“I can’t believe you were able to come. Knowing your parents dierr,” Eyram says sneering
“Oh, it’s just strategy. I just told them I’m going for choir rehearsal”, Josephine laughs.
“Don’t tell me you’re wearing that?”
“Of course not, my mother won’t let me leave the house in what I want to wear so I packed it. Give me a minute and I’ll change quickly.”
“Kwerh, I’m so glad our parents aren’t on Instagram. Like how would we post all these pictures.”
“I know right”. Josephina agrees, “I mean, she won’t let me out for any programs or shows. ‘Can I dye my hair mum?’ the answer is ‘no’. ‘what about a second piercing?’ the answer is still no. Do you even know the reasons she gives me? ‘what will the people in church say if I let my 15-year old daughter do all that?” she says, mimicking her mother’s voice.
“Study hard and become a nurse, then you will see what is like to be a mother, she says. I mean they even said I should stop being friends with you the last time you came into the house and didn’t greet.’
“Eiiibeaaa” Eyram screams.
“hmmm, they keep me at home all the time but they won’t even buy drink unless one of those annoying relatives are coming. This afternoon, I’m going to party harddddd at the party. I mean, those old people who call themselves parents have already enjoyed their youth. I see it in the photo albums. Dancing and having fun but they won’t let me live? Let’s go girl, tonight, is the night.”
The two girls sulk out of the washroom to the pools in their little red bikinis, arms flaying and prancing about. Eyram wiggles her waist to Sarkodie’s song, ‘Saara’. Excited to be out and free. A group of boys walk up to Josephine.
“Wanna join us?”, the prettiest boy amongst them asks, holding out a cup to her. Josephine signals to Eyram to join her and they head off with the boys to the poolside.
Laughter turns to slurred words and blurred visions. Josephine opens her eyes to find herself in a strange room. She tries to get up and notices a soreness between her legs. She touches her fingers to the space between her thighs and it comes back up with blood. Josephine screams.
***********************Two Weeks Later************************
“Josephine, you’re losing too much weight. What is wrong with you? you won’t even eat the good I cook. Meanwhile you yourself you can’t cook. Are you pregnant?”, her Ma asks her.
“the bible says that, ‘being cheerful keeps you healthy but it is a slow death to be gloomy all the time. read your bible. Why aren’t you reading your bible? Don’t let the devil steal your joy.”
“Ma, did you have sex before marriage or done any bad thing when you were younger?” Josephine whispers.
“God forbids!!!! Me? I have never made that mistake before oo. in fact, I studied hard till I finished school, I focused on only my studies. Why would you ask a question like that? Are you not a virgin?!!”
“I am, I am, Ma.”
“I’m just feeling depressed.”
“Kai, depression does not exist oo my dear. It is the devil’s plan to get to you. just read your bible and eat my food. It will all be well. Now go and wash you face before you father comes. And smiles dear. Smile. This why you don’t have many friends oo.”
“I can’t believe she just said that, last time she said I have too many friends”, Josephine thought.
“Ma, I think I want to go for counselling.”
“For what? When you have God? Come on my dear, talk to God about it. why can’t you even talk to me?”
“So that you’ll take me for prayers and call everyone family member to announce what I said?”, Josephine wonders.
“I was just joking. It was a joke. I’m going to the room now.”
“Are you sure? You come and let me pray with you for just one minute.”
Josephine shuffles towards her mother, tears in her eyes. She holds hands with her mother; they both close their eyes.
“Father Lord God, any plan that the enemy has in connection with my daughter’s future. I break it. I destroy it. I send it back into their camp. Any enemy behind closed doors, in any forest, under any water, holding my daughter. I break it loose. I bond it. Amen!”
“you have to shout it dear. Shout it.”
“Amen!”, she shouts with tears right behind her throat.