That night when my mother sauntered in, it was clear there was something about her that was strange. She did not ask me any question apart from trying to find out if my dad was around or had called. I said he had not called, but I was not sure if he was at home already. So we both left the shop and went home. It was getting really dark. My younger brothers had come back from school and were waiting for us. We got home at about 9pm to meet my siblings sleeping on the couch in the sitting room. The television was on and all the lights were on. We were not too sure if dad was back from work.
My mother was rehearsing what she would say if she met dad at home. “Are you sure your dad had not called to ask of me” she asked repeatedly. I said she he had not called. I assured her that he had not returned from work either. The first thing mum did was to scan through the rooms and to be sure dad was not around. “But why did you take so long” I asked my mother. “That is not supposed to be your business” she fired back. I knew from her answer something was wrong.
For me, it was a signal that I could do anything. I had earlier had sex for the first time in my life and that trend was to continue over a period of time leading to series of abortion that almost claimed my life.
By the following week I was back in shop and my new found sex-mate came calling. He came just few minutes after my mother left the shop for her own expedition. I was left alone with the drinks and bottled water. We had a full shop this time around. But my lover boy was not going to buy anything. I had become a free sex object. The following week we had sex twice in the shop. I was becoming addicted to sex. It got to a point that I had to start looking for him and became the one asking for it. By the end of that year I had lost count of the number of times he slept with me. But I never got pregnant. I did not even think of getting pregnant.
That year I did not get admission. I was getting tired of staying at home. But as God would have it I secured admission to read mass communication at a Polytechnic in the south west of Nigeria the following year. It was in the polytechnic that my life was almost becoming a shred. I began on big scale sleeping with all kinds of students. I joined myself with a group of girls who had also perfected the art of illicit sex. All these while, I was not concerned about protecting myself. I was naïve and I thought things would just go on smooth until one Sunday night.
I had just had sex with this man and there and then I began to feel a lot of discomfort. I began to experience extreme itching of my private part and found it difficult to pass out urine later. I shared with one of my friends who took me to a private clinic. The doctor prescribed some drugs. By the time I administered the drugs I was relieved. That emboldened me to go for more illicit sex. My mother and father were quite oblivious of my sex escapades. What was saddening was that my mother also had a retinue of male lovers. She was no longer concentrating on her business as she got free money from these male lovers. It was because of her carefree attitude that led to the death of my brothers. They had come from school and were coming to meet her in the shop. They got to the shop and found out that she had locked the shop and did not leave the keys behind. On their way back home the two of them were knocked down by a careless driver. That accident led to their eventual death in the hospital. If they had survived, the doctors said they would have lived as invalids. But that was it.
I became the only child. My father became so devastated that he never really got over the incident till he too passed on a few years ago. My mother, I wonder the kind of spirit in her. She was worried but she has since moved on. When my father died, her sex life became so wild that we almost became competitors. She did not re-marry but she got pregnant along the way for two different men. I was aware of these pregnancies but she aborted them. She was in her late thirties.
She eventually got to know I was sexually active and was always warning me never to make the mistake of getting pregnant. With all the threat of HIV and all sorts of STD she never protected herself. I was following in her footsteps. I did not protect myself either. By the time I finished my OND programme I had aborted about three pregnancies. One of them a twin. My heart had become hardened. I did not know God though I was a church goer. I thought that was life. My sex life was getting worse by the day. I was getting pregnant and was aborting the pregnancies. In a year I could count about two abortions. I became so adamant that I did not think of using a protective device. I was just ready for the worse.
Life did not really make meaning to me again. I did not care for the souls that were being washed down the drain until I began to have series of nightmares where children were pursuing me. There was a particular night I thought the children were physically in the room. But it was in the dream. They had pursued me to a point that I could no longer run. I found myself in the room and they all surrounded me wielding all kinds of weapon trying to hit me with them but they did not. The harassment became so pronounced that I screamed to life. My mother ran from her room to see me in the dead of the night wondering what was happening.
By the following morning I became so restless. But that did not stop me from having sex with my male friends. By then, I had become a wreck. The status of the man did not matter to me again. I could sleep with any man.
I already had OND in Mass Communication. I secured job with a telecoms company as a marketing personnel and was doing my work and just taking life the way it came. I would go to church but nothing in church made a difference in my life. My urge for sex was not abating. It had become a lifestyle. I probably had sex about three times in a week. After all the exploration I settled with a regular sex partner, a petrol attendant who also had OND.
Things were no longer going on well financially. But I just had to make do with the token salary from the telecoms company. The reality of my age was becoming pronounced. I was almost 30 and this petrol attendant of a lover was not ready to settle down with any woman. After about four years of going out with him I got pregnant again. This time around I was not ready to take chances. I was ready to have the baby. Unfortunately that was about the time I lost my job with the telecoms company. There was no hope in sight. My mother had relocated to a one-room apartment in Bariga, Lagos. My lover boy, the petrol attendant lived in a room apartment. I was hibernating with a friend who was also a marketer with soap company. Things were taking a terrible dimension. I was quick to announce to my lover that I was pregnant and that he should be getting ready to be a father. Upon hearing that I was pregnant he distanced himself from me. He pleaded with me to abort the pregnancy that he was not ready to father a child. The memory of my nightmares suddenly played before me and I said to him that I was no longer ready to take the risk of flushing out a baby.
By this time I was becoming realistic with life. I was getting interested more in the things of God though I had not become a Christian. I was involved in an evangelical church close to where I was living. But my lover boy insisted I should get rid of the pregnancy. He made available N10,000 and asked me to see the doctor and rid myself of the pregnancy. I collected the money and took care of myself. I carried the pregnancy to maturity and went to stay with him when I was sure the delivery date was getting close. I eventually gave birth to a baby girl. There was no complication. He had gone to work when somebody called and told him that I had been delivered of my baby in a private clinic close to his house.
When he heard he had become a father, he refused to come to the house again. My mother came around and we just had to make do with what we had. It was really tough. My lover boy abandoned me and the baby and never returned to the house. But I got to know he was still working at the filling station. By the time the child was six-months, I summoned courage and carried the baby and took her straight to her father at the filling station.
I made a scene that afternoon. I carried the baby and placed her right where her father was dispensing fuel and left the place. A lot of people gathered and were wondering what was going on. They called me I did not answer. I ran away and left the baby at the filling station. The father had no option. He had to pick the baby. He agreed he was the father of the baby when the management of the station asked him if he knew me. He took the baby with the help of a couple of ladies and came back home that night. The owner of the filling station got to know what happened. They invited me the following day and said they will be paying my “husband’s” salary to me every month for one year. And they kept to the promise. His salary was just about N9000 but the owner of the filling station was sympathetic to my situation. He was giving me N15,000 and he did that for one year. Rather than paying my husband he would give me the money. That forced my husband to come back home. By the end of the year, my husband had become sober. His boss called the two of us and counseled us. We eventually agreed to marry and that was it.
Today, I have had to put behind the past and now looking forward to a better future. I eventually became a Christian. I found it difficult to forget my ugly past for a long while. But God is healing me gradually. My baby is just about four years and doing well. My husband eventually got a better job I also got job with a bank and I have since acquired professional certificates that enhanced my position in the bank. To the glory of God things are looking up. But the truth is that not everybody who goes through what I have gone through has the opportunity of surviving it. I only found grace with God.