“Papa, please not today again,” I cried.
“Come on, shut your mouth! I paid for your mother’s bribe price, it means I get to inherit everything that belongs to her. Sleeping with you is my right,” that foolish old rag said boastfully.
My mother just stood there with arms folded, sobbing. Foolish woman! She believes she’s in love with him and can never leave him, even if it means satisfying that goat with me.
“I don’t want to do anything!” I yelled.
“Mma please, just let your father sleep with you this night. Please,” she pleaded.
“Mama what is your problem? Can you even hear yourself?”
“Chimo!” I screamed, holding my left cheek. He had slapped me. You know the kind of slap that seems to be accompanied by a backup ringtone? That was the type that landed on my soft cheeks.
“Papa why you come slap me na? Na by force!” I screamed. Another slap landed on my right cheek before he pinned me down and raped me again.
My name is Mma Lily Nelson, at least that is the name my biological father gave me. My mom was just eighteen when she got pregnant; she married my dad who later died six months after I was born.
You know the drill—nobody wants left over. She couldn’t marry again; well, until my step dad, Mazi Okoro, popularly known as Papa Mark, (Mark is his rascal son) came and married her. Mom also bore three more sons for him. (Luke, Peter and James).
I was fifteen years old when he started raping me. My mother would just watch like a bystander. Was she a really my mother? Or was she a fool?
Mark had returned from school the day my mom had travelled to see her people. Papa Mark dragged me to his room and threw me on his bed.
“What is the meaning of this dad? What did she do to you?” Mark asked suspiciously.
“You just told me you were going to get yourself a girl for the night. Why waste your money when you can use this one for free?”
“I always knew you were perverted, but I didn’t figure it was to this level. You mean I should sleep with my sister?” Mark asked, shock written all over his face.
“Step sister,” Papa Mark corrected nonchalantly.
“Don’t ever, in your miserable and wretched life, lay your hands on my sister again or I’ll kill you myself. For crying out loud, she’s still a small girl! Just seventeen years old. Behave yourself o,” Mark warned. I was really surprised that he defended me. Then he turned to me and said, “Mma, go to your room.”
I quickly scurried to my room, thanking my stars for Mark’s intervention. Throughout Mark’s stay, I was free from Papa Mark; then Mark left. I knew that the old goat will come back again, so I packed my clothes and ran away to Lagos with the money Mark gave me for my upkeep.
In Lagos, I realised the folly of running away to an unknown place. I stood at the park helplessly, realizing how stupid and naive I was.
“Wetin you dey stand here dey do by this time of the night? You won die?” a girl obviously older than me said irritably in pidgin English. I surmised from the way she dressed that she was a commercial sex worker.
“Abeg no mind me joor, I run commot for house. My step father won dey use me take score goal. I no get where I won stay sef,” I said loudly. She chewed her gum noisier than before.
“Ehnn?” she asked checking me from head to toe. “Mumu girl, you just commot for house like that. you go stay with me be dat, my side na getto sha but you go manage am.”
“Half bread is beta dan kuli kuli. Thank you.”
“But you go dey drop small thing every week o. I no fit dey feed u like dat. I don try.” I nodded happily.
She hailed a cab and helped me with my bags. God, she was a garrulous girl. It also turned out that it was her father (her real father) that caused her escape from home.
“My name is Atama Emma Odisi. I’m twenty one and a prostitute. If you like you join me, if you like you don’t, na you sabi.”
“I’m Mma Lily Nelson. I’m seventeen years old. I should have written my JAMB by now,” I said sadly.
“No worry, you go write am,” she said calmly, “me, I don’t like school,” she started going on and on about her school life. When we got to her house, I was shocked at the way it was. It was really a gutter as she described. I thought that she was exaggerating, but she wasn’t. I guess I have to do with what I have. Beggars don’t have a choice, do they?
To be continued…