Jos, Plateau State Nigeria
10th June, 2021
I went to get the door after the knock from outside. The person I saw when I opened the door was the last person I expected to see- my sister who left home two years ago and never looked back till today. The last we heard of her was from mama Ayo, our neighbor who travelled to Lagos for a wedding.
Mama Ayo came to the house to tell my mom how large and sophisticated Sonia was living in Lagos. She claims Sonia pretended not to know her. We were not even surprised when she told us neither did we doubt her story for we’ve heard worse of Sonia since she left home.
First, it was Mr Mark who said he saw her on a business trip he took to Lagos when she walked into his colleague’s room as the ‘runs’ girl for the night. He claimed he was shocked and when she walked past him like he was a ghost, he just walked out of the room and by morning, she was gone before he could even see her.
The second, the third, the fourth news came and I lost count from there. A friend sent me her social media handles and I checked them all out. The girl I saw was a complete opposite of the sister I grew up with. Sonia has always been self determined and an extrovert but not to the point of not giving a hoot about morality- the one we were raised in and with.
She was in her final year in secondary school while I was two years behind when she left. My family is what I’d never refer to as perfect but I won’t refer to same as anything less than beautiful. My parents had just me and her. We were not what I’d call rich but we were comfortable.
Our school fees were always paid on time, we never lacked food. Mother’s provision store just outside the house was doing well and our father was a civil servant with the Federal Government.
There was no fight, no argument, nothing of a negative nature going on in the house, well at least, not on the day she left, infact not even a week before she left. We just woke up one morning and she was not in her room. Some of her clothes were gone too. She left a note that we should not look for her.
We reported to the police after 24 hours but stopped checking for the progress of the search after she called our mom a week later to tell her goodbye and after Dad to went in search of her. He was able to locate her. He came back with sloppy shoulders and a sad face. Sonia insulted him and when he tried to get close, she screamed to people around that he was a stranger who wanted to hurt her.
He forbade anyone from mentioning her name in the house, he burnt the last of her belongings and moved on but we could all see the pain he feels since she left daily in his dark brown eyes.
We never stopped wishing that she comes back to us in our hearts though. And today, here she is right in front of me. I shifted to one end of the door to give her access. My mom ran to hug her when she saw her. Papa was so happy that I wondered where all the anger he felt had gone to. I guess that’s what they mean when they say “a parent’s love is eternal”.
She confessed how she was rap.ed by a neighbor, a family friend that we trusted so much and when she discovered she was pregnant, she ran away because she could not face we, her family with the shame. She lost the pregnancy after sleeping outside for a week with not getting enough food under the bridge.
That was when she decided to do whatever it takes to survive. Without a skill or a certificate, she opted to work as an escort. Mama wept and apologized for not paying attention enough to have noticed she was going through hard times.
Long story cut short, it was an evening of reconciliation. She asked momsy “mom, promise me you’d relay my message of apology to all those who recognized me while I was still in the world”
My mom replied with ” I am glad you have seen the light my daughter and have left the ways of the world for old things have passed away”. I was happy that my only sister was back home.
11th June, 2021
A knock on the front door woke us all up. Before I got to the door, my father was there and was unlocking the bolt already. It was Aunty Rukky, my father’s cousin. She was crying while muttering “Sonia” and then she’d scream. We tried to calm her down to no avail.
After a while, she was calm a little. She unlocked her phone and gave it to me. Before my eyes was a post about a Lagos slay queen that died in a ghastly motor accident. The post says the accident happened the previous day(10th June) at about 3:15 and that she died at the spot. It was a call out for family members to come identify the body. The lady in the picture was Sonia. I hissed and told aunty to calm down and that it was all a lie, I mean Sonia was here five minutes later so what was she saying.
I rushed inside the room to call Sonia since the world was already spinning too much and my head hurt. I met an emoty bed with a short note in Sonia’s handwriting that says “I am at peace now, all I needed was forgiveness”
Cold shivers went down my spine, I screamed and went blank