Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
It was the morning of Samson’s arraignment at the Regional Magistrate Court of Lagos. Mary, Ifeanyi and Samuel were in attendance. The court room was quite vacant, with only a few family and friends coming to support the plaintiff.
Mary looked across at the young lady who was seated at the front with the prosecutors. She couldn’t get a good view of her. She swallowed and faced forward, as the judge entered the courtroom.
“This honourable court of the Regional Magistrate Court of Lagos, with the Honourable Judge Folashade Ogunbiyi, is now in session. It is COURT!!!” the court clerk announced the commencement of the hearing. Everyone rose up and sat down again after the Magistrate did.
“Call the next case,” said the Magistrate.
“For arraignment, Criminal Case No. 32498 - The State vs. Samson Uwanna for the crime of Rape,” the clerk read.
At the prodding of his lawyer, Samson stepped forward and went to take his place in the dock. He felt like a cockroach under the stare of the domineering looking judge. When he sat down, he kept his eyes on his sister and her husband, remembering Lanre’s advice not to look at Antonia.
“Appearance for prosecution and the defence counsel,” called the Magistrate.
“Your Honour, I am Atty. Stanley Osakede for the Prosecution. Appearing with me is Atty. Lekan Akintola.”
“Your Honour, I am Atty. Lanre Rogers for the Defence. Appearing with me is Atty. Peter Oshodi.”
“We are ready for the arraignment of the Accused,” said the Prosecution.
“You may proceed. Put him on oath,” the Magistrate ordered.
“Do you speak and understand English?” the clerk asked Samson.
“Repeat after me. “I, Mr Samson Uwanna, hereby oath to say the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God,”” the clerk guided. Samson recited the oath.
“Your Honour, the Accused has been duly sworn,” said the clerk.
“Read the charge to him,” the Magistrate replied.
The clerk read from her notes. “Count 1. “That on the 16th of July, 2016, you, Mr Samson Uwanna, at 29 Crown Court, Yaba, had unlawful carnal knowledge of Miss Antonia Ajibade, contrary to section 258 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State and thereby committed an offence of rape.” Are you guilty or not guilty?”
“Not guilty, Your Honour.”
“Your Honour, we apply for the bail of the accused person on liberal terms, as the offence is a bailable offence, and the accused is on police bail,” Atty. Rogers said.
“Any opposition?” the Magistrate asked.
“None, Your Honour,” answered the Prosecution.
“The Accused is admitted to bail in the sum of N1,000,000 and must provide two sureties with landed property in Lagos, with evidence of tax payment for the last three years,” the Magistrate replied. “The accused is hereby ordered remanded in prison custody, till his bail is perfected. The matter is adjourned to October 19th, 2016, for further directions from the director of public prosecutions.”
While being taken away in handcuffs, Samson thought back to the night of the incident with regret.
It was the day Ebele had broken up with him, and he had been feeling rather gloomy. He’d felt particularly worse because Samuel wasn’t talking to him either. He’d previously been invited to Seun’s birthday party, but was no longer keen on going. A few of his friends going had visited him in the evening and urged him to attend.
“Come on, mehn! You have to forget that babe…” Rotimi had said.
“Like… There’s so much more fish in the sea. It’s her loss, mehn,” Ayila had added.
“Free booze! Free booze!! Free booze!!!” Chuma had chanted.
Samson had shaken his head and looked at Chuma, as a smile played on his lips. Chuma had a good point. A party was just what he needed now. To get his mind out of his pain and stop worrying about trying to be something he wasn’t.
At 29 Crown Court, Yaba. July 16th, 2016.
Antonia was an easy target. Samson knew she had a crush on him, and her eyes followed him as he moved through the party, mingling. After being caught cheating today, the last thing he was interested in was being with another girl. But his friends prodded him to go to Antonia.
“Guy, she’s so into you! Go for it…” Ayila said.
He finally decided to approach her, taking a seat on the arm of the sofa, where she was sitting at the edge.
“Hey, how are you enjoying the party?” he asked.
“It’s cool,” Antonio shrugged. She sipped her drink.
“How come you’re not dancing?”
“I prefer to watch people, actually…”
“Hmmm… So, you’re one of those. It’s cool,” Samson said.
“How come you’re not dancing…?”
“Well, I was kind of hoping you’d dance with me?” he flirted.
She giggled. “Sure… But not this song.”
A couple of people who had also been sitting on the sofa rose up, and Samson quickly took the vacant space. He sat close to Antonia and looked her up and down, the way he usually did to convey the message that he found a girl appealing. She swallowed.
“So, you’re one of those good girls, huh?” he teased.
“Hmmm… What have you heard?”
Samson put his hand up in mock innocence and grinned. “Nothing… Just making an observation…”
Antonio smiled and shook her head. “You’re just a player…” She swallowed again. She could hardly believe that Samson Uwanna was talking to her…hitting on her!!
“You watch, I play,” he said and laughed at his own joke.
She gave a little chuckle.
“But seriously… I really want to kiss you…”
She turned to him and looked in his face. The next thing she knew, her lips parted and his met hers in a sweet kiss. Before long, they were heavily making out on the sofa, while the song she’d been waiting for to dance to played loudly in the background. Rihanna sang, “We found love in a hopeless place…” and it seemed so perfect.
“You wanna go upstairs?” Samson asked.
She stopped and looked in his eyes. She knew what he wanted, but she would have preferred to leave the party. To go somewhere more private and intimate… She looked around, and the room was filled with lots of people who appeared to be engrossed in their own pleasures and issues. Everyone was minding their own business.
Samson pulled back, because she looked uncertain. “It’s okay. We can just chill here.” He coughed. “Let me get us some more drinks,” he said, rising up.
She held his hand as he did and stood up too. Her eyes told him she wanted to continue upstairs. She swallowed and shrugged. “No, it’s fine…”
He smiled and held her hand firmly as they went towards the stairs, climbed them and found a vacant room to enter. Samson was surprised the rooms weren’t already occupied. As soon as he shut the door, he took her in his arms again, and they continued to kiss and touch, undressing as they proceeded to the bed.
It was when he brought out a condom that she seemed to hesitate.
“Wait…” she muttered, as he kissed her neck, his hand on her panties. “I’m a virgin…”
Samson stilled. He looked at her and the dim lighting from the street lights showed that she appeared serious. But he’d heard differently. Was this part of her dance, he wondered?
He swallowed. “Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.” He took the condom out of the wrapper, and she watched as he slipped it on. “You’re okay?”
Her heart was beating very fast. She wasn’t sure. She wanted to, but she knew he had a girlfriend. He wasn’t serious about her. This was just a one-time thing. She shouldn’t do this...
He leaned back, but she pulled him close. He kissed her, and she kissed him back. And then he penetrated her.
She gasped. It hurt like hell! Samson stiffened. So, she was a virgin! He tried to be gentle and take it slow. She clung to him in every way. He didn’t retain control and began to pump too soon. She was hurting, but he was in ecstasy. He soon came.
He slid off her. He felt ashamed that he hadn’t kept his promise, and he’d come too fast. “I’m sorry,” he muttered.
She pulled her legs together and watched him get dressed. Was that it? “Get dressed,” he said.
There was no more romance.
Six weeks later…
Antonia sat with her head over the toilet throwing up into the bowl. Her younger sister came in and was concerned.
“Are you okay?!” she asked.
Antonia retracted her head. She was sure that was the last of it. She felt awful, but nodded. She rose up and washed her face in the sink.
“Is it something you ate?” her sister prodded.
“I’m fine,” Antonia snapped. “Sorry… I’m fine.”
“I’ll get you some water…”
Antonia returned to her room and shut the door. She knew already what this meant. What awful luck she had that she’d fall pregnant for the first man she slept with. And they’d used a condom! And the sex wasn’t even good!!!
Her sister returned with the water. “Thanks, Amy,” Antonia said and took a few gulps. What was she going to do? If her parents found out… No, they couldn’t find out. She’d have to get an abortion.
Moments later, her mother walked in. “Is everything okay?” she asked.
Antonia nodded. “Yes, mom. What’s up?”
“Amy said you’ve been throwing up.” Mrs Ajibade put her hand on her daughter’s forehead. Her temperature seemed normal. “How long for?”
Antonia shook her head. “I’m fine, mom. It must have been something I ate.”
“In this house?!”
“No… I didn’t mean…” Antonia’s heart beat raced. “I’m okay. I just want to lie down.”
“We’ll go to the hospital. Let’s just check that everything’s fine, before you go back to school.”
There was something about the way Antonia looked when she said “Mom”, Mrs Ajibade thought. “Amy, leave us.”
Antonia swallowed and watched helplessly as her sister left the room and shut the door.
“Are you pregnant?!”
The tears came then, as Antonia shook. “Please, don’t tell Daddy!”
“How could you let this happen? I raised you to fear God!”
Antonia sobbed more. “I… I… I…” She didn’t know what to say.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” Mrs Ajibade asked.
Antonia shook her head.
“So, how did this happen…? Were you raped? Because…”
And it was then the idea entered her head. Was she raped? If she was raped, then her pregnancy wasn’t her fault. She’d done no wrong. She remembered how Samson had apologised afterwards. He’d taken advantage of her, she surmised…
Antonia slowly nodded.
“Jesus!” Mrs Ajibade exclaimed.
Antonia sat in her room, shaking. What had she done? Her lawyer had told her today, after Samson was taken away in handcuffs, that the punishment for the crime she’d accused him of was life imprisonment. But was it really true? She didn’t know what to believe anymore.
After she’d told her mother she’d been raped, everything had happened as if in a blur. Her mother had immediately told her father, who had been very mad. Especially about the pregnancy. She’d been surprised when he’d suggested an abortion. However, her devout mother wouldn’t hear of it.
“If we report to the police, and the case is properly dealt with, she will have no shame,” Mrs Ajibade had said.
“Rape is shame!” Pastor Ajibade had responded. “And it’s not like she was raped on the street! She was raped in a party for God’s sake! She was probably dressed like a prostitute!”
Antonia had gasped. “I wasn’t!”
“Shut up!” had been his angry come back.
Pastor Ajibade had been thinking about his reputation in the church. In society. He was an upstanding Christian leader with a thriving church. He didn’t want the scandal of a court case. But if it would remove some of the shame of having a daughter pregnant out of wedlock, it was certainly worth a try.
“So, what should we do?” Mrs Ajibade had asked. “We can’t just do nothing…”
“He will pay! That bastard who raped you will pay!” said the pastor.
To be continued...
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