Some aged parents have lost their star son, a wife has lost her husband, two daughters have lost their father, they are sad and inconsolable, but I am not.
I was only 13 when I was brutally raped by my 22-year-old neighbour, I was home alone when he knocked on our door, he said he had just returned from his University and his family wasn’t at home, they were not expecting him so they didn’t drop the key. I opened the door and let him in, he sat down, put on the TV and brought out a bottle of Fanta, he asked if I wanted, I dashed to the kitchen to grab a cup, I took a sip and that was the last thing I remembered until I woke up to my mother’s wailing and shouting.
He denied ever seeing me that day, he said he was in school and never came home. His family believed him, they never saw him that day, and nobody saw him apart from me.
My parents were too ashamed to fight for me, they didn’t want more people knowing about what happened, I bled and couldn’t walk straight, and they massage me with hot water. They were afraid what neighbours, church members, relative and everybody else would think of them if they knew their first daughter had been raped.
Our Pastor said I had the spirit of lust inside me and that is what made me a victim of rape, they did deliverance for me and prayed against the marine spirits they believed lured the man that raped me.
I didn’t return to school for almost one year, and for that one year, I did not take a step outside our compound. My parents lied to people I had gone to stay with my aunt in Lagos.
I repeated classes before I could graduate from secondary school, it took me a long time to get admission into a polytechnic. I couldn’t talk about the trauma or how much it had affected my mental health. I talked in a low voice and walked with my head down, I was damaged inside and outside.
The man who raped me walked around freely, they celebrated his graduation, they celebrated his wedding and his children naming ceremonies, I saw him every Christmas when he would come to his parents’ house with his family. I heard stories of his many successes.
Two years ago he sent me a text, “I just got your number from your cousin now, can we let bygone be bygone? please”, I never replied.
Yesterday, he died. He was attacked by armed robbers, powerless and helpless he begged for his life but they shot him in the head. I am not happy or sad, I feel nothing.