… A tale by a curious teenager, Feranmi.

It’s been a delicate month for me, as it is a delicate year for everyone. Manoeuvering through the unending updates on Covid-19 and loads of precautionary measures, to shutting down of schools and worship centres.

Although worship centres are gradually coming back to life, my dream of ever achieving anything this year, 2020, is already blurry or do I still remain hopeful?

About two years ago, I had written out how my life would run, from Senior Secondary School straight to University and by the age of 23, I should be done and out but look at me in 2020.

Awaiting Post UTME aptitude test.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s January, February, Lockdown and December.

Isn’t this worrisome?

I’m right here, trying to fix this lockdown fever.
…yet to make up my mind about confronting my Uncle or not. What sort of uncle touches his own in-law? He has a wife for crying out loud.

I think I should face him.

“Feranmi” my aunt yelled. She must have called me more than once because this time, she screamed out of irritation as her usual self, when a call is unanswered or delayed.

On my way to her bedroom, I passed through the sitting room, and saw a TV programme where the guest was analyzing the NBA withdrawal of Governor El-Rufai’s invitation to speak at the virtual conference and how NBA branches reacted to the situation. I got interested and listened for a while.

At this point, my aunt had waited to no avail. So, she came out, furious. The military woman herself. Always too serious with everything like she is on some battle ground.

“Feranmi, how can you be this dumb & inconsiderate?” She spat.

“Do you know why I called you?” she continued

“I’m sorry ma”

She went on to mention that she was busy waiting for me but there I was wasting my life away, in front of a TV set. She finally mentioned that I boil some rice for dinner.

I felt so bad that immediately I was done in the kitchen, I moved quickly to my room before anyone would notice the tears now walking freely down my cheeks.

However, my uncle saw my countenance already. He might not have noticed the tears, but he knew I wasn’t okay and in his usual character, always looking out for me.

Although recently, I’ve realized that he looks out for his own gain rather than to help make me feel comfortable and safe.

May God keep a watch over us from those watching us for ill intents.

It’s been a long year really. In my moody state, I dragged myself to Twitter. This has gradually become a thing for me, to always visit Twitter for trending topics, once my spirit is down.

The other time, I read Captain Lantana’s story, where the overfarmiliarity with her domestic staff, caused her everything, including her life.

As the first and only female pilot for Nigerian Airways, she lived a life of comfort and luxury in her VI mansion. As a single lady, she had all sorts of electronic gadgets and expensive jewelleries.

Unfortunately, her domestic staff ganged up against her, killed her and threw her body into a septic tank, on the 8th of February 1998. Her killers were apprehended at some point, confessed to the murder but somehow, they managed to escape into thin air, and till today Captain Lantana never got justice.

I read this story closely with that of late FL, Ofr. Tolu Arotile buried few Sundays ago. It’s a pathetic sight to watch. Such a gem.

Is there a correlation between their deaths? Is there a missing link?

May their gentle souls continue to Rest in Perfect Peace. May Justice be served.

You see, I’m almost 20, and already weary of what the future holds.

Or are these things not scary? Is there hope for young people? For the brave? For Nigerians generally?

Today, I didn’t read about such heart-wrenching stories. It’s a hashtag trend on Big Brother Naija. I read about the ‘gbas-gbos’ from Ebuka to the HMs.

I was very much relaxed and even smiling when I heard the door open and my uncle came in, without asking if I want him in.

He apologized on behalf of his wife.

“Sorry, she spoke to you that way. I’ll speak to her some more on the proper way to address you. You’re no longer the kid she used to know.

Within me, I felt a urge to talk to him concerning his touches and how I will not appreciate them going forward, but I felt its not a good time to say them.

Maybe I was wrong, you know!

So, he moved closer and gave me a pat at my back.

Speak now Feranmi. Just do it. Should I?

It was the right time to speak up.

So, I began!

“Sir, I don’t like the way you touch me…”

Suddenly. My words got exhausted. I had No words again.

My village people got me big time.

While I was still trying to figure out how to present it to him, he held my face and gave me a kiss on the forehead. Then he held me so tight around my shoulders that I couldn’t breathe.

This is madness!

I got so irritated by his action, and tried to move away but his grip was too tight and he wasn’t ready to let go. Somehow, he was sure I won’t shout and I didn’t.

So, I picked up the closest item, a pen, and drove the tip into his thigh with all the strength that I’ve got, freed myself and ran out of the room.

What have I done? I said to myself.

You see, I carried so much anger of the last time within me that I was looking for the slightest opportunity to get back at him.

But then. It suddenly seems like hurting him was out of the equation. I have done it anyways.

No regrets!

I heard him groan loudly at first, then, suddenly keeps mute as if someone covered his mouth. But I could tell it really hurts.

Maybe he needs help.
It’s just a pen. It shouldn’t be that bad.

“Ife!” my aunt called out. Walking out of their room towards me. She must have heard his voice.

“Ife” she called out.

Wait for the next Chapter.


Rebecca Maulome Padonu is an enthusiastic writer with a soft spot for factions. A RubyWrites 2016 finalist. She has completed several freelance writing projects, including BBC Media Action’s Drama series, Story Story (series 32 & 33).

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