I was beginning to think that we would all die of starvation/thirst/old age/bordem. The Rev had been giving his sermon for hours. It was the same every Sunday, being talked at about how we should be thankful that we are lucky enough to be enlightened to the ways of our Lord. Don't get me wrong I am thankful, thankful that I'm healthy and have a roof over my head, thankful that I have people around me who love me. I however am not thankful for all the people around me spewing what in my opinion is nonsense ideas of right and wrong, I'm not thankful that me having my own take on things is punishable and I am not thankful for the stares I get from the Rev every time he thinks I'm not paying attention. Again it's all part of the Sunday experience. feels like he's trying to burn a hole in my Sunday blouse, I swear if he stares any more he will succeed. So I keep my head down as if in silent prayer, I will not give him the satisfaction of knowing that I have noticed him.
I know what it is he wants, the same he wanted from several other girls in this community who are unlucky enough to go to the school he runs on the compound. PUSSY! But he will not be getting mine! I refuse to have him touching the thing he spends his time telling women they are not to let anyone touch. I may not be allowed to treat mine like my own property but he will definitely not be treating it like his.
luckily for me I went to a school off the compound, i had to as I got my self kicked out of our community school because I disagreed with half of what we were being taught. I do believe in God, weather that's right or wrong, I do. But i do not believe in the hatefulness some people have and use the Bible as an excuse for. I'm a live and let live kind of person.
So anywho back to where I was before my tangent! the sermon finally coming to a close after what seems like half my life. people were getting up and leaving, I was waiting for my dad, he dosnt like when one of his girls stands up before him, by which I mean me, my mum or my 2 little sisters. By the time he stood nearly everyone was gone, there was just us and the Rev still here, my dad speaking with him. The Rev walked away and started clearing his things away, my dad lead us out.
Once outside my arms felt chilly, I realised that id left my cardigan inside having taken it off cos it was hot and sticky in there with all the bodies. I mentally groaned to myself knowing I'm going to have to go back in there by my self. "dad I'm just going back in to get my cardigan, I forgot it" i called to him as he was several feet in front of me. "ok, we will see you back at the house" he replied without looking back at me, if he had he may have noticed the quiet pleading on my face for my family to wait for me, not liking the thought of having no one close by while im in there with Rev pervert.
I resolved to get in and out as quick as humanly possible without making eye contact, took a deep breath and walked in. I mentally shouted at my dad for always making us sit in the seats up front, wishing we could have been sat in the back so I could get my cardigan unnoticed. I quickly walked up front, grabbed my cardigan all the while knowing he was looking at me. I kept my head down and turned on my heels to leave when he shouted to me "oh Letty, a word please" urgh! Letty is the name my parents call me, I hate the sound of it out of his mouth. "sorry can't stick around, need to help mum make dinner" I shot at him, it came out harsher than I expected but I was starting to panic by this point so I was flustered. Without me realising he was behind me now and he grabbed my arm in a tight grip. shocked by the sudden action I stilled, but still not looking up at him. He snaked his free arm around my waist and I had to hold back the vomit in my throat that was trying to come up. "GET. OFF" I said sternly with as much authority as I could muster. it didn't stop him, he tightened his arm around my waist and let go of my arm, his other hand now free to cup my right breast, I was really panicking now, like sirens going off in my head. He leant down and whispered in my ear, his hot grim whiskey breath blowing past my face as he said "now now Letty, is that any way to speak to your new teacher." I was silent in my confusion, teacher? i had left school 6 months ago, not gone to collage as my dad insisted women shouldn't go as they needed to concentrate on the domestic duties. He carried on whispering when I didn't reply "your father thinks it will be a brilliant idea for me to give you 1 on 1 Bible study, seeing as how you have spent most of your life denying the teachings of the holy book" i could hear the smirk in his voice, the cat that got the cream comes to mind. and just like that I made a snap decision. I leant forward as far as I could to get some distance between us, then as hard as my muscles would allow I swung my elbow back and made contact with the side of his face. he shouted in shock and pain as I ran as fast as I could out of there and back home.
Tears stung my eyes all the way home as the reality set in of the situation I'd been put in. if my dad makes me do this, the Rev will treat me like all the other girls, I'd be like the lamb to the slaughter. I burst through the door and screamed at my dad for putting me in this situation. Shouted begged and pleaded with him. He grew angry then "you will not argue with me child, you will be a good girl and do as your told" he bellowed. "good girl!" I shot back " do you know what the Rev wants to do with your good girl? he wants to fuck her! just like all the other good girls on this damn compound! and your basically giving him the go ahead!" my dad's face was startled but I didn't care, I was angry at him for allowing this to happen. Then his face changed "lies" he growled "for shame! lying and accusing a good man to get out of your responsibilities! I won't hear any more, you will go, while you are under my roof you will do as I say and you will not lie any more about the Reverend" that's it, I'm screwed. Dad would send me to him, and he will assault me week after week and no one will believe me. I started to cry feeling hopeless, then feeling angry again. This was not something I would endure I promised myself, at that point I looked my father right in the eye and told him "fine, I will go find a different roof to be under"
I went upstairs and packed as much as I could carry, the whole time my dad screaming at me but I ignored. once i had some clothes and my money I had been saving, I walked out the door my dad just staring at my back untill I was out of eye shot.
I ran, I ran as fast as I could. I felt like I had been suffocating and the further I ran, the more I could breath. I ran down my street and headed to the gates, I pressed the button to open them, as large metal gates opened slowly they groaned in protest. I wanted them to open quicker, impatient to be on the other side of them. I knew that once I was on the other side of them I wouldn't be coming back and the thought scared and excited me all at once I smiled as the tears rolled and once the gap in the gate was big enough to slide through I was gone and running again. I felt a sharp pang in my chest when I thought of the fact that I wouldn't be able to see my mother and sisters again, knowing they wouldn't dare to go against what my dad orders them to do. And I know he will not let them visit me and I wouldn't be able to visit them. but while the pain was still there, and hurting, I couldn't deny the weightlessness I was feeling at the thought of complete freedom. freedom to do and think and feel as I please. I had dreamed on many occasion of that, for years wanting to leave but being too scared of the outside world. I knew that was just how I had been conditioned to feel but I felt it non the less, but now I've shaken that off like water off of a ducks back. I today had realised that no matter how scared I was of what was on the other side of those gates, it couldn't possibly be as scary as what I would face inside them. in a strange way I found myself feeling thankful for the assault on me today because without it I would have never plucked up the nerv to leave. I laughed out loud while thinking internally thank you Reverend pervert. now I just need to find somewhere to go........