Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, because Shechem had defiled and disgraced their sister Dinah.
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I am not listening anymore to what the doctor is saying. I am just shaking my head in disbelief. Sometimes, it makes sense, other times it doesn’t.
‘… the injuries are not so severe, but we need to keep her and watch her, because…’
My husband is talking now. ‘You are saying that the wounds are infected?’
The doctor nods his head and continues.
‘… time is usually of the essence … ‘
‘Yeah, but that’s besides the point…. Infected…’
My husband jumps from the chair. I look from the doctor to my husband, dazed.
I wipe my tears.
The doctor gestures towards my husband’s seat.
‘Leke, I don’t understand…’
He walks out of the room. I look to the doctor who buries his face in his palms. I have no choice but to run after my husband. I find him at the ward where Baby is. He is on his knees beside her bed.
I don’t hear much of what he is saying but I join him and we begin to cry again, whatever it is, the worst is not over yet.
Baby moans in her sleep. We quickly clean our tears and make some effort to be cheerful.
‘Mummy, it hurts…’
I drop a kiss on her forehead, while Leke pats her cheek. He is not fast enough and his tears drop on Baby’s hand. I clean it away too, and try to rearrange baby’s bed, but my tear ducts won’t cooperate. I just stand there with tears streaming down my face, and my lips stretched into what is supposed to be a smile. And Leke bows over Baby and envelopes her in a hug, saying something I don’t follow.
‘… love you very much… both of us … change anything’
I slip out quietly. It is time to pay Bosun a visit. I meet the doctor on my way out.
‘Madam’, he looks worse than I feel, ‘you found him?’ I nod my head. I tell him Leke is with Baby. He puts his hand on my shoulder. ‘He told you?’
Oh! I forgot about that. I shake my head. He turns to leave. I clear my throat. I shrug my shoulders. ‘Just say it. She is not dying, is she?’
‘We carried out some tests just to be sure…’
‘Herpes. She has been infected.’
I suck in my cheeks. Is it not just perfect that I am going to pay Bosun a visit? I say a hurried thank you and make haste towards the car. The beast is going to be tamed today. I call Tessy. She didn’t pick. Bosun had to be at work. I take a gulp of water and clean my mouth with the crook of my elbow. Bring it on.
Some of Bosun’s coworkers know my husband so they are not surprised to see. I feel like I swallowed a pot of boiling water with the stove and all, and the water is boiling in me. I manage to keep my calm till I am in Bosun’s office.
‘Pearle, such a surprise…’
I upset his table with one push.
‘I am having a meeting…’
I slap him five times. The two men in his office who were hitherto stunned try to calm me down. They stay between the both of us. Bosun is raving mad. I have never seen him so angry. He looks like he wants to beat me up.
‘Just lay a finger on me. I dare you! I dare you!’ I begin to pull at my dress and lie on the table. ‘Maybe you should just force yourself on me too! Randy beast! I curse you! I curse you! You will suffer terribly! No happiness for you from today onwards!’
He comes towards me.
‘Quick, kill me!’ I kick him in his groin and he doubles over. I jump down from the table, and look at the two men.
‘He raped my daughter. She is just ten!!! And the bastard gave her herpes. Randy Dog! Unfortunate fellow! Pervert! The Devil himself! You will never know peace! I promise you that! May worse befall each of your children!’
Bosun comes towards me. I move back towards the desk and grab the nearest thing, a stapler.
‘If you take one more step, I swear to God who made me, I will fling this thing hard.’
He laughs and looks at the men. ‘Can you believe this crazy woman? Her husband was at my house three days ago playing video games! For God’s sake Leke is my best friend and Baby is my daughter!’
He turns towards me, ‘Pearle, sit down, let’s sort this out…’
No more adrenaline. My shoulders slump. I look crazy. It makes sense. Now, I know why Leke said nothing. Bosun manipulated him. Who would be telling lies? Bosun, his best friend since childhood or Baby, the apple of his eyes? In his confusion, he blamed himself, and was in denial. It makes sense.
I make my way back to the car in a haze. I accomplished nothing. Now, I know though, I need to be strong, for Leke, for Baby. We need to be there for each other. Leke needs me to support him and be strong. No blame games. We will get through this.