Amy’s heart was in a frenzy as she hurried home. Walking through the quiet streets of Ebonyi state on a Friday evening at 11:50 barefooted was not something any young lady should do on a normal day but as it appeared, today was out of the ordinary.
As she walked, her heart thundering in her ribcage as fear of what might happen to her if she didn’t get to her hostel before twelve nagged at her. Trying as much as possible to trek the 45km to her hostel in just 10 minutes.
The streets of Presco( the faculty for all science students that enrolled in Ebonyi state university) wasn’t a save Haven for anyone once it clocked 12. She had heard stories especially from those who ventured out for classes at night. Recently, horrible stories have been flying around the campus about the stuffs that happened at midnights and guessing from the way the streets was eerily quiet, I didn’t want to be a partaker of such.
Her outfit didn’t really help with her growing anxiety, she wore a red mini gown, the such that highlighted all her features and left men taking second glances once their eyes were set on her.
She shivered as she walked, making sure to stay out of the shadows and hopefully praying that she got back in one piece.
As she walked, she couldn’t just stop the feeling of guilt she felt at that moment. She was to blame for everything that happened tonight.
If only she had listened, she sighed. She remembered when this whole thing started, vividly recalling the words of her roommate jenny as she warned her about following Amaka and her group of busy life.
She had just entered her final year in the university studying biochemistry when one morning, the news got to Her that her father was dead.
She couldn’t believe it. She had just talked to her father two days ago regarding her fees and other expenses she would need for that semester. It was hard for her to bear as she thought of how she was going to survive.
How her mom was going to survive and cater for seven children. Three of which were in the university.
She cried that night hoping tears could bring him back, she shouted his name so many time wishing that he could just appear at the doorway and declare that it was a joke.
Aye, if wishes were horses men would ride. It dawned on her after crying so much and wailing that her father had actually gone.
Bracing herself as the first daughter, she went to the village and went through the burial ceremony with the family and everyone departed.
Only to arrive in school that day and receive a call the next day that her uncles had thrown her mom and siblings out of their fathers house in Lagos.
My mom used the remaining money she had after the burial to rent a 2 bedroom flat so she and my siblings could stay. Leaving no money for my fees and those of my siblings.
I thought hard about what to do. I ran to various of my dad uncles and friends but got no single one to help me. The only response I ever got was that they would get in touch with me which never happened.
Getting to the deadline for the closure of the school portal for school fees, I was still stranded. I tried friends and came up with twenty thousand which was minimal compared to what I needed.
I remember sitting at the love garden that day after running around, looking devastated and miserable when I was walked up to by Amaka, their leader.
Why are you crying baby girl. She questioned as she sat close to me. In my devastating mood, I spilled out everything that was wrong to her. Telling her how I felt and what I feared.
She held me and consoled me. Asking me to stop crying that she had a solution for me. After I stopped crying, she asked me to follow her and I followed
We got to a nice house, with three or four rooms in it. Entering inside we were meet with three girls who were looking well fed and stinking rich for my liking.
They talked to me about a business they engaged in that gave them money. I pointed it out to them that I didn’t want to go into prostitution but was told that they were not into prostitution. That they sold goods like soap and body cream to customers.
After successfully convincing me that it was not a shady business but one of these normal businesses, I caved in.
She asked me to go home, that the business will be introduced fully to me tomorrow. Gave me the time and said we would be leaving by 9 in the evening.
I agreed as I was blinded by the desire to get money quickly to sort out my issues and possibly sort out that of my family.
I got to the hostel happy and told jenny of everything that happened. She upon hearing the names of these girls quickly warned me not to venture out with them as she had heard stories of what they were up to.
I refused to listen because I was so sure that it was divine help that was sent to Mr from God and jenny just wanted to spoil it all for me.
Until I got there the next day and found out that it was high class prostitution.
Shaking all thoughts of guilt and shame, she focused back on the road when she heard footsteps at her back. She hastened her steps hoping to get to the streets with the hospital so she could run in.
The footsteps were getting closer and it was evident from the way it sounded that it was more than one person. Her adrenaline shot up as she hurried, taking care not to look back.
She counted her steps as she walked. Just few steps remaining, she continued walking and after a while the footstep disappeared.
She stopped and looked back, she couldn’t see anyone but she was absolutely sure she heard footsteps. She shrugged it off as probably the steps of those nocturnal animals.
Her face was half turned when she caught a glimpse of something move in front of her.
Turning in fright, she meet face to face with two men dressed in black and before she could scream, she was knocked unconscious.
Waking up, my head was aching bitterly. I tried recalling what happened and how I got this terrible headache. Opening my eyes fully, I glanced around to find myself in the boot of a car.
That was when everything came rushing back, the footsteps and the men that were dressed in black.
My heart beat increased as I tried screaming only to find out that my mouth was tied, so were my hands and legs.
I stayed completely calm when I the car stopped. Pretending to still be unconscious, I lay there trying to hold my breath. I heard the car door close and footsteps coming towards the boot.
From the air that slapped my face, I could tell that the boot was opened. I was lifted and placed on the shoulder of one of the men.
I opened my eyes, looking around for signs of civilization but was meet with darkness and not even a single ray of light. Even the moon, as if shielding itself from the gruesome site was no where in the sky.
They walked for a long time going farther into the dark and into the bush. They finally stopped at a building and I was dropped inside on of the rooms.
There was a single light in the room from the fire that was being made outside. I looked around and was meet with a ghastly scene. One that would remain imprinted in my head for many years to come if I survived this.
There in that room were human beings like me, some being dead, some looking too emancipated, some with injuries. Oh the sights were not pleasant.
I felt fear wash over me like water. I shuddered in fear as I beheld the horrific view. Hmm…it was frightening.
I didn’t see any difference between this place and the graveyard. Even the graveyard didn’t give one the kind of fright that I felt that night.
It was so ghastly, I couldn’t look anymore as I crouched down and wept into my legs. I wept for my self and my lack of reasoning, I wept for my mom and her just concluded suffering. I wept for my siblings. I wept for my friends and most of all I wept for my dad.
I wasn’t crying for them but was crying for how they would feel when I would be declared missing or worst dead. If I had listened. It was not explaining how I felt.
I suddenly remembered that adage “the fly that refused to listen always follows the corpse to the grave” in this situation, I was the fly and I had ended up in my own grave.
Favour Nwachukwu wrote in via email@example.com