THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST: THE EMOTIONAL MISERY OF UKU SHEILA
How possible is it to break you down, I thought, staring at my uncle’s enormous door. My cousin had locked it. I screamed, no one could hear me. There was one way out; to beg him. Please Fred, don’t do it. Look! Is me your baby cousin. He looked like a monster, Evil Cousin Fred! He gripped my wrists and held me down. I never imagined him to be that strong. His eyes were red. His athletic legs wrapped around mine. For every attempt to raise my head, he would hit his head against mine. I heard him, he was breathing heavily as he stuck his lips into my ears. I was tired of struggling. I closed my eyes, wishing that my mother’s ghost would intervene.
I was 13, the last or rather the “mistake” and a virgin. Two weeks earlier, I had watched in confusion as my father and two sisters cried bitterly. It was my mother’s burial. I hadn’t gotten over the shock, I watched her body lowered into the grave. Everyone thought I would have an easy recovery staying with a mother figure and it was no other but my mother’s sister. She was rich and has just a child. My sisters were better options but they wouldn’t want an extra in their matrimonial homes. Was this the recovery they talked about?
He was close to tearing off my short which I wore under my gown, to complete his devilish plan when I heard a car hoot, it was my uncle’s. A help finally! Cousin Fred jumped up, unlocked the doors and rushed upstairs. I laid down crying. My aunt wasn’t happy seeing me that way; “ah ah ah! Sheila, don’t kill yourself mourning your mom nahh!” She knelt beside me, carried up my head to her chest and rocked me. “Dear, kile le yi?” my uncle asked. “What else could it be? Is it not obvious that she misses sista.” My aunt replied. “Ah! She can’t possibly be mourning like she lives in King David’s era, jo! Cover her up.” said my uncle. “Brother Fred tried raping me” I muttered. “ki lon so, what is she saying?” My aunt asked rhetorically. I wanted to repeat myself but she stopped me. “Keep quiet and don’t utter such nonsense again” She pushed me away. “Welcome mummy, daddy! How was your owambe?” Fred said running down the stairs to embrace his parents. They barely replied when he spoke softly to me “Sheila, baby cousin, why are you crying?” Evil, Hypocrite, and Monster, words that defined Fred. I stood up, making my way to my room. I could hear his parents telling him to forget about my brainless attitude.
Few minutes later, my aunt opened my door, in a rather harsh manner, “pack up, you can’t spoil my home, I have called your father, he is coming with your sisters to pick you up. I can’t babysit a liar. This will teach you never to bit the hand that feeds you!” She banged the door and left.
In two hours, they arrived. My eldest sister stormed into the room. I ran to hug her, I really needed the hug but I got a physically agonizing slap instead. She yelled at me; “FOOL! You are so pathetic”
To be continued…