It was 2007. Lagos, Nigeria.
A family of girls. Their father was once a millionaire but now things are hard, very hard. All their life, their mother was a house wife. They got by on one meal per day. They managed to go to school… sometimes. The girls were intelligent so they were able to pass their exams even after missing a couple of school terms. They believed that it would all get better with time.
They were believers, Christians. They went to church every Sunday and when there was no money to take the bus, they would walk to church in the cool of the day. The girls tried to live right, walk right and talk right, tried to obey the statutes of the Lord, tried to honour and respect their parents. They tried.
God didn’t let them down. He always came through just when they thought they would give up. Holding on was no small feat. There were days when they wanted to throw it all away, like a rose bouquet… but He wouldn’t let them go. He loved those girls.
Then came this middle-aged man. The neighbours said he was the one building the big hotel down their street. He was trapped with the trappings of wealth and power and he liked to flaunt it in the people’s faces. Everyday, he would pay a visit to the site and when the people would suck up to him, he would show his power by dipping his hand in his pocket and blessing them with a few notes. Foreign currencies would fall out of his pocket accidentally. They were duly impressed and adored this saviour who had come to whisk them away from poverty. The Mercedes-Benz jeep was always blocking the main street or hindering other cars from leaving their houses so that one would have to go call the owner to come re-park. This was to ensure that everyone knew who owned that fine beast of a car. Sometimes it was the Mercedes-Benz, other times, the Jag and other times, the Hummer.
The sisters gisted about what a self-absorbed human-being he was and how his wife was managing with such a man. There was no evidence of a wife in his life, none accompanied him to the site, but women have a sixth sense about these things. He was definitely married and probably had two or three children.
As soon as he set eyes on her, he wanted her… the sister who shined like the sun. She was beautiful, she had the right curves in the right places, any man would be proud to have her adorning his arm and in his bed but she wouldn’t hear of it or give him the chance to speak of his intentions. Her mother wouldn’t hear of it! They were a godly family.
They had meetings. Sessions. Planning seminars. Motivational conferences. Greasing of palms. Convincing talks. The man and her mother.
One night, her mum called her into the room to talk to her. It was one of those nights – they hadn’t had anything to eat since the morning of the previous day and they had no idea if they were going to eat any time soon.
“You know what you need to do. I don’t have to spell it out for you. It may be this night or tomorrow night, just make sure you’re wearing a clean pant. Make sure you bring us dinner.”
Dinner… for her virginity.