Good morning.

Hope we had a good weekend cos I sure did.

This here is Dunni’s Purge. A realistic piece that goes to confirm that trust is really a box of chocolate and you never know what you’ll get.

Please send your entries to loonpurge@gmail.com

Hola me on twitter @sunkit1

dunnie

Sacrifice

I was doing the dishes when my mum announced, “Feyi, you know you’ll be going to the university in few months’ time and I’ll need someone to assist me around the house so I employed a house help.”

“Okay. Male or female?” I asked, trying to sound indifferent.

“Male. He’s arriving next week from Togo.”

“Ugh, Mum! You know I don’t feel comfortable around male house helps. Moreover, how are you going to deal with the language barrier? Both of us can’t speak French fluently.

“See, we are in the twenty-first century”, she informed me, as if I’d just stepped out of a time machine. “Not many people are willing to be menials anymore so I can only take what I get.”

“Yeah, and luckily, it happened to be a boy,” I retorted

She sighed exaggeratedly. “Honey, the thing is I don’t trust the female ones. They’re so naive and gullible. Remember that girl that lived with us when you were ten? I never told you why I sent her away she got impregnated by the barber that works in the next street. I don’t want history to repeat itself. Moreover, boys are more hardworking. Oh, and about the language thing, the woman that helped me get him said he can speak little English.”

He arrived the following week. I had just returned from a friend’s house, when I saw him sitting in the parlour, with a ‘ghana-must-go’ bag on the floor beside him. He was wearing a white robe, like an angel bringing good tidings to my family. He was swarthy and seemed to be of average height.

“Hello, you must be the new house boy.” I said, forcing a smile.

He nodded. I decided to switch to French.

“Comment t’appelles tu?”

“Placide. Je m’appelle Placide.” His face lit up immediately. “You talk French?”

“Um, yeah, I speak little French.” I was about to mount the stairs when an idea occurred to me. “Hey, let’s make a deal. I’ll teach you English, you’ll teach me French.” He nodded his head obligingly, smiling faintly.

Placide behaved like his name. He was placid and meek. He was very diligent and got a hang of things pretty quickly. He took initiative and didn’t have to wait for orders before knowing what to do. My father was usually apathetic to every helper my mum employs but when Placide returned the three thousand naira he had found in the pocket of my dad’s jeans when he was about to wash them, my dad took a liking to him. Honest helpers are as rare as real diamonds.

I kept my word. My mother had neatly stacked my primary and secondary school textbooks in the bookshelf in my room, so I fished out the ones for English and French. He possessed an enviable alacrity and aptitude for learning, which helped him master the English language faster than it took me to master French.

The apprehension I had earlier concerning him quickly vanished, and a bond began to form between us. I became comfortable around him, and would converse freely with him whenever we happened to be together.

“Placide, you seem really clever and dexterous. Why aren’t you in school?” I asked one day, when we were cleaning up the kitchen.

He sighed, “I dropped out of secondary school when I was about to enter the final year. My parents got involved in a car accident few days before school was to resume. My father lost his life, while my mother couldn’t walk anymore. We exhausted all the money we had for her surgery and wheelchair. I couldn’t continue my education.”

“I’m so sorry. But don’t you have siblings or relatives that can be of help?”

He shook his head. “I have an elder brother but he doesn’t live with us. He’s very selfish. He works in a business firm but never bothers to send money home.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. I’ve been doing odd jobs since then, so that I can save up enough money. I’ll send some to my mother− my aunt takes care of her presently– and I’ll use the rest to further my education.”

“That’s good. What do you want to study?”

“Computer Engineering. That had always been my dad’s dream for me.” His voice sounded husky, as if he was crying, but he was doing the dishes so I couldn’t see his face. I walked over to him and hugged him from behind, not knowing what else to say. Comforting people was not my forte.

Days turned into weeks, and then months. My mother successfully persuaded Placide not to return home at the end of the year as he was now part of our family. He celebrated New Year’s Day with us.

The first week of that year was very tiring for me. Due to the previous strike ASUU embarked on, the University of Ibadan ended up starting a new session in January, instead of September. I was to leave the following week, so I was busy buying all the necessary items and packing for school. Placide was somber through out that week, and I had to promise to call him often just to put a smile on his face.

Ziiiip

The sound of a zip being drawn down stirred me one night. I could feel a movement on my legs. Something was tugging at my underwear. “Oh my God, a rat,” I thought. I started and fully opened my groggy eyes only to see Placide over me. He was half-naked, clad in blue-checked boxer shorts, and was looking downwards into my skirt as if he was searching for a treasure between my thighs.

I was bewildered. Why was I still in my clothes and not my night wear? Why was Placide on my body? And then everything started falling into place. I had got back home late the day before. Out of fatigue, I had slept off, forgetting to take my shower and change into my nightwear. I hadn’t bothered to lock my door. My parents had mentioned that they would be attending a vigil that night. Placide had surreptitiously entered…

“Oh my God. What are you doing?” I cried

He looked up at me and blinked, as if he had just had an epiphany. “I…I, um, came to get something.”

“On my body? Jesus. Just get off me and get out!” I said, tears already streaming down my face.

“Feyi, please stop crying. I’m very sorry.”

I looked around me, and picked up the glass lamp, that was on my bedside table. “I swear I’ll break your head if you don’t leave my room this minute.”

He scrambled off. I hurriedly locked my door, and turned my back towards it as I slid to the floor. The tears gushed down in full force at that moment. My mind was whirling with agonizing emotions− Anger. Disappointment. Shock.

The person who I called my brother had tried to… what was the appropriate word for his action? Indecent assault? Attempted rape?

After all the love my family had shown him, he had chosen to repay us with evil.

What exactly did he expect? That I’d not wake up while he tried to sleep with me? Or I’d wake up and give him a go-ahead? Or maybe he was sleep-walking. The more thought I gave his action, the more obfuscated my mind became. I always made sure I was dressed decently at home so as not to seduce him. I could not remember ever giving him the impression that I was attracted to him. He always called me his sister so I never had the slightest idea of him being attracted to me.

I was angry at myself.  My usually keen instincts had failed me. No warning alarm had gone off in my head. I had let my guard down.

I got up from the floor, and got onto my bed. A green wristband beside my pillow caught my attention. It had the letters WWJD imprinted on it. I sighed. I had no idea what Jesus would do, but I knew how he would feel.

Jesus, this is how you felt when Judas betrayed you, right? The difference is that you’d seen it coming. I hadn’t.

I was in a quagmire. Was I supposed to tell my parents or pretend like nothing ever happened?

Hypnos emancipated me from my thoughts, as he cast me into a deep sleep while Morpheus formed dreams of half-naked men in blue-checked boxer shorts.

I opened my eyes, looking into the worried eyes of my mother. “Feyi, are you okay? It’s noon and you’re still asleep. Or did you observe your own vigil at home?” My mother was like that– always trying to joke even when she was worried. I smiled faintly.

“Seriously, are you okay? Your dad and Placide are really worried about you.”

The events that had occurred in the early hours of the morning flashed across my brain. In that moment of truth, I made a decision that seemed to border on folly. I decided not to inform my parents or anyone at all. It would break their hearts, and my father would definitely send him away. I knew how much they needed him. My mother needed him to help her around the house. My father had taken him as the son he never had. I remembered when they’d play table tennis together and discuss sports for hours. I thought of Placide’s mother in the wheelchair. I thought of his late father and his hopes for his son. He needed this job.

I knew that reporting his actions would not take the pain away. Instead, it would cause more pain for everyone involved. He had not actually defiled me. And I was leaving for school in few days so the opportunity would never arise again. I would suffer in silence, I would endure the pain. Time would heal my hurts and perhaps enable me to trust again. It was better for my parents to dwell in blissful ignorance. It was what I thought Jesus would do he would sacrifice himself for the joy of others’.

I smiled at my mum and said, “I’m fine.”

Placide has returned to his country. The world can finally hear my story.

Oluwadunni is an 100 level Law student of OAU. She is a PhlegMel who hopes her laziness will not hinder her from being a great writer. She only gets enthusiastic about the Word of God, good books, like-minded people and fine guys. She blogs at dunnidoxa.wordpress.com and is @I_am_doxa on twitter.”

Advertisements