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Short Story : Before the sun sets

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Dedicated to all rape victims. It is my prayer that the Lord heal you completely. Amen.


One,two,three…She carried her legs as fast as she could. Her assailant was fast approaching,that she knew. The cold night was not helping matters and the ruffling of the dry leaves is giving her away. She knew it was only a matter of time before he caught up with her. Nonetheless,she was not going to give up.

All her thoughts vanished as she felt an hand grabbed her from behind. Her mind went blank as if a tsunami occurred there. She had already closed her eyes in anticipation for her assailant’s next move but she found herself opening them again to stare at the reality.
Shock.
Awareness.
Pain.
They came in sequence.

She looked at the figure in front of her from the feet to head and the only word that came to her mind was ‘gruffy’. One look at the man spelt out evil,in all ways. The redness of his eyes like a burning flame,the ‘artificial dreadlocks’ making him look like a schizophrenia patient. His fingernails were like a lion’s claws.

However,what caught her attention was the glittering metal that was dangling from the man’s hand. He knew she knew he was up to no good but she had no option but to succumb. He raised the knife up as expected with a wicked grin on his face. A mere glance at his dentition can make one lose appetite. She was at his mercy-that she knew.

He traced the edges of her shoulder with his knife and that sent cold shivers to her body. Suddenly,with an accelerated force,he pushed her to the ground with the metal still in his hand. Balancing himself on top of her in the roughest manner one could ever imagine. He tore away all her clothing and within the blink of an eye,she was just like Eve before she ate the forbidden fruit. Then he spread her legs wide apart and forced himself in.

With each t—-t coming with more force,the pain was excruciating. Despite all her pleadings,he was still insouciant. He could feel the blood gushing out yet he didn’t stop,he only continued inflicting the pain on the helpless girl. The tears she had shed in that short period of time was already more than twice the size of an ocean. So much tears wasted over nothing. It got to a point that she couldn’t feel the tears anymore and she just laid down while feeling and watching her life shatter into pieces.

Brutal was an understatement to qualify how he raped her.

Eventually,when he was through,he rose and took another look on the girl who is dying. Then,he turned to the other side and left.

Few minutes after he had left,she knew she to leave too but how? she had wondered.

How?

He had wanted to molest her to death and looking at her situation now,maybe he is going to succeed. Who knows? He had already succeeded in sapping out all the energy and strength in her. She could not even call for help. She could feel her breath seizing. It was pure agony. She tried to stand but her strength failed her. So,she resorted to another method which was dragging. She dragged her unclad self on the floor at few minutes interval because the dragging even seemed like an herculean task.

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‘One last time’ she thought. It was glaring for the blind to see and a way too audible for the deaf to hear that wherever she was planning on going,she cannot make it there- her house. She had not wanted anybody to see her in that condition but what dignity was she keeping? The one somebody came and left with just like that? She heard some footsteps coming towards her and heart beat nearly failed her. What if he came back with reinforcement to fulfil his mission?

‘Well,that would be better’,she thought. She closed her eyes in readiness to embrace death.

As the footsteps became closer,she thought about how broken her mum would be when she finds out about her death. She had always been the pride of her mum. Where was God when she needed Him most? He just sat down where He his when all that her mum and her ever did all their lives was to worship Him.

The beam of light reached her face and slowly it roamed over her body.

‘We have found her’. A voice shouted. That was all that she heard before she drifted into unconsciousness. The owner of the voices were one of the groups of the search team in her neighbourhood. Her mother had been worried when she had not seen her when it was getting late so she beckoned on some of their neighbours and they formed search teams. They rushed to her side and carried her to the hospital.

The noise in her head woke her up. She opened her eyes to scan the environment she was. It was blurry at first with her head threatening to explode if she tried it.

A bruised body.
An excruciating pain in the lower region of her body.
A throbbing headache.
An high temperature.
What else?

It was an hospital and it looked as if she was on treatment. ‘What happened?’ ‘Who brought her here?’ were the various questions going on in her head. Just then,an image flashed through her head and she remembered everything. She did not know what to do at that point in time. She desperately prayed that it was a dream but the bruises on her body and the pains said otherwise. It was too much of a cross to bear.

The door flung open and the person who she assumed was the Doctor entered with her mother following closely behind. She stole a quick glance at her mother and noticed the look of hope on her face.

‘Yewande,it is good to see you awake. How are you feeling now?’ The Doctor asked.

‘It’s been how many days’ Yewande replied making it sound like a statement rather than a question.

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‘Three days’ the Doctor replied again.

Three days? For three days she was battling for her life all because of one irrational human being pleasure. Three days of uncertainty. It was even better off if she had died. What dignity does she have left? What image was she trying to protect?

While all these were going on in her mind,she did not know that she had been shedding tears. The mother on noticing this quickly rushed to her side in a bid to comfort her. ‘My daughter, you don’t have to cry…’

‘I was not crying, look at me, I am smiling’. She said while she opened her white set of teeth revealing a small dimple on her cheeks. She continued smiling until she took a step forward by laughing. She laughed and laughed until the tears started pouring again and this time, she could not stop it. She was laughing hysterically at a moment and just like a flash, she felt hot tears streaming across her face.

‘Mum,it hurts so much. So, so, so much. How did it happen? He did not have an iota of mercy upon me. Mum, he degraded me, downgraded me, belittled me, ripped me off my dignity, made my whole existence a sham, made me experience hell on earth…’ She continued blazing in an ear deafening tone.

The Doctor signalled to the mother to let her be. Perhaps she just wanted to let it all out. She just kept patting her daughter’s back to calm her down as her noise were affecting other patients in the hospital.

The gruesome images flashed through her memory again and this time, the ache on her head was intensified. ‘Mum,I am going to that our house in Lekki’. She said. Her mother looked at her as confusion registered on her face. She looked at her closely again and she saw that she had stopped crying.

‘When?’ She asked again and that jolted her out of her reverie.

‘What are you saying,we don’t have a house in Lekki’. She replied still thinking on how to figure out what suddenly came upon her daughter.

‘Really? I thought we had. But what if our ancestors have an uncompleted building there? You know, we could go there to organise feast for the people there. Let us invite Michael Jackson…’ She continued rambling until her mother realised what was happening.

‘Doctor!!!’ She shouted at the top of her voice and in a few seconds,some nurses surrounded her while some tried to restrain Yewande from standing up from the bed. The ward was in ruckus. They were even oblivious of the presence of the Doctor until he stated in an audible voice that they should move back. With just two nurses holding her, he injected her and almost immediately, she fell asleep.

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