My name is Elizabeth. I have more nicknames than the average person; most of my friends call me Beth, some call me Elysia, another group prefer calling me Lysia and yet another group call me Lisa. The funniest thing is that no one actually calls me by my birth name, Elizabeth.
As at the time of the publication of this fictional story, I am 35. My friends are all married. And several of them have been pressuring me to get married but I have made a decision to stay single for life. Why should I marry? I have everything a person would need to live a comfortable life. I have a thriving business, properties scattered across Lagos and an enviable life.
“I will never marry, I will remain single forever. I hate men. All they want is my body” was my reply to Ngozi’s question last week. She asked me why I broke up with Richard, my ex-boyfriend.
She doesn’t know. No one knows my past. They do not know how I lived the first sixteen years of my life. I hate men with passion. Richard didn’t help matter by trying to rape me two weeks ago either.
I had a terrible childhood. I was born in Jos, the capital of Plateau state. When communal clashes in Jos reached its crux, my parents considered leaving Jos for Ibadan, their hometown. I was fourteen at this time. If we had left Jos a month earlier, I wouldn’t have lost my parents to the cold hands of death. I do not remember things very well but my father’s brother, Uncle Dele came for me and took me with him to Lagos.
In Lagos, I had a tough time. My uncle’s wife didn’t make life easy for me. She maltreated me but I was glad that my uncle stood up to her. Plus, she was a nurse so she was often away from home. At first, this was a blessing to me but I soon realized that her being home was better.
Two months after I moved in with my uncle and his family of three (he had twin boys twice my age), my uncle started doing inappropriate things to me like touching me in private places. On one night when my aunt was away on night duty, my uncle forcibly had his way with me. He raped me. My two cousins were away from home then, they were full time undergraduates at the University of Ibadan. I cried in isolation for days. My uncle’s wife didn’t notice anything. Her hatred for me blinded her. My uncle didn’t stop there. Every night when my aunt was away from home on night duty, he would come in and sleep with me. This continued until my cousins returned from school.
The return of my cousins from school afforded me temporary relief for a period of two weeks. I became more free with my cousins. One of them, Kehinde by name soon began to do just as his father was doing before they returned from school. Before he returned to school, he had his way with me five times!
When they returned to school, my uncle wanted to sleep with me again. This time I wasn’t having it, I had hidden a knife under my pillow. When his searching hands touched me that night, I gave him a scar that till today still exists on his right leg. He gave me the beating of my life when he recovered but since then he never touched me again. I still slept with a knife under my pillow even till today. When his wife asked him about the wound, he lied against something. What it was, I do not quite remember.
Brother Kehinde never tried touching me again. He even apologized the next time he returned from school. I lived there for two years. One of my aunts from my mother’s side came for me and sponsored me through school. She made me what I am today and I am forever grateful to her.
Do you see? Do you see why I hate men so much? I will remain single forever.