BLACKMAIL [A Short Story]

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At the early hour of a Saturday morning, Omorilewa was in the toilet when her phone rang in the room. Her heart ran a marathon of somersault and she didn’t bother to wash up before jumping out of the loo to pick up her ringing phone. Unfortunately for her, the call ended before she was able to pick it and she knew she was in trouble. She clasped her hands on her head and broke into tears.

The fear of the numerous threats she had received from the caller engulfed her. Whenever her phone rings now it’s panic and to avoid missing the calls, she had to go everywhere with her phone. She remembered how the caller had threatened to leak the secret should she refuse to pick his calls just once. She held her phone to her chest as cold shiver ran through her spines. Her legs were shaking and her palms wet out of anxiety. She tried to call the caller back but his phone was switched off. She knew she was in a big problem and she wept the more.

The phone almost fell from her hands as her hands and legs continued to shake vigorously. She fixed her gaze on the phone on her hands as tears of anguish cascaded her cheeks. A lot of thoughts ran through her poor head yet she couldn’t find a solution to her problem. She tried the caller’s number over and over again but it wasn’t reachable and her anxiety grew.

Suddenly, she summoned some courage, got dressed without taking her bath and headed for the caller’s house. She doesn’t know if it was the breeze that was pushing her or if it was her legs that carried her, all she knew was that she was lifeless and getting to her destination was a miracle.

She alighted from the bus and walked to the caller’s house. She knocked severally before the gateman came to open the gate for her in hesitation. She walked in like a zombie after greeting the gateman. She was no stranger in the house as the gateman knew her well. When the going was still good with her and the caller, she was a regular visitor at the house so this morning, she had no problem entering the house.

After the gateman let her in, she walked to the door and knocked gently. She knocked for some minutes before the housekeeper opened the door.

“What do you want?” Asked the housekeeper.

“I want to see your Oga.” Rilewa replied.

“Oga instructed me not to allow you into the house again.” The housekeeper responded with a straight face.

“When was that because I was still here yesterday.” Rilewa replied.

“He gave the instruction just this morning.” The housekeeper replied firmly.

“I understand but please, it’s very important that I see him.” Rilewa pleaded with shaky voice.

“Do you want me to lose my job? I don’t even know why the stupid gateman allowed you into the compound in the first place. I said Oga has instructed me never to allow you into the house again or is that too difficult for you to understand?” The housekeeper snapped and Rilewa burst into tears.

“Please help me, don’t do this to me. Allow me to see chief…………” Rilewa was saying when the housekeeper slammed the door on her face.

She broke into another round of tears and instead of leaving, she sat in front of the door and wept bitterly. She wouldn’t leave until she sees chief as her life was on the line. She needed to see him to beg him for forgiveness, compassion and mercy. She just had to see him if not she wouldn’t leave the house. She was at the door for hours and refused to leave. She tried Chief’s line severally to no avail and she got up severally too to knock on the door but no one was ready to listen to her.

After like five hours of sitting at the door, Chief wanted to go out, he opened the door and was surprised she was still there. He hissed and made to walk to his car when Rahmah held unto his legs.

“Please sir, hear me out, please don’t do this to me. May your generations yet unborn never know trials and tribulations, may your……………”

“Save me the prayers you idiot! Do you think I am joking with you, I mean every bit of my threat and to before warn is to before harm. I warned you that you mustn’t miss my call just for once. Your cup is full and I’m ready to carry out my threat.” Chief threatened once again.

“Please don’t do this to me, I am very sorry, have mercy upon me.” Rilewa pleaded in tears.

“So you can come now and plead for mercy, you have the gut not to pick my call and now you want me to have mercy on you right? Mercy is dead and buried for your information.” Chief retorted.

“I wasn’t with my phone when you called, I rushed to pick up but the call ended before I could. Please it wasn’t insolence I beg your pardon sir.” Rilewa pleaded with teary eyes.

“See young woman, I don’t have your time. As you can see, I am going out and I am already late. We had a deal and you were the one that breach it so you can go to hell for all I care.” Chief said with a final note, hopped into his car and shut the door before Rilewa could say any other thing.

He zoomed off and Rilewa ran after his car while crying like a bereaved. She hit herself on the floor and gave a loud, ‘I am doomed’ cry. After giving herself a good cry, she got up and walked out of the gate. With a state of extreme mental exhaustion, she walked to the bus-stop and waited for a bus that was going to her destination.

While waiting to get a bus home, the thought of running into an incoming vehicle crossed her mind. Isn’t it better to die than face the impending shame and humiliation? Isn’t it better to die than be subjected to blackmail? A blackmailer never get satisfied, they keep coming up with different demands, death is the only way to see the end of blackmail, Rilewa thought as she made an attempt to run into an incoming tanker but quickly ran back. She was very close to her mortality before she ran back because the tanker gave a deafening horn which almost blew her away.

Other commuters at the bus-stop shouted at her, they lashed her for her stupidity and told her to go jump into a lagoon single handedly if she wanted to commit suicide and not cause an accident which might take scores of life. She shivers as she felt the salty taste of her tears in her mouth. Even death is not easy to encounter, she thought as she left the bus-stop out of shame and walked to the next stop to get a vehicle home.

She got a vehicle immediately she got to another stop and entered. She sat beside the window and rested her head against the window when the cause of her tears came flashing.

Omorilewa was the eldest child of her parents who had four other siblings making five of them. Her parents rented a room in Mushin area of Lagos and life was a bit difficult. Her father was a road side Vulcanizer and business wasn’t going smoothly. Her mother was a petty trader who sells in front of the house but responsibility was way beyond their income and everything wasn’t falling into place.

To eat three square meals a day was a herculean task not to talk of paying school fees of five children. Life was really hard for them and immediately their first child Rilewa left secondary school, her parents told her without mincing words that she could no longer continue as there was no wherewithal for them to keep doing their responsibility. She couldn’t learn a skill either as money is also required so the last option was for her to work and support her parents towards paying bills and running the home.

Assisting her parents wasn’t new to her as she was used to doing it. Back in secondary school she dated a generous rich kid from a nearby private school who wasn’t tired of paying her bills and spending hugely on her. Her parents were aware of this and they raised no eyebrow. As long as the money is useful and repairing some loopholes, they’ve got no problems. Your child who’s not a launder keeps bringing home clothes, the one who is not a butcher keeps coming home with meats and you never raised an alarm. Some parents are the architect of their children’s misfortune. They cheered them on because of their own selfish interest forgetting that they are toying with future tears.

Rilewa continued collecting money from her boyfriend to give to her parents to run their home and their standard of living was raised to power 10. There was nothing the rich kid didn’t do for them. They moved from one room to a self contain flat and a new life was as sweet as honey. Their difficult three square meals now come with ease and they glowed like Globacom network.

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Just as love has consequences, giving also has a prize and the prize Rilewa had to pay to her rich boyfriend was her body. Of course there’s no free lunch anywhere, rub my back, I rub yours, no one is a fool. She had to pay with her body and her parents got to know of this when she was pregnant. Her mum didn’t think twice before taking her to a local hospital to get the baby aborted. The abortion was successful after which the doctor advised her parents to do a family planning for her.

The doctor told them an adult child can have sex but should ensure it’s a protected one. Condom fails most of the time but with contraceptive then she’s good to go, said the doctor. Her parents agreed, the family planning was done and her sexual escapades continued.

Towards the end of her secondary education, her rich boyfriend relocated with his parents to the states and this only means one thing. The goodies Rilewa was getting from him stopped and her parents was broke again. It wasn’t easy getting another Maga that would pay bills generously. All the boys out there are ‘I never chop’ who are looking for girls to feed on instead of giving.

After her secondary education, she had to go with her parents advice of working to support the family. She was fortunate to get a work with a fast food joint and the pay was a good one to start with. She worked diligently that her employers liked her and told her to keep it up.

Two months into working in the fast food joint, she met Chief who liked her immediately and asked her out. She got home and told her mum about it. The mother advised her to go for the man as long as he has some cool cash to offer. She obeyed her mum and agreed to date chief and wow! Chief spoilt her silly with gifts and money. The generosity also extended to her parents as usual and her mum advised her to hold the Maga tight and never let go.

What would she use to hold the Maga tight if not her body. Chief was generous with his money and in return, Rilewa too was generous with her body. After a short while of dating, chief told her to quit her work and offered to send her through school. She was really happy as her dream in life was to be educated fully and not a semi illiterate. Her parents too were happy and Chief indeed fulfilled his promise. He saw Rilewa through school with paying of school fees promptly and provision of food, clothing and shelter while it lasted.

Chief built her parents a house and they moved in from a rented apartment into a new house with pride. After Rilewa graduated, Chief proposed marriage to her and that was when the ‘kasala’ burst. She told him she couldn’t marry a man old enough to be her father and that she thought their relationship was just for the period she would finish school. She told him she never envisaged a marriage with him and that she wanted to quit as she had the intention of settling down with her contemporary and not an old hag like chief.

The proposal rejection made chief so furious and he vowed to hunt her for the rest of her life which Rilewa waved as an empty threat. Rilewa got home and narrated everything that happened to her mother who praised her for being a brave girl.

“That’s very good of you, how can he propose marriage to you, isn’t he ashamed of himself? He wants to marry a woman young enough to be his daughter. Please don’t give in to him, don’t pick his calls any longer. The relationship is over. He’s just a means to an end, and the mission is completed, this is the right time to trash him like a piece of paper.” Rilewa’s mother said, instilling confidence in her.

“Mummy what if chief decides to collect this house from us.” Rilewa stated her fears to her mother.

“And so what, he can only evacuate us from his house, he can never evacuate us from the surface of the earth. Look my dear, I and your father had envisaged something like this before now and we have prepared for a plan B a long time ago. We decided not to tell you so that you won’t tell Chief. Out of the money realized from chief’s generosity, we have built a block of two apartments which are presently rented out. Worst come to worst, we can simply tell one of the tenants to move out.” Rilewa’s mother explained and burst out laughing.

“That’s very good and you don’t know how relieved I am. That means we don’t have to worry about Chief’s threat. This is the only property he gave to us and if he comes tomorrow to reclaim it, we have something to fall back on. It’s not possible for him to reclaim all my school fees he had paid is it?”

“Even if he does, we’ll gladly count his money and give to him.” Rilewa’s mother said gallantly and Rilewa exclaimed.

“Mummy!!! Is your bank account that fat?”

“You don’t know anything, we didn’t eat with all our fingers, we saved massively for the rainy days which we know will come sooner or later so my dear daughter, relax, I won’t open my eyes and watch you marry an old man.” Rilewa’s mother assured and she hugged her mother happily.

Since that day, no matter how much Chief called, Omorilewa wouldn’t pick, in fact it got to a stage she blocked chief from calling and also from all social media network. Like a piece of used tissue, it’s usefulness ends when it’s no longer needed.

A week after the proposal, Chief decided to visit Rilewa’s parents to report their daughter to them and to know their opinion about it. They received him with coldness and with a lot of daringness. Chief explained himself and without mincing words, Rilewa’s parents told him that their daughter cannot marry him.

“I see, so this is a collective decision. I thought Rilewa was kidding, I never knew her parents are behind her bravery. How dare you bite the finger that fed you!” Chief retorted loosing his patience.

“We are not biting the fingers that fed us and we are grateful for all you’ve done for us but our daughter cannot marry you and that can never change. God is the only one that can reward goodness, my daughter can’t reward your goodness by marrying you, you are not being fair to her.” Rilewa’s father said

“Your daughter cannot marry me now that I have made her right? I picked you all from the gutter and washed you clean, it is now that I am no longer valuable in your lives. When I was dolling out my cash, why didn’t you tell me then that your daughter cannot date me or that you don’t need my money.” Chief retorted.

“Don’t even start the recalling game at all, when you were dolling out your cash to her, were you doing it for free? No because she was paying back with her body which of course is give and take so stop crying that we bite your finger.” Rilewa’s mother fired back.

“Is that all you’ve got to say you ungrateful fellows! Okay no problem, you can have your daughter but let me assure you that you will pay dearly for this and to start with, please vacate this house within the next 24 hours or else………………………”

“Or else what!” Rilewa’s mother interrupted sharply. “We are so ready for you and it wouldn’t even get to 24hours before we vacate your house you old fool. He wants to marry my daughter because he saw her through school and spent on us. You are the messiah God sent to us and you’ve received your reward by sleeping with my daughter. If I want to show you some madness, I’ll tell you to also give back all the sex you’ve had with my daughter but I just leave you to God Agbaya.”

“You will regret ever doing this, I will make sure I hunt your family till you’re sorry and I’ll never listen to your plea by the time you become sober.” Chief threatened again but the family told him to go to hell with his empty threat. He left after reminding them to vacate the house within 24 hours.

After Chief left, the family started packing immediately. They’d informed one of their tenants to vacate the apartment since they envisaged this kind of trouble. They left chief’s house and erased all the memory they had of Chief and in their little mind, they thought they’d escaped. Little did they know that the deed of yesteryears can still hunt and hurt.

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Two years after, Rilewa found love in the arm of a gentle man who proposed and she accepted. Preparation was in top gear for the wedding and the bride to be was so happy and fulfilled.

Two weeks to the wedding, Rilewa received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. She opened the message and alas! It was her nude pictures where she was making love with Chief. The sender was no other than Chief and he demanded that Rilewa should see him immediately she got the message. Her breath seized for seconds after seeing the pictures and she started shivering at the same time. For minutes, her brain stopped working and couldn’t think of what to do.

After a while, she decided to pay chief a visit as instructed in the message. The gateman allowed her in and she walked briskly to the house. She met Chief in the living room watching TV and she immediately fell on her knees and started begging profusely. Chief burst into a prolonged sarcastic laughter before speaking.

“So you still know your way to this house right? It’s been two years you know!” He asked mockingly.

“Please sir, don’t do this to me sir.” Rilewa pleaded earnestly.

“I haven’t done anything to you, you are crying already. By the time I finish with you, you’ll regret the day our paths crossed. You think you can cheat me and go scot free just like that? No, the day of reckoning is here and I’ll enjoy this revenge to the fullest. I waited patiently for this day to come, you want to marry, oya come and marry let me see you now.” Chief said mockingly with a sarcastic laughter and this time Rilewa intensified her plea.

“Please sir, I am very sorry for hurting you. I beg you with the name of everything you hold dear, forgive me and allow me have my wedding in peace.”

“You can’t have your wedding in peace because peace seized to be yours the day you and your parents treated me with disdain and told me to do my worse. I am ready to do my worse now and I won’t listen to your plea never!”

“Please forgive me sir, to err is human, to forgive is divine. I am your daughter……………”

“Shut up you idiot, you ain’t my daughter because I can’t sleep with my daughter. For your information, I already have your fiancé’s number and I intend to send these pictures to him. I have a video also which will further explain that he’s about to marry another man’s remnant. I want to pay you back in your own coin so that you’ll know how bitter it is to be deceived.”

“I never deceived you sir because I didn’t say I’ll marry you in the first place.” Rilewa defended herself.

“You are still arguing with me, it seems you don’t know what I am capable of doing. I’ll break all the breakable bones in your body and leave you worthless. I have nothing to lose because it’s you that’s about to get married.” Chief threatened again and Rilewa apologized for arguing with me.

“I am sorry sir, what exactly do you want from me.”

“Now you’re talking. All I want is your body again, if you give it to me then you’ll have your wedding in peace.

“That’s not possible, I am about to get married, I shouldn’t be doing this again.” Rilewa exclaimed.

“Then no problem, you can choose between reformation and total destruction, the choice is yours.”

“Please have mercy on me sir, don’t do this to me.” Rilewa begged for the umpteenth time.

“I don’t know why you’re begging me now, I have already told you the condition you need to fulfill to have a peaceful wedding. Please I have better things to do.” Chief said and got up to leave but Rilewa quickly grabbed his legs and begged him.

“Please sir be merciful………okay I’ll do whatever you ask me to do.”

“Now you’re talking, to start with, lets go in and have a nice time.” Chief said while pulling her up. She followed him reluctantly into his bedroom where they had a nice time.

Rilewa thought that was all until Chief told her after that he needed her to come and be warming his bed every night to which she exclaimed again but Chief told her that was not all. He told her he was at liberty to call her anytime he needed her and that he mustn’t call her twice before she picks up or else he’s going to send the nude pictures and video to her husband to be. Chief however told her that it was just for the short period in between her wedding that once she finally get married, he would free her.

She wept profusely and left chief’s place broken and shattered. It was only two weeks to her wedding and she thought it’s better to dance to chief’s tune just for a while than lose her Bobo. She got home that day and decided not to tell her parents. Chief had warned her never to play smart or else the consequence would be brutal.

Since that first day, the blackmailer never stopped demanding for sex. She not only warmed his bed at nights but she also had to hasten to his calls anytime he needed her. This morning, she missed his call while in the loo and she called back and he had switched off. She smelt trouble and quickly ran to his house but he wouldn’t allow her in. He came out eventually and wouldn’t listen to her before zooming off.

She cried bitterly as she recollected how she found herself in this mess. She bit her finger in regret for ever leading a wayward life and worse still, her parents who were supposed to guide her were her accomplice who cheered her on.
She thought everything was over now, her marriage was a mirage after all. Her past came calling and ruined everything. Chief wouldn’t hesitate now to send the nude pictures and video to Olu her fiancé. She cried like a bereaved and even after getting home, she wouldn’t stop crying. Her mother was worried and had to beg her to open up, she eventually did and her mother wept with her.

“Mummy it’s too late for you to cry. You destroyed my life, you never told me what I was doing was wrong, instead you cheered me on because of your selfish interest. I regret having a mother like you, I regret having a father like daddy, both of you destroyed my life.” Rilewa cried out loud.

“I am sorry my dear but don’t give up yet. I think you should call Olu and explain everything to him before chief carries out his threat. It’s just five days to the wedding, he can’t cancel the wedding please my dear don’t give up.” Her mother advised and Rilewa snapped at her

“Mummy you’re a disgrace to motherhood. With what mouth will I tell Olu that I have been sleeping with men since I was thirteen years of age to support my parents. With what mouth will I tell him that I met Chief since I was sixteen years and he’s been sleeping with me since then till date. Even at the verge of getting married I still offer him my body to shut his mouth not to reveal my messy life. Mummy this is a mess I can’t get out of, oh my God why……………….” Rilewa cried out.

“Please my dear, do not despair. I have an idea if you wouldn’t mind.”

“What is that?” Rilewa asked anxiously.

“Blackmailers will never quit until they destroy their prey. Even after marriage, you won’t be surprised that this man will continue asking for sex. It is better we kill him now than let him destroy us.”

“Mummy!!!!” Rilewa exclaimed loudly.

“That’s the only solution. It is not a sin at all, it is called self defense. That’s the only way to cut the excesses of a blackmailer.”

“Mummy this is like washing feces with urine. It won’t get better, it will rather be complicated. Let’s look for another solution.”

“What solution do you want again? I advised you to tell Olu, you said no. I told you to let us eliminate the devil incarnate, you kicked against it. I don’t know of any solution again o.” Rilewa’s mother said and made to leave the room when Rilewa pulled her back violently. She missed her steps and hit her buttock on the floor.

“You’re going nowhere, we are in this together so you can’t leave me.” Rilewa said angrily.

“Is that why you pulled me so hard, do you want to kill me?”

“Are you not better dead than alive? Isn’t it better I am motherless than have someone like you? Rilewa replied angrily and they were still arguing when Rilewa’s phone beeped.

She quickly picked and alas! It was a message from Olu, her fiancé. She quickly glanced through the message which reads ‘ I never knew I am about to marry a harlot, a professional whore in disguise of a wife material. I can’t believe you warm another man’s bed every night while you claim to love me. I received the pictures and videos from your ex-lover and I am calling off the wedding. I better remain single than marry another man’s remnant, an empty barrel whose fruits would have been exhausted to abortion. Don’t bother to call me because I have changed my line and blocked you for good’. She finished reading and staggered backward as her vision became blurred all of a sudden, she felt an unusual dizziness from within and before her mum could say jack she hit the floor and fainted.

Her mum cried and shouted for help, too late to cry over split milk. Train your child well so as to be peaceful. Lead a good life to avoid regrets. Live well to leave well, this life is only a place of amusement but the final abode is Jannah.

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“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a fire [Hell] whose fuel is men and stones………” At-Tahrim verse 6

“………Our Lord, grant unto us wives and offspring, who will be the comfort of our eyes give us the grace to lead the righteous” Al-Furqan verse 74

“Each of you is a shepherd, and all of you are responsible for your flocks.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, Sahee Muslim].

“And do not come close to Zina. Verily, it is a great sin, and an evil way.” Al-Isra verse 32

[There’s no doubt that home is the foundation of a good society. When the home is good, the society will be good and when the home is rotten, it affects the society badly. The teachers and religious body have a role to play in reforming the society but parental role is very vital.

We live in a society where parents take daughters to hospitals for abortion, we live in a society where parents do family planning for an unmarried daughter to prevent her from getting pregnant. This only means that Zina is longer seen as a big deal.

To reform the society, we have to go back to the home. When parents discharge their roles judiciously then the society will be free of bad eggs……………..Lajfingers.

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9 Comments

  1. God bless u ma,it really saddened d society is very bad, may Almighty guide our kids 2 d right path.parents ave a lot to do on a proper upbringing.

  2. May Allah guide us n our kids right. Couple of year back, I know a girl which her mum told her ( don’t u know how ur friends get money to run their school) now she has 2 son from two different guy, not married, back to her parent house. Now she n her mum are enemies. So pathectic

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