Episode 7

Enobong and depression had become companions, she hardly goes a day without tears trying to drown her soul, and anguish tugging at her heart , like a stem of Iroko fell on her , she began to cry whenever she saw one of the ladies with a baby . Aunt Emabong had visited the facility with a set of new girls, this time she with the help Emaka and Benjamin forced her to make a call to her mum, informing her that she was doing very well .

Ekaette had given birth to a baby girl , sometimes Eno would go to her room, and stay with her and Mary.

” Ekaette are you going to let us continue in this cage ? We’re worst than dogs! See how they took your baby! That’s same circle that would continue going on wnd on, we’re worst of than dogs ! I want to leave this place with my baby!”

Ekaette exclaimed.

“See I’enobong I wishy, I havu your Kindy Mindy , I not let anybody taking my childrens, I pain in heart, I cry I cry ibi me like my heart is cut , when them I take my one pikin, them taken the second one , them taken the third one , is me a dog ? Is me not woman being? Why is human being wicked ! My mama is think I’m is enjoyment in here! Madam Sharp is send her crayfish money say is me is send . I’Eno if you don’t help us here we remain , until we too I die from sickness or from ilabour.”

Mary spoke in very poor broken English, heavily distorted by her Igede accent , while a torrential downpour of tears cascaded down her ebony skin. Enobong sat morosely looking blankly at the ceiling .

“Eno say something! Why are you looking like you just say a ghost . .”

Ekaette screamed . Enobong snapped out of her fantasy where she was playing with her son in a lurch tropical garden in Eket, and his sweet laughter reverberating through the air .

“What did you say ?”

Enobong asked her friends .

” Where have you been all this while ? So we’ve been talking to the air ? ”

Enobong apologized, she had know right to feel worst , she thought, because they all were all facing same fate . It would be selfish of her to act as if she was the only one in the situation.

“Ekaette your baby is too small , we need about four hours to run to the main road, because it took us an hour to get close to the main road on a car , the villages around are already in the payroll of Madam Gold, she told them we’re mentally unstable, so we cannot take the road. We need to wait for your baby to be a month older , they wont come for her until she’s three months old , so we have a whole month to move out of this place . Mary you’re heavily pregnant , are you sure you can run through the jungle at night ?”

Mary shook her head , she was more than capable, she was used to trekking for long hours in Oju in Beneue state , when she goes to harvest cassava from the farm .

They was a heavy knock at the door , It wss Chibuzor one of the men who was paid to sleep with women. He rarely comes to the compound during day time.

” Enobong! Come to your room right now ! I need to service you and leave! I have somewhere I need to be .”

Enobong ignored him , she was tired and unwilling to cooperate.

“You’re being stubborn or acting deaf right ? I know you’re in that room, Ekaette open this door now, or else I’ll force my way in and give it to you all !”

The three ladies ignored him, he began to kick at the iron door , trying to knock down the lock.

He got an iron bar and opened the door from outside , she rushed into the room furious with excitement, adrenaline pumping through his dirty veins, his manhood was tugging up under his jean trousers. He grabbed Eno and tried to drag her out , she would not bulge , he pulled and pulled, she held on to one of the bunk beds in the hostel like room , Chibuzor got pissed , he dragged Eno to the ground, he tore off her cloths, in the presence of the other ladies, and devoured her ,like a shameless dog would at a market place , Eno didn’t fight him, he pleasured himself, she lay still loke a corpse, without emotions, Chibuzor satisfied himself and cleaned himself off with a pieces of Eno’s clothes he had tore . He spat on her , hissed.

“You think you’re stubborn I’ve not started with you, I’ll shift your womb animal.”

He hissed again, spat at her and went out of the room.

Chibuzor was the most brutal amongst all the Hyena men , who come at night to service new girls , only Carolina who was the newest girl Madam Sharp Sharp brought was moved she began to cry , she had been listening quietly to the ladies , as they layed plans of escape.

Ekaette gave Eno her wrapper, which she tied and went to the bathroom to take her bath .

Eno kept studying the security of the compound . She found out that Emaka and Benjamin were more observant when they were on duty , she would watch them from behind her glass windows as they would keep on patrolling the perimeters of the compound till dawn with their Ak47 riffles slinged over their shoulders , a sharp dagger on their waist , a hand gun in their waist belt , with a torchlight that can shine from earth to the heavens , they hardly slept , she knew it was difficult to escape when they were the ones on duty , then for Magnus and Ugochukwu, they were lackadaisical about their job, they slept whenever madam Gold had left , so it would be easier to escape during their duty .

She kept looking for a way to escape the compound, she saw a tree next to the fence by the cemetery at the back of the clinic, she decided they leave the place after the abuse by Chibuzor.

Kpock kpock kpock, Enobong knocked gently at Ekaette’s room .

” Who is there ?” Ekaette asked in a Sleepy tone .

” Ekaette it’s me Eno” Enobong whispered in Ibibio language.

” Wake Mary up , we have to go now ,it’s a rainy night , we can escape to the main road.”

Ekaette shook Mary who would yawn turn and turn and continue to sleep . She shook her hard .

” Mary wake up we have to go!”

She whispered into her ear . Mary woke jumped up. They began to pack some few clothes for Ekaette’s baby, they left Carolina in bed , when they got outside Mary was not comfortable with that .

” Eno please let us take iCarolina with us, if we leavi her , who is be her friendi? ” Mary asked . Eno asked her to go wake her up , Carolina joined them and they gradually , paesed the long dormitories, they turned around the cemetery to the tree, Carolina helped Eno up, she climbed a branch of the tree, she spread blankets and duvets on the barb wire and landed outside, then Carolina climbed up, and collected Ekaette’s baby, Mary climbed up and over the fence, then the guard dogs began to bark furiously, they were scared that the security men would get up , the breeze blowing with a light drizzling covere the sounds of the escapees . Ekaette scaled the fence and landed with the others, and they began to run towards the main road . Enobong led the way whenever they got close to a village, they took a bush road . In the darkness the movement was precarious and difficult.

Nurse Amaka woke up to ease herself, then she noticed the door to Ekaette’s room was left ajar . She ran to the gate , Magnus and Ugochukwu were busy snoring , while their dogs barked .

” Ugo!! Magnus! You’re hear sleeping, and some girls have escaped! Madam Gold would kill you!”

“Uhhmmmmh? You said ? Uhmm?

” The both men got up , confused from their sleep, they picked their Guns and ran to the room , the ladies had ran away, they ran to the back of the clinic, ans saw where the ladies climbed out .

They loosed their dogs and began to run towards the main road . Nurse Amaka went and got a phone to call madam Gold, she was asked to follow them in her car .

She owned a golf saloon car, she immediately put it on gear and drove out of the compound, and locking other girls inside. She was driving like a maniac .

The ladies were almost getting to the main road when they heard the sounds of dogs barking and getting closer to them. They tried to hide , but Magnus and Ugochukwu were tracking their footprints left in the wet muddy ground. The dogs barked and took the guard men towards where the ladies were hiding.

Mary got up and started running, Magnus panicked and fired a bullet into her stomach, she fell down, and Eno forgot about her safety and ran to her , she held Mary in her arms as she cried .

“Eno am I going to dieyi?”

Mary said, while blood choked her speech. Eno shook her head .

“No! No ! Mary you can’t die! I… We’ll… We’ll.. escape from this place… You. … You… can’t die! I won’t forgive myself.. if…if .. you die..”

Eno said with tears choked and muffled voice.

“Don’t blamy yourself!! It’sis better… bet.. I die .. than.. remain.. remain dog…..”

The day had began brighten up, Mary’s eyes became glassy , with no expression, her hands became limp, she lay still on Eno’s hands, Ugochukwu and Magnus made the three ladies knee down . Nurse Amaka drove to the place were they were, after Ugochukwu gave her direction on the phone , Mary’s body was taken into the the boot of the vehicle, and covered with a wrapper, Eno and Ekaette were bundled into the backseat, and were taken back into the facility.

Enobong regretted ever listening to Ekaette and Mary , if she had not marry would still be alive. The baby was collected from Ekaette and taken to the orphanage in town, while another shallow grave was dug and Mary’s body was dumped and wet red clay sand crawled over her skin.

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