The room was awfully black and reeked of urine, dirt and smoke. I wasn’t even sure if we were in a room. The corners of the room or hall or cell are curvy with old and dirty paints; the ground dirty and wet. It had very tiny windows and a single make shift door with dainty frames.
My head ached so bad that it felt like the Game of Thrones fight was going on up there. My throat and mouth were so dry and my hands felt numb to the bone; my entire body felt like a metal-rock had rolled on it.
I looked around me and noticed that the other girls were beginning to wake as well. They were clearly in as much pain & agony as i am. I searched for my roommate with my drooping eyelids but she wasn’t here. I tried to speak to the girl nearest to me but no words came out. My eyes asked; where are we? Why are we bruised & dirty? What’s going on? But my lips trembled and shivered from pain than cold.
I hadn’t even noticed the group of men in black uniform standing by the extreme end sharing a blunt. I would have asked for a drag but i couldn’t speak.
When one of them, a tall thin man that is as black as the room or hall or cell noticed we were awakening, he ran outside.
Not quite long, he re-entered with a plump woman and they all gathered round us. We were more than a dozen girls covered in dirt and dried blood.
The woman who seemed to be in charge ordered two of the men to make us stand.
Our legs betrayed us when we tried to stand, they crumpled under us and we fell to the dirty ground. We clearly could not stand. Why? Why were my legs shaky and bloody? Remember. I ordered myself.
“So you boys had your fun, created a problem and then dumped it at my feet, abi?” She glared at each of them with amusement than anger in her eyes.
Why will i ever forget? They raped us all. We were more girls so they took turns in getting a taste of each of us. I felt like throwing up. I winced in pain and rubbed my thighs, my private part hurt like hell. They had beaten us up so we wouldn’t give them a tough time, then one of them suggested they protect themselves with ‘pure water nylon’ because ‘you no know wetin these ashawo carry’. Then they had done their business with each of us over and over again.
I felt my eyes wet and tears began to roll down uncontrollably, I tightened my jaw and nibbled on my bottom lip because I didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention to myself.
“Social Media is on fire and the fire is on us because of this una craze. I no even understand how una go do this kain wahala”, she said in an uncaring tone. I cursed and swore for her in my head. How can she be so uncaring about this, what did we do to deserve this?
” Sorry ma, we just wan teach all these oloshi small lessons”, the tall man that had gone to get her said in a flat voice.
“See wetin your small lesson don do. IGP dey threaten the entire police force to find the men responsible for these, wetin una want may i do now?”, she sighed and adjusted her belt. I curse you, i thought to myself. Do they even have kids? Don’t they have daughters or sisters?
I put my hands over my shirtless chest as one of the men eyed me. Even in the blackness of the room, I could still feel his cold stare on me. Our clothes were all torn up that we were almost naked. I was left with what used to be a jean and torn bra.
One of us wore nothing but bra and g-string, I felt so sorry for her. Most of us weren’t even ashawo or oloshi, we were just at the wrong place at the wrongest time.
My roommate had asked me to join her and some friends at a popular club. I have never clubbed before so i thought it cool to try for the first time. She said i should wear a bum-short with one of her crop tops but i wasn’t comfortable in a bum-short because of my stretch marks; I had settled for a rugged jeans and the crop top.
Soon we were at the club having too much fun, i even got money gifts from rich men for simply dancing on them. I felt like a queen. I, my roommate and two other guys stepped out to take couple of drags before going back in. That was when the police came around. They shot in the air and people ran. I was so scared, a lot of wrong possibilities went through my head; what if i get hit by a stray bullet or i get caught up in the stampede or i get kidnapped? I didn’t even know when my roommate and those guys ran off. It was still funny to me till i got knocked down by a frightful crowd, dragged into the police van, dumped in this room or cell or hall with other confused & frightened girls, beaten and gang raped.
I thought of my mum, that kind woman will think I am in my room reading for my degree exams. She would be somewhere boasting that her Ada is the star of the entire Chibuzor family.
” We just gather this small thing for you, we go still come settle you”, one of the men was saying as he handed a fat envelope to the woman.
“How much dey here?”
“Madam nah just 100kpa wey we collect from those guys we arrest”, the tall one spoke now.
” So police they bribe police?” It was more of an affirmation than it was a question. They laughed and paused for her to speak. She cleared her throat and stepped out to speak to us.
“As una no see any of our faces we no go too worry about person finding out. When day break, some men from the special unit go get anonymous tip say them find una here. Public may know say police arrest una but them no go know who and who”.
She kept on talking about how useless we all were and how much shame we bring to the country(such irony) but by now i wasn’t paying attention anymore. I wanted to scream and shove dirt into her retard mouth. I felt sore and used. Every bone in my body screamed in pain and discomfort. I just wanted to go home. She may think no one will ever find out but she doesn’t know about the small recorder hidden in my pocket.
Written by Okwu Otito Chioma.
From the author: This story is number one from my cruel and unusual collection of short stories. Cruel and unusual is not a series though, it’s just a collection of short stories with cruelty and unusual experiences & personalities as its major theme.
Thanks for reading.
Chioma Otito Okwu, u r such a talented writer, I always enjoy ur stories. keep it up
Thank you so much.