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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Sting Rays Flap Their Wings


       Sting Rays Flap Thier Wings and slice through a spiral whipped ice cream cloud. Casting shadows over soaking wet swift birds, feet deep in a salty sea. Hurriedly, Feeding off pink crayfish, plump and ripe, swimming like the floating fermented split coconuts far from been deshelled. And then, swallowed up by crocodiles missing their snouts, freaks of nature? No, bragging rights to surviving man's fish trap. Marking the end or is it the beginnin The blue skies engulf and encapsulates a tiny miniscule me. Still in shock , still in love. Blind to all your woes, ready, set, go...
    Charged up and burning with desires, I can't wait to go home. I want to just squeeze his hand and kiss it. Yep, I feel special and loved. Call me naive, but a little jealousy rekindles lost hope.
  I bite into the snow white tender succulent part of my lobsters and then sip some lemonade. I kind of want a different taste today, let's blame Beyonce for that.  Although let's not lie, the drink is great for colon cleansing. For now, I'm done with my delicious food. And Celine and her mum's meal is ready, so we need to go home.
 In the car, Mr. H is quiet and I take his hand from the steering wheel and kiss it. He laughs and reversed the car out of the parking lot.
'You like him...'
'Who?', I feigned ignorance.
'Daniel Ojora'
'I like his money more', I add and laughed.
'He's younger...'
'He's a player, calculative and manipulative...'
'Just watch him, his end game won't be good for us...'
'I've limited our meetings to a week.. '
The look Mr. H gives me, makes me cringe in my seat.
'... And that will stop him?'
  Before I could respond, I spot Bala's car driving beside us. Ajoke window's come down and she waves at me.
'I just called Celine and heard what happened. Mr. H good evening oooo'
 Mr. H waves and turns the car into our street. I wave at Bala who looks upset.
Us girls talk and try to catch up, after all we can't say all that transpired in front of Celine.
    As the car parked in our house, Ajoke helps me with the take away packs. I hand an exhausted Celine one and her mum.
Ajoke used wipes on her hands and was eating from the pack my own extra.
Before I could protest, Bala tugs at my hand and I stare at him.
'I will go and get us more, or better still... Let me order for us'
  I shake my head, Ajoke is really milking this pregnancy thing oo. It's not funny anymore. Celine makes a face at Ajoke and we all laugh.
''Abeg leaf me jare, I am hungry'
  We all laugh and after their meal we stare at Celine. She is watching her bruised hands and shaking. Her mum hugs her and she looks up at us. I think she is still in shock.
Ajoke is gagging and I grab the packs and place them all in a waste bag and dump it in the trash can outside.
She is beside me in a second, throwing up in the gutter.
'I can't keep food down and I get so hungry'
She gargled mint mouth wash and Celine joins us.
'Why did you go back to the house?'
Ajoke was visibly upset with her, and you would not believe she was the one that just threw up.
'So, I should just forfeit my car? Eh, just like that? Is it beans?'
'No but, if he had killed you?'
  I had held back for as long as I could and then it came out.
'Did he touch you?'
Ajoke gives me an evil look with her eyes wide open. Celine looks down and cried quietly. The men showed up and Ajoke and I scream.
'We are fine'
Celine's mum too but we signal that she should go back.
'Mummy, she is fine. We will join you'. Ajoke screamed.
 Celine is shaking and I wanted to kill Mathias.
'Did you go to the hospital?'
'I swear to God, he won't get away with it'
I was mad as hell.
'Don't tell anyone', Celine begged us.
'So he will get away with rape?'
  Celine practically covered my mouth and Ajoke clasped both hands over her head.
'Mathias will not be quiet about this...'
'Did he say something?'
  I wanted to lie, wanted to not say anything.
Celine fell to the ground and slapped it hard, repeatedly.
'He wants to crush your spirit, end your relationship...'
Ajoke means well but she was making a bad situation worst.
'Does Mr. H know?'
It was an odd question.
'Does my cousin, know?'
She was crying now, quietly and we try to calm her.
'He's not sure, but....'
'That's why he called the therapist'
  The therapist knocks quietly on the gate and I stare at her and ask.
'Who is it?'
'Uduak, I'm the therapist'
  I look at Celine, who refused to stand up from the floor, she shrugs her shoulders and I let her in.
We all talk about everything but her attack, the therapist was crazy and adventurous. She really had fun as a teenager. Unlike safe, boring teenage me. Then Celine and Uduak realize that they attended the same secondary school. She was a set above Celine and very popular. But something changed and Celine tries to avoid her eyes. I had no idea what was going on.
'You can say it...', Uduak announced.
Celine shakes her head and Ajoke and I get curious.
'I was popular because of my sister Idara'
'She was pretty?' Ajoke asked and I suspect there was more.
'... Very, she was in SS1, in love with Gumi. The hottest, finest boy in her class. They stayed behind to hide and have sex...'
 Celine shakes her head.
'... Celine, you remember the story'
'Yes...', Celine stands up and looks down.
'What happened?', Ajoke could not wait.
'.... They were having sex when prefects, male prefects caught them. They threatened to report them if she didn't allow them join in. She begged them and they got undressed and gave her a choice. Cooperate or get expelled, all seven of them raped her. The boyfriend fought and begged and was threatened. My sister died that day and barely said a word, it was her boyfriend that reported the incident. Watching it all exposed on the assembly floor almost shattered me'
  We were quiet, it was a sad Tale and I think Celine had gisted us about the story before now.
'You've heard the story, right?'
None of us said a word.
'What they didn't tell you is what happened after. My parents could not afford to change our school, so begged the principal to let my sister stay. She refused to go back and tried to kill herself, several times. Eventually, she got counselling years later and now works with an NGO that works with abused women'
'Is she alright now?', Celine asked wiping tears from her face.
'Happy, married with two children'
'I on the other hand had to endure bullying from friends and senior's. Any small thing, they would bring up my sister's rape. Blame and compare me and worse of all. Some of the boys that raped her returned to the school with their father's influence and affluence. One tormented and taunted me all through out my stay in school. He even raped two other junior girls and the school responded by calling all of us girls and blaming us. Saying our clothes should be loose, we should not talk or like boys or walk alone. I had to study and fight hard to learn to not blame myself for every mad man's action'

'My God', I could not believe my ears. So, this is really the complete story behind the school rape story.
    I stare at Celine and realize the impact today could have on her. The societal stigma of rape on victims and their families. I also feel guilty for every recycled rape Gist I have told, beating my own chest and proclaiming I was wiser and smarter for not been a victim.

'Until we fight, these rapists. These verbal and physical abuse, it will go unpunished'
  Celine dusts sand off her hands and dress.
'You are right', she pulls out her phone and starts typing and I get a phone alert. Ajoke too and you would not believe it.
  Celine uploaded pictures of her bruises and been tied up. She added a tagline, feel free to share. She continued to type her story and adds Uduak's sisters story. She shared it to her old schoolmates page and the comments started. The negative comments scared me and I look up at Celine.
'I have done it, I have admitted to been a rape victim and it's time the criminals pay'
 She shared the story on Mathias wall and I stare at my friend.
 Celine is back. We hug her and all walk back into the house. Celine looks at her phone and sighs heavily.
'What is it?'
'My French bobo, he has read my posts'
  The night was intense and we all pledged and joined Uduak's NGO. Hopefully, some good will come out from sharing her story.

    Forgetful me has forgotten all about my school reunion. So much has happened in such a short time. Celine's bobo was understanding, his mum's sister was raped at a rock concert she sneaked out for. And his family support system helped her through her depression state.
Too many rape victims of all sexes need all the support they can get. Thank God for NGO's, shaaaa. The  challenge now is spreading the word about victim support.
   My school reunion was a masked ball theme and I got there early, so I could share flyers for the NGO. Support could be delayed or immediate. The important thing was to get counselling, get help.
'Every school mate had a rape story, personal or retold...'
  I say to the curious crowd flipping through the NGO leaflet's.
"Abeg, how much are they paying you?'
    Caro asked me and I got angry.
'Was it not you that said your uncle molested his neice?'
She almost passed out, I think she forgot she told me the story. Something about the way she behaved made me realize...
'Please, don't tell anyone'
'Have you?'
'I didn't even know I told you'
'Please talk to someone, your pastor, get counseling'
'How, he's a pastor and my husband is the one abusive'
'Look, when you marry eh, we can continue this conversation'
'You know he can kill you?'
'It's not my portion, God forbid'
And she rurned away from me, from her problem, from her reality. It was a sad thing to know that she refuses to leave her abusive relationship. A horrid cycle she was caught in.

  I was bored and all alone in a room filled with my former classmates. The realization hit me hard and i try to rock myself out of boredom. But there was no hiding it. We no longer have anything in common.
''Ade, you came'
   I recognized the voice and hand her a leaflet.
Nnoye is with a man with permed hair and heavy jewelry.
'Meet Volx'
'Wa se re, 'Ade how now?'
 He sounds and looks like a tout, but this was a masked party. So I won't judge, not yet.
'Make I go get drinks, Hennessey'
 Nnoye sits beside me and I smile at her.
'Don't judge ooo, he is the son of the top agbero in the area'
'What about Etim's father?'
'The dollar exchange has made him go back to his first wife and...'
Nnoye looks at Volx.
'I want to marry rich, like you'
  I laughed so hard and wiped tears off my face.
'You are laughing because you are not yet married?'
'Very funny, I am laughing because you said marry rich'
'Do you know the network of millions of pubic buses his father collects from?'
'So you will date an agbero a gangster?'
'Gangster's son, he paid for my two years accommodation, paid for two years professional sewing and opened a sewing shop for me in Alade market. On Allen, for God's sake'
'Him try, but you need to be careful. The underground criminal syndicate...'
'Grammar, I am saying... We can be friends without you worrying about me asking you for money all the time'
'My God, am I such a bad friend. I didn't mean to make you feel that way....'
'I know, your own bobo worked hard for his money... So can't just give you... But mine, easy money, he worked hard to ooo. But there's a difference... See my bag'
    I scrutinize the beautiful Italian leather bag, it was at least one hundred  thousand Naira.
'Inside, I mean'
  The massive bag had cash in it, all old crumpled notes but ironed and stacked. This was another reason to escape from my old friend.
'See her, you are afraid'
'You know, I no get liver'
  We laugh but I could not shake my fear, has my friend not gone from frying pan to fire?
'I will donate to your cause, do they give awards? Will the press be there?'
'It's an NGO'
''Abeg, NGO's too need publicity'
 She was talking too much, bragging about her latest boyfriend and I was getting exhausted.

  Someone placed his hand over my eyes from behind. I did not like people infringing on my personal space. So I quickly removed the soft hands and turned around.
I was expecting Daniel and saw Frank. It was a bit confusing and I stare at him.
'What do you want?'
'To say hi', he smiled.
I hand him leaflet's from the NGO and walk away.
'Why are you still angry at me?'
'What's your problem?'
'If you don't care, you should have no reaction...'
'Just hold ya self, what do you want?'
'To say hi'
He didn't touch me, God saved him because I would have slapped him.
'So it's Daniel now?'
'I saw the pictures of you two in that Morrocan restaurant. So that's your type, now?'
'Frank, mind your business'
'Okay, I'm sorry'
And Frank walks away.
'You should just talk to him',  Nnoye says and bites on a mini bun.
'He really likes you'
'Me and three other's, abegi. Leaf story'
   Frank watched me and I watched him, why was he looking at me? I'm getting impatient and searching for something.
He grabs a bottle of Bailey's Irish cream and raised it. I laugh.
   It's my love for the drink and the wonderful memories I associate with my preferred drink. That put a smile on my face.
'Just one glass?'
He balanced the bottle and two glasses filled with ice cubes.
As the rich creamy drink climbed the ice cubes. I licked my lips and took a sip. Complete heaven.
'So, how are you and Mr. H?'
'And Khadijatu?'
'She misses you'
   In reality, I missed her too but I could not forget. And the only reason I am talking to Frank is because, if I stay angry at him... I am giving him room in my heart. The Bailey's helped shaaaa.
'If you can talk to me...'
'I am only by your side because of my drink'
'I know'
  There was an awkward silence.

'She is here'
'Will you talk to her?'
'Only for today, and that goes for you too. Don't bother saying hi after today'
 Frank nods his head and looks away, he was sad and lonely. All because of his selfishness.
  Khadijatu was in one corner behind the balloons. Frank speaks in her ears and she stands up. Frank helps his pregnant partner up and they watch each other. There was a connection, I never thought they could have. But it was there.
  She sits and I take a sip, she just chews on an ice cube.
'You and Bailey's shaaaa'
'Frank got it for...'
'Actually, I did'
 We did not say anything.
'I miss you'
'You have your family now'
'Sometimes, I dream he loves me..'
'He does...'
'You are the third person saying this'
'At least, he cares..'
'But he is sad at the same time'
    I recognized the tone in her voice, there was Gist. And like old friends, we leaned close as Khadijatu updates me.
'Lara has divorced him'
'It's a lie'
'My boss, your former boss was so pissed. He threatened me at work and got transferred'
'Are you for real?'
'She is planning to marry that pastor that was counseling her'
''Ade, I tell you. Wonders shall never end'
'And I heard Ajoke is pregnant'
'And you?'
'No sex begore marriage'
'It's a lie'
'Sticking to it'
'Marry quick oo. Let our children play....'
  I shake my head and sip my Bailey's.
'Not happening'
'But we are talking...'
'Yes, but that's all. You betrayed me for two years plus. Slept with my fiance and got pregnant for him. You may be easy to talk to, but until I see a camel pass through a needle. We can't be close, ever again'
  Khadijatu sighs hard and takes my hand.
'But you have forgiven me?'
'You two were made for each other, just be sincere about it'
Khadijatu nods her head.
'So, Celine was...'
 I know I blocked her from Facebook, so how did she?
'Someone shared the story'
'She's fine', I hand her a leaflet.
'Enjoy and say hi to your husband for me, I'm going home'

  Sincerely, I have changed. So much deciet and lies have hardened my heart. And I've out grown many friends. I will forever miss my Innocence and my time with my old friends.
   But I cannot dwell in the past, I may revisit it or get a new perspective. As the mask beind each layer of the wooden masks Unfolds.

 Just keep growing my Scrumptious Ade, keep learning too.

So much is about to unfold. I can feel it. And as I step out of the hall, I bump into Daniel.

'I'm so glad I caught you, just before...'
His smile made my heart do a back flip and his aura was enchanting....

**Season 1, Episode 32**
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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow @Busola Elegbede