ESCAPE FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT – Episode 3

By Ummu Abdillah 



The whole room becomes silent, my brother has spilled an unexpected bean. I don’t want to cry but the tears keep threatening to roll down. For this moment, I hate my brother. He is to consider my feelings, doesn’t he know how hurt I am feeling? I sniff and try to hold back the tears, I shouldn’t let them sense my pain… But come to think of it, it’s for the best. After all, no matter how long I try to hide it, people are still going to know. Still, I’m hurting, I’m ashamed of myself!
The first woman clears her throat, “I hope you are now okay?”
Sniffing and rubbing my face with the back of my hand, I reply “yes ma”
The room becomes silent again for some minutes. I glare at my brother where he stands, I wish I could at least give him a dirty slap…
The second woman breaks the silence, “You children of nowadays can’t be predicted, one can never judge you by your looks. Who can ever think a girl like you who appears gentle and smart have been engaging in premarital sex…”
The first woman interrupts, “Iya Ibukun, don’t blame the girl. It may be her first time. If we have to blame someone, it should be the guy. I’m very sure he sweet-talked her”
“When he wanted to sweet-talk her, why did she listen? Why did she even give him the ears?” The second woman argues
“We both know how a woman could be decieved, even we adult females are easy to manipulate. We easily trust and rely on someone. We easily cultivate strong feelings for opposite sex even if they don’t deserve it”
“Yes I agree but still I will blame her because she let herself to be blinded by lust. I know she must have seen this coming. She must have smelled the infatuation but kept convincing herself that it was love…”

“That is what our world is becoming these days. Immorality is becoming widespread like fire in the dry season as we claim to be more civilized. Although it was also happening during our time but it is becoming worse and worse every day. I wonder how worst it would have become in some years to come…”

I watch them as they talk, making my matter their subject of discussion. I don’t blame them, I caused it. As they said, am I really to be blamed? What I had for him was love. He was the one that betrayed me. He was the one that insisted on sex, all I wanted was just to satisfy and please him. I didn’t do anything wrong, is loving someone a crime? 

“May God save our children from all these fitnah, all these happening are just the law of karma”

“As how?” Asks the second woman

“As in, everyone is reaping the fruit of what they have sown. Many men during their youthful days, they forgot the fruit of their future will grow from the seed they sow today, they forgot they are going to have children especially female children. So they went around fornicating, ruining the lives of many innocent girls, turning them into whores in the name of pleasure. Then the karma starts, it either ruins their own lives or their children’s. That is how immorality is becoming widespread. Those who are saved from this are just shown mercy by Allah. And almost every human fall into this error. Therefore those who didn’t buy also will have to pay for it…”

“Hmmmm” the second woman nods in agreement.

Really? Was Abby into fornication? But my brother is pious, why am I the rotten egg here?

Doctor Zubair knocks and enters, “please ma’am, I’m very sorry but you will have to excuse us. My patient needs to take some good rest.”

“Ok sir, Mar’yam, please don’t abort it ooo because èyin omo ìsìín… (you children of nowadays…)” 

Doctor Zubair cuts in, “please madam!”

“I wish you quick recovery dear, I will check up on you tomorrow when I’m returning from work” says the second woman as they stand to leave.

“Thank you ma” I say.

After they leave, doctor Zubair has a seat and faces my brother,

“Abdullah, you shouldn’t have brought those women?”

“She threw the whole street into pandemonium this morning. So they were worried about her.”

The whole street? That means everyone saw me being rushed to the hospital. How am I going to face this shame?

“Mar’yam, don’t mind them. I overheard part of their conversation when I passed your door to check on the patient at the next door. They may even be worst than you during their time. It isn’t a crime to make a mistake but it is a crime not to learn from it. I hope you will become stronger”

I smile and nod in response. 

“You should be discharged tomorrow In’shaa’Allah, then I will appoint you to a counsellor” he stands to leave while he faces my brother, “please no more visitor! Anyone who wants to see her should be patient till she returns home.”

“OK sir” he replies.

Doctor Zubair leaves. My brother takes a seat besides me while I turn to the other side, I don’t think I’m ready to withstand his next action. 

Landing into the world of my thoughts, I remember my phone. Lukman should have been trying my number… Or he never even attempts to try it. I turn back and face my brother who is busy reciting his Qur’an,

“Boda mi, please have you seen my phone?”

He raises his eyebrow, what a vicious look he is giving me!

“What do you want to do with it? You want to call that jerk again?”

I wish I didn’t ask him! I remain silent and stare at him while he glares at me.

Ummy knocks and says teslim.

“Wahlykum salam warahmatullah wabarakaatuhu” we both respond.

She enters and says to my brother, “Abdullah, you should go home now. We can’t leave the house empty… You will see your food in the kitchen”

He leaves after saying teslim.

Alhamdulillah, he has gone. I quietly pray his school resumes from their strike in time else…

Ummy brings out her food and starts eating. No bismillah?

“Ummy, you’ve forgot to say bismillah”

“I’m sorry dear, I’m starving. I haven’t eaten anything since morning and I couldn’t wait to eat at home because I wanted to relieve your brother from babysitting you. He has to go to work tomorrow.”

Babysitting me? I’m not a kid!

“Bismillah” she says.

“But Ummy, you’ve already started eating instead you should say bismillah fi awwalihi waakhiri”

She repeats after me and continues eating. I watch her as she eats. Ummy has always been proud of me, I hope that hasn’t depreciated.

“Kikiope, what are your plans now? Are you going to live with that boy’s mother?” She asks as she finishes eating and sighs with Alhamdulillah, she put her plate inside a bag.

“I think you hear my question” she says again.

I’ve never thought of it, I don’t have a decision yet.

“OK, seems you are still out of it. I’m going out for ishai prayer. You have to think of it over and all over again.”

She exits.

What are my plans? I never plan for all these happening in my life.  Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it. The question should be what necessary steps do I have to take to recify this mistake? 

“Ya Allah! Guide me!” I quietly sob

Now I remember to seek Allah whom I didn’t remember when I was disobeying Him. I’m a sinner!

A flash of my dream appears in my memory. Who could the girl be? Why was she crying? Why was I unable to console her? Why did I have such a dream? I can’t put the puzzle together. I don’t get a clear image of its meaning. I close my eyes and keep thinking and rethinking about the dream until sleep finally finds me.
Laying awake in the afternoon after observing dhur solat. It’s been a while I’ve been discharged from the hospital. Ummy hasn’t asked me for the reply to her question, she has been busy alone at shop because the doctor asked me not to stress myself till I recuperate. Brother Abdullah still chooses not to talk to me. All my effort to get a word out of him is to no avail. I now wish he could just at least rebuke me! Walking on the street is like walking through a hell, people always stare at me here and there, the news must have gotten to them. I do feel ignominious but I will no more give up on this life. Like the counsellor said, 

“don’t be discouraged my dear, this is a game of life, you have to keep rolling the dice.” 

So, I won’t give up, I will never give up, not anymore! Lukman hasn’t called. Maybe he will never call me again. I gaze at my phone for a little while, hoping to be surprised by either his call or message but none comes in. Is it really over? Just like this?

“I’m a fool in love!” I start sobbing.

No one to comfort me because I’m alone at home so I start to comfort myself. I still can’t believe it’s Lukman that betrayed me this way. I pick up my phone and call my friend Idayah, who lives in their street. 

“Mar’yam, I’m on my way to your place already”

“OK, expecting you” 

I hang the call.

A few minutes later I hear a knock and Teslim, so I reply and open the door.

“How do you know I will be at home?” I ask

“I saw brother Abdullah when he was going to work, so I asked him if you will be at home and he said you are going nowhere”

I offer her a seat,

“Mar’yam, I’ve heard some rumors but I don’t believe it. That is why I’m here”

I smile, human beings are really terrible rumors carrier, “that I’m pregnant?”

She covers her opened mouth with her hands, “don’t tell me it’s true”

“Yes it is”

“Subhanallah! Mar’yam, how come? How did you do it?” 

I must hide my pain as much as possible.

“How else? Like everyone does it!”

“Who is the lucky guy?”

“Lucky you said?” I adjust my wrapper and sit right, “he is someone you know, someone I enquired from you”

“Lukman?”

“Yes, Lukman”

“Subhanallah, that means you are already pregnant when you came to me that time. Why didn’t you enquire about him earlier? Lukman isn’t a good guy, he isn’t worth anything in you even a strand of your hair”

“That is how we see it, ore! The deed is already done.”

“Is he ready to take the responsibility?”

Responsibility she says! I explain everything to her. How we went to his parent, how I attempted suicide and how he hasn’t been reachable. I just want to confide in a friend.

“All is well my friend, I wish you had known before your mum and told me. We would have taken care of it without anyone knowing”

“As how?”

“Abortion of course”

“That is too risky”

“Risky than that your suicide attempt? I’m not talking about using some kind of pills here. I’m talking about surgical abortion where everything would be removed neat and clean, it won’t cost you up to five thousands naira”

“I wasn’t thinking when I was trying to commit suicide but I’m thinking now. I can’t do that”

“Suit yourself dear, I’ve proposed my help to you. Seems you want to deliver a bad boy’s baby”

“Yes, let me deliver it. If I should abort it, I’ve become a murderer in front of Allah and not just an ordinary murderer but a murderer of my own child. I’ve already sinned against my Lord and here is the punishment, let me willingly accept it instead of adding another bigger sin to it”

“Save me the preaching Mar’yam, you are too dull for my liking. If every girl on the street should be like this then we would all have been pregnant and have many children by now”

“Idayah, don’t tell me you have once tried abortion”

“Not once dear, twice and here I am. If I don’t tell you will you know?”

“Subhanallah, how old are you Idayah? Twice!” I exclaim.

“Yes dear, at least I’m three years older than you. Let me tell you something, every girl on the street are into this thing we call sex. Even those that pretend to be “holy holy”, most of them are ‘serious after useless’. So, everyone just has a way or two to prevent pregnancy. And sometimes when it accidentally happens, the smart ones find their ways out”

“You can’t say every girl, I know some who aren’t…”

She cuts in, “who aren’t what? Sit down there, gbogbo wa lolè bile bádá (everyone of us are thieves when no one is around). See dear, some just show it, I mean they let people know they are doing it and some try their best to hide it. They pretend to be innocent in front of people but deep down them they are doing it. So my dear, we are all the same because  it is all illegal sex”

“I still don’t believe you Idayah, if not that I fell for Lukman’s deceit” tears gather in my eyes but I shake it off, “if I haven’t met Lukman in my life, I won’t have fallen into this error”

She makes a loud giggles, “you are funny, that is how it starts for every girls. It starts with a guy then the second, the third, the fourth, even many girls have lost counts”

My mouth abruptly opened, “Subhanallah! Lost count?”

“Yes, you don’t know? In the hope of finding a serious relationship, at least someone we can date and get married to later in the future, we do fall into different bad boys’ hands. Those boys are only after this holes in between our laps. See ore (friend), it later becomes enjoyment and pleasure for us too.”

“So, I should still be thankful and grateful to Allah for my life!”

“Who shouldn’t be? I’m thankful too. Besides, I haven’t lost count and only two pregnancies I just aborted” she gives me a silly smile.

Alhamdulillah, I never know my life is better than that of many girls on the street.

“It’s high time we started repenting then. Allah is Al-gafar, He will surely forgive us.”

“My dear I will seek for that when I get married because now I can no more do without having sex at least twice in a week…”

I cut in, “really? Then get married now”

“Ma… Or wetin you say? Marriage? Then my education will stop. You know my elder sister, Zaynab. She once told my dad she wanted to get married when she was in her second year in the university. Daddy was very against it. He even threatened to disown her. He said she should be through with her university program first. Not to talk of myself that is still struggling to have my complete O’level result.”

I take a deep sigh, what am I going to do about her?

“What is that look? Are you pitying me? O girl, you are the pitiful one here right now…”

I cut in, “I’m not sure, you are!”

“May be then… What are we going to do about Lukman?”

I take a more deeper breath, “I don’t know”

“Has his mother come to check up on you?”

“No!”

“I almost forgot you said a girl he also impregnated is living with his Mum. What are you going to do now?… Wait, I think I have a number of one of his drinking buddies. They should know where he is. Maybe we can go to him now and talk some things out” she says as she brings out her phone from her tight jean trousers.

She rings the guy and he picks, they exchange greeting and she asks about Lukman.

“Lukman isn’t around, he traveled” he says.

He traveled, with all these going on?

“Where did he go and when will he be back?” Idayah asks him

“He only said he was going to Abuja and nothing more. He didn’t mention a precise time he will be back but it seems he won’t be back on time because he sold his phone and destroyed his sim card before he left”

Tears starts dripping from my eyes, I can’t hide the pain anymore. How can Lukman do this to me?
Written by:

💞Ummu Abdillah💞

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