I AWOKE TO THE SOUND OF SHOUTING AND CRYING.
It had never occurred to me that I could sleep with all the things that were going through my mind last night.
Memories of the terrible event started to flood my veins, constricting my heart, turning my blood black.
The sun shone on my face seeping through the huge windows by the bed. For some strange reason it made me afraid, giving me the impression that it could reveal me and show me off as tainted.
I blinked continuously. My eyes ached from sleeping so late. I thought that they must be red from lack of sleep, but I didn't bother looking in the mirror.
My heart skipped a few beats. the higher the screams. I looked around to see there was nobody else in the room except me. Cool breeze came in from outside through the window, but I still felt warm all over.
My night gown was transparent and the yellow pant I wore could be seen through it. I quickly wore a long shirt to cover up. I knew now that it was no longer safe to run around with pant.
Children could be preys too.
Eagerness to see what the noise was about won my tiredness in the end so, I got out of bed and walked speedily to the parlor, plus I didn't want to be alone for even a second.
Ken was on his kneels when I walked in and aunty Lisa was standing in front of him, holding a belt. She started circling him like an animal that caught her prey. She looked tired, but she also looked very angry.
I walked into the parlor to find Kens sister begging on her brothers behalf, yet keeping her distance.
Anita was just like her brother. They looked alike physically and otherwise. She was taller than he was by about two inches and skinnier, but they were both dark like hard wood.
Anita's nose was bigger than Ken's, but her lips were smaller. Where Ken's hair was cut short hers was plaited with long hair attachment. His eyes were warmer than hers showing in them fake goodness, a falseness I was once pulled to.
The vile in Anita's eyes had once been veiled, now I could see it clearly. Her brown eyes were filled with hate and judgment for me, thus, every respect I had for her evaporated. She had deceived me, lied to me and played on my desire to please, telling me that Aunt Lisa had wanted me to sleep with Ken.
I looked away from her as the sound of Aunt Lisa's harsh voice caused my heart to somersault.
“Did you or did you not touch her?!” She kept repeating.
She took a threatening stance in front of Ken, intimidating him. I continued to hide behind the white thick curtains, for some reason I didn't want her to see me. I didn't want anyone to see me.
I was ashamed. I assumed that if she saw me then she would no longer feel the need to give me justice.
“I said did you touch her?!” She screamed, this time around, hitting him with the belt.
I flinched at the clashing of the belt on Ken's skin and at the question she kept repeating. I wondered if it were because she didn't believe me or because she maybe thought that she could beat the truth out of him. I doubted the latter which left me with the former, and sadness.
It was getting more awkward by the second. Ken wanted to say something, but he caught a glimpse of me, and we both tensed up.
"Yes, but its not what you think, I swear to God!" He cried.
Why do people swear when they lie? I used to think that if you swore then it definitely meant that you were telling the truth.
I could feel the hatred in Kens eyes all over my skin when he looked at me. Nevertheless, I didn't feel bad because the feeling was now more than mutual.
His eyes that previously used to calm me down made restless, so much so that beads of sweat started to form on my face.
Anita kept staring at me, but I skillfully ignored her glances. I wanted to confront her, but I knew that if I dared to speak, I would only end up crying. To hell with me if I should give them that satisfaction of watching me break down. I was not weak!
“It’s not what I think right! You will soon get to find out exactly what I'm thinking!” Aunt Lisa yelled.
She hit him with the belt again, and he cried out, falling down to the cold floor.
“Aunty please believe me... I didn't try to rape her.” Ken begged. His voice was hoarse and scratchy.
I couldn't stand the sight of him, so I furiously walked out. The only punishment, I thought he deserved was to be thrown out of the house or arrested.
At least I knew that it would have been the case if I was her daughter, or a relation, or I had wealthy parent's, but then I was none of these.
Even still, there was really no harm in giving me the same respect they would have given any of the above. Only that I was a nobody, just a simple girl, I thought holding back the tears that threatened to spill out of my eyes as I walked to the garden behind the house.
I was soon drained of all my strength, but I found it in me to keep moving.
I told myself, "Mira keep moving forward even when you do not have the strength to, even when you do not know where you are going to. Just keep moving as long as you can move. Move.”
I closed my ears at the sound coming from the house. For just as It was too unbearable to watch the measly punishment Ken was receiving for drugging and almost raping me. It was also too much to listen to it.
My brothers were playing outside on a swing with Bella, as they were too young to understand what was going on. Daniel was seven, and David six.
In them I saw the innocence that was deprived me, by various aspects of life.
I stayed outside watching them until the noise coming from inside died down, and even after it did I continued to stand outside.
When my heart could finally find little peace I walked back in going straight into Bella's room.
She followed without alerting me. I only got to find out that she was with me when I slumped on the bed and saw her resting her back while gazing at me with adoring eyes.
“Come sit with me.” I said, patting the bed.
She had her eyes buried on the ground as she walked to me. I held her waist and carried her up to the bed.
“He used to touch me too, I didn't understand. What does it mean?” Bella blurted out.
I stared at her with wide eyes. “Are you sure? I mean how.... I don't.” I stuttered. I felt like a hand clutched my heart and pulled it out. I was panicking, right now that was the only thing I could do.
She was just six how dare him do that to her? He's a monster. I thought angrily.
I could deal with my own pains, but I hated having to deal with that of others. I had so many questions like, Did he rape her? Had he taken away the chastity of this little angel? I was scared for her because unlike me, she would remain with him.
“Tell me what he did to you?” I urged her.
“Any time there is no one at home, he will touch me all over my body.” Her voice was low, but not pained. She was too little to understand what he had done her. “Then he would ask me to sit on his lap and put his hands in my pant.” Her voice started to soften, almost to a whisper.
“Is it bad? He gives me chocolates after, and plays with me.” She smiled, dreamily.
I perceived then that when she gets older she would have so many unanswered questions, something we both had in common.
I hated that I couldn't give her any answers now. Yet, one thing was for sure I was definitely telling aunty Lisa this, so she knows that she has been harboring a criminal.
He had touched her child that should be unforgivable.
I didn't consider what would be done to him for he sure as hell deserved anything coming to him.
Selfless as I sounded deep in my heart, I knew the reason I was so eager to tell Aunt Lisa that her daughter was also a victim of Ken's animosity was so that I could finally get the justice I deserved.
“Don't worry dear, you are fine.” I assured Bella hugging her. A tear dropped from my eyes and I quickly wiped them away.
Bella soon ran away to play with my brothers and I quietly walked to the study where I knew Aunt Lisa would be. It was her shelter.
AUNT LISA'S OFFICE was small, and painted white. A book shelve at the right close to the window which was covered now by gray binders, a small table opposite the door where she kept her computer, laptop and books and two chairs opposite it for visitors.
The room was always cold as she never put off the Air conditioner. In general the office had a comforting feel to it.
When I walked in she was sitting behind the desk gulping down a generous amount of Fanta.
Her phone rang, and she picked it up without once sparing me a glance. She spoke quietly to the person almost in a hushed whisper. I had a feeling that she was speaking to her husband even though I couldn't make out a word of what she said. However, she had that submissive look wives had when they spoke to their spouses.
I sprawled on the rug, the same spot as yesterday and waited for her to finish the call.
“Bella said he touched her too.” I blabbed. I repeated it saying each word slowly, so she could hear it clearly, and absorb it. She heard me, and didn't react.
I suddenly became invisible even though I was right in front of her.
“Food will soon be ready.” She said. "Have you taken your bathe?"
I shook my head.
“Then go do that.” This time she could not hide her disgust, I could hear it in her voice. I was very observant.
Only one question kept repeating in my mind. Was that disgust in her voice because of me, was it?
I couldn't ask her, I would only ponder on it till the pain became bearable.
“OK” I said, walking out more confused than upset. Why didn't she say anything? I kept wondering. Her daughter was being abused and she says nothing!
She did not believe me right that disgust, she thought I wanted to set him up. I was nobody she should not listen to me because I was nothing. I am not worth anything. I guess that's what her husband had told her. He must have asked her why she would hit ken because of me.
My feelings were venomous, filling me with vile rage.
'One day, I swore blinking back tears, they will be no where compared to me. One day they will see themselves as the nobody. One day they will be nobody and I swear I will make them feel just as inferior as I felt now.' I mumbled, sniffing back tears.
I took in long deep breaths while repeating to myself that I couldn't let this weigh me down that I was stronger than they thought.
When I done taking my bathe, I dressed in a simple cotton gown that stopped on my knees. Then I walked out to the garden feeling the need to be in open space. I was terrified that I would burn from the inside out if I didn't surround myself with air.
A minute later I heard footsteps behind me. I quickly wiped my cheeks and put on that fake plastic smile I had mastered over the years, thanks to my father.
“Mira aunt says you should come to the dining. Breakfast is ready.” Daniel said running towards me, he looked a bit worried.
His thin legs that were exposed under his short made me grin. I smiled even wider, so he didn't have to worry about me. He looked just like me; fair, thin with brown eyes, and a long face.
I took his hands, and we both walked to the garden.
THE HOUSE WAS A Beautifully built bungalow. The parlor was demarcated by two stairs, above it set the diner.
The twelve sitter dining table was made of glass. Fake flowers in vases, and fake fruits in a bowl for decoration was placed on it. I sunk into one of the black leather chairs.
My legs didn't touch the ground because the chair was a little too big for me.
Ken was sitting on the dining too. I wanted to leave, but I thought against it. Aunt Lisa might not like it, and even though I was going to one day be richer, my mum for now needed her friendship and I didn't want to be the one to ruin it.
I ignored Ken as there was nothing else I could do. I knew I couldn't confront him. I won't know what to say, I wasn't brave enough.
They were all excuses though, so many excuses, but I consoled myself with the thought that, He would one day get punished adequately by me in the future.
'That shouldn't be a problem should it?' I thought smirking. He had no idea what was coming for him. I would make him pay. It was a promise I made to myself. 'I will make them all pay.'
Ken looked at me for what seemed like a second and averted his gaze while Anita served the meal of pancake and custard.
I was trying to adjust to my sit when I heard David speak. I immediately stopped moving, everyone remained still just like I did.
“What happened in the morning?” David asked me, innocently. He thought he spoke softly, and no one heard him but it was no whisper.
“I don't know. You can ask Ken maybe.” I replied quietly. Ken was sitting opposite me, I was sitting in between David and Bella, and Daniel sat close to ken.
Aunt Lisa was at the far end of the dinning table looking very distracted and angry.
I wanted to stop calling her aunty, she didn't deserve it.
Funny enough, my real Aunt was not exactly perfect. She disrespected my mom at any opportunity she got. I didn't blame her though, she did it because my dad let her.
So I didn't even know which was worse. I wished that my mum wasn't an only child and an orphan.
David didn't ask Ken. He didn't say another word. The pancake was good, but I was to hurt to actually enjoy it.
Breakfast was eaten in silence, and after a long eventful day, and by eventful I mean me avoiding everyone including my brothers I felt a little better.
That night I held on to Bella like she was my guardian Angel. We clung to each other.
I eventually slept early in the morning after much turning and thinking.
I didn't feel any hands on me. I made sure of this by locking Bella's room door firmly.
The damage to my heart had already been done anyway, and I knew deep down that I would never remain the same again.
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