This story is not for the faint of heart. It is a story that I have been debating for a long time if I should do or not. I have decided to do it because it is something that happens in the world today, and has happened for decades. So many children and teens have been a victim to the abuse written in this story, that it is impossible to say how many there are! This is a lot of pain and suffering among children and teens. How many of their lives have been destroyed. I have decided to do this story to give them a voice. I hope it will evoke your prayers and action.
This story has the drama of the worse kind. It has traumatic experiences where there is abuse, drug abuse, alcohol, child sexual abuse and mental abuse as well as family problems. If you do not wish to read this type of thing, or it can trigger something, then please read no further.
We should not condone any of the abuse, grooming or manipulation in this story! Anyone that hurts someone else, especially a child needs to be punished to the fullest degree
If anyone had a dysfunctional family, it was mine! I was 13 when all this happened. My name is David and I live with my mother and my little sister. Her name is Abbie and only 11 years old. Abbie and I were always close. We shared each other’s toys, and I helped her with her homework and when she needed someone to talk with. The sad fact is we only had each other. I always considered myself as the big brother that made sure she was protected and happy. That is also a reason why we knew each other so well, even secrets.
It’s good that we had each other. We had no Dad and mom did not even know who our dads were. Mom was still very childish as she did not understand what it meant to have two children. She would go to parties and get drunk and when she came home she would flop herself on the sofa. Besides being an alcoholic, mom was also a drug addict. Despite all this, I know that she loved us. Mom just did not know how to show it.
This meant that I had to do a lot at home. I had to take care of Abbie. It was important to me that she had clean clothes, was fed and even had her bedtime stories. I never thought that I was too young for these responsibilities. I have always done it. I did hope that my mother would get better and start being a mom.
I did not have a lot of friends at school. I was teased because I was short for my age and we were so poor. Everyone knew that mom lived off benefits and that is why Abbie and I were so skinny and we had old hand me down clothes. If that was not enough, they would call me cute. This made me feel as if I was a little child. I knew that I would grow, I just wished that it would be now, so I was a bit more normal.
In a way I was lucky. I was not bullied. I know that being called names is not good, but at least I was not beaten up. That would be something I would hate. To be honest, I was more worried about Abbie. She was a girl and it seemed like girls always had to be in fashion and it seemed very important that they looked their best. Abbie was teased but she never let it bother her. She was always in a good mood.
Who needs friends? They just put pressure on each other and gossip. I did not need them. I could hang around Abbie. OK, you caught me here in a white lie... I desperately wanted a friend. It made me depressed every time I have seen a friendship on TV or at school. I was not a bad person. I never hurt anyone. I went to church and sang in the choir. I did not gossip. I was good enough when it came to sports and I got good grades. I am sure that I would have made a good friend.
The one thing I did like was playing football, or as Americans call it soccer. I was a good goalie so the boys would allow me to play. It meant that I was accepted for an hour and it was as if I had friends. It was a time when you would see me smile and have fun. There usually was football after school.
I also liked singing in the Church choir. It meant I could use my voice and the priest thought that I was a good singer! It meant that I could be with others. So despite I knew that I had no friends, I was allowed at times to be around them and pretend they liked me and were my friends. At least I was not bullied and teased. It’s like the priest said, small blessings can lead to happiness.
When school started after summer, we had a new boy in the class. His name was Raghib. While the other boys ignored him, I thought that he was quite different. While we were all white, he was a bit darker. He seemed to be very smart and could answer any question the teacher asked him. Besides that, he seemed to be a loner. During the lunch break, he would just stand and watch us play football. This made everyone forget him as he was some fly on the wall. I quickly forgot about him and continued playing football.
As the days went on, I noticed that Raghib would stare at me and follow everything that I have done. This was especially when I was being teased. When we were not playing football, it seemed as if he was also interested mostly when I was being teased or ignored. This was so strange. It was bad enough being not liked at school, but it made it worse that someone was observing me all the time.
It confused me and bothered me. One afternoon, after school, when Abbie and I were doing our homework, I told her about Raghib. I explained that there was a new boy and he did not say much. He just observed me all the time. I felt as if he was stalking me. Abbie did not know what to say except smile and suggest that he fancied me. This cheered me up for some reason as I blurted back that I was not gay. Abbie and I changed the subject and we started joking and talking about other things.
The stalking continued for some days and finally, Raghib came to me. He did not say hello or anything. The only thing he said was that no one liked me at school, and the only time they ever wanted me to be with them was when we played football. This was only because I was a good goalkeeper. I did not respond to this, and in a way I wanted the earth to swallow me up. I did ask Raghib if he could boast that he had friends. He just smiled and said that I was now his friend.
That was the end of the stalking. Raghib was now my friend and we started doing everything together. He did not have a lot of humour and seemed serious all the time, but at least I had someone that I could speak with. I was no longer alone at school and it was like someone finally liked me for who I was, not because I was good at football or good at choir. I finally had a friend.
It was like I was in heaven. I was in a great mood all the time. I was extra nice to Abbie at home and did not mind when mom was so drunk or high, that I had to do the housework, take care of Abbie and make sure that we had something to eat.
Raghib was now my friend, and this was the first time that I have tried this in my life. He was very interested in what I was like. I told him about my family and choir. He thought that my mother’s addictions and that she did not take care of us were interesting. So I was honest and told him how hard it was. Raghib did not judge me or think that being poor was bad. He told me that I could have a better life.
I tried to get the others to let Raghib play football, but neither Raghib nor the boys were interested. Raghib would take it personally if I asked the other boys. It was as if I had to decide if I wanted to play football or be with him. When the boys told asked me if I want to be the goalkeeper, Raghib told me we should go down to the cafe.
I liked it when Raghib bought me a smoothie in the cafe, I would be on a pink cloud. We never had enough money to eat out or spend money on things that were not necessary for our survival. Raghib seemed to get a lot of pocket money as he would pay for me at a cafe or burger bar. This also meant that given the choice between a burger and playing football, I picked the burger.
Raghib did not like the other boys. He said they had no potential. He kept on warning me that they did not like me. He asked if I thought that they would like me if I was not good at football.
“I am the only friend you have,” he said, “We both have no other friends here. We only have each other. This means you must stop playing football with the others. If you do, it would hurt me a lot.”
I did not understand why I could not have a friend and play football. This being said, I did not want to lose Raghib as a friend. I stopped playing football.
Raghid knew that I was Catholic. He was a Muslim. This did not bother me at the beginning of our friendship. Slowly Raghib started talking about Islam and why it was the one true religion. He would go as far as to say that Catholics were corrupt and sinners. Catholics did not know Allah and that meant they were an instrument of the devil. I tried to debate with him about my beliefs, but this would upset him and then I would shut my mouth.
Raghib also started to get more demanding. He told me one day I should let my hair grow to my shoulders. I laughed at this thinking at first that it was a joke. He was very serious about it and told me how disappointed he would be if he heard that I went to the hairdresser.
I could see that our friendship changed. It was clear that Raghib was dominating and at the time he did not care how I felt or what I thought. The big question was why was I so submissive and continue to be his friend? The answer was easy. I did not want to be alone again. I could deal with Raghids demands. I could hope that this was only a stage.
I was surprised one day when I noticed others noticed our friendship. A boy who was in the class above me told me to keep away from Raghib. “He is bad news and will destroy your life”
To be continued
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