“God, why me? I have served you as I ought to that even my friends think I take it too far with you. I have loved you ever since I met you that faithful day at the school gym. I have used my all, given my all but what do I get in return. Just what?”

Leah, a young lady in her mid-twenties soaked her pillow that night crying out her heart to God whom she has served faithfully all her years. She was born into a very conservative Christian family who had taught her how to love God from her childhood, she was the only child of her parent after 23 years of fruitless marriage. Her mother works in an oil company while her father was a successful banker. Her parent provided all that she needed and they never failed to instruct her in God’s way.

Leah grew up loving the Lord. She was a genius who excelled in all she does even in pranks. She was never caught as she had different strategies to get herself out of troubles.

Until a fateful day…

The sun was shining brightly and the birds were chirping telling of a bright day ahead. It was a Saturday morning. Leah prepared to go to her favourite spot at a park where she usually talked with God, gisting with Him and telling Him about her plans for the future and how much she would like Him to be involved. She had just finished her masters programme in University of Lagos and hopes to continue with her PhD just as she planned.

She carried the basket her mom had parked for her earlier. Her parent knew how much she loves this monthly hangout with herself and they never hesitate to provide all she will need for it to be a successful one. She had spotted a new park on the mainland the day she had gone visiting a friend and she promised herself to visit it the next time she would be going on her self-time.

“Pumpkin, don’t you think it will be better for you to go with one of the cars. You just renewed your driving licence so why not?”

“Dad, nah. I might experience traffic, you know how Lagos is with traffic. Let me order for a ride, that way I even get to complete this novel that I started reading now that exams are over.”

“Okay, if you insist, just be fine.”

“I will Dad, plus I’m no longer that girl of yesterday. Dad, I’m twenty-five!”

“I know but you will always be my pumpkin no matter how old you grow or become.”

Leah got to the park in less than an hour. It was a Saturday and there was no traffic on the third Mainland bridge like every normal working day when you can spend 3 hours on the bridge.

“Hey God. I’m here again today, I’m sure You must have been waiting. Thank You for all that You always do…”

Leah went on talking to God like a friend, yes He is. She had taken God as a friend since she lost her best friend to cancer some few years back. It was a very devastating year for her when she found out her friend of 16 years had cancer of the blood and all treatment failed. She thanked Him for helping her to complete the masters programme she started, she also told him how much she would love to have a family soon and that God should direct the man into her life for she was now ready for marriage.

The ringing of her phone jolted her out of her reverie.

“Hey Dad, how are you?”

“Madam (her Dad calls her this whenever he has something important to say) are you checking the time at all?. It’s almost past 6pm and you aren’t home yet.”

“Oops, Dad, I didn’t even check the time. It’s still bright here. I’d be home soon.”

“Okay dear. Call me when you’re at the junction of the house so I can come pick you. You know the driver won’t want to pass that bad road.”

“No Dad, don’t stress yourself. I will walk. It should not be too dark by the time I’d be dropping”

“Okay dear. We except you home soon. Be fine”

“I will Dad. Thanks”

She hung up and parked all her belonging, checking around to see if she hadn’t forgotten anything.”

The ride home was smooth, less traffic and the driver was super warming; playing soft music that was soothing to her soul.

“Oh, thank you so much. I’d like to get down here. The road home isn’t too good, do not let me stress you”

“Ma’am, no. I’d manage. Let me take you home. It’s getting dark and this your road looks too deserted.”

“Not really. My home isn’t far. It’s just three gates away.”

“Okay, if you insist. Be safe.”

“I will. Thanks. Have a great night.”

She alighted from the car and waved to the driver. Immediately she got down, she knew something wasn’t right in her spirit. Checking herself to see if she had not forgotten anything in the car. Sure she had not, she proceeded with her walk home humming her favourite song:

“Sweet is the promise I will not forget thee,
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away;
E’en though the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.

Refrain
I will not forget thee or leave thee,
In My hands I’ll hold thee,
In My arms I’ll fold thee,
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee”

Just as she was about singing the second verse, she heard footsteps behind her and before she could turn to know who it was, someone grabbed her, covered her mouth and carried her. It all happened in a spilt second, she couldn’t scream.

The man had knowledge of her and left her in a disarrayed state. She couldn’t stand as she became numb and gradually started to feel dizzy. She woke up to find herself on her bed, wrapped in the arms of her weeping mother.

“Mom, what happened? Why are you crying? Why am I feeling weak”
Immediately the whole scene replayed in her head and she burst out crying and screaming. Shouting and cursing.

“God, why me? I have served you as I ought to that even my friends think I take it too far with you. I have loved you ever since I met you that fateful day at the school gym. I have used my all, given my all but what do I get in return. Just what?.”

“Jesus, what sin have I committed to be so badly treated like this, who did I offend? What did I do? Why me,?”

Then she heard the still small voice, “Why not you?”

She tried to shout the voice out but it came stronger.

“I have plans of good and not evil for you”

“But why Lord. I have kept myself. Refused to defile myself. Is this the plan of good you have? To be sexually molested by someone I don’t even know?”

Her mom held on to her praying.

“Mom!” She screamed “stop praying. He is a wicked God, He won’t hear you, because if He does He would have prevented what happened to me but He didn’t. He just stood in heaven and watched me being abused by a total stranger.”

“Leah, you can’t say that. God isn’t a wicked God, He cares for you.”

“NO!, He doesn’t. If He cares for me. He would have prevented that incident but he didn’t rather he allowed me to be disgraced, dragged in the mud, embarrassed, defiled, abused and hurt.”

The same still voice

“I care for you.”

Leah continued sobbing.

Her father had gotten worried that she wasn’t returning on time and wasn’t picking up to. He decided to drive to the junction of the house and wait for her when he saw the basket with all the things in it scattered on the road. He got worried, went back to the house, called his wife.

A search into the next building which was uncompleted led them to their daughter who was lying helplessly on the ground with no consciousness to what was happening around her. Their further search opened the situation to them. Their pumpkin had been raped and deflowered.

They carried her home, her mother bathe her and dressed her up and laid with her on the bed, praying that God forgive the people involve in the incident and give their daughter the grace of also forgive the man.

The events after the day was difficult for the Olorunmaye’s family to handle.
Lead became a shadow of herself. Refusing to participate in any of the family activities. Just eating, sleeping or staring into empty space with tears on her face. She was practically forced to go to church on Sundays and she would sit through out the service like she was a living dead. Nothing no longer interested her. She was getting leaner by the day.

“Mom! Mom! Mommy!”

Her mother came running to her room.

“What’s it, darling? You screamed my name.”

“Mom, I think I’m sick. I have been vomiting all day.”

“Aww, my baby, sorry. We need to visit Dr. Adeleke then.”

The visit to the doctor and the result of the test completely broke the family. Their precious daughter was 6 weeks pregnant.
It was a very trying period for the family. Answering questions from friend and family about Leah’s bulging tummy.

Leah, through the help of her parent and a psycho-therapist got back on her feet. She asked God to forgive her for not trusting in him and became her cheerful self.
7 months after, she gave birth to triplet: two boys and one girl. It was a day of happiness and she decided to name her children; Tabitha, Paul and David.
Leah continued living with her parent while she pursued her dream of becoming a lecturer.

“Leah, I have some few things to discuss with you.” Her mum said.

“Okay Mom, I’m all ears.”

“Baby, it’s been over 10 year since this incident and you’ve refused to move on. I noticed that except your dad and your children, you don’t talk nor interact with the male folks.”

“Mom, not today now. I have told you, I don’t need a man in my life. These children are enough for me. I have not even been able to take care of them well and you’re already talking of husband. Mom please o!”

“Leah, I know how difficult it is for you but consider this children. They need a father figure in their lives, someone they can look up to.”

“They have you and dad now or are you saying you can no longer take care of them?

“No, that’s not what I meant but I need you to forgive and move on. Promise me you will?”

“Okay Mom, I promise. I know if I don’t you won’t let me be.”

“Thank you. Now that you promise, I have something to say. Have you noticed one man in church. He drives an Highlander. I’m sure he has eyes for you, he always stares anytime we enter the church”

“Mommy! Chai. How sure are you that I’m the one he’s looking at. Definitely not me. I have three kids remember and those one never fail to let stranger know I’m their mother with they way they cling to me in church. Mom, I’m 100% sure it isn’t me. It’s some other single ladies in church.”

“What If I told you it’s you. He came to meet me last week and asked for your number. I gave it to him”

“Mommy! Argh! Why now? You didn’t even ask if I wanted you to.”

“I’m sorry love. I want the best for you.”

“Mom, how do you know he is the best?”

“I just have a feeling he is. One more thing. I told him a little of your story when he asked”

“My mommy!”

“Why now? Why would you do that to me? You told him the story surrounding the triplet birth?”

“No, I told him you will tell him yourself if you want too, lest I forget. His name is Bankole Taiwo just in case he eventually calls.”

Bankole and Leah got along well. He accepted the triplet like his own children and got married to Leah by the sea side just like her dream.

Written By: Itanola Mary.