ODUFA – A story about redeeming Love.
BIBI IS DEAD, WHO’S NEXT?…
There were police vehicles everywhere on the street and some hungry looking journalists taking pictures with their phones. The policemen asked them not to cross the red line. Many people stood at the other side of a familiar brown two-storey building. A woman was crying and saying something to one of the policemen.
I walked into the crowd just curious of what was going on. I really couldn’t ask anyone, I just listened to what anyone was saying. I heard someone was found dead in the house. There were only two people living there and I knew them. Bibi, a ten year old girl and her mysterious uncle Ted.
Nobody in the neighborhood really knew about Bibi’s mum or if Ted was truly her uncle or father. Although she called him Uncle Ted, people rumored that he was her father. Bibi was said to be a child from one of his numerous relationships and that the court gave him child custody. Ted was a no body who rode on his father’s influence.
Ted’s father was rumoured to be a politician who got rich through blood money. There were many complicated stories about him and the family. They were always a headline for soft-sells.
I heard a man saying, “She was such a supernatural child, how can anyone do this to her. How could anyone not have noticed she needed help? I saw her just this morning. She greeted me cheerfully. I wish I knew that would be her last I would have hugged her.” The man started to mumble something as he walked away.
Bibi? What happened to her? I crossed the line and ran into the compound. A policeman stopped me, “Young lady you can’t go in there. There has been an accident.” He took me back beyond the line. Two men carried something cover with a white cloth on what looked like a narrow tray and put in into an ambulance.
“What’s that?” I didn’t ask anyone in particular.
“That’s Bibi. She’s dead. Her uncle turned himself in to the police confessing he raped her to death.” I didn’t turn to look at whoever answered my question. Everyone was talking to someone. Bibi dead? How can someone rape a young girl to death? I had never heard of it.
I couldn’t believe Bibi was dead. Cheerful and loving, everyone knew her in the neighborhood. She was friendly to all. She was the nicest girl I had ever met. We talked and played. She came to our house sometimes. Why didn’t I suspect something bad was happening to her? Could I have done anything? No Bibi was too young to die?
As the ambulance drove away the crowd formed into small groups of twos and threes talking about it. I stood resting on an old green car parked not too far from the building. Two women were on the other side of the car talking.
“I heard he’s been abusing her for a long time.” The first woman said in a whisper. I strained my ears to listen. What could have truly happened to an innocent young girl?
“So I heard too. It started maybe about three or four years ago when they said he got custody of her.” The second replied.
“You knew? How come nobody did or said anything? Why didn’t the young girl speak to anyone?” The second woman questioned but it was too late to even consider her questions.
“Did you hear that the man was not really her uncle as she called him? A father having sleeping with his daughter. Hmmm. This world is truly coming to an end.” The first woman seemed to know more about Ted and what may have been happening in the mysterious house.
“Why would any sane father wants to have sex with his daughter when there are free girls everywhere. God please protect my daughters wherever the maybe. ” The second woman had fear in her voice.
“Ted is a bad man. He was my boyfriend one time. Because of his father’s money and influence he believes nobody can stop him from doing anything he wanted. He gave me money and I let him have my eldest daughter once.” The first woman said looking away in tears.
“This is unbelievable! I thought you were my friend and you never told me. You allowed him have your daughter for how much?” The second woman shifted her anger to her friend for befriending the killer and allowing herself to be manipulated by him.
“I have my reasons. We needed the money besides my daughter is no longer a child. She’s 16 remember? She already has a boyfriend.” This woman was defensive and there was no way she would let her friend make her feel guilty.
A woman was crying uncontrollably while another one held her walking towards a jeep at the end of the road. I followed them behind thinking she could be Bibi’s mum. I stood behind the car asking myself if it was right to go ask her if she was related to Bibi. There was an obvious resemblance. She started saying something to the other woman.
“Bibi, told me in church on Sunday to take her home. She said she didn’t want to return to Uncle Ted. I should have listened to her. I could have fought for her. Now she is gone. I should have done something. I knew Ted was doing something to her but he promised he would stop.” She started to cry again.
I cried until I got home. Bibi was too good to die. She was an angel. I didn’t know her father or mother or if Ted was really her uncle but she was always happy. Behind those smiles and laughter, was a girl waiting to die. From what everyone said Bibi was raped by Ted until she died. Then he called the police to say he found her dead in her room. The neighbours told the police a different story.
It was an easy job for the police. Several bruises and cuts were found on her body. The media reported that she was abused in many ways.
I was angry. Ted deserved to die immediately. He shouldn’t even see that the walls of a prison. There were too many bad sex stories. Few weeks earlier, Green came to school talking about how she was raped and stories of many other children who were sexually abused. In school a senior was raped. Now Bibi and no one is getting corporal punishment for raping a young girl? I wanted to kill Ted if I had the power to. Why should he live when Bibi was dead?
I switched from wanting to be a nurse to a lawyer. Someone has to stand up to fight against this evil and it was going to be me. No more white uniform in a big hospital, it would be a black gown and a wig. I wanted be the lawyer that would defend these young girls and make sure that there was a law that would sentence rapist to die immediately by hanging. I had not seen anyone die by hanging but I heard someone talked about it once. I didn’t also know if lawyers could make such laws but I knew lawyers were powerful people.
Ted would be the first to die.
My biggest fear was that it could happen to me. I began to fight with the thought that someone could rape me and I would die in the process. It was as though a girl somewhere was being raped every minute and it scared me that I might be next. Next to be raped and not killed. Or both. But I became scared not just for myself but for my sister and all the other girls in school.
The memories of what Carl did that Christmas came to my mind and I wondered if that was rape. If it was the same thing that was done to Bibi. I also remembered that from Green’s explanation it has to be something more than what Carl did.
I desperately wanted to know more about rape but I was too shy to ask anyone. Much more than that, I wanted to know more about sex and boys. I wanted to know how to stop a boy from raping a girl. I wanted to know how to fight a boy who wants to touch a girl’s private parts when she didn’t want it. Like Carl did to me.
I was scared, the next girl could be me.
To be continued