THE TENANT Episode 11
© Ajiboye Ayobami Tomilayo
Van sat a single seat and sighed deeply looking from brother to sister feeling a little bit in secured in her heart but then she felt she could trust them. That was probably God’s way of showing her the love she thought no one had for her. Probably it was high time she let people know, she has been silent all along safe for Niks and her mum that knew because Chief Williams, her step dad, Francis’ dad threatened her not to take any step that would drag his name in mud else he would have her killed and as a young girl just in SS1 she was scared and knew he might as well carry out his threat. She had seen him shoot a man in their compound and told his ‘guys’ to dispose his body in ‘the usual place’, which could only mean one thing- that was not his first murder and come to think of it, he probably own a private cemetery which she wasn’t ready to be ‘a tenant’ there.
(NOTE: I won’t have Van’s words in apostrophe as she would be speaking without interruption)
It all started that afternoon… Her voice trailed off.
I got back from school very happy because I got As in my exams. I walked through the gate of the hell and into the mansion. Then my step brother was there in the living room watching TV. I greeted him which he only replied to by nodding his head. I wasn’t surprised as we never got along quite well probably because his dad married my mum after he sent his mum packing. From what I heard- Francis’s mum was a very good woman who rebuked the Chief’s every bad move and to my best understanding- it got on Chief’s bad side.
Francis was quite older than I am in age, stature and every other thing. I entered my sparsely furnished room, I wonder why I leave like an animal in a rich step dad’s house.
I stepped out of my pale pink uniform when the door suddenly burst open and my step brother stepped in.
‘Get on the bed now!’ He growled or else I will kill you..I was scared and without enough calculation on what to do, I did as he said and he raped me! He told me not to tell anyone but I did tell my mum when she returned from her shop since she had to cater for my needs though my step dad paid my fees and I can bet he does that because he was afraid he would be dealt with has he adopted me legally- or maybe he wasn’t scared as he was fearless.
My mum and I cried and when she confronted my step brother in the presence of his father, we got the beating of our life.
I know you must be wondering why my mum married a monster-
From what mum told me, my biological father worked for Chief Williams as his driver before his death. After his death- he died in an accident planned by Chief for nothing but his greediness and selfishness to take over his pregnant pretty wife.
Mum had premature delivery of me die to the shock of dad’s death. Chief Williams came to the hospital pretending as though he cared, mum said he paid the hospital bills. And when she was finally discharged, he told her my dad ran away with a huge amount of his company’s money while his accomplice fled from the scene of the accident with the money unwounded. He told my mum the only way to pay was to be his wife and guess what he threatened a nursing mother with a gun.My mum became his slave and sex machine
No one can apprehend him- he has power, money and connections even with the cops.
Back to Brother Francis
He left for school the following day and I was relieved until he came home more frequently and finally started leaving for school from home since the school was in Lagos. He continued till I got to SS3. I started using contraceptives from SS1 so I wouldn’t get pregnant. Chief Williams threatened to kill me if I ever told anyone especially my new found found friends – the gate man, Ahmed and Bike, the housemaid but I did tell them but what could they do?
I finally gained admission and when I left home, step dad insisted I come home frequently as his son as requested.
I was happy to be far away but I was oblivious of what my mother was passing through.
Van stood up to get a pack of yoghurt to fill their empty glasses.
Then she noticed, Francis was a good listener.
Episode 12- Van’s story continues
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