THE NIGHT I TURNED 18

Olutope Olonade

Episode 10

Amaka Badmus, a final year undergraduate of Law in the Central University, and the only child of an Eastern wealthy philanthropist; Chief Okafor Badmus. She lost her mother at a very tender age of Six, but because of the love her father had for his wife, he refused to remarry inspite of all the pressure mounted on him by his relatives. Instead he built his life and hopes around his only daughter who had never disappointed him.

Against her father’s wish, Amaka insisted on staying in the hostel because she didn’t want to miss all the fun that the university environment could offer her apart from academics. She also wanted to escape from the stereotyped life style she was used to from childhood. She also needed to be free from her father hovering around her like a mother hen watches intently over her newly watched chicks.

The big rock served as her relaxation center. Amaka took me round the rock and we got into a seemingly long path that left to a large garden of fruits and flowers. We saw quite a number of people scattered around the garden, beside the the rock and also in some of the caves, enjoying themselves. Amaka told me she used to visit the rock anytime she desire to have a privacy. The rear side of the rock had always been her favourite because people seldom gathered there.

The dawn opened into a beautiful morning as I woke up with Amaka sleeping on the bed beside me. I had told her everything about my self last night and I must comment that Amaka for being a good listener. She promised to assist me in any way she could to get me back to school.

Tolu was Amaka’s room mate. I didnot like the lady at all. She was too proud and snobbish and judging by the way she behaved to me last night, it was a clear signal that she did not want to be my friend. So I kept my distance.

The night I arrived at their place, I watched Tolu catwalked into the room looking posh. While she responded to Amaka’s greetings quitely she deliberately avoided mine. Amaka later called her attention to me. She introduced us and explained my sad story to her, she asked for permission from her for me to stay in the room but promised to fix me up as soon as possible.

My new friend, gave me some of her beautiful dresses to Change to that morning to that morning. She then took me out for shopping. She bought me beautiful things ranging from jewelries, shoes, sandals, latest designer dresses, a bottle of my

choice perfume among other things.

Wao! Amaka must be an angel sent to me……angel….angel…. according to my father, angels are sent from God to help people out of their predicament but he refused to send one to him when he was in danger. No! I didn’t believe that angels were from God anymore. Amaka was just another gem of human race, who were rare to come by, I concluded.

Amaka promised to help me back to school. As soon the crises over there had subsided, we planned to visit the North University to get my academics records and there after secure a transfer documents, which would enable me to continue my education in the Central University. The thought of going back to school was a relief. I couldn’t appreciate Amaka enough for all her kind gestures towards me.

After three weeks of squatting in the room with them, I was getting used to their lives style but Tolu, the little”Richie” girl wouldn’t let me be. She called Amaka and reminded her of their earlier agreement never to bring a third party into their room. She agreed for me to stay in the first place because of my pathetic situation, but she couldn’t go on to live with a total stranger any longer. She clearly stated that she needed her space. Amaka was not ready for any unnecessary arguments or confrontations.

Amaka apologized for a breach of their agreement and asked to be given three days to sort things out.

THE NIGHT I TURNED 18

@ Olutope Olonade

Episode 11

Amaka came back from the campus in the evening and asked me to accompany her somewhere. She took me to the male hostel and we waited in front of the long blocks of building, it was obvious we came to see someone. Few minutes later, a guy came out of the hostel building and hugged Amaka. Amaka introduced the young handsome man to me as David, a very close and special friend of hers on campus. I shook hands with him with a broad smile but he took my hands in his and returned my greetings with a flirtatious smile, having his eyes run through my long beautiful body. He did get my blood freeze and I began to blush.

Amaka shot him an angry look and forcefully separated our hands. I was a little bit embarrassed by the whole scene. After a short moment of silence, he led us to a long bench located at a corner and Amaka explained to me the arrangements she made with David earlier on in the day. Apart from David’s room at the hostel, he also owned a room self contained apartment off campus where he used, according to him, for his private stuffs.

David assured me of his acceptance to Amaka’s request for me to put up in his off campus apartment for as long as I would be needing it. He promised to inform me ahead anytime he would need to visit the said apartment so as not to infringe on my privacy.

Amaka eyed David and told him coldly, that I wouldn’t stay there for too long. She promised to secure her space for me at the female hostel, immediately she was through with her final examinations by then we would have been through with the processing of my transfer from my former school to the university. I appreciated the two of them and also thanked my star for bringing such kind and good people my way.

The next morning, saw me and Amaka driving our way down to David’s apartment located along Refugees Camp road. I had accepted fate as a towing vehicle as it wheeled me to another direction and hoped that all would be well at the end. On arriving our destination, Amaka used the spare key to opened the door that led to the apartment. A small window was by the left side of the door and a large mattress covered with a beautiful bed spread was placed neatly at the middle of the room. A table and a chair stood at the edge end of the wall beside the window. An opened drawer with a file of books was built against the wall over the seemingly reading table with a label bearing “Library” which was fastenened at the top edge of the drawer. The kitchen and the toilet were adjacent to the door toward the right. A hanger with few hanged shirts and trousers was built against the wall opposite the door. Under it, was a long shelf which housed a number of male shoes and sandals.

The room looked seriously masculine but tranquiled. I love it here than living in a room with a tiger like Tolu. Tolu’s egoistic behaviours were very annoying…..” if she knows who I am too…” I thought.

I remembered my school, my home, my friends, my status ….if not for what happened that night, I would have rocked the whole campus and it’s environs with my new latest model Toyota Camry, the car my dad gave me as a gift for my 18th birthday. I would have paraded myself with so much as the “Adele girl” people were talking about……

Apart from all that, I could never had watched another human being suffered. If I were in Tolu’s shoes, I would have supported Amaka in helping such victim, not to send him or her out nonchalantly in the manner she compelled Amaka to sent me out.

Anyways, we were never created the same way, some were born with hearts if beautiful gold while some with sharp and ugly stony hearts.

After spending two to three hours together gisting as if we’ve known each other for ages. She quiet made me settle down well in my new abode. Amaka searched the house well, to see if there was any other thing to be added to the room for my comfort. She noted some few things on her pad and left. I thanked Amaka for all her kind gestures towards me as I saw her to her car. I kind of missed my lovely friend and I knew she too would miss my company but we both had no choice.

After she drove off, I went back into the small room , to meet a peaceful silence. I laid on the mattress trying to enjoy the alluring breeze hushing from the window. I closed my eyes in sleep oblivious of the pains that was to envelope my soul in the room which later brought so much agony that could not be erased for a very long period of time.

THE NIGHT I TURNED 18

@ Olutope Olonade

Episode 12

I had seen them together for a couple of time and I knew he lived along the same Refugees Camp road, not too far from where I stayed. Charles was David’s friend and course mate. Both of them were in the Central University studying Business Administration. Charles didn’t have any extra room at the hostel neither did he involve himself in the campus politics like David. He preferred living a private life. He had joked several times that David should have come to the university to study law or political science instead of wasting his time studying to become a business man.

I waited for David the night we argued on the issue of my pregnancy but just as I had expected, he did not show up.

I had considered going to Amaka at the hostel but later thought against it. I dreaded Tolu’s I’ll treatment whenever I ventured to visit my friend. So I decided to wait for her to come to my place. I was very sure that David hadn’t mentioned the case on ground to Amaka because the lady had shown her resentment and disapproval of getting me

pregnant again or forcing into abortion . She saw how painful it was when she witnessed the last abortion I did. She had made David to promise her never to make me go through that path of a hell, again.

I waited till another evening before going to Charles’ house to check up on David. Charles felt pity for me after I narrated the whole ordeal between I and my lover boy. He did condemn his friend’s nonchalant attitude towards my safety and good health, as a matter of fact, he said that he was highly disappointed in me too, for allowing David to put my life on the danger line for whatever reasons but also commended me for refusing to go along with his idea for more. He said I shouldn’t have accepted his excuses and kept endangering my life on the platform of love. ” Children are the heritage of God and the child of the womb is his reward”. He pointed out. He rejected the acts of wasting innocent lives that we couldn’t create by ourselves.

I sat down in front of Charles as he schooled me like a child or one of his converts because unlike David, Charles was a religious young man. I had seen him go to christian fellowships more frequently. If he wasn’t on campus for lectures, he would be at the fellowship. If not for what happened to me was beyond my control, Charles was the last person I would ever had come to. He was too boring for my liking.

“Had it been you have insisted on having your first baby, you wouldn’t have been made to undergo what you passed through in his hands. You would have also, known where you belong in David’s heart long time ago”. He stated.

“How am I supposed to know it was going to be a reapeted episodes?” I responded defiantly. I was not going to allow the idiot fanatic to destroy my feeling towards my love.

What I really did not understand was why he kept shaking his head pitifully at me each time our eyes came in contact. I asked him if there was more to it than the pregnancy I was crying.

“All that glitter are not gold”. Charles responded. “The Bible says woe unto he that put his trust in man….Abike, why not put your trust in God and look up to him for help instead of relying on mere mortals like David? He asked with a concerned tone.

I didnt quite get his proverbial statement but I concluded that it’s part if his sermon jargons.

“Charles and Bible” l smiled dryly.

He also smiled and asked me what my smile was all about. I blushed at his question but he quickly rescued me and continued to make me understand that I might not see David again if I did not act fast.

He gave me David’s parents’ address “I will be here should in case you need my assistance”.

He added shyly,with a deep emotions.

I nodded and murmured my appreciation to his kind gesture and left. Charles’ weird speech and behaviours was getting at me.

“God, help me out of this situation”…..I prayed through my breath.

For the very first probably after I lost my parents, I prayed. Anyways, I wasn’t too sure if God was going to answer me in my state of unbelieve. I had lost confidence in God way back since my parent’s unfortunate demise.

I needed to meet David’s father, the captain whom Charles told me was a no nonsense man, though, it was really scared of what might be the outcome of all this ……but I really needed to Amaka I take my next move….after this what next?

THE NIGHT I TURNED 18

@ Olutope Olonade

Episode 13

I waited for some weeks to see if I would see Amaka to inform her about the recent development. I was beginning to think that probably Amaka had heard what happened and was serious angry with me and this might the reason why she neglected me. Anyways, I wouldn’t blame her, the lady had really tried her best possible for me.

Weeks turned into months and my best friend never showed up. I tried calling her and David on the phone but their lines were always either switched off or engaged. I was abandoned in the small room that gave me only memories of pains, fears and regrets.

I was running out of food stuffs and cash, so with the little amount of money left with me I boarded a bus going to the major city of the Central; the country’s Capital city. I had never gone beyond the campus environs before, so it was another opportunity for me to explore my new environment.

The Central City was much better planned and structured than the cities in the Northern part. Beautiful flower gardens were located at some road junctions, some by the road’s sides and others at the entrances of garages, car parks, relaxation gardens, coupled with the good tarred roads and law abiding motorists who were guided with utmost disciplined dispositions. I was very impressed, though, the riot going on in my heart was exact contrast of the cool and peaceful serene out there.

“It’s a pity” I whispered. It seemed nobody cared about the ugly happenings in the near North; they only maintained peace at the central.

I moved according to the direction on the address slip given to me. The final bus stop took me into one of the major towns in the Capital city. I was directed to go down the road that led to the new inter- state garage at the T-junction and then moved right into a street that was directly opposite the Main Central Hospital after taking few steps away toward my left I saw a crescent and there stood the edifice.

I saw some soldiers at the entrance of the gates and asked to see captain Williams Kaka, a retired senior military officer. After a few minutes of interrogations and waiting, I was let into the large compound. I moved down the terrace where the family was having a good time together. The three people I met focused their full attention on me, as I identified myself and stated my mission in their home. A quick clinical test was conducted on me by David’s mother who was a matron at the Main Central Hospital. I was confirmed pregnant and owing to my explanation the captain put a call across to his son.

David was shocked to see me in his home. I was sitting down beside his father on the three seaters in their vast, well-lit, well-ventilated and tastefully furnished living room.

I knew I was the last person he was expecting to see. His mother and youngest brother, Kingsley were throwing inquisitive looks on him as they were looking from him to me and back to him. When they couldn’t deduce any answer or clue from either of us they returned their gaze to David’s father whose face also remained expressionless.

“David do you know this lady?”

The captain asked his son without removing his eyes from the the television in front of him. We all stared at David but his father’s attention still remained glued to the TV set.

There was a long silence.

David was intently staring at his ten toes as if they just suddenly appeared on his feet. Denying me in front of this no nonsense man would mean a doom for me. How would I cope with this bulging stomach……a pregnancy which had gone five months and a week old.

I was looking at him with a pleading eye. It had been two months since I had set my eyes on David after our last arguments. I didn’t go to the campus to look for him to avoid unnecessary embarrassment. My boy friend was a popular and an active member of the students’ union governing council. I knew it was going to be a serious and disgraceful scandal for him that a pregnant girl was everywhere on campus or hostel looking for him. It’s definitely going to serve as a hot news for all campus magazines to bug him. I could have used that to get attention to myself, but I loved him more than that. I couldn’t do that for him not after what he had done for me. He didn’t know me from Adam yet he gave me a place to lay my head. He became a friend and a brother I never had. Truely, he had exposed me to so much risk and pains in a short time of knowing him yet I still hold him in reverence…..well all my sufferings and fears would soon be over only if he could summoned his courage and confirmed his responsibility.

“You know her”. Captain Williams stated flatly.

“She is carrying your baby, huh? At the mentioning of baby, David looked up and flared an angry looks at me. I saw him struggling to hold on to his courage to brace up to his father who had taken his eyes off the TV screen to face him.

“To your first question, yes dad I know her but I am not the father of the bastard, she is carrying…it’s a set up. I only helped her and this is what I got as reward….” He finally managed to split out.

A hushed descended on everyone…..

THE NIGHT I TURNED 18

@ Olutope Olonade

Episode 14

I felt too weak to argue with him…….. I thought I was going to faint because it became very hard for me to breath well again.

David denied me outrightly in front of his parents just as he had threatened. The man who took away my maiden pride……the man I had five painful abortions for….the man I love with all my being….the man whom I thought was the love of my life….the man I have built my hopes and trust around…the man I sacrificed my happiness for just to make him happy…..he turned around to stab me at the back….

“I know you know me too well son”…..The Captain’s words jotted me out of my long thought.

“…..it’s true I am planning to be a full time politician, but you know…..a soldier is always a soldier. I will not relent until I know who is responsible for this pregnancy…but if it happy that you liked to me….you sure know what I am capable of doing, huh…”…. The captain looked him straight in the eye. I knew his father was using the threats to bring out the truth from his son, but matron Agatha; David’s mother was signalling to his son to maintain his earlier declaration.

There was multiple tension in the room. David was shaking like the leaves on the surface of the stream. He held his father’s gaze and nodded. His nodding resembled that of the lizards. I would have laughed if it was a normal situation.

“I am sorry Dad…..it’s true I impregnated her…..” David stated coldly.

I got dumb! I opened my mouth wide and couldn’t close it for some minutes. His mother’s countenance changed to that of disappointment. She looked at me disgustingly. Kingsley only adjusted his specs and continued to enjoy the unfolding events which was becoming more interesting to him.

“I didn’t know it would turn this way. I was only trying to help her miserable life and she lured me into having sex with her……am sorry Dad” . He pleaded.

“Anyways, take your load to your room…” The father said pointing at me…..”…..and please don’t you ever ask me for anything as from now on….I can’t shoulder your responsibility and that of new family altogether….”. He said sarcastically and stormed out of the living room.

“Ah!” I shouted. I meant to speak defence fully, but couldn’t continue because my nerves failed me when I saw the look on his mother’s face. I wanted to let his parents know the truth about our relationship. But they didn’t give me the chance to do so.

“David, how could you…. how could you say this about me?”

“Is this world fair on me? Oh! This must be a night mare….somebody wake me up please”

An uncontrollable tears began to flow from my eyes. This is the man that had been professing love to me all this while.

Charles was right after all.

THE NIGHT I TURNED 18

Olutope Olonade

Episode 15

David wanted to attack me after his father left but was promptly stopped by his mother. He looked at his mother for a moment and withdrew his hand angrily, from her grip. He went to the entrance of the the sitting room, paused abruptly and waited for some seconds; he looked back and gave me a long stare before he went out.

I watched my David walked out on me again. My heart ached. My stomach pinched. I felt a movement in my tummy. My heart went after my love. I missed his cozy coddling…… I missed his soft lips on mine and his beautiful murmurings in my ear. Inspite of his rejecting me, I couldn’t bring myself to hate him. I had never fallen in love with any man before him. He was my first man…my first love. I long to speak with him. At least he should have given me the opportunity to explain to him that the steps I took by showing myself to his family was not to scornful him. If I had a choice I would have gone extra miles of pains just to please him. But ever since the nurse confirmed me pregnant, my nights had been filled with nigthmares of different terrifying visions of deaths, grave yards and seeing myself in cries of regrets, pains and woes with no one to pacify me.

I had being seeing the sad faces of parents ever since I started this abortion thing. This time around I needed to let him know that every child has the to live, irrespective of the situation surrounding his conception or birth. If he could just and listen to the movement of his seed that was in me. I believed his mind would change.

I took a few steps to run after David but the scornful words that was coming out of his mother’s mouth made me acted otherwise.

“Prostitute!” She hissed on me.

“Gold digger, that’s what you are!” She whispered, as if somebody was going to beat her up if she speaks loud.

“How much….tell me ….how much?” She faced me and looked at me from head to toe as if she was going to get answers to her questions by checking me out.

“Tell me bitch!” She yelled.

“Who sent you to come and destroy the peace in my home?” She asked and looked at me, disgustingly.

” You want to spoil my family’s good name and reputations, huh?….you daughter of Jezebel”. The matron kept on rantling until there was a call from her husband.

“Agatha! Leave the pathetic thing alone. You know you were dressed for work before this whole thing started. You better be on your way before it’s gives birth to a query letter”. He said as a note of warnings.

But David’s mother did not leave me alone not until she succeeded in drawing my two ears and giving me a knock on my forehead…

“I hate you with a passion…just watch out for me in this house…..get out of my way, idiot!” She snarled.

She pushed me aside and I sank into a sofa. I blindly gazed at the wall, too weak and tired to cry again. I just sat there gazing into the space.

At a time I thought I saw the face of my dad on the wall beckoning to me and for the very first time I wished I had joined my parents at the sitting room that night. At least I would have gone by now. All of these wouldn’t be happening to me.

This world became lonely and unbearable for me, just few months after my parents’ demise. There was no one to lean on ….nobody cared….noone to love me. I was just there on my own.

I, Abike, a child that was born to be cared for, had now become “a pathetic thing”.

How did I get myself into this mess……?

To be continued….

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