PC: Phelan Petty

I COULDN'T LIVE TO TELL MY STORY, the thought of this alone splattered my heart into unamalgamating pieces.

All I ever wanted was to make ends meet and survive. I was intellectually sound, jovial, humorous, and hardworking. I guess I was too free-minded, that was why I easily trusted people.

I used to feel discouraged whenever I advertised my skincare products on social media. People barely patronized me.

I lived in a society where ridiculous and excessive comical posts attract millions of likes, comments, and shares while business advertisements, interesting and educating content and other creative works are totally overlooked and sometimes attract mockery.

Despite the poor responses I got online after advertising my products, I was still relentless. I was a very optimistic lady, therefore, giving up wasn't included in my dictionary.

I was a student in a higher institution. Despite my days of financial challenge and hunger, I didn't think of venturing into prostitution.

I wasn't the type of lady who would lick any man's ass to get money, no matter my condition. I was ready to get a legal job, no matter how bad the pay was, work, and earn a living.

On different occasions, a lot of people, especially the men, frustrated me as the young beautiful lady that I was. They sought for my body before helping me, but I immediately evacuated their vicinities and move on with my life.

After four years of struggling, hunger, temptations, starvation, deprivation, frustration, and a lot more, I was finally done with the higher institution and ready to go for service. I was the happiest girl on Earth.

I wished my parents were alive to witness that happy moment of my life, but they had both gone, forever. My joy was that my brother and sister stood in as my parents and filled that gap, even though I still thought about them.

I also had a best friend who was always there for me. We were so close that we thought of serving in the same state. We had a lot of plans together. She was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

While waiting to be posted to where we'd serve, I decided to seek a job, since people barely showed interest in buying my skincare products.

My friend traveled, also in search of a job. She later told me she found one. I wish I followed her, perhaps, I wouldn't be where I am right now.

But I felt my State was going to get me a job. I was so broke, yet, I refused to go into prostitution, I didn't want any illegal business. I wanted to work and earn a living.

I only wanted a decent job so I could feed my empty stomach and survive. I wanted something that'd keep me busy till I was ready to leave for service. I just wanted to work so I could earn money to buy the things I'd need for service.

I was very intelligent and creative, therefore, working wasn't a scary thing to me, as long as it was legal. I thought my State was going to be of help to me, I really did. So, I posted on Twitter about my search for a job.

I was very excited when an "assumed" authentic company indicated interest to hire me. Without wasting time, the man scheduled a day for my interview.

Before leaving for the interview, I told my friend about it. She even sent me money for my transportation because I didn't have enough money to pay down to the place.

On my way to the given location, I had some series of battles with my heart to go back home since the place was far, but because of the easy trust I had for people and the thought that my State wouldn't fail me, I kept going.

At some point, I called my best friend and told her of the far location. She tried convincing me to go back, but since I was close already, I told her I had to get there first and check out the job.

The good thing was that I sent the location with the man's phone number to my sister. This is why it's very important to tell your loved ones your whereabouts. It is also very important to let people know your intentions of stepping out and exactly where you are stepping out to.

When finally I got to the location, I met with a young man who took me down an isolated area. An area where even the scream of ten voices can't be heard.

When we got to an uncompleted building inside the bushy enclosed area, it dawned on me that I was in trouble. Immediately, I tried sending a voice message to my friend, but my phone was snatched from me.

You would expect me to complete this story, but honestly, I couldn't live to complete it. I know he will be apprehended. I know he will confess to the angry mass, but the sad thing is that whatever he tells the cops is what would be taken.

He killed me because I went in search of a job to feed my starving stomach. He killed me because I allowed myself to trust him and the State for positivity. He killed me because I had decided not to make quick money by taking any illegal job.

My spirit is not at rest. I screamed for help. I begged him to have mercy. I struggled for life, but he didn't only dehumanize and molest me as he might confess, he did a whole lot of things to me.

I was a promising young lady, full of life. I was not lazy, nor idle. I was very hardworking. I was willing and ready to work because I was intellectually sound. Where then did I go wrong?

If I had decided to go into an illegal means of making quick money, society would have labeled me a prostitute. If I had decided to stay at home and do nothing, I would have been tagged a lazy youth.

If I had decided to be idle and rather beg people for money, I would have been looked down on and referred to as a beggar, therefore becoming the laughing stock of the society. But I made a move in search of a job and got brutally killed by the same man who asked me to come for the job interview.

I would have said that next time, I wouldn't trust so easily, but it's too late already, there's no next time for me. My country failed me. My State disappointed me. My society failed me.

Have you noticed something? When I was alive, I had always posted on social media about my skincare products. I had always wanted to be encouraged and patronized by people, but I can boldly tell you that very few people patronized me.

People never cared about me. But when I was declared missing and later dead, I became very popular all of a sudden.

The big websites I had always wanted to notice me when I was alive but couldn't get noticed, the newspapers I had always wanted to trend when I was alive but didn't, the celebrities I had always wanted to meet or converse with while alive but couldn't, the likes, comments, prayers and encouragements I had always wanted to get on my posts, especially when I was advertising my products, but couldn't get when I was alive, ALL TOOK NOTICE OF ME AFTER MY DEATH.

The people who acted like I didn't exist to them when I was alive, the ones who had refused to help me when I was alive, the ones who I tried making friends with, yet they snubbed me when I was alive, ARE ALL CLAIMING TO BE MY GOOD FRIENDS AND RELATIVES NOW THAT I'M DEAD.

But why? Why did they have to wait till I was gone before showcasing their fake love for me? Why wasn't I this famous while alive? Why didn't they show me this concern when I was still breathing? Why wasn't my timeline a tourist centre to visit when I was alive? Where was the affection when I needed it so badly? Why didn't they heap those powerful prayers for me when I was alive?

It pierces my heart that I couldn't live to tell the world what exactly happened to me. It's so painful that whatever my killer chooses to spit out of his mouth is what would be taken, while I'm so restlessly and helplessly screaming here for the world to hear my true story, but no one hears because I'm far away from the land of the living.

It hurts so much that I have a whole lot to say, but I can't. It hurts the more that my spirit is not at rest because there is more to my story that I want to disclose but no one can hear me. It pierces my heart that I COULDN'T LIVE TO TELL MY STORY.

©Ima Udott (Imaobong)