My Life Story; Episode 20
I was still deep in thoughts when the nurse returned, with a bunch of keys. She signaled me to follow her. Sarah simply refused to follow us. We climbed down a flight of stairs leading to the exit. Her car was packed in front.
“Where are we going?”she asked, as we both took our sits in the car.
“Ikeja” I replied. She started the engine and our journey started. As it progressed, I placed my head on the dash board, thinking and sobbing.
A lot of thoughts flashed through my head. Hannah was pregnant, she was sold by our friend, drugged and Molested. I imagined the horror she went through, and her eventual hospitalization. I wasn’t left out of the suffering either. I had lost my virginity and pride to a boy who had moved on very quickly. I was caught in a hotel room with a boy, like a common prostitute. I also wondered what would have happened to me if I didn’t have the courage to escape from the hotel. In all, my life had taken a negative turn, I hated who I had become. Is there any way back for me? I wondered, as tears fell freely from my eyes. I felt the car slowing down and pulling over. I knew we hadn’t gotten to Ikeja yet. I lifted my head from the dash board to see what was happening. It all seemed clear in front of me, there was no reason for us to stop. I turned towards her with my tear filled face, wondering why she stopped. Her attention was solely focused on me. She had a look of sadness and pity registered on her face. Her gaze provoked more tears, as I started sobbing loudly.
“Here, stop crying” she said, handing over a white handkerchief.
“I can tell that you are different from your friends “she continued. How did you get involved with them? ” she asked
“I don’t know, I thought we were friends” I replied in between sobs. I couldn’t control my tears anymore, I was already crying bitterly.
The reasons for my tears were many, sadness and sorrow overwhelmed me. I just felt like dying. I opened the door quickly and ran out of the car, I had no idea where I was or what I was doing. I came to a stop a short distance away from the car and fell on the shrubs. I felt I was going mad. The nurse walked up to me, and held me up. She hugged me, holding my head tightly to her shoulder.
“It’s okay, I know this must be difficult for you, just know I’m here for you.” she said, in the kindest voice I have ever heard.
I laid helplessly on her shoulder, crying profusely. My tears soaked her white uniform. We were beginning to get attention from passers-by. She held me by my waist and lead me back to the car, and held the door open for me to sit.
“Ruth, talk to me, what have you girls been up to”? She asked again.
I felt a little bit more comfortable, there was nothing else to hide, the truth will soon be out and everyone will know. I revealed all the events of the past few weeks, including all the minor details. I told her about our regular escape from school, and how we usually pay the gate man. She did not seem shocked to hear any of it, not even the escapades with Matthew. She listened patiently and quietly to my story.
“But why Ruth? Why did you choose to follow this path, why ignore your parents discipline?” She asked, looking straight at my eyes.
“I just wanted to be loved, I wanted someone to understand me. He was just there for me, he…….” I stopped to wipe the tear from my eyes and control my weeping.
She held my head up, and turned it towards her.
“I’m sure your parents love you, just give them a chance, you can be a better person”
“They don’t, no one has ever spoken to me like this. ” I replied coldly. She let go of me and turned towards the windscreen.
“No one is a perfect parent, my daughter was about your age when she gave birth.” she said, as a feeling of sadness overwhelmed her.
I wiped my tears when I heard those words. I simply decided not to cry anymore, knowing that it could have been worse. She looked atme again and said
“you can be a better person, don’t give up on yourself.” She started the engines, and our journey continued.
Few minutes later, we were at Hannah’s house. It wasn’t exactly a mansion, it was the habitat of people who earned decent wages. Hannah’s mother’s car was parked outside. The nurse pulled over at the side of the road, and we walked a short distance to Hannah’s house. The front door opened before we got to it. Hannah’s mother came out of the house, well-dressed with a bible under her armpit. She looked set for evening service. We hurried quickly to catch up with her, while she was struggling to lock the door.
“Excuse me ma” the nurse called out, to Hannah’s mum, as she hurried towards her. I stayed back at the gate, fearing the reaction from Hannah’s mum when she hears about her daughter. I was too far out to hear the conversation that ensued between them, but Hannah’s mother’s countenance changed, she looked worried and began to panic. She got into her car in a hurry and drove off. While the nurse and I got into hers, and headed towards my house.
I still managed to get home a little early. My mum had returned from work, she was watching a movie in the sitting room. I greeted her and walked towards my room quickly to avoid being noticed. My eyes were swollen, and my face was a mess. I threw my school bag on the floor, took off my uniform and tied a towel. I wanted to wash off the day’s events from my body and mind. I needed to rest badly. As I headed for the bathroom, my room door opened. My mum walked in. I tried to hurry into the bathroom to avoid any confrontation with her, I did not want another fight.
“Ruth wait” she called out, halting me in my stride.
I stopped, without turning around to look at her. I anticipated a question and answer session.
“What is wrong my daughter, you don’t look happy” she said in a rather nice tone .
I was quite shocked, my mother doesn’t usually speak to me in such manner. I turned around to make sure it wasn’t someone else. My eyes met my mum’s. She noticed my swollen eyes and battered face.
“Have you been crying? ” she asked, moving closer to me. I paused for a moment, it was quite obvious. There was no use denying.
“Hannah is in the hospital ” I muttered. “Oh what happened to her?”
“She fainted” I replied, convinced within myself that I haven’t told a lie.
My mum tried comforting me. Her attempts were lame but duly appreciated. I went into the bathroom, as she left for the sitting room. I took my bath slowly, wondering what would transpire between Hannah and her mum. I stepped out of the bathroom after about fifteen minutes. I wore my night cloths, and retired for the day, hoping to fall asleep as quickly as possible. However, sleep eluded me. My eyes remained wide open. I continuously replayed the day’s events in my head, wondering how it would all end.