Original story by Opeyemi Emoruwa
Written by Ayokunle Olagoke
INT. TITILADE’S SITTING ROOM. DAYTIME
Gboyega (35) is sitting on the brown cushion chair, rubs his palm nervously continuously on the handle of the chair, he has a white envelope in his other hand. Titilade (33) walks in on phone.
It’s in one week and the beads are not ready? Listen, by now, I…
Another call comes in, she checks the caller
Let me answer this call… hello sir, yes sir, we have the tests results now sir, yes sir… we will bring them this evening sir… amen sir…
She bends down to hug Gboyega. He manages to smile
Are you okay? Why did you insist on coming to tell me face to face?
He hands over the white envelope to her. She opens it hurriedly and glances through.
Hmmm! We need to decide on how to inform pastor… I know he might want to… to… but we will tell him we have faith
Gboyega is looking down, he shakes his head in disagreement
Hmmm… well… I’m not sure I…
He sighs deeply. Titilade looks confused
(stammering), I’ve… em… I’ve seen my neighbor lose two out of three kids to sickle cell…
But that is not our portion Gboye, that is why we are Christians, we will believe God for a miracle
Gboyega appears restless, shakes his head
I take responsibility for my fault… I should have done this test way back
Look, that does not matter now, wedding is in a week, we have spent money, told people… I’m thirty-three. The only way for us on this issue is forward. Gboye talk to me!
Gboyega’s eyes are misty. He slides two palms down his face
Ah… God, the doctor I met said he will like to meet with both of us
What for? To advise us not to proceed? Look, Gboye you are even pissing me off the way you are handling this
She gets up angrily, walks into her room and slams the door.
INT. DOCTOR’S CONSULTING ROOM. DAYTIME
Dr. Fred (56) sits opposite the couples.
I won’t take much of your time. I know how hard this moment is
Titilade shakes her head in disagreement and cuts in
I believe in miracles, as for me, I serve a living God who can do anything… I am resolute
That’s okay… I will like us to do a simple exercise okay? Have you decided on how many kids you will like to have?
Three, 2 boys, 1 girl
He brings out a white sheet of paper, writes on it “AS AS” crosses them to produce: AA, AS, AS, SS.
DR FRED (CONTD)
Now take a look, what this means is, for each pregnancy you have, there is 25% chance of the child being an AA, 50% chance of that same child being an AS and 25% chance of that same child being an SS. So the child can be any of these. Do you understand?
They both nod their heads
DR FRED (CONTD)
So, I will wrap these four likelihoods into individual papers.
He writes AA in a paper, he writes AS in another paper, AS again in another paper and SS in another paper. He wraps and shuffles them.
DR FRED (CONTD)
Now let us assume you are about to have your first child, these paper represent the likely genotypes, pick one.
Gboyeba reaches out, picks one, opens it and finds AS written on it.
Okay. So let’s say that is the first child. Now you are about to have your second child, pick again
I think she should pick, she is more saint than I am
Titilade stretches her hand, picks, it’s an SS paper. She sighs as she sees it
Okay. So that is the second child.
Dr. Fred wraps them all again, shuffles and stretches towards Titilade. She pauses for some seconds, stares deeply at the papers. She reaches out and picks; opens it and its SS. She sighs deeply
2 MONTHS LATER
INT. TITILADE’S TOILET. DAYTIME
Titilade is pooing, her phone beeps.
ASABI GOWN’S TEXT MESSAGE
We usually don’t accept them back but you have a genuine reason.
Around four million Nigerians are estimated to suffer from sickle cell disease, while 25 million others carry the genes which they pass to their offspring.
From available statistics, 100,000 infants die from sickle-cell disease in Nigeria annually
Based on World Health Organization [WHO] indices, Nigeria accounts for 75 percent of infant sickle-cell cases in Africa and almost 80 percent of infant deaths from the disease in the continent
Recommendation: Do you know someone with sickle cell? Check out Crimson Brown, her stories will inspire YOU
Together we can take this to a larger audience- television, radio, let’s spread the News. contact us today.
Written by: Ayokunle Olagoke
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NOON
Hosanna (17) is looking weak on the hospital bed where she is seated. She has bruises on her forehead, lips and part of her hand that is exposed. She is dressed in a hospital gown. Beside her are the doctor and another woman.
I was asked if you will like to press charges
Hosanna shakes her head in disapproval but says nothing
DR ESIRI (CONTD)
I must really commend you for taking the right step. The ideal thing is that victims should be present at a government hospital immediately after the incidence because only a government hospital’s report is admissible in court. Also, victims should be given Post Exposure Prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection, this should be taken within 48 hours and emergency contraceptive should be given to prevent pregnancy from occurring, it is available at every government hospital.
Hosanna is still in shock, she is mute, staring at the doctor’s shoulder
DR ESIRI (CONTD)
This is Barr Ohakwe, we call her Mama Justice… her NGO partners with us in assisting with emotional support, counseling and helping you get justice, I will…
Suddenly, they hear a loud cry at the corridor. A loud sound of a woman wailing
WAILING SOUND (V.O)
Olorun ti mo un sin loju mejeeji (the God I serve fervently)! It is not my portion, Labake mi o ni ku (my dear Labake, will not die), Yeh!
I will be back. Please, excuse me
Dr. Esiri leaves the room hastily. She opens the door hurriedly and closes it again. Hosanna looks through the window to catch a glimpse of what is happening
EXT. CORRIDOR. NOON
A young lady is being wheeled on the stretcher with the wailing woman running after her alongside some nurses
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM NOON
Mama Justice moves her chair closer to Hosanna with a simple smile
Again I ask, will you like to press charges?
Hosanna shakes her head rapidly in disapproval, her eyes getting misty
By now, tears are flowing down her eyes
Whatever the decision you make, I will surely respect it but, can I know why?
I’m not sure if it was a rape… I don’t know if I can call it a rape… I think I caused it to happen
Do you mind telling me the full story?
INT. JIMI’S APARTMENT. 3P.M
Hosanna, dressed in touches of red is constantly wiping the sweat off her face with her face towel and off her sweaty palms. Knocks at the door but there is no response. After a while, Jimi walks towards the door reluctantly to open. She gives him a hug but he expresses reluctance
She is beaming with joy but Jimi seems unwelcoming
You are not dressed? Are we not going out again? You said we were going to see a movie or have you forgotten? I have been calling you to remind you, you were not picking my calls
You didn’t even ask about my test result I said was pasted… Eco 104, it was fine , though, I had 72
What are you up to? Your project?
How do I look in this dress? I deliberately got this dress because of you, I know you love me looking sexy. Say something now, you like it?
She turns around for him to see
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Hossy, do we have to keep going round the same cycle over and over again? I have told you time and time again, we can’t go on a major outing with you looking like an inflated balloon, I’ve said, for now, we can only have our relationship in the room till you lose some more weight and form a reasonable shape… I mean, I can’t go out with you looking like this
But I’m trying, I go to the gym on Saturdays until you said you don’t like the trainer and I should stop going till I get another gym; despite that I still jog every morning, I am trying
By now she already has misty eyes with her voice shaking
Look Hossy, he that is good at making excuses will only keep making more. You are fat, you sweat a lot, your palms, your face, nose, sole of feet… see, my girlfriend illuminates me, my girlfriend is meant to be a reflection of me, if you are like this then, I can’t show you off, BURN MORE FAT!
He yells out at her. By now she is not able to control her tears, the tears run down her cheeks uncontrollably. Her lips are trembling as she sobs
A friend’s sister is coming around, I will be going out with her because I really need to cool off, have some fun this season that happens once in a year… just friends
He avoids making eye contact with Hosanna who by now is soaked in tears
Look it’s okay…it’s okay. You know I love you hum? You can take this time to read up some of the classes you’ve missed, exams are coming soon and in 100 level trust me you need a good CGPA okay?
Hosanna nods in concordance with what he just said
Oya give me a smile now my Hossy! Hossy!
She manages to smile
Let me be on my way then so you can have some time to get set
She bends down to put on her shoes, her clothes are up her thighs, Jimi sights the exposed thighs, the tightly fitted top revealing her cleavage as she bends
Ah! No now, won’t you cook for your Jim-Jim? Do you want me to carry empty
stomach around campus? Go and prepare something jor
He teases her. Hosanna is still sniffing, cleans the tears off her face. She bends down to carry the pot from the wooden cupboard close to the bed. She opens it and sees it is dirty, she carries it outside the room. Jimi heaves a sigh of relief as she leaves
THIRTY-EIGHT MINUTES LATER
INT. JIMI’S APARTMENT. EVENING
Jimi’s phone rings, he looks back to be sure Hosanna is not close by. The door is left open; it cannot be shut except when locked with a key.
Hey, guy! I just want to eat before I call you
He tries to reduce his voice, still sounding confident too.
I told you it’s a small matter. At the moment she is in the kitchen making me dinner… mumu
I don’t know what she wants me to do with a fat girl with sweaty palms and feet, me Olujimi Festus… abeg are the girls ready?… Yeh! I’m dead… if today is when I will have HIV I am ready… who?… she said the bleeding has ceased, she’s at home with her mama. We will discuss more when we see… I will join you soon
After making the call, he turns back still smiling broadly. To his amazement, Hosanna walks in, she has a pot of rice in her hand, she stares at Jimi as tears start to fill her eyes
I heard you… I heard everything
She pulls the hot pot of rice towards herself so she can throw it out with full force towards Jimi but he quickly blocks it with his hand and the rice spilled over the entire room. He hits her hard on her cheeks causing her to land on the floor. Jimi goes towards the door, locks it and draws out his belt
Are you mad? Look at the whole room, is it my fault that you are a shapeless ameba? You will never repeat this again in your life, now pick every single grain
He whips her with the belt on her buttocks, she cries out loud. Jimi puts his finger across his lips telling her to keep quiet
Quiet! If I hear your voice again, I will wound you badly.
She is nodding her head nonstop
Today is your day, now, take off your dress.
Ah! Please Jimi, you know I’m a virgin
No, I don’t know, I’m just about to know. Off!
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NOON
By now she is sobbing profusely.
I don’t know if that’s rape. I walked into his room myself, I seduced him, it’s my fault and I cannot press charges, my father is a Reverend, he will kill me
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Mama Justice has gone to her side to comfort her
Hmmm! I am so sorry Hosanna but let me help you get some things clear. This is
not your fault, of course, I do not endorse your entire actions but this rape is not your fault and yes he did rape you, Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria stipulates that anyone who is convicted of using violence to have carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent shall be guilty of rape. As long as your consent was not given, it’s rape. Keeping silent and not reporting will further endanger you, as you will be exposed to the possibility of him striking again. You cannot afford to live in the bondage of silence, which is the power rapists have over their victims.
Dr. Esiri walks in looking tired and unhappy. The voice of the wailing woman is heard from outside
WAILING SOUND (V.O)
Ha, Labake! Kin se base so niyi (this was not what we agreed)! Jimi Festus, wherever you are, your parents will mourn over you like you are making me mourn
She’s gone. She was actually brought in dead. We were told they found in her diary that she was raped by one Jimi Festus some months ago…
Hosanna is shocked, she cuts in trembling
That’s Jimi, same guy who raped me
Dr. Esiri and Mama Justice express surprise
So she kept it to herself, did not visit the hospital after then, I guess she was ignorant. Few months after the rape, she found out she was pregnant. Jimi told her to get rid of it… took her to where she terminated the pregnancy. Days later she developed complications, septic abortion. She went back there; in short, they could not control the hemorrhage. On her way down here she gave up the ghost
So I’m not the first Jimi will…
But you can be the last if you choose to press charges. Every time we lock up a rapist, we’re preventing him or her from committing another attack. You can be saving an entire generation just by taking this up. For the love of others…
I think I’ll do this. If this lady had taken the case up maybe he would not have done the same thing to me. If I don’t take it up, he might do it to another girl. I will… I will do this
She breaks down into tears. The other two women walk towards her to embrace her
Appreciation: Seun Abimbola
Between March 2012 and March 2013, 678 rape cases were reported in Lagos state alone
95% of victims are raped by people they know, love and trust.
If every Nigerian knows what to do in the case of rape, we would have less rape incidence, less unplanned pregnancies and a decrease in the number of people with HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
The Lagos State Government, through the State Domestic and Sexual Violence response Team (DSVRT), has approved the use of the 112 toll-free emergency line to report cases of rape, domestic violence, defilement, child abuse, neglect and other
sexual assaults perpetrated in the state.
Rape victims should go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY after the experience so as to, among other things, get immediate treatment and evidence to prosecute the rapist because after 72 hours, evidence necessary to prosecute the perpetrator may be lost. For more information on how to handle a rape case click here
The least we can do is share and comment on this post, you just might be saving a life.
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