I felt the cold hand sliding into my dress, I was still hazy from sleep and shrugged it off. I felt it again creeping higher into my inner thighs, I forced my eyes open ; the room was dark and strange, I forced my feet to the ground and looked around, the cold floor helped in clearing my memory and I remembered, I was at my aunt’s house for the holiday ; so where did the cold hand I felt just now come from I thought to myself . My little cousins were still asleep beside me, I fell back on the bed and closed my eyes but I couldn’t get back to sleep, it wasn’t up to 30 minutes when I felt my skirt been lifted up, I grabbed the hands and sat up straight. It was my aunt’s husband, uncle Adokiye, he quickly placed his hands on my mouth.

“Don’t shout, you know you are such a beautiful girl” he whispered. I nodded my head in agreement and he smiled “ you are now a big girl and I know you have a boyfriend, just let me do small” he pleaded.

My eyes bulged out in surprise as his words sank into my head, I nodded my heads from  left to right vigorously ; I pushed his hands from my knee, he tightened his hands on my mouth and placed his forefinger on his lips to indicate I should shut up “Ok fine, I’d pay you, I’d pay you don’t tell anyone; just let me enter a little bit, it won’t be painful I swear”.

I froze in shock, my heart increased in tempo, he must have mistaken my silence for approval and said: “Good girl, I’m coming back now let me get the money, okay?” I nodded in agreement and he walked out of the room with a wide grin on his face. I took the opportunity and ran out of the room to the parlor, I switched on the light and sat on the sofa, my mind was in a turmoil and I didn’t know what to do, running back home wasn’t an option, I was in Lagos and home was Port Harcourt; maybe I should run to a neighbor’s house but what could I say was the reason for a visit by this ungodly hour, or should I just run outside the estate, where would I go to? I looked at the digital clock hung on the wall , it was 2.30am, it wouldn’t be safe outside. I stood up from the sofa and went towards the parlor door, I sat in front of the door and started crying, I want to go home.

I heard a shuffle and rose from the floor, my uncle came into the parlor, he gave a sigh of relief when he saw me “what are you doing here, come let’s go back to the room so we won’t disturb your aunt” he said while coming towards me .

I cried out “I want to go home, I want to back to my mom, I want to go to Port Harcourt” I wailed louder.

“shhh, keep quiet please, do you want my wife to wake up?” he pleaded frantically .

“What is going on here?” my aunt’s voice echoed from the other end of the parlor “Oribim why are you sitting on the floor like that” she moved towards me “have you been crying?” she questioned further while touching my arms. I couldn’t say anything, I just wanted to go home, I felt more tears slid down my cheeks”.

Uncle Adokiye spoke out “ I was thirsty so I went to the kitchen to get some water, I noticed the sitting room light was on, I found her sitting on the floor like this, I have been asking her what the problem is but she has refused to tell me anything; she must be homesick and she should go back to Port Harcourt as soon as it is dawn” he concluded.

 My aunt looked at me and then turned to him “ but she just came only yesterday and she is supposed to spend the month with us” she turned  to me and said “Oribim what’s with the sudden change, you’ve been happy since you came here, remember we are going shopping tomorrow” she said with a cajoling smile.

“If the girl wants to go back, then let her. She is sixteen years old and can make decisions for herself, she’s too stubborn anyways” he shouted at my aunt.

 

“ What do you mean by she’s too stubborn? My niece is a very good girl and you know it” she fired back at him.

“Do you know if she’s possessed, just look at the time” he pointed to the clock “ is this the time for normal people to be awake? She must be a witch and you’d send this girl back to her home first thing tomorrow, I don’t want anyone possessing my children” He shouted angrily and walked out of the sitting room leaving my aunt and me alone. My aunt dragged me to a sofa “you are not possessed, I cover you with the blood of Jesus. Let us pray” she held my hands and closed her eyes.

We must have prayed for over thirty minutes, I repeated amen at intervals although my heart wasn’t in the prayer, I wanted to go home. After the prayer, she urged me to go back to the children’s room to sleep but I refused, I was comfortable in the parlor with the lights on . it was almost 4am already, I laid on the sofa and closed my eyes.

The chattering of my little cousins woke me up the next morning, they were all over me. I immediately ran to the bathroom, had a quick bath and rushed into the children’s room to pack my things. After the morning devotion, I rushed outside with my bags and waited for my aunt beside her car, she was astonished and chuckled loudly “if you like, tell your mother I chased you from my house, I have already called her and explained myself” she said to me. She went back into the house while my little cousins rushed outside and hugged me, I was going to miss them but I had to go home.

My uncle came out of the house, he ordered the children to go in, when they had all gone inside, he grabbed my hand suddenly and placed an envelop on my palm “ Here is some money, I would have given you more if you had been nice to me, if it was your small boyfriend you’d kiss him bah? Foolish girl; make sure you keep your mouth shut, because if you don’t I’d tell your mother you have a boyfriend” he said and walked back into the house. How did my uncle know about my boyfriend, I asked myself, he must have eavesdropped on my conversation with him yesterday. I threw the envelope under the car and sat inside the car as I waited for my aunt.

 

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