Like a bombshell, the news blasted into my ears. Truly, I saw it coming but I never took it seriously. I knew she would come this far. How I wish I was there to stop her from taking that dangerous step. This is indeed a disaster! Real disaster!!
Ifenyinwa, my only sister, who broke the bad news, yelled sorrowfully gnashing her teeth and rolling on the floor as if; her dance of sorrow will bring Lucia, her best friend, and my classmate back to life. I dumped the book that once dwelt on my hands and gazed into space .
The memories flooded back in million scenes. I could remember vividly the first day we met. It was Lucia’s first day in school. I guess that day will be one of the most horrible days in her entire life because my classmates and I, mocked her throughout that entire day.
We made everything she did a subject of laughter; Ike, the class bully, said her voice sounded like that of a cat. Henry whispered loudly calling her a beautiful black owl; I compared her ear with that of an African Elephant. Okoro, the big-headed class dummy said she walked like a wounded zombie.
This was the last straw that broke Camel’s back. Lucia began to weep like a little child; everyone felt pity for her except for those wicked souls with no conscience in them who called themselves ‘the class big boys’; we had to stop the mockery. Days later, the memories of her, crying profusely on her seat kept coming into my head, my conscience kept hunting me, I had no other option than to apologize. To my utmost surprise, she accepted my apology and then, we became friends.
Lucia was very kind to me irrespective of the fact that I made her first day at school awful; we began to hang around like real pals. I came to love her very much and did everything to be by her side. We read together, played together, and attended social outings together.
Ifenyinwa liked her as well, and with time, they became inseparable gossip mates. Most of the time, she would prefer hanging out with her (Ifenyinwa) and that made me jealous. However, I let the sleeping dog lie, it’s not like she’ll snatch Lucia from me.
Later on, Lucia’s attitude drastically changed. The once beautiful, ever-smiling young lady turned into a timid, sorrowful pale-looking girl. A glance at her face will tell you that she is battling with something. Every little thing made her angry.
One day, I confronted her and she treated me like an outcast. She told me point black that I could not help her out of her current situation and therefore there was no point telling me. I refused to backslide; I went further to ask her what was wrong, promising her that I’ll help her, but every attempt to discover her plight proved futile.
I confided in my sister who agreed to try her luck in getting the truth out of her mouth. Ifenyinwa approached her at school but she kept mute and never opened up, all she did was to cry. On returning, from my football training the next day, I met Ifenyinwa at my room’s doorpost.
“I have something to tell
you!” She panted. Lucia popped into my head immediately.
“What happened?” I asked
“Lucia came here! She told me everything.” Then, she started narrating all that she told her.
Lucia revealed that the man who was supposed to be her father was sexually abusing her. She said, the first day he tried it, she had shouted and screamed for help but none came.
Everyone in the house seemed to be ignorant of what was going on. She even went further to threaten her father by telling her mum but he wasn’t perturbed. She narrated that the next morning she fearlessly opened up to her mum who seems to be nonchalant about it.
“All men are promiscuous” She had said and continued what she was doing. Lucia was stunned, she couldn’t believe it.
“Mum! Is that all you could say? I mean Dad, your husband raped me and all you could say is ‘men are promiscuous’. Lucia cried out in confusion and dismay .
“He raped you and so what! Is he not your father?” Lucia’s mum fired back.
“I can’t believe this!” Lucia uttered and left .
It didn’t end there, the barbaric act continued. Lucia told her immediate senior sister Lora, who was so flabbergasted when she heard it. She confronted her mum and mum’s reaction pierced their marrows.
“Let her go to hell and complain to her prostitute of a mother who left her suffer and die. That man whom she claims is raping her saved her life and that doesn’t make him her father!” She uttered outrageously.
Lucia was speechless. She was nowhere in the family picture. She felt her whole world crashing upon her little head. She wept bitterly that fateful day, but who could hear her cry?
Lora did not stop there, she confronted her dad and he threatened to put an end to her education if she refuses to let the sleeping dog lie. Afterwards, she went back to school and Lucia had no one to confide in again except Ifenyinwa and me.
We had to tell our parents right away. They pitied her but said that they’ll not interfere in a family matter that doesn’t concern them. I begged my dad and thereafter, he reported the matter to the police after he had spoken with him; unluckily for us, the table turned against us.
Instead of arresting Mr.Okoro, Lucia’s supposed dad; the police arrested my father on his (Mr. Okoro’s) orders. My dad spent two weeks in jail for a crime he knew nothing about.
When he was released, he warned us intensely never to involve in anything that has to do with Lucia again. Out of fear, my sister backed out, but I never did.
Lucia and I
reported to the school authorities who promised to look into the matter. They
told us they would invite Mr. Okoro but they never did. We confronted them
again and they cautioned us fiercely and ordered us out of the office.
We weren’t discouraged, weeks later, Lucia and I approached her local pastor. We told him everything from beginning to end and he was shocked because Mr. Okoro was one of the respected elders in the church. He told us to keep the matter secret that something will be done immediately. We waited for weeks but nothing happened.
We met with him again and he said “Only God can vindicate the innocent. Only He can punish also.” And that ended it. I was infuriated.
We lashed him verbally and he accused us of insulting him. Afterwards, he ordered us out of his office.Days later, Lucia told my sister that her supposed father had put her in a family way. My ears twitched when I heard it.
After that day, nobody saw her in school again, I called her countless times but it was switched off. We couldn’t go to her house because her father restricted us. It was during our exam period so I could not concentrate.
Today, I instructed my sister and told her to hang around her house to see if there will be a glimpse of her. She refused at first but after much pleading, she agreed. She left and in not less than five minutes she returned with the bad news.
“….I saw people gathered… they said she killed herself. Lucia committed suicide.
“Just before attempting suicide, Lucia spoke and those who listened could not save her. However, I will prove to the whole world that even the dead can get the justice they deserve. I don’t know how, but I will get justice for Lucia.
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THIS STORY IS TOTALLY BASED ON THE AUTHOR’S IMAGINATION.