Tolulope has been facing abuse from her family and boyfriend because of a mistake she made. She is about to be pounced on by her brother in-law and her sister. Would she escape the beating she is sure to get? Will her life get better? Find out by continuing the story. Remember, all the events of this story are based on true events. Only the names have been changed. If you haven’t seen Part 1, start off here.
For 2 days they beat Tolulope, punctuating each slap or kick or punch with the Bible thrust into her face, reminding her that she could be free when she swore to give up her boyfriend and their child. She lost consciousness several times and as soon as she came to, the threats and subsequent beatings continued.
By the third day, she couldn’t take it anymore. She went to them while they breakfasted and knelt down.
‘Uncle, Aunty, I have come here to apologize. I have been a fool. I have been a disobedient child and I have been sinful. Today, I want to swear before you and God that I have repented and I will never see Femi or Ayo again. I will obey you with the whole of my heart and do anything you want. If you still want me to swear with the Bible, I will do so.’
Aderopo smiled. ‘You have done well. If you had agreed since, you wouldn’t have suffered all these things. But you know that God told me to do that. Anyway, go and eat.’
For a week, Tolulope was the picture of the perfect niece; waking up early, cleaning the house, bathing the kids, prepping them for school, cooking the household meals and doing the dishes and laundry. For one week Tolulope didn’t speak to Femi or her daughter or anyone else for that matter. She was not allowed to go out of the gate by the express instruction of Aderopo but she didn’t even attempt to.
Until her opportunity came.
Friday, the gate man, left the house every day at 1pm and 4pm to play draft at the top of the street. He would return after 30 minutes and continue his work; like clockwork. He usually locked the door from outside with a piece of stick instead of the padlock.
Her sister had gone to the market and Tolulope knew she had time. Her uncle was not due back until 6pm. This had to happen today or no other day.
As soon as it was 1pm, Friday set off for his game. Tolulope gave him 5 minutes. She ran out to the gate and started shaking it. Gently, gently she did to see if she could dislodge the stick. She continued on for 15 minutes and with each push-and-tug, she despaired at getting caught.
Finally the stick fell!
She opened the gate and looked out. There was no one on the street. She got out of the house, put the stick back in place and walked away.
The street was a typical upscale street in Abuja. There were no hiding places and getting a bike or taxi was hard. She had to walk long distances to get one. She walked as calmly as she could because she didn’t want to arouse attention.
She nearly died when she saw a car coming her way. Was it her uncle? His wife? Was she about to be caught? Her heart was beating faster than was healthy. Her legs couldn’t carry her further and she just stood there. The car inched closer…and closer…
…and then it passed.
Phew! It wasn’t her family!
That was her cue. Damn any attention she would draw to herself. She had to run! And run she did!
When she got to the top of the street, she saw a bike and used all her desperation to flag him down. When he stopped, Tolulope saw, from the corner of her eye, the unmistakable red of her uncle’s car and before she could tell the bike man where, she jumped on, and shouted ‘Go! Go! Go!’
The bike man roared with speed and passed Aderopo who wondered at the rough rider and continued home.
There were two car parks close to the estate and Tolulope asked the driver to take her to the farthest. Her heart was still racing and she knew she was not out of the loop yet.
When they got to the park, she saw a vehicle going to Kaduna and they needed just one person to fill it. She jumped into it and the driver collected her money.
As he went about looking for change, Tolulope kept praying she would escape. She just wanted to leave; she just wanted to live.
When they finally got on their way, they got caught in traffic. Maybe God wasn’t going to help her after all. She knew that her uncle would come after her and he would not stop at anything. She kept praying and praying until the red jaguar rolled up and stopped right by their side; by Tolulope’s side.
It was her uncle.
She was in the back seat but if he looked, he would see her in the rearview mirror. Tolulope ducked, hitting the Muslim woman beside her. The woman asked what the fuss was about.
‘That man in that car is my uncle. He has been raping me for years and beating me. I just escaped today. Please, help me.’
The woman looked at him and looked at her. She looked at him again. She made up her mind, took off her veil, covered Tolulope and put her hand on her.
The man in the car looked at her and she could almost feel his malevolence. He looked away and inched closer in the traffic lane.
After 15 minutes, the gridlock opened and they were on their way. Smooth sailing to Kaduna.
And all through, the girl she had just helped cried and cried.
When Tolulope got to Femi’s, she was greeted by the biggest hug from her daughter. Everything she had gone through was worth this very moment; this moment when the innocent love of her child shone louder than anything she had had in years, that moment when her hope was restored in humanity, that moment before she heard Femi’s voice.
‘You prostitute, where have you been?’
And the beating began.
Tolulope is still with Femi. She doesn’t think she is good enough for anyone. She would not risk being alone and a single mother just because she gets a few slaps. After all, she brought it on herself for fornicating and giving birth to a child outside wedlock. She deserves all she was getting.
Tolulope’s friends begged her to leave Femi. They tried to remind her that she is a beautiful 27 year old woman who would make any man lucky to have her. Many women give birth out of wedlock and stillmarry great guys. Tolulope always has one answer: ‘I love Femi. He will change soon.’
Her uncle (brother in-law) is still mad he wasn’t the one to take her virginity. He had been eyeing her since she was 11 and it irked him that he allowed his church leadership prevent him from giving into the temptress. He could have slept with her and cowered her into silence. Now he would never have that.
Shayo is still mad that her husband was attracted to her sister. Oh! He thought she didn’t know. Her sister had always being the beautiful one and Shayo had lost whatever claim she had to beauty when she gave birth to five children and grew very fat. She hated her sister for tempting her husband and making him transfer his affections to her. It wasn’t her husband’s fault what happened to Tolulope…or hers.
After all, they were all good Christian people.