The night was fast approaching and I was leaning on a Honda Civic parked in front of Fontana Hotel, thinking about how stupid I had been to leave my comfort zone and cosy bed to a harsh life. I was about to take the next bus to my friend’s house when a young woman-Rebecca walked along to take her car.
Having being refused hotel accommodation because the receptionist said that the last time she checked, I was way too young to be booked in unaccompanied, I was stranded and going back home to face my mum who should already be combing the town for me, was not the option.
I told Rebecca everything as though she was me and fortunately, she understood my plight and said she would take me to a SECRET HOME.
Exactly what I needed -A secret home where mum and dad would not find me easily.
Without a second thought, I embraced her suggestion and we hopped into her car to get there.
She halted in front of the building – a complex bungalow, almost swallowed by high walls that fenced it. She stepped down and I followed with my eyes glued to the unique gate and wondered if anyone could ever break through it.
Rebecca stood aside to make a quick call. After a while, a man peeped through a tiny hole of the huge black gate and quickly opened it to let us into the spacy compound.
We walked the two minutes from the gate to the main house and stepped into an office where a man with a large mid-section was sittted talking with another woman and a pregnant young girl.
The girl looked disappointed and sad.
“I don’t want to spend the next one year here, you promised to take care of me until this was over,” it was said forcefully and everyone looked up at the girl who appeared not more than 15 years of age.
” You are safer here than my home and your stay wont be up to……..the woman paused to look at the man for assurance but got a blank stare.
“It won’t take up to a year as you think. Calm down,” the woman said as she extended her left hand to squeeze the girl’s shoulder gently.
I forgot myself completely as I watched the interesting drama.
Suddenly, the girl got up and I was able to notice her growing bump. She hastened to the exit as fast as her legs could carry her, but a hidden door opened and two tall black men emerged from a room.
The man at the table nodded and one of the men approached her, forced her into a dark room and the door closed behind them.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared, neither did I think it was a sign of dark side of the secret home! The scene didn’t change my mind about staying there. I was so desperate.
As I was still thinking, the man at the table spoke up.
“Is she the one?”
“Yes” Rebecca replied while I kept looking from one to the other desiring to be involved.
“How old is she?”
“Okay” he said as he directed his gaze to my tommy then to my face.
“Young lady, this as now your home. Feel free.”
“Thank you sir,” I said.
“Do you have any question to ask?” He asked wearing a fake smile.
That was fast. I felt like I should be given a chance to say something.
“Do I pay you? For feeding, accommodation and other things?”
“You do not pay anything. We work with donations from good people out there.”he said and moved uncomfortably in his chair.
“Take her to her room.” He said to the same men who had taken the other girl who were already standing there.
Rebecca approached me. “It’s completely safe here, all you need to do is follow the rules”, she nursed my cheek and took her leave.
“Rules? What rules” I asked but she had gone.
To be continued….