I had stepped out for a minute just to receive a breath of fresh air. On returning to my ward, I met her sprawled on the floor and the man who was almost always with her trying to revive her.
Rose: “What happened to her?” I went closer to have a better look at her.
Derek: “She thought you had been kidnapped again. Even I thought so, where did you go to?” he said splashing the water that was on the table on her face. She stirred and sat up when she saw me.
Rose: “Are you okay? I am sorry, I was at the balcony receiving fresh air. I’m sorry”
Anita: “It is fine. The most important thing now is that you are fine” she stood up slowly and drew me into a tight embrace. “Thank God you are fine” she whispered into my hearing. I could hear her heart thumping violently against her ribcage.
Rose: Yes I am”
Derek: “You need to get checked Annie. You are running a fever already” he touched her forehead and grimaced. “I am getting you admitted now” he said and tried to walk away but she held him back.
Anita: “I am fine Derek. We should leave here soon. It’s almost daybreak already. I am really fine. All I need to do is take a cold shower and I’d be fine. I promise”
Derek: “Fine then”
The next day, she sat me down again in the same office and demanded that I continue with the story. I looked around the office and tears began to flow down my cheeks. I didn’t know how to tell her the part that hurt me the most or the part preceding it…
Anita: “It’s okay dear. It really is”
She stood up from her chair to sit on the arm of my chair, patting my back and squeezing my shoulders. I felt she actually had a really soft spot for me nevertheless, I didn’t want anyone’s pity.
Rose: “I am fine thanks” I said, wiping my tears with the edge of my sweater.
*Back to the Past*
My mum sat at a corner of the room, weeping and begging not to be thrown out of the house in the middle of the night. I was five years old at this time and I held on to his legs crying my heart out even though I hardly understood what was going on. All I knew was that my dad was making my mum cry. She told me that after their two years contract expired, he did all he could to throw her out of the house or all those were just empty threats because he never really did try throwing her out, he only kept hammering on it and using it to set her straight each time she tried to call him to order.
Olamide: “I told you I didn’t want to get married but you forced yourself on me. Now please go back to your parents’ house and leave my daughter behind. I am no longer interested. Our contract expired many years ago. I can’t believe I let you talk me into keeping up with this charade for so many years. Please go home Ahunli”
I could not stand by and watch my parents quarrel like that even though it had become their daily routine. My mum already looked bartered, the shadow of herself. She stopped working when I was two years because he asked her to- she wanted to remain married to him, still hoping that he would change.
Rose: “Daddy please stop making mummy cry. Daddy please forgive mummy” I tugged harder at his trousers but none of them paid heed to me.
Ahunli: “Consider our daughter. Who will be here to take care of her? Even if I have to be sent out, please let me go with my daughter. I cannot step out of this house without her” she pleaded hopelessly on the floor, weeping her heart out.
Olamide: “No! We are done. We are really done. Please go back home. And to think of it, I am no longer interested in anything you have to offer. Not your body, not your morale. I am simply done with you. You can now go back and marry the guy who wanted to marry you back then. Please leave my house”
Ahunli: “Okay then! I think I have had enough of your shit. I will leave and I will also leave your daughter for you but be prepared cos I’d be back. I will surely be back for her”
She said, started gathering her scattered cloths and made for the gate but I ran after her…
Rose: “Mummy don’t leave please” I held on tightly to her legs but she shrugged me off and I fell down. Without looking back, she opened the gate and left me crying on the floor. From outside, I heard her say “big girls don’t cry”. The two of us always listened to the song anytime my dad treated her bad and she became sad. We listened to it like every hour of every day, she was always crying and at the same time telling herself big girls don’t cry.
My dad ran up to me, scooped me up in his arms and hugged me to himself tightly…
Olamide: “I love you so much baby. You are the only one I live for in this world. You are my joy and happiness so don’t cry. I will be your mother too, your everything. You do not have to cry for her”
Rose: “When will mummy be back dad?” I lifted my head up to look at him.
Olamide: “She is never coming back but you can go see her once in a while if she wants you to”
Rose: “Really? Dad I can? I love you daddy” I replied and hugged him enthusiastically. He was able to use that to bribe my little heart.
He carried me inside, set me down gently on the chair.
Olamide: “What will you eat now?”
Rose: “Noodles” that was my favourite and I could eat it forever.
She became a very sad person with no job or means of catering for herself. Thank God she saved when she was still working, if not, she would have been totally broke too. Her friend Alexis accommodated her and continued being of support to her both morally and emotionally. Even Francis kept trying to win her heart but she refused to give her heart to any other person. I went to see her like every weekends and these were the times she got the opportunity to tell me her story. I felt sorry for her and we usually wept together, but end up consoling each other with big girls don’t cry.
The day I clocked ten years, my dad went out which was his normal routine though. Sometimes he would come back with some lady and make me sleep in the sitting room since he refused to rent a larger house even when my mum was still around. At nights, I would hear different form of sounds coming from the lady but nothing from him. He would always complain thereafter that he never really enjoyed the act and the two of them will end up quarrelling.
That night, he came back while I was fast asleep in the room. I did not bother locking the door since I knew he’d be back no matter how late it was. He staggered to the bed and started muttering unintelligibly to himself. The voice did not sound
like his and I wanted to open my eyes to see who it was but I was too scared or was it the alcohol he reeked of that was making him sound strange? I kept wondering as he kept walking around the room. He finally slumped unto the bed and crawled up to me. I heard him say “sweet little girl” and then his hand was all over me. I was scared out of my wits wondering what he was up to when he slide his hand up my thighs…
I tried to fight him off but how could I have been a match for him? I opened my eyes slowly and couldn’t believe it was actually my dad…
Rose: “Daddy. What are you trying to do?” I asked frightfully.
Olamide: “Ssssshhhhhh! don’t say anything and just enjoy it baby. I promise it won’t hurt you. Remember I am your daddy? I will definitely make sure you enjoy it instead. Just relax, if you try to struggle, that is when it will be painful” he tried to cajole me into being calm but I was too frightened to be calm.
Rose: “But it is not right dad. You are not supposed to do this to me but to mum. Daddy please don’t” I pleaded desperately and tried to stand up but he pinned me down even tighter. I tried to scream but he covered my mouth with his left hand, still pinning me down with his body. He used one of his legs to spread my legs apart after removing the cute pink shorts I had on and started struggling to slide into me.
My eyes flew open wider when he started gaining entrance into my vagina. My whole body shook with pain despite his weight on me as he thrust harder and tore into my hymen with such force that tore into my being. I wanted to die, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me up but none of this happened as his thrusts kept gaining momentum then all of a sudden he stopped, rolled unto his side and slept off immediately. I laid still for some time, the tears refused to flow but my heart bled water and blood. I could not believe he could do a thing like that to me, he could hurt me so much without even a single remorse. The pain numbed my
body, I could hardly move so I remained in that position until daybreak. He was the first to wake up.
Olamide: “Hey baby! Why are you still like that? Stand up immediately”
He even had the guts to command me. I had expected him to go on his knees and beg for forgiveness, telling me he was under the influence of alcohol. I was disappointed. When I did not answer or try to stand like he had commanded, he took two steps towards me and yanked me off the bed and that was when I saw the mess on the bed; it had been soaked with blood which had dried up that morning. He took me to the bathroom, switched on the water heater and bathed me even down there.
Rose: “Daddy why did you do it?” I asked weakly when at last he was done and I had regained little of my strength.
Olamide: “Because I love you”
Rose: “But you are supposed to love me as your daughter. Your daughter dad” the tears started flowing freely then.
Olamide: “I did it cos I love you as a daughter and more than that. And let me warn you, you must not tell anyone about this. If you do, I will throw you out the same way I threw your mummy out. So in order not to make daddy do that, please be a good girl and mind who you talk to okay?”
I looked at him and shook my head weakly. I didn’t want to be thrown out. The kids in my school already made jest of me because my mum was sent out. If I get sent out too, then no one will talk to me ever again. I became very careful thereafter. I withdrew into myself and stopped talking to people much. My breast started sprouting up aggressively and my menses also started within a few weeks of the incidence. There was no one to help me get past the trauma, no one to tell
me how to leave with the monthly flows and get relieved from the cramp that accompanied it.
Spread The Love😉