“I felt like dying, failing all my papers was another option, all I have to lose is just a year and at least I wouldn’t have to be in the same class with the dog of a guy who called himself a human, but the thought of my parents’ struggles to keep me in made me look selfish, but do I care?” “I can see this situation is pretty intense. Let me hear the whole story if you don’t mind,” she said, that is my school counsellor, going to open up to her was probably the best decision I have made in this short 19 years of my life. And who am I? Asked me that 4 years back my answer would have been pretty simple
“My name is Tade and I am a bitter young woman.” But Now, I am a graduate of Covenant University. A star who fought through the dark clouds of my past and now is a celebrated radiance among the human race.
I thought I had found love at last or better still I thought heaven have smiled down at me. In sending this very handsome young guy to my class. His name is Tunji, he was transferred to my senior secondary class 2 during the second term. His parents just moved to my neighbourhood, actually just two blocks to my parents’ apartment.
He joined us late so he needed someone to put him through with some topics and he needed notes to copy. And as the class representative, I was instructed to help Tunji in whatever he needed to the best of my ability. I felt somehow reluctant taking up this responsibility. Having heard so much of guys issues, I bet some other girls in my class will kill to take this job. But since he needed help badly or otherwise he would have to repeat the class, I offered to help out on strictly academic bases and on my terms as well.
My parents are very strict people and I was actually wondering how I can tell them about this guy. He will need to come over to my place to return some of my books and also to pick some others up. So using my computer fast mind, I decided I will allow him to borrow any book he needs in school. If there’s any need for me to use the book I will just rush down to his house to get it. Since it’s just a few blocks away. This was probably the worst mistake of my life but felt all ok then. This seemingly perfect arrangement went on like this for the whole second term. In third term his parents made him write WAEC and JAMB which he passed very well.
You will agree with me that it is very natural for feelings to grow between two young opposite sex who have a constant close contact. By this time I already liked him, even though he didn’t need my help or my books again. I still called him and he also called, we maintained the close contact. Lucky but so unfortunate for me, the feelings were mutual. When he gained admission he called to tell me, I was not so happy because of the strong emotional attachment that existed between us. He sensed what I was feeling so we decided to meet one day in his house, which was actually the day before he resumed in Covenant university as a fresher. That day he proposed, there was no need actually thinking because he was going to school the next day, so it was an automatic YES.
I concentrated on my final year in secondary school, He called once in a while to reassure me of his love for me, I even spoke to some of his friends from school, they were all saying how much Tunji loves me, all that made my love for him to increase.
He came home for holiday and I was so happy when he called me I rushed down to his house. He was looking so fresh, (that I was wondering if I was the one who had him) as we admired each other, one thing led to another we found ourselves lip-locked kissing, at that point I had a little conflict with my conscience, but told myself that it was just kissing, and just kissing doesn’t kill. I never knew I had ignited something in him; the only thing I noticed was that he found it difficult to concentrate throughout the time I spent in his house. I was thinking all he was doing was his way of showing his love for me.
To my greatest joy, my dad announced that I was going to the same institution as Tunji. All this while Dad had no idea of what was transpiring behind his back. My excitement doubled when he told me he wants me to study the same course Tunji was in. I was going to have a lovely time with Tunji in school. I didn’t even bother to argue with Dad concerning the course. Even though it wasn’t my passion and I didn’t even like what it entails. All that mattered was I was going to be with Tunji. Oh! I thought destiny wanted to bring I and Tunji closer.
The next day I rushed down to Tunji house to tell him about the news, he had one of his school friends over that day. He had just a day more before returning to school, as I was relating the story to him, I thought he would be more excited but he kept this cold lustful look, so I went close to him to hug him, wanting to find out if he was not happy for us. Before I knew, I was on the floor struggling not to be raped, two against one, they overpowered me and Tunji deflowered me.
I wished for death, when he was through, he told me his mum will soon be home that I should pack up fast. With so much guilt, hurt and pain, I got up, ran to my house to clean up. I locked myself up in my room and cried out my eyes. He sent a message that he was sorry, he tried calling but I switched off.
It was really difficult concentrating on my WAEC and JAMB but praise God I scaled through. I tried convincing my Dad I didn’t want to go to the same institution, not to talk of studying the same course. He refused blatantly stating that my friends in school were already influencing me, that since everyone is choosing school and courses that I wanted to follow, and that what was initial excitement about the school and the course. I couldn’t convince him and I didn’t want to tell him about the rape.
Shortly after that, I fell really ill, I tried to cover it up but everyone noticed that the lively Tade was dull. I vomited a number of times. My dad noticed I was ill, he suggested we should go to the hospital; this really scared me, what if I am pregnant?
The doctor said he doesn’t start treatment unless he conducts a set of tests. Especially for young girls like this. “you may think they have malaria or fever and the moment you start treating them, you discover they are pregnant” referring to me. I thought to myself, is he a wizard or a prophet? My world stood still at that point. He continued, “therefore the test she would take will entail pregnancy test alongside other malaria and fever test.”
My dad got so mad, saying what kind of a beloved Spiritual girl she has raised. The Doctor continued, every of his words adding fuel to the already raging fire. “Sir, we have had cases of girls like this, after they start the treatment for malaria or fever, and they are still weak, their parent bring them back and we ask them some questions am about to ask your daughter. Then he turned to me” girl, when last did you see your monthly cycle? I replied “I missed last month’s”. The Doctor explained further, “you see sir, that is the more reason we have to do the pregnancy test,”
My dad agreed to with the doctor that they should carry out the pregnancy test. My Dad told the Doctor, you see my daughter will be admitted to Covenant University in a few months from now, so she can’t be pregnant, but I will allow you do your job. We were asked to come back the next day for the result, meanwhile, I was given drugs and injection. I was close to telling my parents what happened at this point, but somehow my strong inner resolve and stubbornness won’t allow me to.
At the hospital the following day, we met the doctor in the lobby. He leads us straight to his office with a broad smile, shook my dad’s hands and said Congratulations. My dad swiftly replied, is it that I am going to be a grandfather soon or that I raised her well?
You see the doctor said. The test result indicates that your daughter Tade has chronic malaria fever and is not pregnant. It seems like streams of cold water went through my spine. I couldn’t show the excitement not for them to think otherwise.
I thought I had escaped hell till I resumed in Covenant University. Got into my class one day to find out that Tunji was my course mate. He had to repeat the first level due to poor performance. He wasn’t the only one, he was repeating the class with five of his friends. They all sounded like the ones I use to speak to on phone and of course the one that witnessed him defiling me.
It was like my entire world was crumbling, I could hardly concentrate whenever they walked into the class. “I felt like dying. Failing all my papers was another option. All I have to lose is just a year. At least I wouldn’t have to be in the same class with the dog of a guy who called himself a human. But the thought of my parents’ struggles to keep me in made me look selfish. But do I care?
“You should consider yourself lucky”, the counsellor said. “Miners don’t blow up empty mines but only those with a possibility above doubt that something worth dying for lies underneath those earth.
Those first few words from the counsellor’s mouth struck me hard but were too hard to believe. So I went through all those just because I had something special in me?
Then she told me about the star in every woman that the devil is always fighting. Using ignorant guys like Tunji to ensure that he kills that star in us. She explained that the devil just uses situation like mine and similar ones. Just to prevent women from getting to that height that God has called them to be. Knowing that we will cease to see anything special about ourselves. Or believe if anything good can come out from us having being used just like a rag. She charged me to channel my anger at the devil. Proving him wrong rather than to those ignorant and foolish boys.
That day, I made a resolution to fight back by being all God has called you to be. She led me through the steps of forgiveness. Helping me to forgive myself and the guy that has done this evil.
It’s been more than four years now and I am free. Free as a star, to shine anywhere I go. Presently as I write this story, I am a new graduate. I bagged various awards and scholarships both myself and for my institution.
Truly, the star in me is beginning to rise. I believe there is a star in every woman. If only they will rise beyond every cloud of hurt and their past and shine.