‘‘Welcome dad’’, Nene greeted but got a ‘‘keep your greetings to yourself’’ as response. Nene was the first child of her mum, who is now married to Abel Daniel, a dark skinned man in his late thirties. His job as a security guard on weekends compliments his earnings from being a cobbler during weekdays.

Abel’s marriage to Nene’s mum had been somewhat blissful, well, not until he began to be turned on sexually by Nene’s developing features. Then the pestering began. When all efforts to get into Nene’s pant proved abortive; he resorted to the habit of cooking up lies against poor Nene which were most times occasioned by diverse forms of maltreatment and even denial of food.

Beatrice; Nene’s mum is an average height chubby woman who is in her early thirties. She is a food vendor at the state’s capital city which is just a fifteen minutes’ drive from her house. She gave birth to Nene when she was eighteen to her teenage boyfriend who denied responsibility. She had been taking care of Nene until the arrival of her children with Abel which diverted her priorities towards them.

Nene is a tall, light skinned, good looking girl. Puberty had been kind to her, giving her a full round chest which usually caused a stare. The misunderstanding she had with her mum led to her not supporting education anymore leaving Nene with no choice of sponsoring herself through secondary school. She worked as a waitress at Food Republic and Oh God! She could draw, so she sold her artworks at the eatery. Despite promises of gifts from her male pervert customers she never resorted to advances made by them but worked hard so she could take care of herself and see herself through school. She was not diligent at her place of work but also at school; despite her busy and exhausting schedule still squeezed out time to study, making her top of her class every academic year.

A year later, Nene sat for the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations, (WASSCE) and passed with flying colours. Joy without bounds filled her heart but it didn’t last long. Mr Abel started his persuasion for sex afresh this time with different tactics including promises of gifts and sponsoring her university education which she resisted consistently. Finally, one fateful day he came up with a devious plan to be kind to her; He offered Nene a cold glass of apple juice and a bowl of coconut rice with a big lap of fried chicken. ‘‘This is suspicious’’, Nene thought to herself. She had eaten nothing since morning except a sausage roll and a bottle of coke she had at work. ‘‘Thanks, I am not hungry’’, she said; ‘‘But I want you to eat’’ he insisted. She finally accepted and devoured the food quickly. Unknown to her, the apple juice had a sedative in it and she drank all of it without noticing the slight difference in taste. In no time, she felt weak and drowsy; sleep engulfed her like a helpless animal in a cage that cannot break free. Happy as Mr Abel could be, he hurriedly took off her clothes while she laid on the sofa and wore a condom he had in his pocket, but was confused which part to exploit first. He ended up choosing her full round breasts and had fun with them, with her little nipples in his mouth most of the time. Her temple was next as he gently caressed it. Finally he was in; enjoying the tightness it offered, forward and backward was the motion for the next twenty minutes till his condom was filled. He got his sweaty body off her and carried her naked along with her clothes to her room and hurried back to clean the blood stains before heading to his bathroom to freshen up though he had nothing to fear because her mum and her siblings had gone to the village to see their grandmother.

The morning of the next day, Nene woke up naked, feeling uneasy she touched herself and noticed the difference; but sadly all she could remember was she came back tired, ate and slept off. She went to the bathroom to freshen up and couldn’t help but drown herself in thoughts of why she woke up naked because it was never a habit of her to sleep naked and why she was feeling sore in her privates. She came out, got dressed and checked the time and realized she was already an hour late for daily shift as she hurriedly picked her phone and hand bag and dashed out of the room. She locked the front door as she presumed Mr Abel had gone to his business station. Evening came, her working hours were over, she strolled back home with Abigail, her new friend. Abigail was the newest employee in her work place was unarguably the only one she could relate with since they were both the same age. Nene and Abigail talked about almost everything; their likes, dislikes, families, and all one could ever imagine. ‘‘Dem no reach, with their kpomo leg?’’ Abigail said in a seemingly loud voice when Nene said that Chelsea will win Real Madrid in the Champions League Final that was to be played the next day. ‘‘I’ve been having this strange feeling all day’’ Nene said. She was about continuing, Abigail keened up with eagerness to listen, Nene’s phone rang; ‘‘Come home now!’’ her mum shouted over the phone. ‘‘I am sorry, I have to go, mum just called’’ Nene apologised as she boarded the next available taxi which hurriedly drove her to the house. ‘‘Thank you’’ she said as she handed the taxi driver his fare. She dashed into the house wondering in fear what bad thing she had done. ‘‘Come over here you stupid child’’ her mum roared as she entered the Living room.

‘‘Mummy, you are back? Welcome’’
‘‘Keep your welcome to yourself’’ she replied
Who did you bring home last night? She asked
‘‘No one, I came home alone yesterday ’’ Nene replied
In no time two hot slaps were stylishly placed on her cheeks as she roared further
What is a used condom doing in my living room?
Used condom? Nene asked
“I go reset your brain ooh, sometin dey worry you for head”? She thundered
‘‘Make I do like say nothing happen, but the next time you try am ehn, you go hear am’’ she said.

Lucky Abel stood behind the door the whole time listening to the conversation between the two and waited some minutes before coming in. He went into his room without wasting time and met his wife who narrated the story to him but responded with no words except shaking his head in disapproval. He cut her short by asking if there was food, of which he was served and afterwards slept like a man with no worries.

The normal hustle began the next morning, every man to their respective work stations while the children sat at home since it was the holiday period. Jane being the eldest of the children was given the sceptre of authority for the day. She was to make lunch for herself and her brothers. How hard can preparing a meal of cereal and buttered bread be for a twelve year old?

As fate had it well planned out, Nene came back earlier than usual from work, she had been vomiting at work and she was left with no choice but to excuse herself back home. Could I be pregnant? She thought to herself while walking back home. From the little knowledge she has acquired from Abigail, vomiting was one of the signs; ‘‘but I have not had sex yet’’ she said as she dismissed the thought. She was home; her siblings were fast asleep after long hours of play. Abel dashed into the house few minutes later as she was leaving the kitchen after taking the dosage as prescribed by the man at the patent medicine shop to reduce her stomach upset. ‘‘Come to my room now’’ Abel requested. She got to her room, dropped her bag and hurried off to his room. What is it this time? She thought to herself as she entered his room. ‘‘Come help me look for my glass case, he requested. Nene obeyed as she went to the corner of the room where he carelessly dumps his books. She bent over looking for it carefully until she felt something hard pressed against her buttocks going up and down. She turned around and there was Abel with his third leg so swollen.

What are you doing? Nene asked
Come here, how hard can you be? He asked
What are talking about?
‘‘You know what I mean; I have promised you a helping hand in your university education’’.
‘‘Get away from me you disgusting pig’’ she roared
‘‘Shut up’’, he said as he violently slapped and pushed her on the wall; forcing his hands into her pants amidst her struggles.
‘‘I will shout and wake up the kids’’ she threatened as she forced his hand out which had already gone inside her.

With his erection and sexual desire replacing his brain he raised her skirt, pulled off her underwear and tried forcing himself in as she struggled to fight back. As smart as Abel could be, he heard footsteps approaching the room with shouts of Nene’s name. Abel got up and acted like the victim in the situation; shouting at the top of his voice; ‘‘what is wrong with you Nene? Why must I have sex with you?’’. Nene though dumbfounded at the turn of events quickly picked up her underwear and made her way for the door. Unfortunately, she was stopped by her mother who was already at the door.

What is going on here? Nene’s mum inquired
‘‘You can imagine your daughter, she came in here and tried seducing me.’’ Before Nene could get a chance to say a word, her face was battered with slaps and severe beatings with the shoe her mum wore. ‘‘Mum just let me say something’’ she begged with tears rushing down her eyes, but this rather led to more slaps. ‘‘Honey you can remember I told you that I found a used condom in the living room that day I came back from the village; Nene has started sleeping around’’ her mum said to her husband. ‘‘Now park your things and leave this house immediately’’ her mum thundered. With tears in her eyes, Nene begged for mercy but all her plea fell to deaf ears. With tears in her eyes she went to park her things with the mum’s supervision. ‘‘Mum, just hear me out’’ she kept on crying but the mum was not in the mood for her stories.

Off to Abigail’s house she went, Abigail’s parents let her in. Her parents were eager to hear the full the story and they chose to believe her side of the story. She was served dinner and to Abigail’s room she went to sleep. Morning came and the daily routine continued, Abigail’s parent prepared for work as they followed suit. It was a new moment of bliss as her friend’s parents were so accommodating and treated her like she was their own daughter. The bliss seemed to come to an end as Abigail’s dad started making advances towards her. She resisted at first but the devil’s voice in her head was louder. Regular and spontaneous sex became the new order when she gave in to his advances in exchange for money. Well, everything that has a beginning equally has an end; things went the wrong on that fateful day when they were caught in the act when Abigail’s mum dashed in unannounced to pick up the work files that she forgot.

As cruel as fate could be, she was now a slave to sex and this cost her her accommodation at Abigail’s place and almost tearing her friend’s parents’ marriage apart.

There began life’s struggles. She needed a roof over her head and could not stand the sight of Abigail at work; she had to resign. As months went by, she had used all her savings on house rent and food and was now out. It took her no time to sink into depression and was willing to do anything in a bid to survive. As life presents us with good and bad choice of friends, she too had a fair share. She met Jasmine at an event where they both ushered who quickly replaced that special space Abigail had. They got talking on how life had been unfair to them and Jasmine posed a suggestion of being involved in the runz girl business, she resisted at first but with later reconsideration she accepted.

Business went on well for months, the pay was good she felt bad at first when she started, but then, wetin man go do na? The expensive life was her new trend. Though demoralized was how she felt at times; “wetin my holy holy life bin gimme?” She thought to herself. She never tried reconnecting with her family but she really missed her siblings especially the twin boys and their trouble. Jasmine of late introduced her to another trend which obviously paid higher but worse than the first. ‘‘Do I have to sleep with women, isn’t that what is called lesb…’’ Jasmine cut her short by placing her lips on Nene’s in a passionate though entirely lustful way, in no time they both were neck deep in it; what sounded so bad to her was what she was now enjoying as Jasmine moved her hands all over her, caressing her wet soft beneath with her tongue leaving her with loud moans of ecstasy begging for more. For next thirty minutes all that could be heard were sounds which showcased both pain and pleasure. ‘‘I think I like it better with women’’ Nene confessed ‘‘All men are despicable and useless’’ Jasmine replied. Jasmine recounted her story of how she was always sexually humiliated by her former masters. Jasmine was an orphan girl who roamed the street until she was picked up by a good woman who fed and accommodated her until she was caught having sex with her mistress’ husband who made it a daily routine in exchange for a higher salary and gifts. Like that was not enough, her next masters gave her the same role too. She was now more like a contractual sex worker in disguise as a maid. She got tired and craved for independence as she resigned from her last boss’s place whose whole family had turned her to the family’s sex object without each other finding out.

Two years later, Abigail bumped into her old time bestie, Nene. Nene was looking all good like an oil company staff, Abigail did not look bad herself. She was now in her third year in the University studying Forensic Accounting. Abigail’s face glowed with smiles as she hugged Nene; tears rolled down Nene’s eyes. ‘‘Please lets have lunch’’ Abigail requested. They boarded a taxi and off they went to a restaurant which was not too far from Nene’s residence. ‘‘I live close by’’, Nene said as they alighted the taxi; ‘‘same with me’’, Abigail replied as they both exchanged addresses and contact. They got in and ordered some good food. They got talking on how life had been treating them over the years as they ate. Nene still battling her guilty conscience, apologized for her wrong behavior years back but Abigail kept on reassuring her that things were good between them. Nene opened up to her about her new life which Abigail blatantly condemned asking her to keep her distance from Jasmine; ‘‘She is just a bad company’’ she warned. ‘‘You will be staying with me; I will fix you with a new job while you think of a way forward with your life other than this devilish means of livelihood’’. Nene was once more in good terms with Abigail. She got her a decent well-paying job so to say at a shopping mall not too far from home. She stopped seeing Jasmine though she talked to her too about quitting too; ‘‘wetin you wan make I dey chop na’’ Jasmine asked. ‘‘I will be giving you giving a percentage of my salary’’, Nene promised. ‘‘kpomkpi jare! I go stop when e don do me’’, Jasmine replied. On a fateful day Jasmine called and broke the seemingly good news that she has stopped her old life after having an encounter with a savior she called Jesus and she got a job at a fast food company. ‘‘That’s great news, I think I need that Jesus too’’ Nene said. ‘‘Let me invite you to our evening service tomorrow, you will sure love it’’ she said. Nene though surprised smiled with so much joy in her heart how Jasmine has started a fresh page of her life.

The evening service was awesome; the pastor seemed to be preaching about Nene’s life. Could it be that the one called the Holy Spirit whispered to him about my life? Nene thought to herself.Salvation call was made as Nene and Abigail could not help but hurry down to the front of the church both in tears.

The trio now became one happy family, striving hard to live the new Christian life, oh yeah, they were now so churchy so to say; involved in church activities and volunteer groups despite their busy schedules.

The tough decision came when they decided to do what they were taught in church as restitution. Nene visited her mum as she was in tears of how uncaring and wicked she was as a mother and asked her for forgiveness. Abel got his share of forgiveness as he told the truth. Abigail’s house was next, but the encounter was not a rosy one as her mum requested her out of her house or be carried away by the police. Abigail calmed her mum down and at last she and her husband were both truly forgiven. Nene’s university education was now to be sponsored by both her family and that of Abigail. For Jasmine, God has forgiven her and that is all that matters. There was absolutely no need of tearing families apart.

‘‘I have got good news’’ Abigail announced as the trio sat at a restaurant for lunch. What could it be? They both asked. With a smile on Abigail’s face she announced that a bank and a foreign publishing company jointly organized an art and literary competition and that the prize was huge. ‘‘I have so much faith that you girls will win by God’s grace. Even if you don’t, you have nothing to lose. At least, you tried’’. Okay, we will do it, Nene and Jasmine said almost immediately.

With so much zeal they both worked on their various exhibitions, Nene drew a picture story of her life while Jasmine wrote a story about herself. The long awaited day came as they all got to the venue on time for the announcement of the winners of the competition. The best ten in each category were the only ones invited. Quietly with fingers crossed the trio sat at their seats as the winners were called in ascending order. There was the happiest moment as they both were announced first place winners in both categories. In addition, Nene was offered a part time job in an animation making company that was present at the event aside the prize money of $5,000. Jasmine likewise got the same prize money. In addition she also signed a contract with a movie production company for her story to be acted as a movie. Nene held the dummy cheque and couldn’t help but to shed tears of joy.

33410cookie-checkStolen Happiness: A journey that never began
Abiyah Daniel

Abiyah Daniel is a human who seeks every opportunity to improve the writing skills gifted with. I am not perfect sha, when I am close to it you sef go know.

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