He asked. How can I tell him that he was scaring me and the way he is coming forward is getting me quite scared. He was among those that always beat mummy at night, and maybe he wants to beat me too.
“I am not afraid. Mummy said I should collect her money from you” I finally responded as my hands were clogged behind my back and I move my body side to side in successive rhythms. He kept looking and me and was smiling; I probably thought I said something so funny. I was smiling back like mummy always asked me to do in front of any stranger.
“Oya come inside” He finally spoke out, while stretching and reaching out his hands towards me. I felt confused at first, but going back home without that money is going to be hell. I rather just go inside and collect the money and buy all I need to buy. I quietly followed him inside and closed the door behind me. I have seen a lot of big houses, but this one was much bigger than I have ever seen.
“You are now a beautiful girl” He said to me. I know I haven’t told you my gender before; I am actually a beautiful girl. All the uncles that have come to our house always tell me that. My mummy said “Whenever they tell you that smile and tell them thank you.” So I made sure I always obey.
“Thank you sir” I responded back to Uncle Mike with a smile. He was coming closer and sat on the chair and asked me to sit close to him. I was wondering what that could mean; I came for the money and not to sit close to him. Every time I wanted to say something, I would remember the slap that will be my portion if I don’t come back with the money. I quietly came close and sat beside him. He quickly carried me and placed on his laps.
The last time Uncle Olu did this to me, something was choking me in my bumbum. This time again, something is still choking me. I was rotating my body around it to show him that I wasn’t happy siting on it, but he kept on smiling and held me tight.
He now raised my skirt a little bit and tried to put his hand through my pant. “No” I shouted as I jumped down immediately. I was already starting to cry and nobody was around. He took me with force and placed me on his laps again.
“No Uncle don’t put your hand there” I said softly with a face that showed weakness.
“Shhh” keep quiet. He slowly walked up the door to attend to a knock we heard on the door.
“Who is that?” He yelled from inside while looking at me and asking me to adjust properly. I stood there looking like a moron. I didn’t just understand the symbols and hand signs he was giving to me. He quickly ran back to me and adjusted my clothes and gave me a stern warning not to talk. I immediately understood that it was an important visitor. I adjusted and sat on the chair, and faced the television.
“Who is that?” The woman asked. I quickly turned back and greeted her. They were exchanging some words and I made sure I didn’t even listen to any of them.
“How much did your mother say I should give you” Uncle Mike asked again. This time, with a face so mean, and he didn’t even allow me talk before passing out some money to me. I quickly collected, greeted both of them and ran to get those things I was asked to get. I was determined to tell mummy what happened in that house and how Uncle Mike was putting his hand inside my pant.
I quickly ran back home, kept the stuffs on the sink and went to meet mummy “Do you know…” I tried saying before a slap landed on my mouth. I cried out immediately
“Mummy…what did I do na” I managed to say while crying. I didn’t need a sorry before I bent down on the ground and cried my heart out.
“How many times have I warned you to always come back on time” Mummy shouted while pulling my ears. I kept shouting and wailing and crying, till I ran out of air inside I belly. I continued crying and nobody was close to tell me sorry. I have learnt to cry alone and end it all alone.
Most times our neighbor takes me to church, our teachers always tell me that Jesus loves little children.
“Why doesn’t he love me?” I asked one day in church to the amazement of the church teachers.
“He loves you more than you think” That was always their reply. I saw other children cry and how their mother rush to console them while crying. Most times, one uncle will come to our house and mummy will dress and follow him.
“I am going to church” She would say on most Friday nights. It was always lonely and we never had light in our house most times. I would cry and cry till my eyes will no longer bring out tears.
“Dear Jesus… I know you love me, please come and stay with me” I would say most times before I sleep. I wake up to see mummy lying on the parlor floor even without clothes. I rush back to the room and pray again. “Dear Jesus please don’t let my mummy die. I don’t want to be alone”. I know Jesus answers prayers because after that, mummy always wake up and starts asking me to be doing almost everything in the house. I would was the plate, sweep the house, arrange other things. I remember one day I broke a plate because she asked me to carry everything all at once. She asked me to pick pin and kept flogging me on my back. I kept crying till people came into the house to ask what was happening. They rushed me to the hospital where they cleaned my back.
Can you still go back to your house?” The doctor asked me as he carried me up on his table
“I love mummy, I don’t want to miss mummy” I said with a smile on my face. The doctor immediately called mummy into the room and they said a lot of things. Mummy rushed to me and I hugged her so bad. “I love you mummy” I said
“Baby I love you too” Mummy replied as she kissed me on my mouth. I was given a small can juice and I drank it as I went home and I jumped around anything I saw and was happy to be with mummy again.
To Be Continued…