We lived on a very long street.
The street was divided into two; on the left were the poor while the right belonged to the rich and I am not telling you a fairy tale.
It was as if some unseen hand had designated the right to posh houses and the left to decrepit, old houses on the same street!
I lived on the left side with my older sister; that was where bad things happened to good people.
It was on our side that a boyfriend stabbed his live in girlfriend, on that left side a baby of just six months was raped by her uncle, and it was on that same side that my sister, our Ada…just upped and disappeared!
Ada came to Lagos over 35years ago. She followed one of our aunties who, newly married, invited Ada to come and assist her at home.
After going to school, small, Ada got a job as a secretary. In those days, they sent you to a commercial school to learn Pitman shorthand and be a good secretary.
Ada got a job at one of the offices/business centres to type letters for people and do clerical work. Small time, she was able to leave our aunty’s house to rent one room for herself at ikeja.
She later left the business centre for another big office where they were paying her well. She moved again to a better place and that was when she sent for me to come to lagos and live with her. It was still a one bedroom but we only shared toilet and bathroom with just two people.
Our Ada was a good Christian woman; even though she was about 33 by the time I came to Lagos, I didn’t see any boyfriend with her. Even our mother in the village was always asking, when will you bring home a man/ when will you get married, Ada? Your brothers and sisters are already getting married but Ada would say God’s time was the best.
Our Ada, you know I said was a good Christian. She never went out: it was church, office and her house. She was not the kind of person who liked to go to parties or cinemas or anything. She liked to be at home or church or office, that was all she knew, maybe that’s even why she never got married.
Ok, see what happened. I think I had been in lagos for more than one year at that time when Ada told me to meet the man who had asked to marry her.
It was after church that Sunday. Even though I didn’t like to go to church, Ada forced me to because she said she would not have an unbeliever and someone not born again in her house.
So that day, she introduced me to Chidi. He was older than Ada, he looked like he had been married before. When we got home, I told Ada say, ‘This Chidi is not a small boy, he is too old for you.’
But Ada said he was ok…anyway, that is how that Chidi would come to our place and I would excuse them and before I knew it, Ada was pregnant.
“Ada,” I cried. “You are the one shouting born-again, born again, now you are pregnant for someone and you are not married to him.” Ada said Chidi had promised to marry her so no problem.
My sister, after that time, Ada stopped going to church because she said they would not allow her because she was pregnant and not married to the man who got her pregnant. She said Chidi would go and do the necessary wine carrying before she could show her face in church. So it was office and house she went.
One Sunday, I went to church. I didn’t go to our normal church because people there would ask me after my sister, Ada, so I went to another church, in short, since Ada stopped going to that her church, me too, I stopped.
That morning, as I was preparing to go, Ada told me she would make moin-moin; she told me she wanted to rest after making the food, so she would lock the door with her keys and when I came back, I should open the door with mine.
I came back to find the door open and the food still cooking on the stove. So, I changed thinking Ada was around, that maybe she went to buy something down the road…because the door was open; it wasn’t locked.
When the food began to burn, I went to put it off, still wondering how come my sister would leave food on the fire and go out. I couldn’t call because we had no phone, then.
After one hour, two hours…I went to our neighbours to ask if they had seen Ada, one said she saw her, outside the house talking to one man. She said she didn’t look like she was going anywhere because she had on only a wrapper tied around her chest.
In short, that is how our Ada disappeared into thin air. Her clothes and works shoes were intact; she left in her bathroom slippers with a wrapper tied to her chest and fully pregnant!
Who came to the house? When Chidi came, he said he didn’t know who came; he didn’t see Ada that Sunday morning as he was in church and some people said, true, true, they saw him in church.
So who took Ada away? Who did she follow out of the house wearing bathroom slippers and tying wrapper, not even dressed to go out?
We reported to the police…and for months it was come today, come tomorrow
We went to churches for spiritual help…nothing.
After more than eight months I went to see a dibia, to find out what had happened to my sister. He said she had given birth but the baby was taken from her…He said he saw her in a lonely place, sitting down but her senses were gone.
I was sad for a long time then I started to think maybe someone came and hypnotized her and took her away. That can be the only reason because, Ada would not leave the house in bathroom slippers and leave the house open.
We have been searching for more than 10years now…no Ada!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)