Nifemi was lying on the bed, still and staring at the ceiling while Folabi touched her budding little breasts and her privates. Her shorts was gone and she was naked from the waist down. I could see the bulge in folabi’s shorts as he performed this despicable act and his breath was coming out in short gasps. It was obvious what was going to happen next and my legs shook badly where I stood immobile, staring at the scene through the window like someone in a trance. My eyes blurred and Nifemi’s face slowly turned to mine in my mind.
The dark part of my childhood came hurtling back at me like a piece of bullet and gripped me so hard that I thought I was going to faint on the spot. I was the typical dad’s pet and I remembered clearly that he took me everywhere he went whenever he was around. It was so bad that the teachers in the school dread to beat or punished me because if they do, my father would make a scene in the school the next day that would eventually got to the management of the school and put that teacher into trouble. Unfortunately, his kind of job didn’t allow him to be around all the time and as a result, we were raised mostly by my mother.
The first time I nearly experienced an abuse from a man, I was about 7 years old. A teacher in one of my friend’s school who stayed in our estate was hired by a group of parent to give us private lessons after school and one of the parent coordinated the payment so he was paid at the end of the month. I guessed this saved cost for our parents in addition to being close to our homes for the private classes and it gave the teacher an opportunity for another source of income.
One evening, we were through for the day and were about to leave his house when he asked me to wait behind while he ordered the others including my siblings to go ahead without me. I sat down there, wondering if I had done something wrong while he attended to a visitor that came visiting just as the others were leaving .Fortunately, my father had gotten home without prior notice from one of his prior visit and my siblings met him at home. My father asked after me and he was told I have been delayed by our lesson teacher.
Meanwhile, Mr John finished his discussion with his visitor, closed and locked the door before he came to sit beside me with a smile. I smiled back uncertainly but before he could open his mouth to talk, there was a loud knock and crash on the door. He rushed to open the door with an angry oath and before he said a word, my father landed him a slap on his face. “What the hell are you doing with my daughter ?” My father bellowed in a loud voice, towering over the trembling man. That was the last time we ever attended that lesson classes.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky in my other encounters with randy young men who took delights in abusing little girls like me, considering the fact that I was tall and looked quite bigger than my age.
Not long after that incidence, we changed school and my parent decided we should be staying with a family friend in his office as his office was just five minutes’ walk from our school. The arrangement was for my mother to pick us up after work and we left for the home together from there. The family friend was a young man whose elder sister was my dad’s classmate in school and my dad was the one who got him his present job. I remembered attending his wedding as a family outing and my father actually came home to attend the event. His wife got pregnant shortly after the wedding and he sent the wife to stay with his mother in his home town.
Uncle Dolapo would give the elder one between my two siblings money and told her to go out with our last born to get goodies. He was the office secretary in an insurance company and he was usually alone in the office most afternoon when we got there. He started with sitting me on his lap and fingering me while he threatened that if I ever told anyone, he would kill me. I believed him. At times, he would asked me to touch and pull on his penis while he would groaned like someone in pain. The last straw was the day he laid me in their store and rubbed his penis all over my privates until he poured white creamy substances all over my thigh. I guessed I was too young for any penetration to take place but I knew what he was doing was wrong and I cried as if my life would end. He promised to buy me lots of goodies and my siblings kept asking me why my eyes were red, especially my immediate younger sister but I didn’t say anything to anyone.
My mother used to tell me I would get pregnant if any man ever shook my hand in a handshake and I tried to avoid any man as much as possible. I started getting worried as the encounter with Uncle Dolapo unfolded on daily basis and when I fell sick, I was convinced I was pregnant. My young mind was terrified and I finally blurted out what was happening to my mum. I told her I was pregnant and she burst into hearty laughter.
“What made you think you may be pregnant? You have not even started your monthly period yet.” She said with a smile. “Uncle Dolapo has been touching me.”I mumbled without looking at her, picking at the cover cloth. “Touched you in what way?” she asked in a puzzled voice. “He touched me in my pants and on my breasts.” I mumbled again, unable to let her know he had gone beyond that and my mother was silent for a long time. “Dress up and let’s go to the hospital. “She said after a moment and left the room. I thought we were going for a pregnancy test and was scared shitless but I was asked a few questions and treated for malaria. I stayed off school for a couple of days but my mother never visited the issue again and the ordeal with Uncle Dolapo continued for a while until my mother resigned from her place of work. It never occurred to me to tell my father on his occasional visit home, probably because my mother did nothing to stop it but the other times I experienced it from men, I was bigger and meaner and had learnt to defend myself against randy hands.
It seemed it was happening all over again to a loved one and unlike my mother, I had no intention of sweeping it under the carpet. I came back to the present with a cold calmness in me and raised my phone. I zoomed in and took a couple of very clear shots of what was happening in that room. “Aunt Remi, can you please start coming home? There is an emergency and call your husband when you are coming.” I told my Aunt on the phone as I started strolling back towards the house with an air of non-chalancy around me but a cold anger was burning inside me. “Can’t it wait, Jummy? I am in the middle of a very important sales right now.” Aunt Remi said and I could almost see the frown on her fair face. “No, it can’t wait. If you don’t value the life of the children you claim to be working for, stay there and don’t bother to come home.” I snapped into the phone and cut the call. I called the husband and he promised to be home in less than thirty minutes. Birds of a feather, I thought bitterly of my mother and my Aunt as I got to the door and knocked. “I am coming.” Bolu’s voice rang out as he ran to the door and opened it. “Where is your sister?” I asked as I walked towards the room. “She is sleeping ma.”Folabi answered as he came out the kitchen, wiping his brow. “Really? What is wrong with her?” I asked in a voice, heavy with sarcasm. “There is nothing wrong with her. I guess she is just tired.” Folabi said with a smile and I walked into the room without another word. Nifemi was cuddled in the middle of the bed, she wasn’t sleeping but just staring towards the window with a blank expression on her young face. I picked her up and cuddled her in my lap like a baby. She burst into tears, clinging to me desperately and it was in this position that her parent met us!