She regained consciousness. It was dark and very cold. She tried to move but severe pains attacked her body. She needed to leave the beach. She didn’t want to fall into the wrong hands again. She got on her knees and used her hands to search for her clothes, shoes and bag. She found nothing. She started to sob. She couldn’t leave the hut naked. She thought of the dusty dirty blankets that covered the hut. She crawled to the entrance and pulled at one of the blankets with all her might. One fell on the sand. The dust that emanated from it made her to start coughing. She wrapped it around her body and pulled her weight up by holding the wooden frame firmly. One step after the other, she walked towards the exit.
She made it to the roadside and stopped the first taxi that she saw.
“Madam, where you dey go?”
She thought for a while. Should she go home? Should she go to the police station? She needed medical attention. Their family doctor worked at Saint Nicholas hospital. It was close enough. She hoped he was still on duty.
“Take me to Saint Nicholas.”
He unlocked the back seat door. She opened the door and climbed into the car. She closed the door and lay back on the seats.
“Madam, you dey okay?” he watched her through the mirror.
“Take me to the hospital, fast.”
He nosed the car into the road and drove off. Ten minutes later, he parked at the hospital gate.
“Madam, we don reach.”
“Go in and ask for Doctor Bia.”
“Wetin be all this wahala sef. Abeg pay me my money make I commot for here.”
She sat up, “Please, go in and ask for Doctor Bia. He will pay you any amount you want.”
He hissed and killed the engine. He got down, mumbling to himself, closed the door and hurried into the large compound. He returned with an elderly man in his fifties. The moment the doctor saw her, he ran back into the hospital and returned with two nurses carrying a wheel chair.
The ringing of his phone woke him up. He heard his wife hissed. It must have woken her too. He sat up and switched on the bedside lamp. He reached out for the phone which was on the bedside drawer and picked the call.
“Sorry to disturb you Mr. Ehaekpen.”
“Doctor Bia… morning,” he recognized the family doctor’s voice.
“Morning sir, sir, Osayuki is right here with us.”
His heart beat accelerated.
“Sir, she is in a critical condition.”
“What happened to my daughter?”
“Sir, you need to come right away.”
“I am on my way.”
Etinosa sat up and saw the panic on her husband’s face, “What is it?”
He turned to look at her, “Osayuki is in the hospital.”
“Call the driver; we need to get there right away.”
She nodded and fished for her blackberry phone which was under her pillow.
“Call the children too. They need to meet us at the hospital.”
She nodded in agreement. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer.
Osabohen picked up her blackberry phone. It seemed whoever was calling her was desperate to get her attention. She checked the caller’s I.D. It was her mother. She glanced at the wall clock. It was past two. What was so important that couldn’t wait till the sun rose?
“Sabby, you need to meet us at St. Nicholas hospital.”
She sat up. What was going on? Was she ill or worse, did her father fall sick?
She liked it whenever her mum called her ‘Sabby’. It felt like an endearment, “Mum, what is going on?”
“Your sister has been admitted?”
“Do you have any other sister?”
Was her sister sick? Was that why she didn’t show up for the family dinner?
“Your father and I are on our way to hospital. Meet us there.”
She climbed down from the bed. It would take her about fifteen minutes to get to the hospital from her place in Lagos Island. She thought of calling her brothers. Her mother would have called them. She looked around for her car key. Where did she drop it?
Osaretin got out of bed. He had just received a call from his mother that his younger sister had been admitted into the hospital. He didn’t understand why he should be dragged there as well. Was he a doctor? He flung his wardrobe open. What was he going to wear?
Osayuki, Osayuki, Osayuki. It was always Osayuki.
He hit his fist on the wooden door.
“Ouch!” he held his hand in pain. He could sense it already; it was going to be a very long day.
Osarodion joined his parents and younger sister in the waiting room. It turned out th
at he wasn’t the only one in pajamas. His father had a big black coat over his green pajamas. His mother had a red long coat over her blue pajamas. His sister had a blue jean jacket over her pink pajamas. They all looked like attendees for a slumber party.
“Have you seen her?” he sat beside his mother. She shook her head in response. Her eyes were red. She must have been crying. He glanced at his father. He looked worse. He directed his gaze at his younger sister who was seated behind them, fiddling with her phone.
Osaretin strolled in, in a red tee-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and matching blue boots. He had his phones in one hand and the key to his car in another. He greeted his parents and siblings and sat beside his sister.
Nosakhare raised his head and saw the doctor approaching them. He took a long deep breath.
“Good morning everyone,” doctor Bia addressed them.
“Good morning doctor,” they chorused.
“Osayuki came in a taxi before dawn, naked, bruised and… we discovered that she had been molested.”
Etinosa covered her mouth with her right hand, stifling a scream. Tears rolled down her smooth dark face.
“Molested…” Nosakhare repeated. It was hard to believe that something that gruesome could happen to his daughter.
“The extent of the injuries in her private part showed that she had been molested by more than one person.”
“What?!” Osaretin jumped to his feet.
Osabohen felt goose bumps crawling all over her body. She wrapped her arms around herself and tried to block the scary thoughts that flooded her mind.
“She was able to confirm the sexual assault before she drifted into unconsciousness.”
“Where did the taxi driver pick her up from?” Osarodion boiled with anger. He hated weaklings who called themselves men, men who took advantage of women to satisfy their despicable sexual pervasions.
“He claimed that she stopped him along the roadside, by Bar beach.”
“Bar beach?” Osarodion and Osaretin chorused.
Doctor Bia faced Nosakhare, “I have notified the police. The taxi driver has taken them to the spot he found her. They promised to continue their investigations from there.”
He pulled his wife into his arms. She started to cry out loud. She felt as if she was going to die. Osabohen stared at her parents with pity. She couldn’t imagine what they were going through.
“If you are ready, you can all see her now.”
He helped his wife to her feet. They followed the doctor down the hall. Their children walked behind them with unsteady steps.
The doctor led them into a private room. They found Osayuki covered up with bandages.
Osabohen sat at the bedside. She couldn’t imagine what her sister had been through. She would not wish such a thing on her worst enemy. She hated rape stories. She felt angry, hurt and helpless all at once. She hoped her sister’s attackers would be caught and brought to justice.
“Thank you for everything,” Nosakhare shook hands with the doctor. Doctor Bia nodded and left the room.
Etinosa sat at the other side of the bed, “Oh God… look at my baby,” she wept.
Nosakhare folded his hands across his chest. He couldn’t hold back the tears again. He let it flow freely. His chest tightened in anguish.
“Those bastards are going to pay. I swear on everything I hold dear, they will pay!” Osarodion seethed.
Osaretin glanced at his elder brother, his anger was infectious.
Watch Out for Chapter Five…