A month later, I went visiting my mum and the way she looked, I thought she was actually going to die the next minute. She looked so lean and malnourished, sickly and forlornly my heart reached out to her immediately. Aunty Alexis was also at home that day, she was preparing to get married which meant she was going to leave that house and pack into her husband’s house soon enough and my mum would be left on her own. We all sat together wordlessly staring at one another. I broke the silence first…
Rose: “Mum why do you look this way? Are you sick?”
Ahunli: “Not at all my dear. I am very fine” she tried smiling.
Rose: “But you don’t look fine”
Alexis: “Don’t mind her honey bun, she hasn’t been eating very well recently. She is always in a deep thought. She wants you back and not being able to get you is killing her slowly” she said and noticed the big sweater I had on for the first time. “Hey whats up with this big sweater in this heat? And to think of it, even you don’t look so well. Are you sure you are fine?” she reached directly for my chest and I shied away from her touch not wanting them to know a mound was growing there already.
Ahunli: “Yeah that is true. I was afraid you might affirm to my fears if I said it. Baby what is wrong with you?” she asked coming closer but I jumped back from her too. They both looked at each other in shock.
Rose: “Nothing is wrong with me. I am really fine. It is just school stress” I have heard people use that as an excuse in movies and thought to use it too but the truth was that I wasn’t fine. My heart was sick, my body was on fire, I had become a confused little girl but wiser because I immersed myself in reading different books everyday ranging from motivational books to poems to novels. I found my strength in those books.
Alexis: “Ahunli, you have to do something about her living with that guy o. I don’t trust him an inch. This girl is no longer the way she was the last time she came here. It is either that something had died inside of her or she is experiencing something she knows nothing about. Please I beg you”
Ahunli: “Something like what?” she asked, probably afraid of what she was thinking.
Alexis: “I cannot say right now but step up on the court thingy and get your daughter back”
Rose: “But I don’t want to leave my dad” I said innocently and yeah, I didn’t want to leave him, he was still my dad and he seemed to have turned a new leaf since the last time.
Ahunli: “Well you will leave him when I am ready whether you like it or not” she snapped bitterly.
Rose: “Don’t you love daddy anymore? You don’t want to come back home?”
Ahunli: “I do but he does not want me so what can I do?” the hurt in her eyes and voice was unavoidable. She turned her face away from us and wept silently. There was nothing I could do to help her no matter how much I tried.
My dad came for me thirty minutes later and without even saying one word to her, he scooped me up in his arms like a good father would and off we went. The way he drove later on, I could feel it that he was in a foul mood. As soon as we got home, he threw his car key on the table roughly and turned to me…
Olamide: “What did you tell your mum?” I could hardly recognise him anymore in that stance.
Rose: “I did not tell her anything”
Olamide: “I said what did you tell your mum?” he thundered and before I could open my mouth to say anything any further, he slap flew across my face almost blinding me, I was on the floor before I knew it.
Rose: “But I did not tell her anything” my voice quivered as I tried to stop myself from crying.
Olamide: “You little liar” he drew me by my right leg into the bedroom and threw me on the bed. He was out of his cloths in the twinkle of an eye and loomed over me like a shadow from the underworld.
Rose: “Daddy please!”
Olamide: “Shut up! I warned you not to talk to anyone didn’t I?”
He tore my sweater off my body with the trouser I wore and pinned me down yet again. When he was done and exhausted himself, he let go of me and I saw an opening to attack too when he was climbing off the bed with his back turned to me. I gathered up all the strength I had left into my leg and kicked him as viciously as I could. The force of it sent him flying across the room, he wasn’t prepared for the attack and so he was vulnerably open. He laid still on the ground, I climbed off the bed gently to check him and saw the blood drizzling from behind his head…
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I panicked when I saw the blood and wondered if he was dead. I lifted his hand gently and dropped it but he did not stir. I paced around the room, thinking of what to do when an idea hit me. I hurriedly ran to the kitchen forgetting my own pains, got chilled water from the freezer and splashed some on his face. He did not respond but I kept trying until he stirred at last, stood up and touched the back of his head…
Olamide: “This is blood…you almost got me killed girl!” he said with difficulty.
Rose: “I am sorry”
Olamide: “You are sorry? What would you have done if I had died? Tell me what would you have done?”
Rose: “I am sorry”
Olamide: “I will go to the hospital and when they ask me, I will not tell them it was my daughter who almost killed me. I will cover up your folly. Will see it as a mistake for now but if you dare tell anyone about what is going on in this house, I will surely get you into the psychiatric hospital. Do you understand?”
After he left for the hospital, I broke down and began to cry. I couldn’t give my distress a voice cos I was afraid of the consequences that would carry along. I was scared of him, I was became scared of everyone around me even of animals. The sound of cars reminded me the sound of his own car, the sight of men reminded me of him. I developed phobias upon phobias for things that made people feel alive. I knew I needed help but dared not talk to anyone about it. I was going crazy little by little.
One day in school- just so you know, I attended one of the best schools in Abuja called Adriene International School. It was a mixed school for both foreigners and Nigerian rich kids. In class while the teachers were in a meeting at the principal’s office, Andre, a boy of my age whose father was a politician came up to me where I sat alone. No one wanted to seat with me anymore because they said I was becoming stranger every day. Some of the white kids called me a freak because my boobs were bigger than that of all the girls who were in my class. Many of them had not even started growing boobs, I was the first to start and it grew too rapidly.
Andre: “Hey loner!”
He said and poked me on the shoulder but I said nothing. My heart skipped beats on their own accord when the rest of them began to laugh.
Andre: “Won’t you say anything? Why are your breasts so big? Do you have a boyfriend pressing them?”
I kept mute and played dumb. A girl walked up to me and sat beside me, her name was Aishat…
Aishat: “Don’t mind him dear. He is just trying to be funny in a very bad way” she said and I thought that at last, I actually had someone who was sympathetic to my cause until she said “but why is your breasts really this big? Is your daddy pressing it for you?” she said and the other kids burst out in another bout of laughter while she grinned wickedly.
I held my ears with my two hands trying to shut out the sound of their mocking laughter while trying to bite back the sob threatening to make me look even weaker than I already seem in their eyes. The teacher suddenly appeared at the door and quietened them down. She looked at me pitifully and shook her head. She had asked to see my dad on several occasions but he had turned down the invitations. He probably didn’t want to hear anything that would make him seem like a bad dad.
The taunting from my classmates and those I called friends continued while my dad also continued using me to satisfy his sexual urge. He stopped coming back home with the ladies and turned his full attention on me. Besides being his daughter, I also became his mistress. It got to a point that it became a daily routine. I stopped skipping school and he didn’t care, he took me shopping, bought me countless things, took me outside the country on vacations but all those were like torture to me as nights brought its own curse with it. Many people saw me as just a lucky daughter of a doting father not knowing how much I wanted to die.
He stopped me from going to see my mum and anytime I defied his orders and he gets to know about it, he would rape me over and over again in a most cruel manner. Thoughts of suicide was my constant companion but I just didn’t have the balls for it. I was scared of death yet I wanted nothing but to die and leave everyone and everything behind.
The day I tried acting on my thoughts was the day I realised I didn’t have to kill myself at once. I could do it gradually until I was finally gone. I had heard voices in my heard, they spoke at once.
Voice: “You don’t have to kill yourself at once my dear. You are too young to die, you can grow up dying. Kill yourself everyday so you can live” they said but I could hardly understand what they said.
Rose: “How do I do that?” I asked in my head.
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Voices: “All you have to do is cut yourself in a way that will not be enough to kill you. Believe me you will start getting used to it until you will stop being scared to die. Death will become a delight to you”
Rose: “Can I do that?”
Voices: “Yes you can of course. You don’t want to grow up like this do you?”
Rose: “I don’t want to” and yeah I really didn’t want to. Every day was a nightmare for me, I couldn’t have dreamt of continuing living that kind of life for another seventy-three years. Why exactly did my mum give birth to me? I had asked her on several occasions but each time she had gone over the story of how it all began with my dad making me want to puke.
And so I tried what the voices suggested even though it felt like I was the one having a discussion with myself in my head or was I really the one? Maybe there were no voices but just the voice of my innermost desires talking? Well I took a knife and cut a straight line just above my wrist. I watched the blood drizzle down, the pain I felt was nothing compared to the one I felt in my heart. In fact it helped sooth my heart so much to know I could feel another form of pain.
One early morning after he was done having his way with me, I felt so heavy and bloated, my head ached so much I thought I was going to black out until I started feeling nauseated. I ran to the bathroom clutching my mouth and my stomach, he watched my closely for some minutes and followed me…
Olamide: “What is wrong with you baby?” he asked patting my back as I retched into the basin.
Olamide: “Are you sure?”
Rose: “Yes” but the truth was, I wasn’t sure. I knew something was wrong, how I felt was extremely different from how I had ever felt before. Something was really wrong and I was afraid to even think about it…