August 14, 2019
“If you don’t pay one million naira into my account by the end of this month, I’ll send those pictures to all my groups online and two of my blogger friends.” I almost passed out. There was no need to ask Peter for the pictures he was referring to because I already knew. It had been three months since the breakup and I had not heard anything from him since then, so the call was a surprise to me.
Simi: Peter, but why? The breakup was mutual nau; we agreed to go our separate ways. Did I offend you in any way? If I did, I’m sorry. Please don’t do this to me. I beg you. Please. For God’s sake.
Peter: I don’t care, get the money and I delete the pictures. You have three weeks. You know how to get me when you have the money. Don’t call me if you don’t have the money. If you do, you are finished.
As he hung up, despair filled my heart. For the first time, I contemplated suicide. I dated Peter for two years and although things weren’t perfect, I enjoyed the relationship. The pictures in question were taken a couple of months before our breakup. Things had been going south and we felt there was need for some spice. He suggested that I send him some of my pictures, and he promised to delete them afterwards. From the conversation few minutes ago, it seems he didn’t keep his promise.
I don’t have those pictures. The morning after, I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I deleted them from my phone. It was the worst day of my life. Looking back, I wish I never sent the pictures. I wish I never dated that beast. I wish I never even met him!
Imagining the reactions that would come when people saw the pictures drove me crazy. Friends. School mates. Colleagues. Church members. Ah! Aye mi, temi bami! My life is over. “God!!!!!!!!!!”
August 21, 2019
Adesewa: Simi, what is wrong with you? You look like you’ve not slept in weeks. Ki lo n se le? Talk to me.
Simi: My dear, nothing is wrong. It’s just menstrual pain.
A: Ahahn, sister Simi. When did you start lying? Two weeks ago, you said you had menstrual pain. Now you are claiming you have menstrual pain again. Which of the claims should I believe? Shey your monthly period has become a weekly occurrence ni?
S: Hehehe. Go joor. That’s how you’ll be making someone laugh when someone is meant to be thinking of her life.
A: Thinking of her life ke? What happened?
Simi broke into tears and for the next twenty minutes, she poured out her heart to her best friend.
S: Adesewa, I don’t know what to do. The deadline is in ten days and all I have been able to gather is ₦120,000. My life is over. God knows I messed up big time and I am really sorry. I can’t bear the shame that will come with this! Imagine the whole world seeing those pictures? How will I survive? Ore mi! God should please forgive me. I was not thinking straight that night. Ah! My life.
A: My dear, I also have ₦30,000. Can we call him and try to bargain? Will he accept ₦150,000? That’s the last price o 🙂
S: You better be serious!
A: I’m sorry. Just trying to lighten the dark clouds in here. Seriously though, as things stand, we have to deploy the FW strategy. Faith and Works. We will work by asking for soft loans from our friends and families in a bid to get the ₦1million. We will show our faith in God by fasting and praying for the next ten days, trusting God to do what only He can do.
S: Ah God, please! Have mercy on me!
A: He will. As we were discussing, a verse dropped in my mind and I perceive that this is the anchor verse for this battle. 2 Chronicles 20:12 – For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
S: Ha! Jesus! Pleaseee.
August 31, 2019
I sat in my room with phone in my hands all day, expecting a call, a text or a notification that would signal the beginning of the end of my life. It was the last day of the month and all that I and Adesewa had managed to gather was ₦480,000, so I waited with bated breath.
Every beep on my phone tied a knot in my stomach. Slowly, I unlocked my phone expecting to see the pictures all over the internet. Each time, I was disappointed.
The day came and passed uneventfully.
September 12, 2019
It had been 12 terrible days since the deadline passed. Adesewa had called me at least twice each day, asking for updates, but also seeking to confirm that I had not taken my life. The suspense got worse each day as I lived in a state of perpetual paranoia, so I picked up my phone, took a deep breath and called Peter.
September 27, 2019
I had not heard from Peter since that dark day in August. I wondered if he was intentionally torturing me. The money we had gathered was still not up to the payoff that he demanded. Worse yet, his phone had been switched off.
6pm. Facebook Messenger.
Incoming Call from Peter.
Peter: Ahnahn Simi, is it that serious?
Simi: Sir, what do you mean sir? Please don’t post the pictures sir. I have been trying to reach you for weeks now. Please don’t do this to me. Please!
Peter: Why are you acting like you don’t know what you did? I was just playing with you and you decided to send those guys to deal with me?
Simi: Sir, me ke? I did not send anybody to you o. Please don’t be angry.
Peter: Keep acting like you are innocent o. The day before the deadline, I was on my way home when two guys cornered me. The only thing they asked for was my phone where the pictures were stored. After I gave them, they told me to leave. As I walked away, they called back and asked for my external Hard Drive where I had backed up the pictures! How did you know the pictures were there?
Peter: What did you say?
Simi: Nothing sir. I said nothing sir.
Peter: I handed over the Hard Drive to them and walked a few steps in the opposite direction, then I looked back just to see if I could wrestle at least one of my gadgets from there and guess what! They were no longer there.
The place where we were was a dead end! There was no way they could have left. It was barely five seconds that I turned my back on them! Ha. Similoluwa! I fear you o. See ehn, just leave me alone. I never want to hear from you again. Nonsense!
With my hands shaking, I quickly searched for Adesewa’s number
Simi: Ore mi!!!! Jesus did it!!!!! He has given me a second chance!!!
James 2:13 – But mercy triumphs over judgment.