Mother and father had gone to the farm
earlier that day with my older
siblings, blessing, faith, favour, prosper
and God’spower. I had chicken pox so i was left at home
with success. Success is my
cousin and she lives with us in our little
thatched house in the
My parents didn’t want to leave me but they had to harvest the maize
at the farm before it dries up or get eaten
by birds. Success didn’t
want to watch me but she volunteered so
that when my parents were gone
she could go with her friends to swim and avoid farm work.
So as soon as my family went out she
came to my room and told me she
“there is some food in the kitchen if you
get hungry later. I will be back soon” she says as she dashed out.
She knows i wouldn’t report. The chicken
pox made me fall into an
uncomfortable sleep and when i woke up
i was hungry. I went into the
kitchen and saw that jacky, our dog was eating my food.
“oh no. What do i do?” i say as i walk
away from the kitchen.
As i came out of our kitchen, i saw Mr
ogoh. Mr ogoh was an old man
who lived alone. He was also a family friend who we shared a fence
“Rachel, how are you, i heard you have
chicken pox so you couldn’t go
to the farm today” he said
“good afternoon sir, i am fine” “good…so are you alone?”
“you don’t look happy, what is wrong?” he
asked me and I told him
about my food that our dog ate so he told
me not to worry as he went into his kitchen and brought me food.
I was just twelve years old then so i didn’t
think it was wrong to
eat the food he gave me. And he was a
family friend. So i just ate the
food. I never knew that was the beginning of my end.
Success came home an hour after i ate
the food and i told her about
how jacky ate my food and how Mr ogoh
was kind enough to help me by giving me food from his house.
Success didn’t seem to care. She just
rushed to the kitchen to cook
our evening meal before my parents
came back from the farm.
When our parents got back, i told them about Mr ogoh giving me food
when jacky ate mine. I didn’t tell them
about success leaving the
house. I didn’t want her to get in trouble
so i told them success was
sleeping so i didn’t want to wake her when jacky ate my food. My
parents were thankful for the help and
decided to thank Mr ogoh the
Later that night, after falling asleep, i had
a dream. I saw my self among a group of people wearing black
gowns. I was the youngest there
and it was so scary. I looked around and
saw Mr ogoh there. He came to
me and i cried, for him to take me home.
He told me not to worry that i was now among special people and that
they would make all my wishes and
requests come true.
This made me
stop crying. I saw it as an opportunity to
help my family, so i asked
them to make my father rich. They gave me a calabash and asked me
to put it under my parents
bamboo bed. They told me that it would
make us rich. They also warned
me not to tell anybody about them and
the calabash, or my father would die.
I accepted the calabash then i woke up.
At first, i thought it was
just a dream but then i saw an identical
calabash by my bed.
I usually slept beside success and she was still asleep so i tip-toed
out of our room. I took the calabash to my
parents room and put it
under their bed.
The next morning, i was so excited and
happy about what happened. I was so proud of my self for supposedly
helping my family. Before going
to the farm, my mom had taken me to Mr
ogoh’s house to thank him for
his help the previous day.
They had no clue what he had done to their innocent kid. If only they knew.
Three days later, i was awaken by my
mother’s scream. I woke up with
a start and ran to my mom’s room. When i
got there, i saw my mother sitting on the ground wailing. My other
siblings were also there.
“brother favour, what is wrong with
mama?”i asked my eldest brother.
“can’t you see papa is hurt”he said
pointing to my father who was lying on the bed. I didn’t notice him when
i entered but then i saw
what was wrong.
My dad’s right leg was decaying and it
had maggots all over it.
My dad was fine the previous night so i couldn’t understand what went
wrong. I turned to look at the sad faces of
I didn’t know what to do so i went to Mr
ogoh to ask for help, since
he told me he would make all my wishes come true. All i wanted then
was for my father to be healed.
When i saw him, i told him about my
father’s predicament and asked
him for help. He told me it was my fault.
He said i didn’t place the calabash rightly and now my father would
die because of me.
They never told me how to place the calabash so i
was confused. But as a twelve
years old naive child i didn’t know i was
being manipulated. Mr ogoh sent me home and told me he
would make my father better. He
also told me, i was a bad person who
made my father sick.
I went home feeling guilty, not knowing
what else to do but believing Mr ogoh’s lies.
My dad never got better. He was
diagnosed at the community hospital
of having leg cancer. He couldn’t go to
the farm anymore and this made our daily income to decrease while our
We had to purchase a set of crutches for
my father so he could move
around the house. I was always left at
home to look after my father. This wasn’t what i wanted. I complained
day after day to Mr ogoh but
he always told me they were working on
it. One fateful day, while i
was complaining to Mr ogoh again, my
dad walked in on us. I never knew if he heard what we were
saying but the next day my
father died. As usual Mr ogoh told me it
was my fault.
It was a sad event for my family. I cried
my eyes out that day and at the burial. People tried consoling me but i
knew i didn’t deserve
their consolations because i did it. I killed
After my father’s death, everything
cooled down. I tried to avoid Mr ogoh at all cost. I wasn’t asked to do
anything else in my dreams. The
meetings in my dream continued but i
was only a spectator. I watched
people offer their family members.
Two years later, things started getting better for my family. My
sister blessing got married to a rich
contractor from the city and
this made our standard of living to
My brother, favour also got admitted into the university. Mr ovie, my
sister’s husband provided money for all
his school expenses. He also
promised to sponsor favour through out
his five years of studying
electrical engineering. Joy was back in my family but then i got
an unexpected visitor.
Success and i had just retired to our
room after eating. She told me
stories about warri which was where she
lived with her mother before she came to live with us.
I laughed alot that night to her tales.
Little did i know that that
was the last laugh that would leave my
lips for a long time.
Success fell asleep before me. As soon as i closed my eyes to sleep,
i felt some one tap me. I opened my eyes
to see who it was and
standing before me was my father’s
He was clothed in white and he was crying. I sat up to touch him but
my hand went through him. I cried and
begged him to forgive me, i told
him i was sorry but he just kept crying.
I tried to touch him again and that was
when success shook me. Apparently, it was a dream.
Success held me and tried to console me.
She asked me what was wrong
but i couldn’t say anything.
“i heard you saying, i am sorry for killing
you papa, please forgive me, so you better start telling me what is
going on or else i will
report you to mama” she said
“you can’t!…it was just a stupid dream,
forget about it”
“no!…i want to help you. Tell me what is wrong. You used to always
be a vibrant girl but ever since dad died
you became introverted. Tell
me what is wrong”
“i can’t, you don’t understand” i tried to
explain but she was already moving from the bed towards the door.
But Suddenly, she just slumped and fell.
“success!… You are scaring me, wake up”
i tried to wake her but then
my mom entered the room.
“racheal, what is wrong?. What happened to success?”
“i don’t know, she just fell”i started weeping.
My mother started wailing
and screaming for help. Faith, prosper,
God’spower, Mr ogoh and some
of our other neighbours rushed into the room.
Soon, the room was filled with wailing
women and children. I just
stood there, too shocked to utter a word.
I looked from success’
lifeless body to Mr ogoh. Since he came in, he has been giving me
secret smiles and this made me
I moved to the end of the room to where
“what have you done?” i asked whispering
“i just did what you wanted”he said
“i didn’t want that. I don’t want her to die.
I never wanted this”
“i just did what you wished for..you wished she was dead in your mind right?”
“what?!… I was just angry. Please wake
her up. Please”i begged.
“what is done is done, so you better go
there and cry for your
cousin”he said and walked out. I dragged my depleted body over to
where my family was, and just like
he said, i cried for my cousin.
Nobody suspected anything. Of course i
was just a fifteen years old
quiet child. What harm could i possibly do in their eyes?.
But i could already feel that my time here
was already coming to an end.
After the death of success, i shut down
completely. My mother didn’t
notice anything because she was always
busy with the farm and our kiosk at the market.
In school i was always alone. I didn’t
want my friends to get hurt
or die because of me so i avoided them. I
never paid attention in
class. I was just an empty shell waiting for when calamity will strike
My next victim was my PHE teacher. Mrs
Edith was a chubby middle
age woman. I was sick that fateful day so
i wasn’t participating in the exercise with my other classmates.
She came to me and asked why i wasn’t
participating. I told her i
was sick so i couldn’t join in. She just
looked at me with disgust and
fury. “you think pretending to be sick will get
you out of participating
right?… You are so mistaken. Now go
over there and pick pin”
“but i can’t ma’am, i am really sick, i am
not pretending” i said tryin to convince her. But the more i
begged, the angrier she became.
She dragged me to the teacher’s office
where i was flogged and
My sickness escalated because of the strokes of cane i received.
That night, I made sure i didn’t wish her
death because the last time
i did, success died.
I stayed at home for two days after that.
When i went back to school, i heard Mrs Edith was dead. She
drowned at the village stream.
So again, i have caused another death. I
know talking to Mr ogoh won’t
help, so i kept quiet.
Days later, aunt rose, my mom’s sister came to visit us with her two
children. Maro, the first daughter of aunty
rose was assigned to my
room which was the only available room
in the house at that time.
I protested, but nobody listened. They thought i was just being
selfish. That night, i stayed awake, i
couldn’t sleep from fear of
what would happen.
Hours after Maro fell asleep, i was still
awake watching over her. I watched over her till dawn before sleep
Some time later, i heard my mom enter
my room. It was a Saturday
and we had to go to the farm. I opened
my eyes and turned and told her, i was already awake. She smiled
then moved to the other side of
the bed to wake maro.
She tapped maro’s shoulder and called
her name but there was no
reply. We thought she was just a deep sleeper so i called her name
louder and shook her. Still no reply. That
was when i noticed that
maro hadn’t moved an inch from where
she slept last night.
Apparently, while i kept watch over her through out the night, she
was already dead.
Aunty rose was devastated. She accused
my mother of being a witch
who killed her husband and maro. My
mother just kept apologizing while looking at me. I was at that time, she
knew something was wrong with
After the death of maro, Mr ogoh
informed me that i was of age to
start performing yearly sacrifice. He said
if i didn’t offer anybody, they would help me choose. Maro was
just the first sacrifice.
A family meeting was called after maro’s
burial to discuss the
allegations towards my mother. Blessing
and her husband also came for meeting. My mother denied knowing
anything about the death of my
father and her niece, maro. Since there
was no evidence, the matter
was dropped to aunty rose’s
disappointment. Sister blessing and her husband stayed
for a week. The night before
their departure, my mother called a
meeting in our sitting room.
At the meeting she asked aunty blessing
and her husband to take me to live with them in warri so i could write
my waec there and help my
sister in her boutique. My sister and her
James, my sister’s husband left the next
day because of his business while my sister stayed for additional
three days to help me pack and
get ready for our trip.
I had mixed feelings about going to warri.
I was happy that i was
leaving because i would be far away from my family and wouldn’t hurt
them anymore. Also, i wouldn’t see Mr
ogoh anymore. I thought maybe if
i was far away, they wouldn’t haunt me
anymore. But i was sad because
if they still torment me, i would be bringing destruction to my
sister’s family.but i had no choice, i had to
My village in ughelli wasn’t far from warri,
so the journey wasn’t a
long one but the transition from thatched
houses, a few block houses and dusty foot paths to storey buildings
and tarred roads was
fascinating.i was excited. I hoped it was a
Sister blessing’s house was a duplex. It
was like a palace. When i entered through the gate, i was
flabbagasted. Sister blessing laughed
beside me as the gate man took my
things inside. I was shown my room
where i took my bath in the beautiful
bathroom. After taking my bath, i was called to the dining room for dinner.
Mr James wasn’t at home when we
arrived but he was already sitting
at the dining room when i entered. I could
already perceive the aroma
of jolof rice. I was directed to a chair beside my sister.
I sat as my sister served our meal. My
sister’s husband was just
smiling at my sister like she meant the
whole world to him as she
served. I envied what they had but i knew i didn’t deserve to envy
them because of all the things i have
After i was served, i started eating but
felt that i was being
watched so i raised my head. Mr James was looking at me with a
“you didn’t pray before eating” he said.
“Racheal, you should always pray before
eating, don’t they teach you
that in church?”he continued. I just stared at him and shrugged. My
parents were never staunch
Christians so we didn’t really appreciate
the essence of prayer. We
only went to church when we were
invited for dedications or burials. We never knew Christ.
Our names were biblical but that was not
because we were religious
but because my parents wanted to
belong. Everybody was during it. So
they just joined. Mr James sighed when he saw i wasn’t
saying anything. He held my
hands and my sister’s as he prayed for
That was the first time i noticed the
power in the name of Jesus. As soon as Mr James said ‘in Jesus name’
my heart leapt and i felt my
body going hot through out the prayer. It
was a strange feeling that i
didn’t understand at that time.
After the prayer, we ate and i left to my room. I was still
thinking about my body’s reaction to
prayer when my aunty walked into
the room. She gave me a new phone and
told me i would be starting my
waec lesson the next week. She said it was evening lesson so i could
help her in the shop. I thanked her and
she told me to go down for
night devotion and again, my heart
My aunty led the songs and i tried to flow but i didn’t know the
songs very well. Mr James led the prayers
and the same feeling of heat
enveloped me. After the prayers i went to
my room to sleep. And that
night there was no meeting. ‘Was i saved or were they just giving me
time to adjust?’ i asked my self.
Six days went by and i didn’t have any
dreams/meeting. Six days of
daily mornin and night devotions. I had
gone with my sister to her boutique for five days. My life seemed
normal, and the waec lesson was
starting the next day.
The morning i started the waec lesson
was not eventful. I just went
to the store . Then by 3:30pm my sister took me to attend the lesson
as i wasn’t familiar with the town.
After my sister got me registered, she left
me there after giving me
T-fare to go home.
I was nervous about going into the class so i stood at the entrance
of the class for a while. I was just
standing there when i felt some
one’s hands on my shoulder. I turned and
saw a guy behind me. He was
still holding my shoulder, and he was smiling. That smile did
something to my tummy. It was like
hundreds of butterflies were
dancing in my stomach.
“i am sorry, but you were blocking the
entrance. You seemed lost in thoughts” he said “by the way i am
Kevin”.he said as he stretched his
other hand towards me and watched me.
He was handsome, tall, had broad
shoulders and a stunning smile.
Still, i didn’t reply, i never had any illusions in my mind that i
would have a happy ending because of
all I’ve done. So instead of
replying, i walked into the class. His hand
fell off my shoulder and i
missed his touch instantly. I walked to an empty seat at the back of
the class and sat down. I
didn’t know if and when Mr ogoh and his
crew would act again but i
didn’t want to befriend anybody. I won’t
take any chances that could hurt innocent people again.
Kelvin didn’t look offended that i ignored
him. He just kept
smiling at me even when he walked to his
seat which coincidentally was
behind mine. Throughout the class that day, i felt his
presence behind me. I
tried not to look behind me at him but
after an hour of trying, i gave
into temptation and looked behind me.
He was sitting back in his chair looking at me with a big grin on his face
like he knew i couldn’t
resist looking at him. I turned forward and
The classes fled by and soon it was over.
And i only looked thrice!. That was a big achievement. Kelvin was
like a magnet. As soon as the
last teacher left the class, i pack my books
with lightning speed and
rushed out of the class.
I only slowed down when i got to a street junction.
I had told my sister that i knew my way
back home but now i was
confuse. Every where looked identical. I
tried to concentrate and
remember the right way but then some body touched my shoulder.
It was already dark so i thought maybe it
was a robber but when i
turned, i saw it was kelvin and his stupid
smile. Ok not stupid but
still, what’s with this guy and my shoulder?.
“hey mystery girl, you left your pen by
your desk”he said, lifting a
pen up to show me. I didn’t want to talk to
him but i just had to ask.
“mystery girl?” “yea, you didn’t tell me your name when i
told you mine earlier so i
decided to call your mystery girl”
“you know that’s not funny right?..and
that’s not my pen”i told him
while looking around trying to figure out which way to go.
“i know…I just wanted to talk to you..you
just keep walking or
running away from me”
“well that is because i dnt want to talk to
you, i don’t want to know you so please stop talking to me, so i can
figure out my way home”
“wait, you are lost?..don’t worry your
prince charming is here to
rescue you. I’ll take you home. I know i
am kind.No need to thank me”he smirked
“i dnt need your help, just go away”
“look, i get it, you don’t want to talk to me,
but please just let me
take you home, its already late, you could
get in trouble” he had a point so i gave him my sister’s address.
He walked me to our gate and before i
could thank him, he walked away.