I was woken up by a phone call from a friend I hadn’t seen in a while , Solape, her father moved the family to Jamaica years ago, based on his job with the diplomatic service. I had not seen or heard from her since then, this was a long time ago. She sounded really dull on the phone, for someone who had not spoken to or seen me in years , there was little to no excitement in her voice. She said she got my no from another friend she had met a week ago and that she came back into the country a few years back but she no longer had the contact numbers of all the people she knew back then , she said she really needed to speak to me, it was urgent. I immediately sent a text to her with my address.
Solape arrived in an hour, with a suitcase in tow, I was a bit surprised but I didn’t let her see my confusion. I welcomed her in, she looked nothing like the Solape I used to know, bubbly and very confident, I sensed this was not the time to ask any questions , I ushered her to the guest room , she sat on the bed, kicked off her shoes and said would I mind terribly if she took a nap for a while, I said okay , and I walked out, asked her to let me know if she needed anything .
I went back to my room, worried about her, I was thinking, Solape just turned up, doesn’t say much , apart from wanting to rest, God please help me get through to her. I decided to call my ES to cancel all my appointments for the day, I had a feeling I was going to be spending a lot of time at home with Solape. I did my morning rituals , went back to check up on her, she was fast asleep . Went to get something to eat and back to my room to catch up on my writing.
Two and a half hours later , I went to check up on Solape, she was awake, had a bath and was just sitting on the bed staring at the ceiling. I asked if I could come in, she said yes, I asked if I should get her something to eat, she said later, thank you. I sat down beside her and asked what the matter was? She broke down crying, I cradled her in my arms and just let her cry for a while.
Once she was done crying , she began to narrate her story, back in Jamaica, her mother had died of cancer barely 3 years into their stay, her Dad had refused to remarry but had the occasional mistresses , who came and went as they pleased, she as the eldest child and only girl was allowed to get away with anything she wanted her father didn’t particularly know how to relate to her,on the other hand her 2 younger siblings who were boys , her dad had handled them with an iron fist , because he was worried they would go wild and probably join the Jamacain gangs that were all over the place.
Solape was sent to a plush private boarding girls school, she got mixed up with some other girls who were also diplomats kids and they started experimenting with cigarettes , then Indian hemp , then gradually graduated to popping all sort of pills, they were well known in the diplomatic community,they partied , snook out of school, took trips to the neighbouring Carribean islands with different guys, partying, her father was not aware , he was too busy being a diplomat. She was suspended a couple of times,each time she and her friends just stayed in a villa that had been rented for them by one of their man friends.
Trouble started when , one evening they were in the villa , 4 of them all diplomats kids , a group of men came to the villa , kidnapped them and demanded a ransom for them to be returned. Her father couldn’t believe a child he had put in boarding school was kidnapped from an island villa he had no knowledge of. Eventually the girls were all rescued and no ransom was paid.
Her father was livid , he immediately put her in a public school and made her go from home everyday, monitored her every move, the driver and a guard followed her everywhere . After A levels , she was sent to a convent university in Jamaica, more like a forcing her to become a nun, she cried everyday , had to wear a uniform , but managed to get through the 3 year course . Once that was done he insisted she went back for her masters , while she was doing this her father informed her he had found her the right suitor , a guy he had brought from their country . They were married forcefully and her father ceased her passport. Since he worked in the embassy, there was no way she could get another passport , she was stranded. She lived with the Man for years , he abused her both mentally and physically , her father didn’t care , no one did, until one faithful day.
She had gone to church with her husband as usually, they were a few of her country people in the church , this young woman walks up to her and asks her why she never smiles, and looks so sad all the time, a weight was suddenly lifted off her and she narrated everything to the woman. After all was said and done, the woman told her she knew her father, she was one of his staff, she worked at the embassy . She said she would get her a passport but it would be in a different name. Solape couldn’t believe it, after all these years of practically being a slave, she could escape out of Jamaica.
A month later her passport was ready, it had her picture but a different name, she was so happy, the lady had also promised to get her a ticket, which she handed to Solape with the passport, the flight was for Sunday the following week. They had agreed on Sunday because her hubby was always busy with church duties, so it would take him awhile to notice she was gone,……..Just then my phone rang, I had to take the call. I excused my self, the call was from a very important client , he was in my office and needed to see me , I told him I would be on my way. Went back to Solape, told her I had to go for a couple of hours, food was in the kitchen , she should help herself , we can continue our discussion when I got back.
Got to the office. The meeting took much longer than I expected , when I got home Solape was fast asleep, she would have to tell me the concluding part tomorrow , I really couldn’t believe she had been through so much.
I finally went to bed a couple of hours later , that night my prayer included Solape, for God Almighty to heal her and for wisdom for me to be of help which ever way I can.
Good night …..