SHARING MY HIDDEN MEMORIES

SHARING MY HIDDEN MEMORIES

Everyone has that story or memory they quietly slide under the pillow at the very thought of it. They may relate objects, behaviors and personalities to it- everything is a reminder. 14th August, 2016 is such a reminder.

I felt cold standing under the rain with no umbrella in my hand. The rain drizzled but I was sure it could turn heavy any moment from that time so I wanted to get home and quickly too.

I saw a keke coming towards me and quickly got in. There were other passengers in it: a male and a female and so I had no reason to suspect anything.

However, as the lady got to her stop, the driver asked me to bring out my change but as I bent to search my bag for it, the man beside me pounced on me and placed a rope around my neck. I was scared, I knew I was in trouble but before I could scream, he covered my mouth with a cloth.

I do not remember what happened after that but I surely must have been taken to their hideout. I woke up still hazy enough to do their bidding. So, they asked me to unlock my phone which I did. I guess that was how they contacted my folks and requested a ransom. They settled for #800,000 but couldnt wait for my family to put it together so they had other plans. I was kept in an abandoned house (there were no furniture, the floor was bare cement, no tiles, rug or carpet, that’s how I knew). They fed me with custard and water which I guess was drugged. I wasn’t allowed to bath or brush my teeth. When I was strong enough to stand or see clearly, I was allowed to pee in a bucket with them watching. It was hell being there, recalling the experience is worse. I was beaten, raped and drugged to sleep.

On the 22nd of August, 8 days after I was kidnapped, they carried me out of their hideout.

The drug I had been given was beginning to wear off, so I woke up in the keke realising that they were transporting me elsewhere. Fortunately, they took a route through the Estate I lived in, when I realised this, I started screaming and calling the names of people I knew on the street.

The guy beside me got angry and started hitting me to stop shouting. I didn’t realise when he placed the rope on my neck again. He punched me and bit me all over. I fought back with the little strength I had and bit him too.

They resorted to using their weapons to scare me and get me quiet but it only got me agitated enough to scream louder. I screamed so much that the guy ended up giving me a cut on my thigh and so I decided to jump out forgetting the rope that was about my neck. I’m sure you know how that went.

The move I made forced people out of their houses and shops because I was being dragged by the moving tricycle (keke) with a noose around my neck. However they pointed their guns to ward off anyone that tried coming to my rescue.  I was choking on the rope,  my legs and torso were rolling on the hard tar.

A vehicle was in front of the keke and the driver was trying to dodge it so he could exit the estate.  The other guy had pulled me in half-way already and I didn’t have any strength left in me by that time. I was like plywood.

 

I scraped my lower back against a car parked in the street as the driver tried to manoeuvre his way over the vehicle in front. The pain caused me to wake up. Thankfully, the car in front hit the keke and the driver lost balance. The keke toppled over, I fell out and it fell on me.

 

The guy holding me found his way out and was about escaping when he was caught. The driver was badly injured. The Estate folks came to my rescue and realized that it was me. They decided to burn the guys.

 

They had poured fuel on them and were about to finish them off when my dad came with SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) to handle the issue.

 

They came to my rescue and I was taken to the hospital. I couldn’t walk for some months because of the back injury. The guys confessed that they were sent to kidnap me but they decided to use me for money rituals so that after the ransom was paid, they’d dump my corpse with my folks to bury. I was being transported to where they planned using my parts for rituals when I was rescued. All this was confirmed during the court case.

 

They mentioned the guy who sent them but he had fled already. The court case was a quick and private one because of the injuries I had sustained.

 

Those were extremely difficult times for me. I was missing school, I couldn’t walk and people began spreading rumours. Some said I had an affair with a man and his wife sent people to kidnap me. Some said I was pregnant for the kidnappers and others said I had AIDS and gonorrhea. The words were more painful than the wounds I had. I went crazy with it all.

 

I was sent to FIDA for counselling and I carried out a lot of tests. Since I was like a crazy person, I was sent to Port Harcourt psychiatric hospital.

 

While in the hospital, the friend I made committed suicide. I couldn’t help being there so I just behaved okay till I was let out.

 

And ever since, I’ve been going through counselling and pulling through. The panic attacks do come and sometimes I break down but I hung on to life and I still hang on.

 

I had attempted suicide before. Twice actually. It’s very painful when you wake up in the hospital. I didn’t want to see my mum’s face if I failed again. While at the psychiatric hospital someone died. I know how I felt. I understood what everyone else would feel. At first I just didn’t want my folks to suffer if I died but I thought about it. I wanted to live too. That’s why I screamed when I could. That’s why I fought and jumped off that Keke. I wanted to get away. I wanted to survive. Why go through all that and just end it?

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