Uncle was what I called him. Not because he was my mother’s brother nor my father’s brother.
He wasn’t even related to me in any way. The closest he came to being family was that he was a close colleague of my mum’s and he lived just a few blocks away from us but I had to call him “UNCLE” because in Nigeria where I am from, it is considered a TABOO if you dared to call a way older person by their first name.
Uncle Soji would buy me gifts and goodies whenever he came back from work. Some he brought to me himself, others he sent through my mum when he was too tired or would be returning late.
Uncle Soji had a spare key to our house, he was that close to us. Mummy told me he used to bath me when I was a lot younger and helped look after me when she had to be away since she was a single mum with 2 other children to cater for.
Uncle always went beyond boundaries with me but I was little, naïve, ignorant, almost thoughtless, how would I have known? I never read deep meanings to his gestures, actions or even words to me.
Although thinking about it now, I do remember that when mum was around his actions were not exactly the same as when we were alone but again I thought them harmless because, HOW COULD UNCLE BRING ME TO ANY HARM? UNCLE WAS FAMILY, UNCLE WAS UNCLE AND SO THAT MADE UNCLE AS HARMLESS TO ME AS MUMMY WAS or so I thought.
One afternoon like many others, uncle had invited me to his apartment and I had gone. You know the thing about uncle? Since he was a bachelor, uncle had perfected his kitchen skills and I would eat his food as though it was mothers.
That afternoon uncle had prepared beans and dodo (plantain) just the way I liked it, and I had eaten it so happily forgetting the pain I had come home with from my teacher’s spanking earlier at school. I soon fell asleep on uncle’s very comfortable mattress, only to be woken up by uncle’s hands gently sliding from my thighs making it’s way up.
I jerked up in confusion when my eyes met uncle’s very wide smile. I didn’t know what to do. Shout? Sit calm and find out what uncles plan was? I wish someone was there to answer my questions.
Uncle then moved his body up to mine, pressing hard against mine. He was too strong for me. His warm body heat mine up while he continued to caress me. In no time, he was kissing me very slowly and passionately but soon what seemed to be passionate escalated to an aggressive attack. He pulled on my pants which mama had got me for my last birthday like a dog who hadn’t eaten for days, causing the tiny bow to fall off. He slid his index finger into me thrusting it in and out but it later felt like he had now slid in 2 fingers.
I screamed in pain. Uncle had my mouth guarded firmly with one of his hands so that my screaming was barely vocal. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore.
When he was done, he sat down lazily sweating like a farmer who had just gotten back from the day’s work. I laid there backing uncle. I cried silently all alone until uncle was done panting like a thirsty dog then he came to “soothe” me. He assured me all was fine and it was a normal thing for me to feel pain and that he would buy me something for the pain.
I don’t remember how I got home or how I had cleaned myself. I was a strong little girl. When mummy had got home that night, I had not told her what uncle did to me. I acted very normal. Too normal for anyone to have been able to read through my acting.
I Amina, on that day lost my uncle. From that day whenever uncle came visiting, I wouldn’t come out. I would fake one ache or the other so that mummy wouldn’t be suspicious. Uncle eventually stopped coming to visit after his several attempts to get me out to see him. He was certain that my mind was made up and that was the end of it for him. Should I say for he and I?
IN THE SPIRIT OF INTERNATIONAL GIRL CHILD DAY.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL GIRL CHILD DAY
Statistics has it that 1% child molestation cases occur at the hands of a stranger.
Let’s not over look things.
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