I was glad to be home but I’m scared of going back, now that the holiday has ended. The remaining grandchildren were playing in the compound but the thought of going back murdered my thirst of playing with them. I sat quietly at a corner, head bent, counting and recounting my toes. Harsh scenes from my reality kept replaying in my head and tears were freely pouring down my cheeks.
“What is it? Why are you Crying?” came Ada’s voice, breaking through my thoughts. I quietly raised my head and shook it slowly
“And why are you Crying?” she asked again.
“I don’t want to go back” I cried the more.
“You know dad won’t listen to you” she said rubbing my head
“But why this outburst?” she was concerned.
I calmly narrated my ordeal. I have been doing this for three years now but it had always been futile. But something I said caught my sister’s interest.
“Wait, he has been doing what?” she asked sitting beside me.
“Every time I pass by him he touches my breast, and the other time he said I should lift my skirt that he needed to run a test on me” I cried to her.
“What? He is mad! He is stupid! Dad must hear this! This time he must take you away from there. That mum is late doesn’t mean we have lost our voice! That’s exactly what they did to me! Those abusers!!! ” She said screaming in pain. She paced about a little and gently walked back to my spot. Then calmly she asked me
“Nne tell me, did he touch you” I nodded innocently. I could see her face turning red.
“Is he the only man that has touched you?” I shook my head.
“What?” she screamed, but then calmed down again. “Tell me who and who?”
“Uncle, brother and Mama’s boyfriend” I replied innocently. She heaved a painful sigh. Then there was a sudden silence.
“Have you seen your first period?” she asked and I nodded calmly
“When was that?”
“November 12th” I replied. I still remembered because I had circled it on the calendar just like aunt Oby advised. She looked up scantily in the sky and counted the day, it was January 15th.
“Have you seen it again since then?” I shook my head. I saw her becoming jumpy. She was scared. She began pacing up and down the corner, then sat beside me again.
” Tell me, how did they touch you?”
“Uncle and Mama’s friend will always touch my breast whenever I pass by them. But brother will grab me and pull me to the backyard and then order me to pull up my Skirt”
“I always refuse but most times he will try to forcefully pull it up”
I could feel my sister swallowing hard spits.
“But has he ever put his thing into your….” she asked pointing downwards. My face changed as I was confused. I looked up at her
I shook my head instantly. “He only touches my breast, my body and down here”
“Have you ever felt sharp pain when he does that?” she asked again and I shook my head.
“I always live in fear and try as much as much as possible to avoid them. I Don’t want him to beat me again. They lie against me and even tell Mama that I have gone out to see a boy or even stole their money. I just want to have peace” I cried.
My sister held me closely but I knew from her eyes, she was going to confront my dad again about my living in that strange home.
Dad returned just as rumoured. He announced upon his arrival that we were to leave the next day as he was on a tight schedule. My sister wouldn’t have any of that and therefore presented him with my sordid tale. Dad was perplexed and couldn’t utter a word as I innocently narrated my ordeal. There were sarcastic comments from my uncle who insinuated maybe I had started having sex and may even be pregnant. To my surprise none actually took me really serious. If they did, they never showed it. It was disheartening. My sister was disappointed.
However dad promised to deal with the matter. He put a call across to Mama who apologised to him.
Dad called me aside to explain why I needed to go back. His job doesn’t leave him enough free time to take care of me and he was managing with my step mum in a very little apartment.
“But dad, your brother gave you fifteen thousand naira to register me as a boarder” I asked him. He nodded.
“My daughter, if we do that, that means your elder and younger ones might miss school. Things are so rough for me this period, so I believe God provided that money so you all can be in school” I could feel the pain in his voice.
“Please my dear, it’s remaining just one more year. You will be in SS3 now, why don’t you manage please. Once you are through you will come home immediately. And most importantly even if we decide to change your school none will accept you since you are in an exam class, unless you want to repeat SS2!” he said but I shook my head immediately.
“No dad! “
“Then biko (please) manage” he begged. I nodded in agreement. Even though I didn’t like the idea of going back home, I loved my dad so much to let my ordeal put him through much pains. He was diabetic and hypertensive which meant that a little extra stress could cause a crisis. He is the only parent I had and I wanted him to live long for me. I smiled and promised to be good once I go back. He was relieved and assured me that he would be coming frequently to visit me. I was happy.
I was sent back again the next day but the welcome I got was so cold. There was obvious hostility and tension in the air. Sadly this time around, I got double of my punishment for reporting them. I was now two months shy of fifteen years and realized it was time I looked out for myself. I have to take laws into my own hands.
Kindly drop a comment afterwards, Thank you for reading.