Dido was not her real name but it was the name everyone knew her by. Even her parents often times called her Dido against their better judgment. Though they didn’t like it, she absolutely loved the name. Her parents were Witnesses and so was she; automatically. Both were highly placed in the organization’s hierarchy. Her dad was a zonal overseer while her mum handled the circuits. Both were habitually strict disciplinarians and traditionally busy people but they still found ample time to drill the gospel into her at all times to a point where she felt like choking. For an only child, having no close cousins or friends, it felt like she was being imprisoned for some crime committed in her previous life.
She felt sometimes they must think her a devil. The way they hammered the gospel into her day and night like they did, like they somehow believed they could exorcise her that way. She didn’t really fault them, inside, in her mind; her thoughts were the kind that would have made their faithful BRT-lane hearts stop functioning. She had been told she’d been somewhat mischievous as a child and that had earned her the name “Dido” from a family friend. The name hadn’t made her parents ecstatic and she could still imagine their horror that she’d responded to it than any of her rightful names. The fact that it made them unhappy pleased her a bit. Not that she hated them, it just felt good to be able to rebel against them in a somewhat if little way.
Dido hadn’t always been against them, their beliefs or everything else they stood for. She had at a point been enthusiastic about the gospel too. She’d always excelled at bible quizzes and competitions. Coming first had even become boring. Then, she’d been confident enough to think that she would best the devil himself in a bible quiz.
It was probably the monotony of it all that had gotten to her. Her life had become even more predictable than a madman’s clothing accessories. Kingdom hall, school, home, read school books, read bible, digest publications, eat, sleep, wake, repeat same process. Even the few people she had tried to befriend at church were extremely boring people with no imagination. A few times she’d tried to share some of the repressed thoughts in her mind with them; the bewildered looks on their faces had shut her up.
To her horror, her parents sensing her withdrawal and perceiving it as a spiritual backslide had dedicated additional time to her gospel lessons. Ketch-up hadn’t made things easy either. The pain, nausea and irritation she normally experienced went up more than three notches that year. Then, somewhere she read that sex helped in reducing menstrual cramps and other attendant problems. Coincidentally, she met Koro that period during one of her evangelism rounds.
He was a rich boy, not that he bought her things or she requested them. That would have alerted her parents’ suspicions for they procured all her needs. Her university wasn’t far away also and she returned home every day. So, there was no place to hide the gifts Koro didn’t give her. She didn’t mind and he also didn’t complain and so they lived happily never after. Koro also had the TDH factor which also didn’t really matter to her because she couldn’t be seen with him as his girlfriend publicly. He was Catholic, she was a Witness. They shouldn’t/couldn’t date talk-less marry each other. So, they kept it under-G lower than G-strings. She knew he didn’t love her, liked her maybe but no love. Not that she cared, she didn’t love him too. They did the ‘ahem ahem’ more than they talked even, so there was absolutely no room for love to stay. For love, rent was expensive and she liked it that way because it only complicated things.
Tuesday and Thursday evenings were her best days of the week. A sweaty work-out session with Koro always refreshed her. Sex; she felt was the sole reason gods envied mortals. Good oral sex; was the reason Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden Of Life. Even as a kid, she’d never bought the Apple story wholly. It sounded too manufactured.
She remembered the first time she'd asked her mum questions regarding it.
"Mom, how many apples did Adam and Eve eat?"
"One. They shared one I believe" her mother had replied.
"Was there only one apple on the tree?"
"Err.. I don't think so. There were many apples"
"So, God chased Adam and Eve from the Garden for eating one apple?"
"No, you don't understand. God chased them away because they were disobedient to him" her mother had responded.
"Mom, wasn't it the Snake that made them eat the apple?" Dido remembered asking.
"Yes, but Adam and Eve chose to disobey God"
"Mom" Dido had said with a purposeful look.
"If you tell me not to eat something and I disobey you, would you chase me away from our house?"
Her mother had hastily pulled her close and said with all the sincerity she could muster.
"Of course no, dear, I would never do such to you. I love you dearly"
"But didn't God love Adam and Eve too?"
Her mother had sighed.
"Dido, when you grow up, you'll understand better"
"Why was the Snake in the Garden in the first place?" "Shouldn't the Snake have been chased from the Garden instead?" She'd pressed on undeterred.
Her mother obviously at wits end had subtly changed the discussion. Dido had been five years old then. She'd grown up to understand the story better just as her mother had promised.
She believed the snake/devil had taught Eve the 69 which would explain her eating first before Adam. Adam; she believed would undoubtedly have been a dumb bloke like most of his male descendants. Explaining a complex system like 69 to someone whose hobby was eating and naming animals would have been no doubt frustrating. No wonder the snake/devil chose Eve.
The months when Koro went to school were the hardest on her. She climbed the lowest heights of despair. His parents were the very rich kind who could afford a school for him in the UK. Although they chatted via internet occasionally, there was really nothing to say. Their mode of communication was of a physical nature which even skyping couldn’t satisfy.
Today, she was happy. It was a Tuesday and Koro was around. It had been a while and she’d missed their work-out sessions tremendously. She was sure he would have missed it too. Down low, just thinking about their first session together in what seemed like ages to her, rivers of cum had overflowed their banks. She could feel it.
She arrived at his place exactly the same time she did every time. Opened the side gate because she knew it was unlocked. Went to the back of the house where the boys’ quarters were, opened the unlocked door and met Koro already dressed. He was naked.
“What’s up?” He said, his eyes saying something else.
“I’m good” She said, her eyes betraying the lie.
As if on cue, they went down and became one at once, kissing and licking, feeling and touching as they communicated physically in rapid staccato. And then just when she could bear it no more, he reached under the mattress and retrieved a goal-stopper, put it on and eased his staff into her watering-hole. She visited three different planets and made a U-turn at Saturn before he was finally done.
Rolling off him, she realized some of his water-gun squirts had entered her; the goal-stopper had failed. She remembered feeling the sweet trickling sensation while on Venus. She’d been too far gone to give voice to the caution then. Somehow the goal-stopper must have tired out under Koro’s relentless assault.
Koro got up and started looking for something near the foot of the mattress where a trolley stood.
“I’m afraid I don’t have any more supplies of postinor” Koro said.
“So, what do we do now?” Dido asked, fear creeping into her voice.
“Err… I’ll give you money to get it. In the meantime, I’ll get you salt and water to drink”
“Salt and water?!” she asked, incredulous.
“Babe, you might not believe it, but it works. It’ll flush all that ish out in no time” Koro said, conviction glinting in his brown eyes.
“How many girls have you used it for?” Dido asked, tauntingly now, mischief gradually replacing her initial fear.
Koro looked at her in a funny way, smiled then went out to get the salt solution. He made her down three big cups of the distasteful concoction before releasing her. She refused the money he offered for the postinor and quickly dressed. She would get the drug on the way home.
So far, she’d been to three pharmacy stores and all she had to show for it were Vitamin C packs and lozenges. All the stores were packed with people and she couldn’t bring herself to buy the drug in their presence. She was afraid someone might know someone who knew her. She’d been counting on the stores to be sparsely populated but it was evening; everyone flooded pharmacies at that period. Koro had been the one who usually got these things. As she was thinking of looking for another pharmacy to try; she heard her father’s familiar car-horn behind her. That was the end of her ultimate search that evening.
It wasn’t until Thursday evening after another steamy session with Koro that she finally got the drug. She sent it down with cold water to minimize the taste of it in her mouth. She hated pills of any kind. She couldn’t even take Vitamin C without a liquid to push it down. Because Koro was leaving for school that weekend, they had an additional session. In the end, she had to forcefully break away. Her Cinderella clock was dinging inside her head. She was due home that moment. Discovery was too dangerous to be risked just yet.
That night, her mother gave her some terribly unsettling news. A young girl in their church had lost her life having an abortion. Though flustered, Dido managed to veil her emotions, saying all the right words, giving the appropriate exclamations and taking care not to overdo the acting. Alone on her bed later that night, Dido kept re-enacting the warm trickle moment with Koro on Tuesday evening. She debated calling him and decided against it. What was there to tell him? Her sleep was a medley of confusing dreams that night.
That weekend; ketch-up came calling and for once in her existence, she was glad to have the pains.
Everything was just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Dido thought as she wrung her hands in anguish. Everything and everyone had failed her. Salt-water, goal-stopper, postinor, God and even Koro. Well, she didn’t feel hurt that God hadn’t come to her rescue. He didn’t owe her any favours. It was Koro’s betrayal that hurt her most. The way he’d changed from sweet Koro to monster Koro before her own very koro-koro eyes once she mentioned she was two months late. She hadn’t even mentioned that word boys feared to hear before he went stiff. Even though, it had been via Skype, she’d read his reaction clearly. He had told her exactly what she’d known she would hear but had hoped not to.
“I’ll send you some money to clean up”.
If he hadn’t repeated it twice, she could have sworn he was just telling her he would send her money to buy toilet soap.
She’d protested teary-eyed. He’d remained unmoved. She’d threatened to tell his parents; he’d dared her to. They’d traded a few fuck you’s until he’d ended the chat. She hadn’t heard from him since then.
She was too scared to think of attempting an abortion. What if it went wrong? The shame and disgrace for her family. Or if it went well but her womb was affected? Or she lost too much blood or something? She would still die because she wouldn’t be getting blood from anyone. Her parents would see to that. If only she had someone to confide in.
Every plan she’d thought out so far ended in suicide. Abortion; suicide. Pregnancy; suicide. Suicide! Suicide! Suicide! Suicide? Maybe that could just be the only way out for her, Dido thought. The dead know no shame. Her only concern was for the pain she would cause her parents. But, she felt sure there would be no autopsy and if there was no autopsy, perhaps her parents would suffer less humiliation. Suicide was a way out; her way out.