He gave me his daughter to sleep with in return for a loan he took.
I am not a monster; I am not a pedophile, I am just a widower who was stupid to lend my friend money and when he kept dodging to pay me for months, he sent his daughter to me.
I am a 67 years old grandfather and I am not the evil man you think I am. I met Thomas years back when he and I worked at the ministry; he was in a different department from me and even though he was two levels below me but that didn’t stop us from being friends. We also belonged to the same town union; so we had more than a few things in common.
When Thomas lost his mother, I was one of those who went with him to the village to bury her and in turn, years later when I lost my wife too, Thomas was among those who followed me home for the burial.
Though we had things in common, we were not the types of friends that you could call ‘tight friends.’ I hope you get my meaning?
Anyway, let me not prolong this story. So, about two years ago before this coro-wahala; Thomas came to me to borrow money; he said he wanted to use it for rent that his landlord was disturbing him. I lent him the money, it was exactly N450,000.00 and he promised to pay back in three months. That money wasn’t something I needed urgently at that time because my wife is late, my children are all in their own houses, so I didn’t really need that money.
The money was also part of what I got as gratuity from the ministry when I retired years before; in case you’re wondering how I am able to afford to give someone N450k and say I didn’t need it immediately.
This bungalow you see is also my own, I didn’t rent it from anybody.
So, Thomas borrowed this money from me and six months after he borrowed, when I called him, say ‘Thomas, where is the money you said you would return? He said ‘next week, next week…’
That next week is what we still have till today! He hasn’t paid!
I called all our friends, the people that knew both of us to talk to him to give me back my money… he didn’t. He was dodging me, he wasn’t picking my calls, he was just avoiding me. This continued for a long time, then one day, I went to his house early in the morning to talk to his wife to tell her husband to return my money. I got there and found out his wife had left him and that his children were living with him. Though what happened between him and his wife is their business but when I saw his condition, I pitied him and said, maybe I should come back later to start asking again for my money…
Do you know that about three weeks after I went to see Thomas, he brought his most senior daughter to my house; he said she would ‘stay’ with me because he couldn’t pay the money he owed me!
How old is the girl? She said she is fifteen years.
Thomas brought her to me; he knew I didn’t have a wife, he knew I had no one in the house to help me around, so he brought her by himself to me!
If a father brings his daughter to a man, what is he saying?
Does the father not know whether the daughter is of the right age?
So why are you saying I am sleeping with an underage girl?
I did not go looking for her, I did not even beg to have her or give money to have her brought here, her father brought her to me!
But that is not the issue here again because as you are seeing me so, I have never slept with that girl. If she is too old, she would just be like a few years older than my eldest grandchild.
I swear, so all this noise people are making is their own business. Ask her, she is old enough to talk for herself. She cooks, cleans the house and does everything for me but I have never once slept with her; when all the noise about her pregnancy was too much, I asked her to tell me the truth, I told her I would care for her and her baby; you know, just to trick her to confess herself to me; the girl told me it was one boy that gave her this belle but her father said she should say that I am the one!
A fifteen-year-old girl that can lie against me like that because her father told her to.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on trues stories)