As scared as I was, I told the truth. I told her from the beginning to the end. The first time I was raped by uncle Sam to what had been going on between us. She couldn’t believe her ears after I stopped talking.
“Mesomma, tell me this is not true. Ewo oooo. Ewo ooo. Àrù (abomination in igbo language). How can Samuel do this? Ahh Samuel! ị na-adịghị egwu Chineke (Samuel, you don’t have the fear of God in igbo language)” I watched as my aunt cried while lamenting. She was an older sister to uncle Sam who were both from my paternal side. My mum had no sibling so I had no aunts or uncles from my maternal side.
My aunt could only shed tears. Now that uncle Sam was dead, it was too late. Too late to prevent all that already happened. I kept mute and watch my aunt cry in pain.
The next minute, aunty Jennifer walked in. She entered and met aunty Mary crying so she asked what happened. Nothing could come out of our mouths. Aunty Mary suddenly stopped crying, looked up at aunty Jennifer and said;
“Sam is responsible for Meso’s pregnancy.”
“Which Sam?” She asked looking confused and when none of us could speak, she got very angry.
“You’re telling me Samuel, my husband, impregnated Mesomma ehh aunty?” She said looking at aunty Mary, then glanced at me before bursting into tears. She immediately left the room and aunty Mary followed her behind I guess trying to calm her down. My heart was racing; I don’t know why. I wanted to just be dead that moment. Things were going to get worse, I knew that for sure.
A week later, I was discharged from the hospital. Aunty Mary had spoken to me concerning my pregnancy and moving to Port Harcourt with her. Nobody spoke plenty about my pregnancy even relatives that visited me during my stay at the hospital. There were times they spoke to me about certain things and spoke in private amongst themselves but nobody ever mentioned uncle Sam. I didn’t even see aunty Jennifer after that day at the hospital. Everyone now knew that uncle Sam was the father of my unborn child which was regarded as foul, an abominable act. Many couldn’t believe it and some even denied him as a relative and friend. You could tell from their faces and behavior that they were all disappointed in both of us. I saw it coming so I always tried to hide my face from the shame. I was never beaten or anything but I was counselled several times. Things were definitely not the same again.
A month after, I was already in Port Harcourt with my aunt, her family, and Esther. One night, she called me and spoke to me concerning everything that had and was happening. She said she knew nobody spoke about uncle Sam because of what he did and that she was very disappointed in him but she was disappointed in me too. She said she wasn’t saying it to make me feel bad but to know how she really feels because I could have prevented a lot of things. She looks at my tummy and says;
“Meso, this wouldn’t have been so. You are just a baby having baby. It’s not right and as much as I don’t want to mention this, your parents would have wanted better. There’s no need to start feeling guilty or sad hmm Meso! ị na- ege ntị?(are you listening in igbo language).” I nod when she says this even though tears were already appearing in my eyes before she continues. “…Life has to move on. Ama m na ị nwere isi (I know that you have sense in igbo language) but my dear you have to be careful. You’re just a fourteen years old, a child. I know that things will change and become different. People will talk and say what is more than their mouth. You will see things differently but all is not what it seems. Always remember that you have an elder sister who looks up to you. You are older than Chinyere and Ijeoma (two of my cousins who are her children) who also look up to you as an older sister. Please, Meso. Try to do what is best. Confide in me if you need help and I’ll always be there for you. ị nugo (Have you heard?)” These words stuck to my head like a magnet.
After we spoke for a while, we heard the bell ring. I thanked my aunt before going to see who was at the door. “Good evening sir,” I said, opening the door to pastor Francis. He was the pastor from the church my aunt attended. He was told about my situation and I had been counselled by him several times. He opened my eyes to the things I wished I had seen earlier. He told me that God had forgiven me as long as my heart was fully repented. I used to feel different and ashamed to do anything or even go to church with my aunt and her family but later on, it became the least of my problem. Pastor Francis counselled me that day as usual and asked about my well being before leaving.
After about 7 months of ups and downs, I gave birth to my babies. The night of my labor was not a good one for me. I had just gotten dressed after taking a bath when my water broke. Luckily, everyone was at home that day so they managed to rush me to the nearest hospital. For two and a half hours, I was in labor. The most painful state I had ever been. I almost gave up because I couldn’t bear the pain neither could I breathe properly. I managed to survive the whole process and delivered my twin boys. They looked very adorable but I felt a bit sad. I hadn’t planned to have children for my uncle neither did I plan on being a mother at fourteen but even with all the sadness, my babies gave me happiness because they were innocent. With the days and times that past, my relatives, especially my aunt helped me with all they could. I was helped in looking after the babies and assisted in doing a lot of things. I even started school a few months later. It wasn’t very easy with my babies but I managed. Sometimes, I looked at Esther and thought of what she might think of me and the stigma that I may have caused but because she only showed me love and care, I could only try to be happy. I promised myself to be a better person. To try my possible best to give good examples and slowly erase the bad even though damage had already been done. Many a times, I heard gossips about me but ignored it as much as I could. My aunt was a very strong pillar in my life. A woman of virtue who taught me about the things I now know. She went through a lot because of me and I just couldn’t thank her enough. Life moved on and I lived everyday with the way it was presented.
One day, I came across Daniel who was my school father back at the school I attended in Lagos. I saw him at the university of Port Harcourt. I had gone to hand something to my uncle, aunty Mary’s husband who worked as a professor there. He was the one who saw me first and called out to me. I remember having mixed emotions when seeing him. I wasn’t sure if I was to be happy or sad or angry. It was just strange seeing him after a very long time. He looked really different. He kept a nice hair cut with a well-trimmed beard. He certainly didn’t look like the boy of yesterday. I mean this was about three years ago since the last time I saw him. He gave me an awkward hug and smiled at me for a while before speaking up. He asked so many questions from where I had been, what had happened and when I arrived Port Harcourt. I only told him that I had moved and started a new life after the death of my parents. He showed his condolence and made a joke in order to ease the tension that already formed in the air. He told me that he had just recently arrived Port Harcourt to continue his higher education. I didn’t tell him about my babies nor uncle Sam. I avoided anything leading to questions I wasn’t ready to answer. I spoke to him about a few other things before letting him know that I was on an errand. He asked for my contact but I couldn’t give him any because I didn’t have at the moment so the last thing he said to me before I left in a hurry was; “I’ll see you some other time, Meso. Take care.”
Many times I had cried to God, tears of thanksgiving because he had given me a second chance. Yes! I was abused by a man who was supposed to be my uncle but I had also given him the opportunity to do the many things that he did to me. I was manipulated, deluded and abused but because I was blinded by what I thought to be love at such a young age, I put myself at risk and caused a lot for myself. Even when I was raped by this same man, I still let him into my life because I believed he would slowly heal the wounds that he had caused me. I gave myself to a perverted man who used me to fulfill his own pleasure. The many lies that then, seemed like they were genuine. I used to look at him like a father, a good-hearted uncle, a loving and caring man because he in the past, was always there for me, my family and had good intentions. I didn’t know what went wrong and the unexpected happened. If he was still alive, the nonsense could have continued and maybe things would have gotten out of hands.
Each time I look at my babies, I remember the day a mistake began. I remember the man whose own relatives didn’t want to remember. I think and think of the many explanations I would give to my babies but each time I hold them close to my chest, they remind me of the second chance I obtained and I never cease to thank God.