Did I just witness a crime?
It was 6:43 am, June 1, 2019; Oluwatoyosi, this can’t be happening!
I was darn sure all was not looking well from my distance. I shrugged the feeling away and thought maybe it was my mind. A lot of fearful things pass through our minds when we walk down a lonely street, even though it may seem safe.
**Please, I beg you in the name of God, leave me alone. Her muffled voice pierced the silence of the cosy Saturday morning. It was still drizzling.
The voice jolted me out of my wishful thinking. I inched closer. Although I couldn’t see his face, I saw the muscles of his arms and the tattoo at the back of his neck. Oh God, this man is huge!
I slapped myself to wake up. Toyo, wake up! Wake up now! I pinched myself and bit my lips. No, I wasn’t dreaming; it was indeed happening.
Toyo, act fast. Like Wonder Woman, I almost crept into the scene with my non-existing superpowers, and then I remembered I am also a girl, worse still, a girl with a tiny body frame. I recoiled immediately.
***Please leave me alone. I promise I will not tell anyone. Please just leave me alone, she said as she gasped for air. The voice was clear, yet it shook with fear. She called for help as she struggled to free herself from his grip.
Toyo, he mustn’t see you! fo gbon shey! (utilize your brain) lo gbon e (use your brain). I deliberately chanted these to myself as I am literally capable of everything stupid, particularly when my eyes see certain things, and my mind deletes the word “fear”.
What should I do? What can I do? Am I to save the girl? Toyo, why are you even here? A million questions flashed through my mind. I asked God, why me?
If I run back to the entrance gate, he probably would have left. No way!
My best bet was the metallic gates and gatemen of buildings and uncompleted structures. This Estate was meant for zero human interfaces.
I dangerously told myself to mind my own business (It was a safer option to explore in the circumstance); yet, I know I will never be able to sleep at night if I did not at least try to help that girl. What if, just what if, he comes for me when he is done with the girl? I was petrified at the thought.
I have very light feet, and I inched very close unnoticed. It was a yellow top girl. I quickly put my hands to my lips to ask her to be quiet.
He was not just about to forcefully penetrate her; he was strangling her and enjoying the damn process of pinning her down, while he taunted her with those evil kisses. For the first time, I connected with a stranger, and I moved back and forth, aimlessly behind him on a higher slap. She saw me crying; She was also in tears. We both were crying. She became motionless.
In that split second he was about to change position, frantically yanking at her jeans. He had pulled it, and I could spot another piece of clothing. I couldn’t tell if it was her undergarment. I could size her age; she wasn’t small like me. She’s a bit bigger in shape, but, I saw the innocence of a child. I beckoned at her to keep crying. She kept pointing at something. It wasn’t so bright, and I couldn’t see. Her frantic hands didn’t stop pointing, and I couldn’t put on my phone torchlight. I wouldn’t dare. Then I saw it.
It was our only chance to get out of there alive and unhurt. I had to push the crate of metal tools. It was a one-chance, no minute to think about the deadly repercussions, a solution alas. I could have murdered two people that day. I could have been a murderer, and the world would never have understood my actions. He was almost halfway pulling down her jeans, and my sense didn’t fail me to know he didn’t have to pull the jeans down to gain unwarranted access and thrust himself into her.
She said a deaden “please”.
This time, I was sure the please wasn’t to her assaulter, but was directed at me (her supposed saviour). I had just one opportunity to push this crate and, If I failed, I too would be in grave danger. It is also my responsibility to preserve my own life.
My heart began to pound in my chest. I laid on the slap, and I pushed the crate with both my hands and feet till I couldn’t feel it anymore. There was a big loud thud, and that was it.
I laid on the floor, still closing my eyes. That millisecond probably lasted forever. Then my skin crawled, I remembered I wasn’t safe yet. Oh, Yellow top! Yellow top, where are you? I jumped the mini-stairs down, and Big Muscle cringed in one corner, while Yellow top was at the side that was towards the exit of the building. I dragged her, as Big Muscle hadn’t recovered from what hit him. The metal had only put a scar on the left part of his head.
I sighed. Toyo, you did not murdered anybody. This time, Big Muscle saw me. We had to run.
He held a rod and pursued us. I then dragged Yellow top, we ran into the street, further from the entrance gate I knew.
Aunty, thank you! She said as she dragged her jeans up.
I screamed, “run”. It began to rain heavily. I and Yellow top ran in the same direction, which the building position aided, till we got to the end of the street that diverted left and right. Yellow top dashed to the left, I initially took the turning to the right, and then I remembered I don’t live in the Estate, Yellow top most likely knew where was safer. I dashed after her to the left. The stupid girl noticed I wasn’t following behind her, she ran back to look for me.
In the process of that confusion, we ran past ourselves, and we did that twice, till, on the third round of doing that nonsense in fear, she dragged me by my arm. I wasn’t in the proper frame of mind to know anything. Oh, it was Yellow top’s hand. Then we saw Big Muscle behind us. Hand in hand, we ran and ran and ran.
My legs were burning, I had to let them burn. My lungs were exhausted, but what could I do? I was running and drinking rainwater at the same time. This has got to be hellfire. Yellow top had this energy from hell, she just kept dragging me in this race. I felt Big Muscle really close, we took another left bend, we kept running.
Cars sped past us. I cried in the rain, will the sky be bright anytime soon? At that moment we ran past my car. Ha! Oluwaseun (thank God). Why are you here again? Toyosi, Why? I asked myself.
I only landed there because I was trying to find out the address of the asshole that duped my cousin of four cars and never paid. The Police were snoozing, and I had to turn into a private detective. For fear of being identified, I parked two streets away, after I drove past the number of the house twice assuring myself of location. Little did I know what God was preparing me for. I remembered my sense of direction, and I swore Oluwaseun Daniel Odugboye, ko de ni dafun e o! Ooo ni shorire laye e! Waa ni damu! Aye ma sare tele e, loruko Jesu! ( Oluwaseun Daniel Odugboye, it shall not be well with you! You will not be successful, you will be troubled! The world will pursue you in Jesus name).
I dragged Yellow top into the corner of Lagos Street, we ran the stretch and turned back the rivulet. I was sure we would lose Big Muscle. My car keys, I exclaimed as tears ran down my face. Kokoro nibo lowa? (where are my car keys?). I touched my boobs down to my thigh – oh there you are, good boy. I took the keys opened the car from afar and told Yellow top, run into the back seat of that car. She saw the keys with me. She understood and replied with the words – Okay, Aunty.
As she sped faster than me, I held the keys in position, I dashed into the driver seat, bashed the car behind me, scratched the one ahead of me, and off we went to the big security gate.
We did not see Big Muscle again.
Before I get charged for the offence of kidnapping, I stopped at the security gate of the Brooks Estate and filed a complaint. We told our story.
It was evident that the security men knew who Yellow top was, and started another round of “who are you?” Le mi na? (Are you referring to me? I thought). It was about 7:45 am.
I parked my car. No one focused on the girl; the focus was on me. Who am I ke? I found my voice. No, not who am I. what are you going to do about our complaint. Who are you? They kept on asking. I wasn’t a resident clearly and how I got in without a confirmation from a resident was suspect.
Now, Big Muscle showed up. He started to give Yellow top unending slaps. I was confused; I was scared. What is going on here?
Toyosi, o de kin mind business ehn bayi (Toyosi you really don’t know how to mind your own business). I quickly called my Mum. In Yoruba, I said “Iya Olu, wahala ti de o!” (Mum, there is trouble) before you will hear that I am missing. This is where I am, this is what I have been through. I ended with mummy start coming. I really didn’t have to give my mother that instruction. Knowing her nature, without asking, she would show up.
First to show up was my cousin, then my brother, then almost the whole descendants of the Abikoye’s family and then finally my Mother and Father (that was a surprise for me).
All the while, I sat in my car, and I did not say one word to anybody. I watch them beat Yellow top as she sat on the floor. It was 10:30 am. Cars still sped past us. Everything looked normal, but Yellow Top seemed like a criminal. The security outlet wished me away and thought they were succeeding but didn’t know what to do with me. They had reported me to the nearby police station as a trespasser, they had even further alerted the asshole who I came to verify his address. Right before my eyes, he drove out from the Estate two out of the four cars I came to confirm were still in his possession. Gbese de!
I became angry. The moment my mother returned my call and said, “where are you? Your daddy and I are at the Estate gate” I got down from my car with confidence. I was darn sure nothing can go wrong. You see all my brothers that came before couldn’t even enter the Estate, but my dad walked in. First, he secured Yellow Top and me behind his back, asked my cousin to drive out my car and asked me to point them out.
What he meant by “them”, I did not understand, but I made my hand move like the wind.
We left the Estate. No-one stopped us. No living soul.
We were in front of the Estate gate, and my father asked I and Yellow Top, what happened.
I began; Daddy see ehn, I came to verify that useless man’s address (The one I told you about yesterday). The Police weren’t taking my complaint seriously, and I thought I could do it sharp sharp and return home. When I got to the estate gate, I did not have a sticker, but I did not lie. The security that allowed me to pass, mistook me for a resident’s daughter. I did not refute him. As I drove in, I saw Yellow top, she gave me directions because goggle map lost signal. That was how I met Yellow top. Then, I tried to know my surroundings, so that, that useless Daniel wouldn’t realize I came to his house. I parked two streets away, it was when I walked down I witnessed what was about to or what happened to Yellow Top.
It was Yellow Top’s turn. She broke down into tears. Talk now, she couldn’t. Trust my father, he wasn’t military for anything. He could watch you cry blood and not be moved. My Mum jumped to her side, my father waded her off. He said one thing, and I knew he meant it to the last word. “If you speak, maybe I can help you. If you don’t, I will leave you here and take my daughter with me”.
Big Muscle was the head of the security outlet. His house was by the house he wanted to abuse her. Yellow top and her mother are domestic workers in Big Muscle’s house. Her mother wasn’t feeling fine and asked her to turn in alone for the day, she was to resume at 6:00am. It wasn’t the first time Big Muscle had tried to gain carnal knowledge of her. She had reported to her Mum, who couldn’t do anything about it. She came to the house to work alone because they had told her Big Muscle wasn’t at home, but madam. As soon as she arrived at the house, and took out the dirt, Big Muscle lunged at her, and aunty saw us.
My mother was already broken into a million pieces because Yellow Top was just 15years old and had to go through such an ordeal.
It then hit me. No wonder the security men didn’t do a thing about my complaint. No wonder they called me a trespasser. And then I started laughing, Baba Olu ma faa tan (My father will leave no stones unturned). My cousins took my car and drove my mother home. I was left with Dad, my brother and Yellow Top.
We drove to SARS, but before SARS did anything, we used the Military. Many people were unfortunate that day on behalf of Yellow Top. Every child must be respected and protected.
The rest is history.
Just know Daddy turned every stone. He plundered and stood by us. It was a great comfort having a Daddy like my father. For the first time, Mum stepped aside and watch her husband go livid…lol!
I am pleased to say Yellow Top and her family moved back to their village. She and her siblings now attend school, and her Mum has been empowered to start some farming and trading.
Big Muscle tried settling out of court. Yes, we collected his money, and we did not settle nada. I am still waiting for the appropriate authority to call me and ask that I recount my direct evidence of what happened in open court on behalf of Yellow Top. By the way, Big Muscle is out there on the street on bail. The law truly is an ass.
Yellow Top is now one of my mentees, and that girl is a firebrand. Very smart and very beautiful.
This is why I now love everything in Yellow!
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Be the 911 to humanity.