Please enjoy the concluding part of the intriguing story we started last week.
“Young lady, I am still waiting for you. This is your second pregnancy outside wedlock. You must tell me who is responsible for this pregnancy or I will kill you with my bare hands,” I threatened. But she was still un-yielding. However, when I threatened to beat the pregnancy out of her and also put ground dry pepper into her private part, she promised to give me the answers. “Please, mama don’t do it. I will tell you who is respon-sible,” Eno pleaded.
“I dey wait for you. Who give you belly?”, If you tell me who this man is, we will just go and meet his family. Is he also Victor’s father?” I asked. “Yes, mama, Victor’s father is also responsible for this pregnancy,” she cried. “So tell me who this man is so that we can sort things out with him and his family,” I urged her. I was speechless when she started her story. “Mama, the truth is that (she sobbed) papa is the man responsible,” she revealed. “Eno, which papa are you talking about?” I asked. “My father, your husband, Edet, is responsible.
He is also the father of Victor,” she wept. With tears in my eyes and a shaky voice, I managed to ask, “Eno, was it also your father who deflowered you?” Avoiding eye contact with me, Eno slowly nodded, yes. Tears kept dripping down my eyes. I tried so hard to pretend not to hear the shocking revelation she just made because it was very hard to believe.
Immediately, I lost balance and found myself on the floor. Still trying to comprehend what she just said, I managed to ask her when and how it all started and why she refused to tell me when her own father started sleeping with her and why she also protected him the first time she got pregnant. She said: “Mama when I start my story you will understand.”
Narrating, her story, Eno said, “Mama it all started when grandma was sick and you had to travel to the village to spend some days with her. That was in early 2009, I hope you still remember? I had just come out of the bathroom into the room when I heard papa shout my name from the sitting room. Although, I was still wrapped in my towel, I quickly rushed to meet him. It was not the first time he was seeing me wrapped in towel. However, the moment he saw me, I could still picture the look on his face,.
He was looking at me lustfully. “Father I am here, what do you want?” I asked. “Where are your siblings?” he asked. “They all stepped out, maybe to play with their friends,” I replied. “I want you to serve my food. But, I will wait until you are dressed,” he said. I told him if he was very hungry I could hurriedly serve the food before getting dressed.
He agreed. I rushed to the kitchen, quickly warmed, dished out and served the food before heading back to the room.It was hot afternoon so I opened wide the room window, lying down almost naked and half asleep when my father came in without knocking. I felt someone just entered into the room so I quickly opened my eyes and saw papa.
“Papa you didn’t even knock before coming in; this is the ladies’ room, remember?” I reminded him. “I know dear. But this is my house too. I go enter into any of the rooms whenever I feel like”, he said smiling. “You have a lovely body, my dear so tell me who that boy that has been touch-ing you is?” he asked. I felt so ashamed and embar-rassed that this was coming from my father. “Papa, no boy has touched me. I don’t even have a boyfriend,” I retorted. He told me that was good. He started caressing my body. I pushed him away. He apologised and left the room.
Two days later, he called me into his room and started caressing and kissing me. I struggled but he told me he wants to make me a woman. He deflowered and cleaned me up. Daddy told me I was his favourite child and he loves me so much. He promised to take good care of me and also give me whatever I asked of him as long as I do not tell anyone else.
Two weeks later, he made love to me. That was when I got pregnant. The truth is I did not know I was pregnant. He saw me vomit-ing one morning and asked what was wrong with me. I said I didn’t know.
He took me to a hospital, not the family hospital. The doctor confirmed I was pregnant. He wanted me to have an abortion. I told him I was scared. Daddy made me swear that if I must keep the pregnancy I must not reveal who the father of the child was. He threatened that if I should do that he would deny it or even kill me. He, however, promised to protect me.
That was why I refused to say anything. Remember when you pleaded with Papa to talk to me about the man responsible for the pregnancy and I had a walk with him? That night he counselled me to stand my ground and not say any-thing because he was going to defend and protect me. I am sorry mama.” “So, how come you got pregnant for your father again?
This abomination is just too much? Eno, what did he promise you this time around? I squealed. Eno went down on her knees and said, “After I got pregnant with Victor, he did not touch me again. But once in a while, he kissed me. I swear mama, he did not promise me anything. When I went to see papa in his office in November to collect the money you asked him for, he slept with me again.
When I entered into his office, he locked the door and made love to me. He warned me not to tell anyone. He promised to give me enough money for Christmas, which he actually did.
I did not know I was pregnant again mama. Please, forgive me, I am sorry,” she pleaded.I told her everything will be alright; however, she should pretend we never had this discussion because I really need to think about how to handle the situation. “Eno, do not discuss this with anybody not even your father,” I warned. She promised me and left the room.
About an hour later, Edet and the children arrived. I told him I needed to dash out and see a few friends. I had to involve his family because the shame was too much. So, I headed straight to his uncles and reported the matter. They were as shocked as I was after I narrated the whole story.
They called Edet three days later and ques-tioned him about what I told them. He did not deny the accusation. He told the elders that he loved Eno so much that he would not be able to see her with any man. That was why he got her pregnant.
“Do you know that she is pregnant again?” asked one of the elders. “No, I don’t know because she never told me. But if she is, then, that is good news,” he revealed. Everyone was dumbfounded by his revelation. They told him that he had committed an abomination and there were dire consequences for this.“Elders, what do we do about the pregnancy?” I asked. “You must summon your daughter here now. I order you to send words to her immediately with her son, Victor,” said an elder.
I rushed home to fetch Eno. We went back to meet the elders. They told her she was going to perform some sacrifices along with her father to cleanse the family from future disaster. We all agreed and the sacrifice was performed three days later. Two days after, Eno was again summoned to meet the elders.
When we got there, I was surprised at the judgment they passed on my daughter. They told her she had been ex-communicated from our family and village. “When you are leaving, don’t forget to go with your son, Victor because he is no longer welcomed in our family. As far as we are concerned he is a bastard.
You should also know that you may lose the pregnancy but if you don’t, and eventually give birth, the child will be an imbecile. We don’t ever want to see you again. Even when you die, your corpse must not be brought to our family or village,” declared elder Asuquo.
How could they be this cruel? They left Edet, her father and my husband who brought the disgrace and shame upon everyone a free man. How can a father impregnate his own daughter? Why should Edet be a free man while my daughter is punished for life? Should she be the one to blame? Was their verdict justified?
I sent her to my par-ents’ village but she was also chased out by the villagers and called bad luck. My husband’s family warned me that if I go with Eno, I should not bother coming back because I would be labelled an outcast too. I know my daughter needs me right now because I can feel it? What do I do?