Redeemed Hearts episode 3


Episode 3

As Tife poured out her painful story, Arinze couldn’t help but feel the depth of her pain. She had been just a young lonely girl, and the burdens she had carried were enough to scar anyone deeply.

“I can never forget that year; that was when I truly understood what sorrow meant,” Tife began. “I had just finished high school and was awaiting admission to the university. My aunt and her family had traveled during the summer, leaving me alone with my brother and one domestic staff. The nurse usually worked from morning to evening, but my brother was having a bad day on this particular day. So, the nurse had to stay and watch over him throughout the night.” Tife’s voice wavered as she recounted the painful memories. Arinze’s heart ached as he watched her cry, wishing he could erase her pain forever. Yet, he knew that despite the hardships she had endured, she had survived.

With a trembling voice, she continued, “It was late at night, and the domestic staff had retired to her room in the staff quarters at the back of the main house. I decided to sleep on the couch downstairs to be close to my brother. But in the middle of the night, the nurse came in and forced himself on me. He violated me, shoved a stocking in my mouth, and held me down. He was strong and athletic, and I was helpless.” Tife broke down, her tears flowing bitterly.

Arinze was overcome with pain, tears welling up in his own eyes. “You don’t have to tell me all of this. I can see how much you’re hurting.”

“No,” Tife insisted, her voice determined. “I have to tell you everything. It’s the only way you’ll understand the choices I’ve made.” After a brief pause to collect herself, she continued, “After the terrible act, he apologized, but I threatened to tell my aunt. In response, he threatened to kill my brother if I did. From that night onwards, he found excuses to stay over, and he would violate me every night. At first, I tried to stay in my room and lock the door, but he continued to threaten me with my brother’s life, and in my naivety, I believed him.”

“My uncle was the first to return from his trip because of an urgent business matter, and I thought my ordeal was finally over. I couldn’t find the words to tell him about what the nurse had done, but I kept my distance from him. However, two days after my uncle’s return, he entered my room and also subjected me to the same horrors,” Tife continued.

Arinze’s face contorted with anger and sorrow as he exclaimed, “No! Why are some men so despicable? Preying on innocent and defenceless children.”

Tife nodded, tears streaming down her cheeks. “I cried so hard, I begged him to stop, but he merely asked me why I was crying. He insisted that since I wasn’t a virgin, it meant I had been with other men. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I had been molested. There seemed to be no point. He was no different from the nurse. He threatened to throw my brother and me out if my aunt were to find out what had happened. He told me that this would continue, that it was my way of paying for everything he had supposedly done for my family.”

Tife paused for a moment, struggling to compose herself. “My aunt eventually returned and noticed I wasn’t my usual cheerful self. She observed that I was always uncomfortable around the nurse, so she decided to replace him. However, my uncle continued these barbaric acts for a whole year while I was away at school. Sometimes, he would travel to my school and instruct me to meet him in a hotel. I had no choice; he was paying for my brother’s medical bills and my school fees.”

“One day, during a school holiday, he sneaked into my room as usual, but this time, my aunt caught us in the act. Instead of confronting her husband for taking advantage of her young niece, she accused me of trying to break her home and that I was ungrateful. The next morning, she threw my brother and me out onto the streets.”

Tears welled up in Arinze’s eyes as Tife continued her heartbreaking story. “Arinze, we had no one, nowhere to go. I only had the money my uncle had been sending into my account, which I had refused to touch. I had no choice but to use it. When I called my roommate from school, she introduced me to her uncle, who promised to help. However, he wanted something in return – my body. By then, I didn’t care anymore; my brother’s well-being was my priority. Her uncle lived in Lagos, so we moved there, and I transferred to Unilag. He found a medical facility willing to take care of my brother, and that’s how I started down the path of dating older, wealthy men.”

Tears welled up in Arinze’s eyes as he came to terms with the harsh reality of Tife’s past. Life sometimes can be cruel, and people lack empathy, with a “Rub my back, I rub your back” mentality.
“I’m so deeply sorry, Tife. I had no idea of the sufferings you endured. I can’t believe I judged you wrongly and hurled hurtful words at you. I’m deeply sorry for the misunderstandings and the pain I’ve caused you,” Arinze confessed, his remorse intense.

Tife gently wiped away a tear and spoke softly, “Arinze, that’s precisely why I couldn’t welcome your advances when we were in school. I had feelings for you back then; I mean, who wouldn’t? You were the heartthrob of the school, and any girl would have been thrilled to be with you. But I had too much at stake.”

Arinze nodded; his voice heavy with emotion. “I should have made an effort to understand your situation instead of leaping to conclusions. I was foolish and acted unwisely.”

Tife took a step closer to him, her heart aching for the man who stood before her. “Arinze, I never intended to hurt you. When I crossed paths with you again, I simply wanted to know what it felt like to be with you. However, I never let my guard down because I knew deep down that we could never truly be together.”
With those words, Tife sat down, leaving Arinze to grapple with the complex emotions that swirled within him.
She then continued “But, just when I thought that nothing else could move me, life once again thrust me onto a path filled with grief.”

Thanks for reading,
To be continued.
Jumie Naths

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