By Janice Johnson Pemida
I was sad but determined to pull though this life. I was roaming the streets of Abuja, not knowing what to do. At night, I found an uncompleted building to lay my head. The only money I had on me was the 2,000 Naira my Madam in Lagos gave to me when I was leaving Lagos for Abuja. I kept on roaming the streets of Abuja for three days without knowing what to do. Every evening, I will go back to the uncompleted building to sleep. On the fourth day, while roaming the streets, I found a hair dressing saloon and thought of going there to ask if I could work with them.
I went in and the owner of the shop attended to me. She was really very nice to me and that made it easy for me to open up to her about everything I had been through and why I needed the job so badly. She had pity on me and agreed to allow me work for her. I also begged her to allow me stay with her since I had nowhere else to go. She was not comfortable with taking me to her house because I was still a stranger to her, but told me she could allow me sleep in the shop if I don’t mind. I agreed to that because I knew staying in the shop was a safer place than the uncompleted building because of the hoodlums always hanging around there. I thanked her and told her I will be back the next day with my things.
This time around, I went back to the uncompleted building feeling happy because I knew that will be the last night I will sleep there. I managed to sleep while eagerly waiting for the next morning so I could leave as early as possible. Alas, that was the night I had the worst encounter in my life. I was brutally raped by two hoodlums who took their turns to have fun with me as much as they liked then left me in pains. OMG! I wept bitterly all through the night. Why me? I asked myself and God. Why are unfortunate things always happening to me ever since I was born? Am I the worse sinner on earth? Or am I suffering for my parents’ sins? I couldn’t just understand why life was so cruel to me.
Early the next morning, I put myself together and went to my new work place as agreed. I was in pains but pretended all was well. I just couldn’t afford to lose that job and I knew that if I let my new madam know about it, she might change her mind about me. I convinced myself that I was ok and all was well. I just had to survive no matter what the situation may be.
I started work and everything was going on well for me until two months later, I became ill. My madam gave me some money plus my salary and asked me to go back to my family in Lagos for proper treatment and care. Obviously, she didn’t want me to die in her custody. She also wrote her phone number for me on a sheet of paper and told me to always contact her if I need any help. I had nowhere else to go, so I headed for Lagos, straight to my aunt’s house. Thank God I was able to find my way to her house although it was a herculean task.
I got to Lagos very late at night and my aunt was very surprised to see me. She however welcomed me and allowed me to spend the night, and then the next morning I narrated my story to her. She felt really sad and cried for me. She however took me to a female traditional doctor who confirmed that I was pregnant and gave me some drugs to abort the pregnancy. I stayed in Lagos for two weeks before I got better.
When I was sure that I was well and okay, I traveled back to Abuja because I couldn’t stay back in Lagos. Who would accept me? No one was willing to accommodate me. This time around, I was able to get a small phone before leaving Lagos and I was in touch with my madam all through my stay in Lagos. When I got back to Abuja, she accepted wholeheartedly and I continued my job without any issues.
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