|In My Days Of Crisis
Akanihu C. Wilson
2002 by Akanihu C. Wilson
This story centres on the devastating effects resulting from ignoring the services of a medical expertise; coupled with the psychological trauma arising from the fears of the unknown. A non-fiction written by the author himself, the story ventures into the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship characterised by premarital sex and ungodliness. Nevertheless, sending a message of precaution to careless youths, and leaving in the minds of it’s readers, a reason to say" "Thank God".
Just being free from an unproductive relationship with a young girl called Esther, I decided not to be involved in any other relationship until after my university education. My relationship with Esther had lasted for close to sixteen months. But during that time, it was from one level of misunderstanding to another. I therefore decided to concentrate on my education and a little bit of part time business. Perhaps, in my village, which were a rural community, and only about twenty kilometres from my school [In the Eastern part of the country]. And so, I shuttled between my school and my village most times, trying to establish a little business where I could have access to little funds. At last, I opened a business in the village. It was a viewing center, where young people gathered together to watch movies and have fun. It was a welcomed idea by the village youths; because the village had suffered lack of electricity for a long while, and this gave the people the opportunity to get to know about the current local movies available.
I started frequenting the village almost on a daily basis. And soon after, I became very popular within the community. I was born and raised in an urban area in the western part of the country, and only came to the village on very few occasions. However, the business brought me very close to the villagers, especially the youths. Most people wanted me around so that they could watch the latest movies I brought. At the same time, I was also very happy to see that somehow I was of a contributor to the development of the community.
As seasons came and went, people started drawing close to me so as to be associated to an achiever. Indeed a young achiever. Very noticeable, was the rate at which young ladies flocked around trying to get my attention. At the same time, I was very cautious about the kinds of ladies I spoke to within the village. This strategy helped me for quite some time until I met this girl called Chioma. Chioma was from Owerri in Imo state, but lived in my community where she was taking care of an old woman and at the same time, schooling. She was a very beautiful girl, was fair in complexion, about five feet tall, and also sixteen years of age. She had a little gap in between her front teeth that distinguished her. Her smiles alone were capable of restoring joy to the heart of a bitter mind. Unlike most of the village girls who were so dirty, Chioma was exceptionally unique. She was always neat and paid very much attention to her dressings. Whenever she passed around anyone, the fragrance from her skin was very inviting and tempting. And like a charmed lion, I found myself always wanting to be around her. She too, wanted to be around a guy that had gained much fame and respect within the community.
In no much time, we entered into a serious relationship, as against my previous desires. This new relationship appeared very bright and promising. Chioma showered me with love of all sorts. She made sure my dirty clothes were always washed, cleaned my room regularly, and off course, prepared nice dishes for me. Infact she performed the role of a wife. On my part, I felt I could not do without Chioma. It appeared as if she was part of my life. I made sure she never lacked anything, and also urged her to keep turning me on with her romantic smiles.
Trouble started knocking at the door when I discovered that I had started missing lectures just to stay with my golden princess. Chioma had just finished her junior secondary school examination, and was always at home. When we were together alone, we practised all styles of illicit sex; not mindful of the aftermath of such actions. This practise of illicit sex later became a daily affair. It reached a stage whereby she started spending most nights in my room, and giving little attention to the old woman she was supposed to be taking care of.
Furthermore, I started noticing a rapid decline in my spiritual life. I was a born again Christian, serving in the choir department and at the same time, a praise minister. But during this time, I noticed I rarely attended Sunday services; perpetually missing choir rehearsals and also turning down invitations to minister in praise. My local pastor in school observed my strange behaviours, but gave him excuses for all my actions. At this point, I knew I was heading for an unknown calamity, which would just take only time to unveil. The best option I had in mind was to put an abrupt end to the relationship. Nevertheless, this would not be an easy task to undertake. I first of all tried to discourage Chioma from visiting me, but this fell on deaf ears. Instead, she persisted in her visits. I therefore appeared obvious that she couldn’t let go of me so easily. At times, when I spend more than a night outside the village, she becomes worried and nervous.
In no soon time, neighbours began complaining about Chioma’s attitude towards the old woman she was taking care of. She never properly attended to the demands of the old woman; and this was because she was rarely around to meet the needs of the old woman. Instead, she spent most of her time in my room. The neighbours threatened to report Chioma’s new attitude to her aunty, who visited the village every last Saturday of every month. At first, Chioma was not bothered about their threats, but as the days passed she began to understand the implications of what threats meant if it eventually gets to the ears of her aunty. Surely, her aunty would also inform her mum about it, and this meant unending torture for her. Chioma feared her mum so much. She often told me of how harsh her mum could be. And so she prayed her aunt never returned that month.
I immediately left for school the following day, and returned three days later only to see Chioma in an unusual manner. Her charming smiles were no more there. Rather, she frowned at everyone, including me. I at first wondered what the matter was, until I investigated and found out that her aunty was around at the moment. However, her aunty left later that day. Chioma came to my room some few minutes after her aunty left with tears all over her eyes. I did not need to be told the story. I knew the neighbours had reported the case to her aunty. At this juncture, I knew the game was almost up. Chioma worsened the situation when she told me she had not seen her menstrual period some few days after the expected date in the month.
For a few minutes I was silent, but later on I advised her to go for a check up in a maternity hospital the following day. I pondered over the matter all through that night. If Chioma was pregnant, it meant doom for me. "Was I ready for the pregnancy"? "Can I take care of a mother and a baby at this stage of my life"? All these questions passed through my mind. My parents were going to surely deal with me if they eventually found out. Abortion also, was against my Christian faith. Moreover, Chioma had just resumed school and was about to take her exams. I prayed it was not true. But what else could I do. It was the prize I had to pay for my lust and fornication. I wished it never happened; but at that time, it appeared too late.
The following day, Chioma returned from the maternity hospital, and told me the doctor confirmed she had ring worm which might have been the cause of the delay in her menstrual cycle. However, she was told to repeat the visit in seven days times for proper verifications. The news was appealing to me, but Chioma was not at rest. She pressurized my to do something about her condition. I responded by promising to take her for a laboratory test the following week. But she did not want to wait till then. Instead, she wanted an abortion pill to doubt all her fears. Bowing to her pressures, I consulted a guy in the village whom I suspected knew how to handle issues of this kind. And he promised giving me a drug for the sum of $10. But this kind of drug was a native drug made out of a tree called Wonderful Cola. It was round in shape, dark in colour, and very small in size. I have never seen such kind of a drug before. But because I was so eager to please the mind of Chioma, I took the drug without asking many questions. He assured me of the efficacy of the drug, and also showed me the method of administration. The drug was supposed to be passed through the vagina and covered with a pad. This sounded awful; but because of the quest to doubt all fear, I was left with no other choice than to do as I was told.
That night Chioma was ready for the event. And so I administer the drug to her just the way I was told; although with fears all over me. That night also I closed down the little business I opened in the village, and dismissed all my workers. Just in case the drug had any complex side effect on her. The next day, she ran to my room complaining about how strange she was feeling under her abdomen. However, I tried to calm her down, and laying emphasis on her to eat very well. Soon after some minutes, I took my bags and left the village premises to Abuja. I made up my mind to remain in Abuja till I was sure her condition was not going to turn into something worse. But sometimes, after three days, I returned back to the village, because of an unusual arrest I was having within me.
On reaching the village, I dropped my bag in my room and headed towards Chioma’s house. But before reaching there, I was intercepted by the guy who sold the drug to me who told me that Chioma was very close to death. On hearing this news, I rushed back to room waiting to get more details. I tried speaking to an aunty around who was also close to Chioma, but instead, she ravished insults on me, expressing her disappointments in me for taking a careless decision like that without consulting a medical expertise. I couldn’t understand how my aunty knew I was responsible for Chioma’s condition; Because Chioma and I wanted to make it secret. It was later I was told that when the elders of the community noticed Chioma’s deplorable condition, they confronted her and she attributed it to the nurse who she claimed was treating her. When the elders confronted the nurse, on the kind of drugs she was administering to Chioma, the story entered a new phase.
The nurse reacted immediately by unveiling the unveiled. She told the elders that Chioma visited the hospital for a check up, and it was confirmed that she was two months pregnant. The nurse also said she warned her against any sort of abortion; because it might lead to her death. The elders returned back immediately to Chioma, and in the process, she revealed to them that I was indeed the cause of her present condition. On hearing this latest development, I knew I had come to my dooom. "Did it mean that Chioma lied to me"? I asked my self. I made up my mind to see Chioma that night, not withstand the cost. In the long run, I made my way into Chioma’s room later that night, and the sight I saw was unbelievable. She could hardly say a word. She could not even stand on her feet alone. I then immediately left.
At this time, the news had broken out to almost every one in the community. I couldn’t believe all things were happening to me. ‘How do I handle the case from here’? I asked myself. If my parents heard about it, it means my education would be in jeopardy. Also if it gets the ears of the Law Enforcement Agency it means I could find myself in prison; because abortion had not been legalized in Nigeria. I thought all through the night on the most suitable decision to take. Nevertheless, I kept on praying for God’s intervention. The next day, I was told Chioma would be taken to her home states (Imo State) to receive proper medical attention. And coincidentally, that was where her family members all lived. It was too obvious, that what was initially supposed to be kept secret between us, would eventually be made open to all and sundry. That meant a big blow on my family and me. I tried very much to hide the situation from my parents, at least until I was fully sure of her full recovery. Meanwhile, I kept monitoring the situation in the village, to know the latest about Chioma’s condition.
Exactly three day, there was a knock on the door of my room in the village. And fortunately, I just arrived the village from school. It was an uncle from Imo state. Somehow also, he had a relationship with Chioma’s family. He had come to find out the king of drug I administered to her, because of the devastating effects it had on her. He also came to surreptitiously take me to Imo State. Telling me it was only to come and see the girl in the hospital. Being aware of his plot, I tried inquiring from him about the exact condition of Chioma. And in response, he told me that a scan was conducted immediately she arrived Imo State, and it was discovered that she aborted a pregnancy. The scan also revealed that her system was rotten. He went on to tell me that the doctor insisted that I should be arrested before further treatment is given to her. Although not having nay knowledge of medicine, I knew the situation had left a critical stage, and entered an alarming stage, which would require God himself to restore. Knowing fully well that if Chioma became disabling I would be forced to marry her or to perform the marriage rites because this was the normal practice in East.
Left in the mist of despair, and surrounded by the clouds of uncertainty, I decided to be out of sight for about three days. On the third day, I appeared in the village, and met a different atmosphere. My Aunty rushed to meet me and told me to immediately leave the village because of the kind of rumour she was hearing. The rumour was that Chioma had died. The information shattered my at first. But after analysing the information close, I was convinced it was a mere rumour. Being fully aware that my village was a place were rumour was easily carried without minding the effect, and also considering the fact that if she was truly dead, various arrests would have been made.
Notwithstanding, I continued in my own investigations. But I was very sensitive to places I went to, those around me, and people I talked to. I consulted an uncle for help. And he promised to stand by me all through the crisis period. He also volunteered to go to Imo and confirm for himself about Chioma's state. This time, the crisis had become too much for me to handle alone; so I had to run off to my pastor’s place to explain to him what was happening. His name was Pastor Sabastine, and he was always ready to listen to youths with problems. After explaining things to him, he felt worried, but expressed optimism that all was going to turn out well. However, he also scolded me for such a terrible act. At the same time, he also urged me to get back to the village and find out the feedback from my uncle before taking any further actions. The next day, I was set to go to the village. But this time, with an extreme high level of security consciousness. I was surrounded by fears from every corner. But determinism was brought into play. I met my uncle who had just return back from Imo State. He told me he was restricted from seeing Chioma by her guardian because of security reasons. Perhaps Chioma’s family might get him arrested if they found out he was my direct uncle. But however, Chioma was responding to treatments as confirmed by her guardian.
With a little faith in me, I made up my mind to go to Lagos State to attend a Christian program. It was annually organised by the Living Faith Bible church and the program was tagged ‘Shiloh". I also wanted to use the opportunity to see my mum and find out if she had heard about the current situation. She lived and worked in Lagos. And so, off I went to Lagos. On reaching my home in Lagos, I tried to study the reaction of my mum. She was a disciplinarian and a teacher by training. And therefore would immediately spank me if she had heard a prior information about what I was going through in the village. But surprisingly, she was so happy to see me. And so by her attitude towards me, I knew she had heard nothing yet. However, one thing that really scared me was that she was going to the East the next week for a burial ceremony. Perhaps, she might get to hear what I was trying to hide. Meanwhile, my Dad lived and worked in Abuja, and so I was confident information would not reach him soon except through my mum. I therefore entered into series of prayers seeking for God’s intervention in saving me from the unknown. The Christian programme was a success. I confessed all my sins to God and promised Him never to take such risk anymore. And so at the end of the programme, I decided to go to Abuja to take some time off; being fully convinced that God had intervened. All these while, I had missed most lectures in school. But all these did not matter to me at the moment. What was important was just God’s intervention.
On arriving Abuja, I noticed an unusual reaction on my Dad’s face with he saw me. I was also surprised to see my mum in Abuja as against previous arrangements. There was no doubt the news had reached their ears. It was only a matter of waiting to hear their reactions. I then went straight to my room scheming out the next line of action to be taken if confronted by my parents. And in no short time, my Dad called ‘Gozie’, ‘yes Dad’, I replied in fear. Fully aware of the unknown information I guess he must have received from my Mum who just returned from the East. In the fear and trembling, I walked into the sitting room where my parents were; and with an angry voice, my Dad asked "Why are you bringing shame to this Home"? In trying to respond to his question, my Mum immediately stood up and spanked my, threatening to make life uncomfortable for me if I am found guilty. Evaluating the gravity of my Dad’s anger, and the fearful words that proceeded out of the mouth of my Mum, I was left with no other better option known to me than to run away from home to a place where I was sure my parents couldn’t locate me and returning perhaps, after two weeks when I must have been sure that the crisis at home might have reduced.
So I went back to my room, picked up my bag, and took my leave to the house of Sunday Adebisi; an old time secondary school mate who lived about 60 km away from Abuja city. He had been a friend and was well known by my parents. I explained the whole event that had taken place, including how I have decided to stay away from home for a while, and he promised to give my shelter on the condition that I would go back home later and apologize to me parents for my gross misconduct. Agreeing to his terms, I remained in his house for two complete weeks. But within that period, I was always informed about the situation at home. News kept reaching me through Sunday my friend whom I sent to act as an information agent. My parent could not suspect I was hiding in his house because he acted as if he did not know what was happening.
During the two weeks of my disappearance from home, my parents were faced with two complex problems. Either to look for their lost son or go to the East and resolve the pandemonium I had caused. My Mum was insisting on searching first for me. But because of the consistent pressure that was mounted on my Dad by Chioma’s family, my Dad decided that Chioma’s condition should be first attended to. On reaching to hospital were Chioma was admitted in Imo State, my parents found out that she had fully recovered except that she had lost a lot of weight because of the condition she was under. Thanking God for first and foremost saving the life of Chioma, my parents then asked Chioma’s parents how they wanted to settle issues. Chioma’s parents not wanting to further the problems requested that my family pays the sum of $5,000 as a way of compensating them for all the troubles they went through including the hospital bills. Five thousand dollars was a lot of money for my family. Infact, it was half of my Dad’s annual salary. But my Dad not ready for any form of dialogue, handed over the cheque of $5,000 to Chioma’s parents, at the same time assuring my Mum that he was going to withdraw every financial support he usually gave me. This meant no more school fees, feeding allowances, etc for me. However, my Mum was more concerned about her missing son.
On returning back to Abuja, there was no trace of my presence (This was just seven days after my disappearance). At this point, my parents had no other alternative than to report to the police about my disappearance. All efforts made by my parents to find me, was to no avail. And immediately after two weeks of my disappearance, I returned home. On returning home, I observed that there was no one at home. I therefore decided to wait inside the compound. And after about twenty minutes, my Dad drove in together with my Mum and my two elder brothers. Aware of the fact that I had caused the family a lot of problems and sleepless night I busted out in tears as I saw my parents. But my Dad, not wanting to look at my tears, came out of the car and acted as if he wanted to devour me. Gripped with fear the shock, I suddenly collapsed. On opening my eyes, I found my self on a hospital bed; surrounded by my family members and a doctor. ‘You have been here for 18 hours’ the doctor said. Not knowing what to respond to him, I just kept quite and looked into my Mum’s eyes. It appeared she had been praying ever since. She suddenly held my hand and promised everything was going to be all right.
The next day, I was discharged from the hospital, and taken home by my Dad himself. To my greatest surprise, I was given a warm welcome when I arrived home by my family members. It was as if all the troubles I caused them had been forgotten. Nevertheless, I remained in my room all through the day. And later that evening, I went straight to the sitting room where my parents and my brothers were all watching the television. I knelt down on my knees and with tears running down my cheeks, I said "Dad, Mum, Henry, Kingsley, I am sorry for all the shame and troubles I brought to this family. I assure you all that I will make this family proud someday". After this statement, my parents and brothers stood up, hugged me, and also promised never to deny me of their love and support each time if is needed.
Akanihu C. Wilson
is a second year student at the Abia State University in Nigeria West Africa,
where he is currently studying Government and Public Administration. He
hails from Umuobiala Isuikwuato local government Abia State Nigeria. He
is also a skilful praise and worship minister, and has ministered in a
number of churches in his country. Although a Public Administrator in training,
Akanihu C Wilson has a rare dynamism in writing and acting; and believes
if properly directed and exposed, would make an impact in the literary
world. He is the last child in a family of five.
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