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Real Life Part 1

I decided to tell my cousin things about life, especially about my growth and development and also how my story has enlightened youths, those who think that the quick money scheme is the best. Hear my story and you will know that there are opportunities everywhere just that most people are in too much of a hurry to see it.

********

“Knock, knock, knock, please open the door for me, the rain is very heavy outside, please I beg you. I will never try staying out late again, I promise you, please try and understand me.” That was my cousin Aisha, begging me to open the door for her.

Who would have thought that I would someday become this famous? I even found it hard to believe; that it would come to pass, because I’ve come to realize that the saying, “quick money is a scam” is true. And those opportunities are around every corner, just that the beginning of any venture would be difficult. Truly, I never believed all these, till I became a living testimony to those facts.

I went straight to the door, and opened it for Aisha to come in. Aisha was my cousin who had come all the way from Maiduguri to spend some time with me before going back to school. She was the only cousin I was very fond of, but could be very stubborn and liked the wayward life a lot.

“How many times have I warned you about this lifestyle?”

“Sister, I know you are rich and classy, but please allow me to enjoy my life at least. I’m trying to be independent just like you.”

“Hello! I didn’t make my money this way alright.”

“Sister I know you are the best daughter and a model for us all, but please don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy your life while you were my age.”

“Let me tell you Aisha, life has many stages. It’s time you start growing and developing yourself and stop deceiving yourself with this get rich quick scheme.”

“I was only ten years old when my dad was duped by a Bulgarian who came into the country to make some transactions, and met my dad who went to Enugu for his own transactions. Dad was duped and everything was gone in a twinkle of an eye. We started from grade one, or so I call it, because mum had to start buying some products and selling them. But with Allah being on our side, especially mine, I was able to finish my studies. I studied Information Technology in school.

“After my university days, I started job hunting. I went to all places in Maiduguri but without success. One day my friend Halima called me to come to Lagos and search for my destiny—it was funny the way she said it. Being the only daughter and the first child at that, it was very difficult to leave my parents and siblings. Dad felt that I was overstepping my boundaries because he had allowed me to go to the university, and because of the pleas from my aunties who were not given the chance of studying, but to get married at an early age with or without falling in love with the person or even knowing who the person was.

“Dad later succumbed and allowed me to travel to Lagos in search of my destiny, because mum was able to convince him that our generation was supposed to be given a chance to explore life and know  real life.”

***********

“On the 26th of June, 2014, I left Maiduguri for Lagos around 9am, after much encouragement from Mum and Dad.

“We were traveling fine until we got to Benue; around that bridge when we heard the staccato burst of gunshots. Our driver decided to take another route to escape them, but luck was not on our side that day, the route we took was actually the path of the main robbery. When we came face to face with the robbers, everybody started praying to their God the way they knew how. I brought out my prayer book and started praying to Allah to save us from these robbers.

“ ‘Hey! you come down now, everybody come down,’ ” they shouted till all of us in the bus were kneeling and shaking. “ ‘You all are looking good, but be careful, don’t even try to play smart with us,’ ” they said. I was still praying to Allah when one of them gave me a slap that I will never forget in my entire life; the slap came with stars in my eyes, I was dizzy for a full two minutes before I regained my bearings. Till today, I can’t figure out why he slapped me. They collected all our phones and money and turned to leave, when a man’s phone started ringing and before one could say  ‘hey’ we heard the siren of the policemen coming towards us.

“The robbers came back and took me with two other girls that were in the bus and shot the man whose phone had rang that time. I guess he died instantly because it was directly on his head. They also shot two other persons, but I don’t know their fates because they drove off with us. Then I prayed that the policemen would meet up with us, but after about five minutes I stopped hearing the siren. I lost hope.

“Shouting was not even an option because no one would hear me; not even the three of our voices joined together could do anything or bring anything positive. When we passed a village, I made a sign to the girls to scream and we did; but what happened to us was terrible.

“What happened to you?” Aisha asked me, with anxiety written on her face.

“Well Aisha, they hit our heads with their guns and we blanked out. When I woke up, I discovered that I was in the middle of River Benue, with my hands tied very tightly. I felt intense pain around my thighs, and knew that I had been raped; my pride had been taken away from me without my consent, and to say they are heartless to have thrown me into the river would be an understatement.

“I shouted and the shouts kept coming back to me, immediately I saw something coming closer to me, at first I didn’t know what it was because it was getting late already, but when it came closer to me, I discovered that it was a crocodile. Suddenly something shook me and I fell inside the river. I didn’t know I had been on top of a crocodile till what I called its wife came looking for her husband. My hands were tied, I couldn’t swim, all I did was to close my eyes and ask Allah to accept my soul because I had already lost hope.

“Suddenly, I heard a voice saying, “Give me your hands.” I thought I was hallucinating or probably dead, until a hand pulled me up and into the canoe that was there. The crocodiles were already clenching my clothes in their teeth, but the Samaritan used his cutlass to hit the head of one and it went low. Then the other one went after us.

“The Samaritan paddled his canoe with the fastest speed I have ever seen. And before I knew it we were already on dry ground. He asked me to run and I did; I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, but then I stopped because I could not hear any footsteps behind me. I decided to go back and check for him. When I went back, I found out that he had already killed the crocodile and was cutting it. He then took me home to his parents’ house and I slept off.”

***********

“Ayomide is the name of the Samaritan that saved me from the hands of those crocodiles.

“Wow, Sister. Allah be praised,” Aisha said to me, “how were you able to overcome that trauma of rape, robbery and the crocodile?”

“Hmm! I don’t think it was a good thing for me, but a part of me told me to stop worshiping Allah; that he couldn’t even save me from the robbery after all the prayers that I said to him, I saw reasons why I should detest Him, but another part of me started reminding me of how Allah had made my own journey to be nice.

“ ‘What about the other girls that they kidnapped? What about the crocodile that you were lying on and it didn’t kill you all the while? What about those that they shot at the spot and they died? Are you better than them?’ ”

“Those were the words that got imprinted in my head while I was staying at Ayomide’s house. I didn’t stay long there; after spending a day there, I regained my strength and traveled to Lagos. When I got there I met with Halima who was already worried sick because I’d already told her that I would be arriving the day before. I rested and told her all that happened to me, I called home and Dad picked and informed mum to tell her that finally I was alive. They said they were praying for me because they didn’t hear from me again, and they also called Halima who told them that my number wasn’t going through and that I hadn’t arrived yet. I didn’t bother telling them about what happened, but I summarized the story and told them that we were attacked by robbers and that was it.

“I didn’t know how to tell Dad that I had lost my pride to unknown men, he would have understood but would also be disappointed, because it was in our tradition for a lady to get married with her virginity still intact. The in-laws will cherish the lady like an egg, and any lady that comes in without it will be considered a wayward child. No wonder they get us married at an early age of fourteen when they think we know nothing and we are innocent Aisha said.

“Aisha, they get some of us married at the age of twelve. Have you forgotten that Hauwa was married off at that age?”

“Oh! It’s true sister. Please continue your story, I really want to know all about it.”

“Aisha, please pity me, it’s almost 2am in the morning and you know I have lots of things to do tomorrow.”

“Okay, but promise me you will continue tomorrow morning when you have time, because I can’t see myself sleeping well if I don’t get promised.”

“Alright, I will continue tomorrow by 4pm when I must have attended the important occasion I have tomorrow, then I will attend to you Aisha, the story listener.” We laughed and went to bed.

When I went to my room, I prayed to Allah, thanking him for all his mercies and goodness upon my life, for I still wouldn’t believe that I would be where I was today. I was still smiling when I was taken into the world of sleep.

READ MORE

PART TWO

 

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