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Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Unbreakable Vow {A Short Story}

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John and Janet loved each other so much, they did everything together and for each other, theirs was a relationship which started from their parents and passed unto their kids.

They went everywhere together as kids, attended the same school, went to the same university, studied the same course, theirs was a love which was made in heaven, they were an example of star crossed lovers, everyone wanted to have the kind of love they had.

With relationships like these, everyone thought they had the perfect lives, they had the perfect example of what a relationship should be, everyone envied them, John and Janet were who you would point fingers at and pray to God to give you the type of their relationship.

They finished school, served, got nice jobs and was finally ready to settle down, they were raised in a good Christian home, John had known no other woman except Janet, and he thought same of Janet; but Janet had a secret she has been hiding since the first year of their university, she couldn’t tell John about it, she hid it so well that no one noticed, she told no one, confided in no one and guarded the secret with her life.

 



Photo Credit: Wattpad

As marriages go in Nigeria, especially if you’re going to wed in a church, you need to enroll in marriage courses and go for tests, Janet tried so hard to avoid these tests, she told John there was no need because they had known each other all their lives, John agreed but the church would have none of it, John did his and everyone wondered why Janet hadn’t done hers, she knew the outcome of the result, she had known for years, she had been taking care of it for years and now the whole world was about to know her secret.

Let’s go back a few years

The anticipation of entering into a higher institution is what every teen feels as soon as they are done with high school, the freedom that comes with it, the feeling of independence and maturity, no parents or elder sibling to chastise them, it was a free world and like free things come nothing is ever really free.

When Janet and John got into the university, they stayed in different hostels; Janet is an extrovert and John isn’t, so every night she said bye to John she sneaked out with the girls from the hostel, they just strolled around the school, gossiped giggled, and y’all know the excitement that comes with first time freedom.

Freshers in a university were always easy targets for some men; they deceive and use them, initiate them and also blackmail and milk them dry. During one of these harmless strolls at night with the girls, a guy approached them and told them about a party that was going to take place soon, it was a freshers party he called it, to welcome new students into the university, the girls were all excited, their first adult party, they had to go it’s a must they had to.

Janet told John about it but he refused, told her they didn’t come to the university for parties and beside they had just started they still had time to party if the wanted to, he begged her not to attend and she agreed. She told the girls, they were angry they wanted her to come with them, they had plans, they were going to meet boys, they couldn’t wait and so they hatched a plan, John didn’t have to know she would attend and it would be their secret.

Back to the present

As Janet sat in her room thinking about that day, she wished she could go back and force her younger self not to attend that party, she wished and wished but what’s done is done, she sat crying wailing thinking gnashing her teeth, the pleasure of one night had ruined her life, the pleasure of one night had dashed her hope of ever being happy, oh that one night pleasure and John still thought she was a virgin, they had both promised to keep themselves till they got married, that was a vow she had broken, a vow that was not supposed to be broken her quest for the freedom of the world had broken it.

Back to the past

The girls giggled, dressed nice, made up their faces, chuckled and practiced dance steps, the D-day had finally come and they couldn’t contain their excitements anymore, when they got there the place was lively, filled with new and old students, booze was everywhere, drugs and condoms were given for free, all manners of earthly desire was taking place before Janet’s eyes and she was awed, she had seen these things in a movie and never thought it could be reenacted in real life, then she felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave, what would John think of her she asked herself, she looked for her friends but they were already drawn into the lust of the party, she told them she wanted to leave but it was late into the night who would walk her back to the hostel?

She stood alone, angry, angry that she had come to this den of iniquity, angry she had lied to John, angry she thought she would enjoy this, angry she didn’t enjoy it, in her state of angriness a young man walked up to her,

Man: pretty girl, why’re you standing here alone when people are having so much fun in there?

Janet: nothing really, I just want to go back to the hostel, I don’t feel good, I am tired

Man: tired? What’s your name?

Janet: Janet Amarachukwu Ibezim, I am a fresher too, she said with pride, studying Math and Statistics

Man: very nice, very nice, you mind if I get you something to drink? Juice? Coke? I can go get them from my table and then walk you back to the hostel.

Janet: Alright.

And so this stranger, went back in, came out with a bottle of opened coke and gave it to Janet, naïve her, innocent her, how could she know, how? the drink was spiked, he wasn’t a nice man who cared that she stood outside alone, he wasn’t a nice man who just wanted to walk her back to the hostel, he wasn’t a nice man who cared about her course, he was a predator who preyed on naïve girls like her, he was a predator who took advantage of teenagers like her, he was one of so many who planned events like these to molest and rape young girls and Janet today was his prey.

They chatted for a while, while she sipped her coke and then the dizziness came, then the uncontrollable laughter, she found herself feeling somehow, it didn’t occur to her she might have been drugged, she begged him to see her off to the hostel, she was dizzier than she felt minutes ago and needed a place to lay her head.

And so they left, walked into the darkness, she put her head on his shoulder while he guild her by the waist, held her gently, not so long after that, she slumped, dizzy and everything was hazy, she heard voices, felt pain, couldn’t lift a finger, she was pulled, hit, her clothes torn and the voices laughed while they hurt her.

Back to the present

Well the gang rape resulted in a pregnancy which she aborted without telling John, and a few months later she found out she was HIV positive and she still didn’t tell john, she took her drugs, went for checkups, counseling and just hoped one day she would tell John and they would go their separate ways and that day has finally come.

She called John and asked him to come over, sat him down and started crying, he was concerned, he ached, he wanted to know what was hurting her so much, he wanted that pain to be his, he couldn’t watch her to this to herself so he pleaded for her to tell him, she finally did and stood up couldn’t look at him then she heard John say, Baby I have known all this time.

I knew you went to the party, your friends told me, I knew you were raped, I heard some guys talk about it, you remember the brutal killings of some guys on campus then? I paid a group in cult to carry it out when I found out what they did to you, when you went for your HIV test I knew, I saw the drugs, it ached me so much you didn’t trust me enough to tell me, but I was always there, waiting and hoping you would one day tell me, trust me with that secret that’s been weighing you down.

Why didn’t you trust me he asked? Why Janet? She was speechless, the tears had stopped flowing, so he knew all this time and said nothing, she was ashamed, couldn’t look at him, she stammered, stuttered, words failed her, she slumped and woke up minutes later with John looking over her.

Janet he said, I love you, I have loved you since we were kids and I will never stop loving you, I don’t care what anyone says when they find out about your test results, we can have children if you want biologically and we can also adopt, I stood by you even after I found out these things, I killed for you and would do it all over again without thinking twice, I still want to marry and grow old with you all I ask is for you to trust me enough to take care of you and handle situations like this.

We can skip the tests, do a court wedding and be happy, it’s all your choice, I want you now and forever Janet, just you. Janet stared at him, she just stared long and hard and heaved a sigh, fell back asleep with a smile knowing everything will be alright.


Isabella Ibeji

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