11th May, 1995; Port Harcourt.

She woke up on a bed, naked. Where am I? She moaned as pain shot between her legs into her being. She tried to get up and the pain intensified, she fell on her back. She had been defiled, she remembered. Dayo had abused her and she was still on his bed! It was like lying on excreta; Sade quickly dragged herself down the floor amidst sweltering pains and lay on her tattered clothing. She didn’t feel better. She was hateful, self-hateful; if she had access to any weapon now, she would end it, and free herself from her miserable self.

Someone tapped a foot on her buttock and Sade blinked at Dayo, towering over her and smiling with crude satisfaction. ‘You did this to me,’ Sade dared. He winked. He was a dark, good-looking man. But not anymore. When Sade looked at him she saw an ugly monster. ‘Go to the bathroom, you are messy,’ he said.

Aunty Rosa was a beautiful, erogenous woman, why would any man want to do this to Sade when his wife was so gorgeous, when his wife was due to return from the hospital in few hours’ time? Sade had no answer. Hatred quickened her heartbeat.

‘Come on.’ Dayo dragged her to her feet and led her to the bathroom. Sade leaned on the door, praying to God to lift this senseless mist off her. ‘Go in,’ Dayo spanked her breast. Sade cringed, heaved forward and fell on her fours. Dayo turned on the shower and shut the door against his laughter. As the water hit Sade on the back she got energised. But it wasn’t good energy, this; it was energy that gave her the energy to hate and thirst for more energy to hate.

Sade rose to her knees and let the water beat down on her head and flow down her body. She wished she could remove her body from herself and wash it, scrub it clean. She was so unclean.  Sade stretched her energy and washed herself with vengeance. She was in the bathroom for three quarters of an hour but she still felt unclean. Would she ever be clean? She had been used, dishonoured and discarded. She was worse than a prostitute. Even prostitutes get paid. Even prostitutes have to give their consent. But she was just taken then dumped into the bathroom to clean her mess. Shame on me, shame, shame! Sade opened her mouth and got a chockfull and began to cough a cough that tore her heart. Was suicide the answer?

‘Hey, hurry up before your aunt returns.’ The voice of a devil. If her mother’s sister returned and caught Sade in her bedroom, she might not understand, she would surely be heartbroken; no, Sade wouldn’t want that. The devil was right, telling her to hurry—the love of the devil, how sweet when it messes you up. Sade turned off the tap. She would never be clean. Then she thought, Dayo should feel a little of my pains.

Sade looked around the room; there was nothing good enough to make a bad weapon. Physically Dayo was stronger than her—no seventeen-year old girl could stand a chance against this dismissed policeman, anyway; she had to try mental strength. The bathroom was a little room with the shower tap and the shining bulb. Bulb, electricity; electricity, power; well-utilised, dangerous. The door was of metal and the wire that powered the light ran just few centimetres from it. Sade nodded, got the tap running, gathered water in her mouth and emptied it on the door, then she tore the wire off the wall and the bathroom was swallowed by darkness. Sade shifted the wire till live lead rested on the door.

‘Open the door, I can’t see,’ Sade called. She heard Dayo laugh then heard sordid footsteps. Dayo grabbed the door handle and began to shout as electricity held him, and shook and shocked him. He cried like a broken-hearted beast but Sade wasn’t listening, she was thinking, ‘Would I ever be clean?’ and doubting it. By the time Sade let the current off the door, Dayo had since stopped wailing. Sade opened the door and saw his stringed frame spread on her way like roasted lizard.

She bent down and touched his neck. Dead. Now she felt she would be clean. She rose to her feet, walked over him and made for her clothes, thinking: ‘If they ever tell my story, let them say, ‘‘She killed the man who raped her.’’ ’

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We draw the curtain on 2014, a year that nearly fulfilled all its promises. If you ask me, I would choose the first part of the year ending July. Our publications from August were scanty and painfully irregular. We are human. 2015 is a boundless sea of possibilities (and opportunities) we shall pursue. Not yet. Now I just wish to express gratitude for what you have done here; I will not be a writer worthy of any note if I fail to mention that your audience kept me in business. Hell hath no fury like a writer without readers. Writing demands guts: it takes awful guts to share diffident views for all—strangers mostly—to judge. And you guys have been partial in your judgements—I have gotten mostly positive response here; don’t think I am deceived, it is mostly me you care for not that my art is as good as your comments. But by supporting me, by telling little lies in the comment boxes and sharing my posts, et cetra, you have built my art beyond repair. God bless ya all. My he-art is in this testimonial and I pause till it comes back to me. But I can’t keep you, have an elegant Christmas and a peaceful 2015, unu ndi oga diriri nma.