I was 10 when I watched the priest say ” Dust to dust” .I was 10 when I watched the heavyweight guys lower the big coffin that contained both of my parents to the ground. Can you remember when the accident of a couple that died on their way back from a funeral went viral? Yes I bet you can, those were my parents.At 10 all I knew was that my parents wouldn’t be there to watch me start jss1, my mum wouldn’t want to use a marker to mark all my clothes including my pants as she did in my primary school,l as if I could ever leave my panties in school. The next day after the funeral, I can remember everywhere was cold, the only voices that could be heard was my uncles arguing about how ” Ojukwu” should have fought more and not hide. ” If we had continued eeh, Biafra for they” Uncle Richard said hitting his hands on the chair.” Guy forget that thing, lives would have been lost na” uncle Ikechi said dropping the bottle of star he was drinking. I watched them argue and argue untill my aunties came in and they had to pause the topic and focus on their wives. I can remember wishing that Dad was around so he could join them to argue, I can remember how deep and smooth his voice always sounded ” hapu that thing” leave that thing he would say to end the argument.
I was 11 when uncle Ikechi took me in, he was the only one amongst all my uncle’s that had his wife working abroad, so he had space to take care of me as my uncles had said. I can remember the day I walked into his house. ” Adanna keep your bag in the other room” he had said smiling with an unlit cigarette on his lips. I walked down the corridor where pictures of Aunty nma was hung at every corner,I can remember thinking ” he must really love her”.
I was 14years when it all started. It started with ” Ada, you are looking good today for school” to ” Ada’m aaah this your school uniform is so fine on you” then one Saturday as I was slicing the tomatoes uncle Ikechi came in smiling with a cigarette in his mouth
” Good afternoon Uncle” I had greeted him smiling, but the smile faded each step he took, coming closer and finally covering the space between us and then he kissed me. First I was shocked then I pushed him out. ” aaah uncle” I had cried out cleaning my lips with the back of my hands.
” See Ada ,I own you ” and with that he rushed for me, as much as I tried fighting him off all I could hear was the “kikiki” sound my gown made as he tore them. I can remember trying to scratch his head and neck but he wasn’t just smart,he was stronger and heavier and in a swift he lifted me up and carried me to my room.
I can remember washing the Mickey mouse bedsheets that had deep blood stains on it. Even after washing it, it still felt dirty I couldn’t sleep on them. I would wake up very early by 5 while he was sleeping and then clean the house so fast and leave for school. I would stay in school till 6 then sneak into the kitchen through the back door,make dinner fast and rush off to my room and lock myself in. Uncle Ikechi at first didn’t mind not seeing me ,it felt like he was remorseful and few times he would leave me cash on the dining table .
I was 15years when it happened again,we had just moved from the old house to a new house,where there was a flat facing ours. This particular house although it looked richer than the former one had less rooms and it indeed was perfect for just two people. That night I was sleeping when I felt a hand on my legs ,it was cold and moving up slowly,I jerked up and saw Uncle Ikechi he was smiling and his teeth were shining brightly.
” Ada’m” he said touching my hands,I could hear my heart beating fastly,I knew where this was going.
” Uncle please” I begged him,with tears in my eyes.
” You too please ,just the tip” he said showing me the length he would let himself in with his index finger.
” Uncle please” I begged further as the tears poured .
” You too Ada,I have been taking care of you for 5years ,I have watched you grow up so fast” he said whisphering then he pulled my legs forward as he put his hands in between my laps.
” Uncle please” I begged as the tears poured. But he seem not to be listening to me as again the went further,I tried to fight him off but the slap he gave made me blind for a minute and when I got myself back he was already on me,with his hands on my mouth.
I can remember crying and wishing for death to come as he thrust himself into me repeatedly and when he was done he smiled and said .
” You dare not tell anyone or I will kill you” zipping his trousers he left .
I can remember curling up like a ball and staying that way till morning. I remember hearing the main door clip to show he has left for work.
I was 16 and in Ss3 about to write my WASSCE and JAMB when it became a regular thing,he would come in the night use me to his heart content then give me pills and walk out, and even when I managed to lock my door he would beat me the next day. What surprised me most was the way the neighbors never paid attention to us,even Uncle Obi who was always in the parlor watching one football match or another ,he still minded his business which was absore because I knew deep down he knew something was wrong.
I was in Secondary School and no one told me that as a child I had the right to be heard,the right to speak. I used to stay in halls to listen to people who came to speak to us on topics that they thought was important but no one told me that as a child I had the right to freely express myself in views of all matters affecting me and for those views to be heard and be given due weight. Even Aunty Chima didn’t know or maybe she knew and just decided to ignore the fact that she knew; as a barrister I used to imagine her coming in to break down the door and save me.
The only time she every broke down our door was not to save me,it was to catch me red handed stabbing my uncle repeatedly with the sowing scissors I use to cut the material my madam always gave me to take home. Uncle had come in and while I was focusing on the clothes,he had touched my buttocks and kissed my back.
“Uncle please” I begged him
“You too please,did you not have the abortion days back? You should be strong enough” he said pulling my skirt up as I dragged it down.
“I’m still having side effects uncle” I beg but he hadn’t been listening,he pulls me closer and with a big tug he rips my shirt showing my black bra.
“Uncle please…” I never finished as he hit me on my face repeatedly. The more he hit me, the more I thought of all the things I had endured. The abortion pains,the dropping out of school at 100level because he missed having me around, no one had questioned him when he told them that I failed my first semester exams and that I had failed JAMB the next year.
It happened in a flash, one minute the scissors was on the table beside my bed, the next minute it was in my hands and before I knew it was in his chest as he was staggering away screaming.
His screams gave me powers and I rushed to him dragging it out and inserting it into the other side of his chest where I knew the heart was located, the more he begged the more I felt powerful,and the more I repeatedly kept removing the scissors out of him and forcing it back into him. Even when I knew he was no longer alive I still kept stabbing him as the memories of all that had happened to me, from the death of my parents and his abuses kept flashing before my eyes. It was then that Aunty Chima found me and dragged me away from his body,tackling me down the stairs.
Listening as the judge gave his final judgement “I hereby find you… “,I can only wish I had killed him earlier.
David Vera Sorochi
Edited by Blvckjujugirl