“Yeah… You wanted me to ask you right?” I asked.
“Ummm… This feels wrong but ummm… My Mother had married another Man and Dad wouldn’t let me grow up in a civilian house. He was not always home so he had no idea I was like a housemaid in his house. Step Mother was not as wicked as the Patience Ozonkwor and co in Nollywood movies though” she smiled.
“She liked me but hated my Mum, so sometimes she took out the hatred on me. So on this faithful day, she got back from a weekend holiday trip with her children; while they were away, I was left in the house under the care of her brother who was doing masters in the University. She came directly to my room and saw me crying. She asked why I was crying like a baby while the house was in a mess. I had been crying the whole day… He had forced himself on me the previous day in my Dad’s sound proof study room. I bled for hours and he made sure I stayed in the bathroom so I won’t stain anything else apart from my Dad’s white rug which was already stained. I thought I was going to die, of course he told me I would die if I told anyone but I kind of dreaded the blood flow more.”
My hands were shaking… Each word she said tortured my soul. I wished she could just skip the story and freaking answer the question. “Ok… Stop, Please?” I said.
“Nah! I am not going to stop. Because he raped me again the following day, the day Step Mother caught me crying in my room. And then I told her the whole story, what did she do? She called her Brother and he denied being home the previous day. Saying when he got back that morning to get ready for class, he caught a young man hiding in the study room and that he called me to advise me and promised to keep it a secret bleh bleh bleh. Step Mum went to the study and saw the stained rug and guess what she did? She started shouting and this attracted the attention of her children, my sisters.
Slut, like Mother like daughter and the list goes on… names she called me. Dad was the only one that wanted to hear my side of the story and I couldn’t even tell him because I wouldn’t afford to play it all over again… After series of tests, they discovered he was guilty and Dad had him locked away. And then the step mother started saying my Mum had given me her witchcraft so that I will destroy her Family… He was released after she pulled some strings and ummm… everything became normal… except me. The memories tortured me, nightmares, low self esteem, inferiority complex, depression and in an attempt to send me out of the house, Step Mum sent me to a boarding school, all girls. And then I vowed never to be weak again, never to be subjected to anybody… I decided never to be subjected to the norms of the society…”
I didn’t know what to say. There she was, another Lydia in disguise. I sat still and I must have said “God! Not her!” a hundred times with my palms shielding my teary eyes from the stares of Lami, reenacting her words over and over again.
“Sorry Bala, I seriously didn’t mean to take you through my past.”
“No no no… I should be the one telling you sorry. I am sorry Lami,” my sorry was not intended to console her; it was somewhat an encumbrance.
Let it go Oga, you have nothing to lose here.
And so I started… For the first time, I was ready to tell all.
“She was the Gardener’s daughter, the closest I had to a friend. We spent time at home alone after school and we would talk about our dreams. She wanted to be a lawyer and I wanted to be an FBI agent. My brain was messed up, at 14 my innocence was gone, Kate had been sacked, after she destroyed my life and I hated how everyone in the house pretended like I had no devil in me. So it manifested, she trusted me and I messed her up with my fingers. Her Dad caught us, reported me to my Mother and I lied against her, saying she was the one that was begging for it, pathetic right? She stood there, blanched, the little hope in her gone.
Mum knew I was the one that started it somehow, so she paid the gardener a large sum of money to shut up, her cry was silenced with her Dad’s desire to be rich, and he indeed became rich… Sometimes I live that day over and over again and I wish things had gone the right way. I guess am not different from your Uncle.”
“You don’t send pictures of your manhood to Lydia on whatsapp do you?” she had gotten up from where she was seated to sit close to me, holding my hands.
”What the…” like the hell. Her Uncle is insane.
“Yeah!” she smiled and assured me that I didn’t rape Lydia, she teased me about being a hoe and she… wssssh…. I used to tell myself that I didn’t rape her just to console myself but at a certain time, telling myself that I raped her kind of made me feel more miserable, a good feeling.
“I built a wall around myself; first you were climbing and now you are planning to send it crumbling down… not fair.” Lami said. I am not sure I understood what she was saying, I just smiled. That shoddy smile you give when you don’t have any idea what somebody saying but you are happy that person is talking… Yeah!