BY ISRAEL USULOR
It was a rainy evening and Uncle Roland had kept a late night, as usual, only this time, he didn’t show up with a girl.
He always showed up with a different girl each night. One would say he changed girls the same way he changed clothes. It’s almost like he had a supermarket from where he picked them daily like groceries. Today, he’s home alone and that’s bad news for me because it’s me he will use to satisfy himself.
It’s been five harrowing years since I first came to live with my maternal uncle, Roland Ijele. When I was ten, my mother had auctioned me off to him like a piece of artwork.
My mother never loved me, because if she ever did, she would never have sold me to the highest bidder. Uncle Roland had agreed to place her on a monthly salary of fifty thousand Naira and to enroll me in a good school once we arrived in Port Harcourt. For this pot of porridge, my mother plucked me off from school the same way slaves were plucked from their mother’s breast and sold me into anguish.
I’m my mother’s only child and my father is late. Stories have been told by my father’s umunna of how my mother fed my father with rat poison and how she desperately tried to abort my fetus thereafter but failed. Although I was too young to properly understand these stories, I knew what they all pointed to was that my mother was a wicked witch.
Uncle Roland is a rich man. He has a flourishing real estate business in Port Harcourt. Because he has money, he must have kept his monetary agreement with my mother. I know this because my mother has never called to ask after me even though she is aware I have been turned into a sex toy by my uncle. She’s also aware I’m not going to school as promised. My conclusion is that she’s benefiting from my ugly plight which is why she’s keeping mute. I normally don’t do any real work at my uncle’s house. Although I do the normal house girl duties of cleaning, ironing, washing, and cooking, my real job is inside Uncle Roland’s bedroom.
The first night when I was ten, he had sneaked into my room at the boys’ quarter and did some very bad things to me. He had used a hard drug on me and made me unconscious before doing his serpentine and lustful wish. When I woke the next morning, my body was weak and my head felt hazy and cloudy. I looked at my pant and noticed it was thorn and stained with blood and a thick whitish substance oozed out of my private part. I was scared, but Uncle Roland told me not to be afraid.
“That thing is called sperm. It will make you to grow up fast” the monster had lied that morning. He told me never to tell anyone because he would call his soldier friends to lock me up if I did. He does have some soldier friends who once locked up his gateman named Ochuko in the trunk of a car at his orders. That made me shut up. Besides, who would I tell? Even if I did tell someone, would they have believed me? A little girl accusing an elder who is also rich of rape?
I’m now sixteen and I have decided to stand up for myself. I’m going to run away but before I run, I’m going to kill my uncle. I have planned everything and all is set for my sweet revenge. “I will do it today.”
Soon, Uncle Roland entered his room and left it open as usual. He never locks his door in the night until he has finished sleeping with me and fondling my breasts a million times.
“Nnenna!” he called.
“Yes Uncle” I answered, running to meet him. I was in the kitchen where I had just finished dishing his food. I was about mixing the rat poison I bought in his food before I heard his call. I had two sachets of rat poison. My bra was big and it perfectly concealed the two harbingers of death. I ran to meet my uncle.
“What are you preparing?” he asked. He was removing his clothes in my presence. He always does that each night he wants to sleep with me.
“Vegetable soup sir” I responded, trying to turn away my eyes.
“Why are you turning away?” he barked.
“Nothing sir” I answered. I covered my face with my hands. He walked close to me and held my hand and dragged it off my face. He started to touch me aggressively in places that were inappropriate, ruffling my hair and my dress. The two sachets of rat poison in my bra were almost falling off. I had to act fast. I politely broke off.
“Uncle, won’t you eat first?” I asked. “I’m all yours you know!” I have become the submissive sex pet. I have to be tricky with my uncle because he always placed a gun and a knife beside the bed each time he wants to sleep with me. The trick worked.
“Yes, let me have my food, then I will have the other food also,” he said with a sadistic smile.
I rushed into the kitchen and finished what I was up to. I removed the two sachets of rat poison from my bra, tore them with a pair of scissors, and sprinkled the black substance on the vegetable soup. I used a spoon to carefully mix the harbinger of death properly with the soup until both were twin. I took the food to Uncle Roland, satisfied that revenge is served.
“Food is served Uncle,” I said placing the food on the dining table. My uncle sat down to eat. I moved to my room and carried my Ghana-Must-Go bag which I had carefully packed in preparation for my imminent disappearance. But before I could go out through the back door, I heard footsteps that sounded like those of my uncle. Peeping through the door, I saw my uncle coming towards my room with the tray of food in his hands. My heart dropped into my stomach. I took a deep breath and decided not to panic, to put up a brave face. I’m prepared to kill and I’m prepared to die. I carefully placed the bag where it was and sat on my bed. I grabbed an empty bottle of Coke beside my bed and kept it close by. My uncle walked in with his usual sadistic smile.
“Nnenna, eat with your uncle,” he said immediately I opened the door for him.
“I have eaten uncle,” I said, pretentiously. I acted very innocently but my heart was boiling. I felt I should immediately force the food down his godforsaken throat so that he can just die and leave my miserable life alone. But no way, he said he would not touch the food unless I ate too.
“Ok Uncle. Let’s seat down” I said. But just as he turned to seat down on the white sofa behind him, I grabbed the bottle of Coke and broke it on his head. Or it didn’t break, but I think his head broke. Coke bottle is very strong and would take more than a thick-haired head of my uncle to smash it. Nonetheless, he slumped instantly. I grabbed my Ghana-Must-Go bag and ran out of the room and out of the compound.
I ran into Diobu Street. It was past 11 pm in the night and the street was as quiet as a graveyard. I stood beside the road where I hoped to find a cab that will take me far away from my nightmare.
The first car I flagged, halted. The backdoor opened and someone beckoned.
“Hop in,” a female voice said. I did. The car had sped off before I realized I have been kidnapped. Both my feet and hands were promptly bound. My face was masked too and I was told to shush. This was like jumping from fry pan to fire.
Israel Usulor is a journalist and short story writer. You can reach him via @JonalistIsrael and [email protected]
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