Ironua kicked and kept on screaming as the men pulled her further into the dark bush. The rough leaves and grasses cut skin as they roughly dragged her through an unclear path. She felt weaker by the second but didn’t stop fighting to break free.
After what seemed like 20 minutes of walking through the bush, the men stop and dropped her on the floor. A third man was already waiting for the party. He brought out a piece of rag and tied Ironua’s hands together above her head while the other two held her down.
“The girl too stubborn,” one of them commented.
Another knelt over her thighs and ripped her skirt apart. Someone mad a smirk comment in a slang she didn’t understand. At this point, she was lying still on her back as there was nothing more she could do to help herself. Her throat hurt from all the screaming. The guy worked his hands up her thigh smacking his lips as a child would when watching his father eat a bowl of assorted meat.
The guy who had tied her hands said something to him about hurrying up so others could have their turn. The guy kneeling over her unzipped his trousers before pulling Ironua’s pant down. The guy brought his hand to his face because he had touched something wet as he pulled her pant. The third guy cursed when he recognize what was on his partner’s fingers.
He had touched Ironua’s wet pad. She was on her period.
In disgust, he wiped his stained fingers on Ironua’s thigh, slapped her across the face and stood up angrily.
Few moments later,
Ironua had just freed her hands from the bondage. The men had left her on the floor
because none waited to sleep with a girl on her period.
Her skirt was too shredded to be worn again so she pulled off her top and worn it as a skirt to cover her blood-soaked pant. She walked home that night with a top worn as a skirt and her bra.
Thankful, no one saw her as she ran like a maniac to the house.
Ihuoma gave her one look and decided that was enough. He spent the night convincing her to drop the race and move on.
Ironua agreed to.
A tad late, as the elections was the next day.
In spite of all that had happened, Ironua won. Albeit, with a thin victory margin between her and her opponent. She won the elections to become the First female SUG president of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Their father heard
the news and was furious.
His son should be the one making the news. Now, what he had was a daughter who was out of control.
She was just like her mother.
His wife had passed on, but bits of her life still pissed him off. Like how she was able to stand up and talk in town meetings. He hated how other men said he could not control his wife. Some still mocked him and said he hadn’t remarried after his wife’s death because his late wife instructed him not to before she died.
Like how she would ask little Ironua to cook as she would be late from work instead of coming home to cook as a wife.
Like how she would travel for meetings instead of staying at home and taking care of the family.
He felt she was rubbing shoulders with him a lot. And he hated it.
Now, Ironua was just like her mother. And he hated it even more.
He summoned both kids home. He looked at Ironua sternly and told her he was withdrawing her from school and sending her to be a Baker.
Ironua laughed and told him that won’t happen.
‘Then I won’t pay your school fees,’ he threatened, his eyes red with anger.
“See dad, that’s the perks of being the SUG president, faculty president, and departmental president. Yes, dad, we lied. My fees, to the last, are handled by the school’
She got up and walked out on both men, deciding never to return home.
She signed up to be a non academic staff the moment she got back to school, and she got paid in small stipends monthly.
Her brother could not kick her out of the house, even after his father had asked him to.
He shared money and provisions with her as well, because even if he did not understand the madness, he loved her, and she almost got raped for his sake.
He had dumped his stupid girlfriend who could not take a joke, but it didn’t change what had happened. He had hurt his sister, badly. He wanted to make it up even if she didn’t know.
The stipends increased as time went on.
4.86cgpa and best graduating student of the year, Ironua was offered a lecturing job immediately after graduation.
Ihuoma on the other hand barely made a 3.5. Thankfully, a 2.1 is a 2. 1, no one asks for gp.
As Senator Ironua told this story at the IWD conference held in Abuja where she was addressing a group of young girls on the equality theme that they could be anything they wanted to be, a 15 year old girl raised her hand to ask a question.
“Ma’am, you aren’t president yet, what’s the plan”
She smiled and replied, “His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari is still the president of Nigeria, darling. So, let’s do this instead.” She beckoned on the kid to come to the front of the podium.
As the young girl did, Senator Ironua walked up to her, held her pinky out to the girl, had the girl lock her pinky with hers, and with eyes that twinkled with hope, she said,