She opened her eyes. She felt she was somewhere familiar. Was she home? She tried to turn on her side, but the pains that attacked her made her to groan.
“She is awake,” Osabohen announced. Her parents and brothers gathered around the bed.
“How are you doing darling?” her father’s voice felt like a balm, soothing all her aches.
“Daddy…” she croaked. Her throat felt very dry. She started to cough.
“I think she need a drink,” her mother stared at her youngest daughter.
Osabohen frowned. Why was she looking at her? Why can’t someone else get the drink?
“Sabby…” her father signaled to her.
“A drink it is…” she got up and hurried out of the room.
“How are you feeling?” Etinosa sat beside her daughter. She turned to look at her mother. Her eyes were red and she had a sad look on her face.
“I am… in pains,” she started to cough again.
“Where is Osabohen?” Osarodion looked towards the door with irritation.
“You are going to be all right darling,” Nosakhare sat beside his wife and reached out for his daughter’s hand.
Osaretin stood at the edge of the bed. He kept looking at his sister. She seemed thinner, frail and fragile. He saw Osabohen with the corner of his eye; she was carrying a glass of water. Her mother collected it from her. Nosakhare helped Osayuki to sit up, while his wife gave her a drink.
Osarodion watched his parents. Trust them to dot on their favourite child and pamper her to stupor. He shook the thoughts away. He was supposed to be praying for her quick recovery, not licking old wounds.
She drained the glass and lay back on the bed, “My car… I parked my car outside the beach.”
Nosakhare glanced at his first son.
He met his father’s gaze and nodded, “I will go and get it this evening.”
The thoughts of what happened at the beach clouded her mind. She closed her eyes and tried to shut out the memories. The sinister look in Stephen’s eyes, the way the hoodlums ate her up, the fear that consumed her mind and the pain that took over her body exploded in her mind. She began to scream.
“Osayuki…” Etinosa shook her by the shoulder. She didn’t respond, her eyes seemed lost and distant, like she was somewhere else. She panicked and turned to her husband.
Osayuki continued to scream, holding her head and trying in vain to stop the trail of her torturous thoughts.
“Darling…” Nosakhare climbed the bed and tried to hold her. She flinched at his touch and sat up. She held her head with both hands and her shrill filled the room.
“I think we should call the doctor,” Osabohen joined her brother at the edge of the bed. Her sister’s sudden reaction had scared her.
Nosakhare motioned to his first son. Osarodion dialed Doctor Bia’s number on his phone and dashed out of the room.
“Osayuki…” she moved closer to her daughter. She recognized her mother’s voice and flew into her arms.
“Mummy!” She held unto her like her life depended on it.
“Yes, darling. I am right here. I am not going anywhere.”
“Mummy…” she sobbed, “I see them… I see all of them,” she wept.
“It is going to be all right darling. Mummy is here. I promise you, I won’t allow them to hurt you ever again.”
“Yes, darling, I promise.”
His eyes smarted with tears. He got up and staggered out of the room. Osaretin watched his father leave. He felt saddened by his discomposure.
Osabohen examined her mother as she consoled her elder sister. None of them had eaten or slept a wink since they returned from the hospital that afternoon. How were they going to cope with Osayuki’s situation? She doubted if things would ever return to normal.
Doctor Bia sedated Osayuki and she fell asleep almost immediately. He turned around and looked at them, from one to the other.
“You all need to rest, eat and rest.”
“How is she?” he was worried about his daughter.
The doctor sighed and turned to the sleeping beauty, “She will be fine. She will have a lot of episodes like the one you just witnessed… nightmares inclusive.”
“Ah!” Osabohen panicked.
“For how long?” Etinosa wiped the tears on her face with the back of her hand.
He stood, “I cannot say.”
“What does that mean?” Osarodion folded his arms across his chest.
He directed his gaze at the young man, “I suggest you employ an in-house nurse.”
“What for?” Osaretin eyed the doctor.
He stared at the younger man, and then faced their father, “The nurse will sedate her with a tranquillizer whenever she has an episode or a nightmare.”
“For how long?” Etinosa paled.
He turned to look at the elderly woman, “Until the episodes and nightmares stop.”
“Wow!” Osabohen leaned against the wall. Things were worse than she thought.
“Can you help us to get an in-house nurse?” Nosakhare faced the doctor. He was ready to do whatever it took to help her to recover as fast as possible.
“Yes. She also needs to see a Psychiatrist once she is up to it.”
“Whatever for?” Etinosa got to her feet and faced the doctor.
“Talking to a Psychiatrist will help her to off-load the weight on her mind and bring her some form of closure.”
Etinosa began to shake her head. Her daughter didn’t need a shrink. She wasn’t crazy.
“Ma, she needs to speak to someone about what happened to her.”
“We are her family. She will speak to us,” Osaretin walked up to his mother and placed a hand around her shoulder. She found comfort in his gesture.
The doctor glanced at the head of the family, “She needs a neutral person.”
Nosakhare nodded in agreement. The detective assigned to his daughter’s case also wanted to speak with her. He doubted if she was ready to share her experience. Her mind seemed fractured. He couldn’t fathom how long it took for the human mind to heal and recover from such ghastly experience.
“I will make arrangements for the in-house nurse. She will be here first thing tomorrow morning,” doctor Bia headed towards the doorway.
“I will see you to your car,” Osarodion saw the doctor out. He had a lot of questions to ask.
“I think you should both go home. You can check up on your sister tomorrow,” Etinosa patted her son on the back and glanced at her daughter. Osaretin kissed his mother on both cheeks and hugged his father. He needed to rest. He might not go to work the next day. He was the head of the Accounts department in his father’s company. He might call his assistant and intimate him on how to oversee things in his absence. Osabohen followed her brother out of the room. They met their eldest brother at the car park. He was also on his way out.
Nosakhare and his wife walked out of the room and closed the door gently. They hoped that Osayuki would remain sedated throughout the night.
“Are you going to work tomorrow?”
He placed a hand around her shoulder, “As the CEO of Goldenberg Insurance Company, I have to be there, come rain or shine.”
She sighed heavily.
“I will go mad with worry if I stay back at home.”
“I will stay. I want to meet the nurse and help her to settle in.”
“I can’t stop wondering…”
“Where was God when our daughter was been molested?”
He sighed and pulled her close in a hug, “God is ever present.”
“Ssssh… there are things we might never fully understand, but, that doesn’t mean that God wasn’t or isn’t there.
She exhaled loudly.
“He never leaves or forsakes us.”
She knew he spoke the truth, but, it was a bitter pill to swallow at that very moment.
“We will trust in the Lord with all our hearts and depend not on our own understanding. In all our ways, we will acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths,” he paraphrased the third chapter of the book of Proverbs, verse five and six.
She would try as much as possible to trust in God and rest in Him. After all, He sees the end from the beginning. Her daughter was safely in His arms, regardless of what she had gone through.