” his speech was slur but Ife could make out little of what he was asking her to do.
The girl hesitated, something about this man frightened her now more than before. Issa lit a cigarette and had a long drag, he blew the smoke on her while he watched her; Off c@m£ the HIjab, then the blouse and her long Sk-irt, the girl was wearing nothing un-derneath “It will be easy for your husband if you have nothing on you ” Husayn’s wife had told her. Her b©dy was pale and thin.
“Come over here” Issa commanded
The girl obeyed
“Now this is what I want you to do”
The girl listened and looked up with frightened eyes “plea-se…I can’t …”
Issa kicked her on the head, she fell back on the floor and screamed. Issa picked her up by the hair and threw her on the little be-d, she landed with f0rç£ and screamed again,
“Yes I want to hear you louder my puppy, I want to see your pain…” he punched her on the face again before he brou-ght out the wh!p.
The horror in her eyes turned him into a beast, he grinned, glaring his teeth like a wild dog and brou-ght down the wh!pon her with f0rç£.
He watched her jacked her b©dy up and wiggled in pains, she would have jumped out of the be-d into the darkness but the chains on her feet and her wrists held her ti-ght. He lashed her again, again and again; her scream ha-rd ened him and made his co-ck want to bur-st into thousand pieces.
When he was done drawing bloody tattoos on her b©dy, he turned her torn flesh over, ex-posing her back and her little bu-ttocks. He sl@pped her bu-ttocks heard with his palm before he picked his wh!pagain, flogging till she had no strength left in her.
By the time he held his co-ck and pushed it into her an-us, she was alre-ady dancing with emptiness for she neither screamed nor moved.
Evening gave birth to night yet Ife was nowhere to be found. Ukwuoma was getting agitated, she had gone to every possible places to look for the girl but with no positive result;
“no dey worry your sef, she done follow man go…na so them dey do…children of nowadays” Madam Landlady had said casually
Ukwuoma knew things like that do happen, young girls could run away with their lovers, sometimes they may comeback after days, months or even years of fruitless search by their families, Like Maria who ran away with her father’s security guard when they were in secondary school.
Maria had left the house with some of her father’s landed property do¢v-ments and her mother’s gold jewelries, only to come home with a child and a pregnancy three years later.
Ukwuoma was peering throu-gh the window when she heard a knock on her door, he heart skipped and she hurried towards the door with the notion that Ife was back;
“Ada m! (My daughter)”
Ukwuoma stood still looking at the older woman standing in front of her house “Mother!” it c@m£ as a loud whisper.
To be continued
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