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Anonymous Story: The Taxi

It was a Sunday evening, I was returning home from visiting my girlfriend. I boarded a taxi from town to my junction. After a brief ride, the passengers alighted and the last one paid the driver in dollars. I was shocked on seeing that, we were in Nigeria, who pays for anything in dollars let alone a taxi? I overheard the driver tell him it was a naira note we use here because this is Nigeria and not America.

Story of my life. The man insisted that was the currency he had, he said he was new in town and was trying to locate a certain lady (supposedly his business partner) to whom he wanted to supply goods; all of these were explained in French with very little English which the driver couldn’t understand, or so I thought. I was moved to help bridge their communication gap by explaining to the driver in English and Igbo (as he claimed not to understand at all). I had only just graduated from secondary school that year; my French skill was still a little above average so I began translating their conversation.

We got to know that he’s from a French-speaking country, Cameroon, and that was his first time in Nigeria. I was young and naive and took pity on him so when I got to my bus stop and the driver begged me not to go yet and asked if I could just help out so the man would sort himself out considering I was the one helping them understand each other, so we could locate his business partner at the address he had, after much appeal I agreed. During our journey back into town, we headed towards the said lady’s place. The foreigner started saying so many things that I couldn’t understand, about their gods, business, etc. at some point he said if we doubted him, we should spit on our palm and the saliva would appear on the back of our palm, curiously I did it and what he said happened; at that point I got scared.

On getting to his business associate’s house, we didn’t find anyone at the address, he began telling us about a chemical he was to supply her to pour on some notes that could change those notes into real money. The whole drama was becoming too complicated for my young brain to figure out so I told the driver in Igbo that I’d tried my best and that it was getting late bearing in mind that my curfew was 6 pm and the time then was 7 pm.

The foreigner got to know I was about to leave and said I couldn’t go like that, explaining that what we had taken was an oath, being privy to their secret and even the demonstration we did on our palms with saliva… if not cooled down through sex we would die, adding that previous people involved in this who did not cool the oath down before the next morning had swollen stomach and died from there. I busted into tears, begging him for some other way to cool the oath because I was a virgin and couldn’t have sex, the driver then said that he had a girlfriend in the state’s Uni he could go and have sex with but the man said it wouldn’t work if he slept with someone else, that it’s only by sleeping with each other (the two of us who were involved) and then when the driver is done we should take a little of the sperm, do a cross sign on our foreheads saying “what I don’t know will not know me.” I cried my eyes out and started pleading because I didn’t even have a boyfriend and had always wanted to give up my virginity to my husband on my wedding night but my plea fell on deaf ears.

Finally, as a last resort and in order not to die as a consequence of the oath the driver took me to a small guest house that had no light, just a bed with a side drawer which had candlelight on it and defiled me, painfully stole my pride. At that point I wished I had died, I sobbed in my own blood and couldn’t be consoled, even when the bastard of a driver begged me and said that other guests and the staff of that place would hear me. I was ravaged and broken, and I was bleeding too much for me to be modest.

Back in the taxi after the oath was supposedly broken, I was a mess, the foreigner made me give up all the money I had saying I should get some more by tomorrow, and not to mention it to anyone if not my fears would come to pass (death). I accepted all he said and went home; I was obviously jazzed by some charm throughout that experience. I fell sick for 2 weeks and was too scared of dying to mention it to my mum. One day I went to church and I was told that I should pray against having an encounter with fraudsters – I was prayed for but I was too scared to tell anyone I already had the encounter and I never shared the details of the experience with anyone until now.

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