Twenty Miles of Bad Road.

she made us walk with no shoes on twenty miles of bad road to church and back, the priest one day tied me to a pole, I was twelve then and all the other church members will circle around and make Yoruba chants and sprinkle water

Night after nights I lay in constant fear of my sister’s husband sneaking and having his way with me, as far as I remember I have never permitted, he was my sister’s husband for heaven sake! What does he want with a fourteen-year-old?  my sister pulled my ears towards the kitchen where a stove was sitting on the floor burning lightly with blue flame, sit! She ordered and my mouth gave way, abeg aunty mi…please  but she whipped so hard and I suddenly preferred the stove.

Out! came the voice initially and I thought I was having my constant nightmares but this time, my fears were confirmed as I opened my eyes to see my stepsister standing with a long whip and bloodshot eyes looking over my head like a starving eagle scouting for young chicks. Aunty mi please I’m sorry, what have I done? I asked innocently, I have learnt to apologise before asking for whatever wrong I have committed these days- yesterday, she whipped me for seeing shells of coconut in my room after starving me for two days and in her defence, I wasn’t even supposed to eat coconut while starving, I had innocently plucked it from the compound and went through hours of unfolding the different layers of its shells, my fingers and eponychium cries in worship, attesting to the fact that a hungry man can do just anything to get food.

What did her husband tell her?  I stood to wander in my room as I reminisced over the event earlier that morning, the heat of the burn kept interrupting my thoughts and I gripped the knife harder. Did my step sister even know I was constantly raped by her husband did she? I sobbed gently and recounted how he sneaked into my room every time his wife was out praying with that priest of hers with bad breath and bulgy stomach. she made me attend the white garment church with her, she made us  walk with no shoes on twenty miles of bad road to church and back, the priest one day tied me to a pole, I was twelve then and all the other church members will circle around and make Yoruba chants and sprinkle water, they took turns to pray for me because my step-sister told them I was the witch who wanted to spoil her marriage. The pastor will tell me to confess, with whips and forceful words he screamed at me to confess and on the third day, I told them that was a witch so I could at least eat.

 I looked wearily at my in-law as he flipped the numerous channels displaying on the TV that never seem to impress him and I knew he was going to come again this night, what does he want with me? he slaps me every time and tells me not to tell his wife, after squeezing my flat breast and fucking my laps, he will kiss my tears and tell me that I was a good girl, he now fucks my thighs after he bruised my clitoris that led to my hospitalisation, it was the first time my sister will know that I have been abused for too long by her husband, but she chose to take me to a  church her colleague referred her to, a bald man with bad breath… he even gave me a white gown after I confessed to being a witch on the last weekend prayer my stepsister took me to, I was fed with only anointing oil and all through the three days and two nights I was at the church, I purged till I saw death.
Red blood came out from the side of his neck as I stabbed him severally on the same spot, considering the way he was breathing, I didn’t think I got him deep enough to kill him, I ran out of the room before he got the chance to finish pronouncing my name, with my Ghanamustgo in hand, I saw silhouettes of my stepsister making it up the staircase as I opened the gate.

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