I was born into a good family by many standards and my childhood had been a dream. Mum and dad were loving and open with their expressions of affection towards each other and the children. I was the youngest child of three, with an elder brother and sister. My name is Cici. I like my name so much and it reminds me of a princess. So often as a child I could be found sitting in a corner with eyes closed, dreaming away about my handsome prince on a white horse who would one day come and take me away to inexpressible bliss where we would live happily ever after. I would imagine that we would live in a castle with many helpers, tending to our many children, teaching, nursing and grooming them for their glorious future. The children would have their own apartments in this castle, playing with their friends and having a great time.
Let me take you to a normal day at home, Winnie.
“Cici?” My mum’s voice firm in a tone called out. “Where are you?” She insisted. “Have you completed your homework?”
“I’m coming mummy” I answered, and her voice drowned out the rest of my reply as I ran from my favourite hideaway in the house, bouncing as I edged closer to the kitchen to reunite with mummy. I was about 7 years old at this time and had been transported to the present by mum’s call. That lovely tune we had learned at the kids’ church was playing in my head “Jesus loves me this I know”
He loves me I sang as I bounced from one foot to another to heed my mother’s call.
“I have been looking all over for you…” mum said as she smiled with what could have been disguised as concern. Knowing mum, she just wanted to get her ducks in a row; Make sure all of us were sorted and ready for school the next day.
“My homework is done mum,” I assured her.
“Bring it Cici!” she quickly turned a little serious. Occasionally, there were comments in my school planner about late or badly written homework that made mum and dad look bad when I had not put in any efforts. So, mum wanted to see what work I had produced.
“I’ll go and get it,” was my resigned response as I now began to turn around to walk away towards my room.
“Dinner will be ready soon” mum continued. So, it can wait”. This was usual. Mum had so much to do and stopping to check my homework would not fit in just now.
We lived in a 5-bedroom house with 2 reception rooms. Dad and mum had the master bedroom with a beautifully kitted and tiled en-suite blue themed bathroom. This was also graced with matching plastic, woven detailed curtains and furniture imported from “abroad” – a term used for items delivered from overseas. There were other fitted articles of interest in the room. A bidet was always a subject of interest as it had unique features. Mum had explained it was a special washer that you sat on.
The adjoining sleep area boasted of a master king-size bed, tidying of which formed part of our daily chores as children. Lest I forget, two other rooms in the house, held single beds which housed my sister and brother.
There was a study room which held a bookcase and library of books some of which were hardcover and had changing brown to white-coloured pages.
There were two windows which streamed sun rays quite early forcing the sleeper to get up. I don’t think it was meant to be a proper bedroom but a study space for power naps. That’s where my big cousin slept through and it didn’t seem to bother him at all. He had come to live with us because his dad had passed and had been going through a hard time at university. Those were big words to me. It sounded like a big school of some sort with big people. And there was something about this big cousin that scared me… He was taller than me. He spoke English differently and always talked to daddy in a language I did not understand. Things had changed for me since he came to live with us. I did not like the way he smiled at me either as if he had some mischief-planning going on in his head. There was nothing to tell mum or dad until…
It was very dark and rainy that night and there were rumbles of thunder. Mum and dad were out for some event or dance as they would usually do some weekends and my siblings were asleep. You see I shared a room with my sister, and we had single beds in a room with built-in wardrobes and windows which opened outwards and overlooked the street.
I loved looking at the raindrops that fell at an angle that rapidly spread as it gained ground and moved towards the house to beat at the windows.
You could smell the air. I have always loved the smell when it rained. It seemed to have the ability to extract hidden fragrances from the blossoms of flowers growing beneath our room. As I was woken up by the sound of the drops, I knew if I did not pull the window doors shut, we would have water sprays coming in with some flooding as a result.
That’s when it happened. I opened the door of the bedroom to go to the toilet and found my big cousin standing just a few steps away at the landing.
“Pickin n’a wetin” he said in a dialect I did not understand but had become accustomed to hearing him speak. He seemed genuinely concerned. So, I told him in my own language that the rain woke me up and I was just going to the bathroom. I had drunk water a little later than mum allowed and as she was not around, I had some Coca-Cola too. Perhaps that was why I needed to go. Bode smiled at me again and with his right hand beckoned me to come towards him. I hesitated a moment saying I had to use the bathroom when he walked towards me quickly carrying me up as I resisted his offer to come. Next thing I knew, I was thrust tightly against his body and could hear his heartbeat as if it was racing and his breathing became more rapid. He then carried me back to his room tightly wrapping his strong, long and well-toned muscular arms around me it was difficult for me to get away. His strength persevered as I struggled with kicking arms and legs to no avail.
“Put me down,”
I pleaded in desperate fear. He was too strong for me.
“It’s OK” he mumbled. And something that sounded like “I like you so much”
“But I want to wee…” I cried
“It’s OK” he repeated and then said “I want to show you something”
I was still kicking and saying as loudly as I could, “Put me down”
The sound of the thunder rumblings shook up the atmosphere, quickly followed by lightning. I tried to raise my voice once more as much as I could muster but no one heard, came or answered. My siblings were asleep and the drama and play between the conversational thunder and rain were not helping.
“Mum!” I screamed in my head. “Dad, where are you?” I cried as he laid me down on his bed.
I hazily remember being asked to touch something, soft and hard protruding from the big cousin. He had, with such mastery laid me down in a sitting position, then quickly drawn my attention to his trousers or more like shorts and called knickers in those days. He pulled the short piece of clothing down quickly took my right hands in his and pulled it into his underwear you could see a rod-like thing – his private, stand out. My hands were used to rub this up and down, back and forth. All this time I was crying “I want to wee”
And the reply was “shhhh”
Then “do you like it?” I could no longer hold the water and it came trickling down my legs onto his bed.
“Why was he in such a hurry?” I wondered. He seemed quite annoyed at the disruption caused by the urine explosion. It was an ordeal, this whole scenario. It could not have been better staged because it looked like he had been planning this for a long time. Then it was over but not before he was begging me not to tell my mum.
“No tell your mama,” he said as if threatening me. “I will say you lie; you dis pickin” he continued. I was still in shock at what had happened. Something broke inside me and sometime during the ordeal I had just lay there. I wanted him to stop and had pleaded with him to and when he didn’t, I had gotten tired. Tired of begging, he did more to my body than I care to remember. He took something away from me… my innocence; it was gone to a most undeserving bully of a man.
And he offered me sweets and promised to buy me more if I kept quiet. In shock, I accepted the sweets and he carried me back to my bedroom door and left me there, with a satisfied look on his face.
I knew where to find fresh underwear and I took the wet ones off before changing into a fresh pair. I cannot recall whether I had a wash or not, but I think I just wanted to go back to bed. My bed. And forget the whole experience. I lay in bed for a while watching my older sister sleep. The rain had calmed down a bit and it felt a little cold as my side of the bedsheets had no human heating in them. Drawing the sheets up over me I covered my head underneath until I realised, I was not doing much breathing.
How can I sleep now? The vision of events was playing on my mind. Did this really happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? What will I tell my mum if at all I did? How can I explain what has happened to me? What words will I use to describe the experiences I just endured? I lay there crying for hours. I was never the same again…
This was an excerpt from the book: Love at First Byte