Read Chapter One HERE
I was only paid #1000 that month after which my services were terminated. Mum spoke to me as I rested my head on her thighs. “Don’t cry my sunshine. Please don’t cry.”
“Mum, I was called a thief. Papa too.”
“I know but you’re not. You’re my miracle in the storm.”
I smiled. “Papa said the same thing to me the last time I visited him in prison.”
Mum smiled. “Of course dear. You’re our miracle.”
I nodded. “Yes mummy but dad was talking about you. You’re daddy’s number one miracle.”
Mum’s smile vanished, “what your father did was wrong but I’ll always love him.”
“I’ll always love you both.”
“Sleep my baby. Tomorrow’s another day.”
Mum grinded the basket of melon all night. Tomorrow, she would sell it at the market.
The village public school, Ibusa Girls Grammar School had resumed when a distant relative of mum visited. After speaking with mum for a while, it was agreed that I should go live with them for a while. “Mummy, I’m sorry for not washing the plates yesterday, please don’t send me away.”
Pain filled mum’s eyes. “my dear, your aunt needs someone to take care of her children until she gets a nanny.” mum took my hands in hers and smiled, really smiled, “and she’s promised to send you to a private school.”
seeing my mom REALLY smile. I knew that a better education for me meant a lot to her. since daddy was sent to jail, she rarely really smiled.
“If I go, who’ll take care of you?”
Just then, Aunt Chioma interrupted, “Nnenna, you’re only ten years old. Thats way younger than your mom. She’ll be fine plus we need to go now, I’m in a hurry.”
“Okay, Nnenna, I bought a bible for you. Read it. May God guide you.
This was how I left my community with Aunty Ngozi. I took care of her three kids like they were my siblings while hiding the pain I felt at my aunty’s lack of integrity. She had promised to send me to school. She had lied.
Her husband was a different matter. There was something unsettling about the way he stared at me. This morning, he came into the bathroom, saying he wanted to bath me. Although, I refused, he had insisted. That was the slowest bath I had ever had. He took his time, washing every part of my body. I walked out of the bathroom feeling grossly uncomfortable and dirtier. Ada, the first child was home that day because she was ill. When Aunty Chioma came home in the evening, she hugged her and jabbered, “Mummy, dad gave Nnenna a bath today, I was alone and bored. The bath took so long.”
Aunty’s eyes opened so wide that I shrank inwardly. She called me a whore then slapped me. I literally saw bright stars, I swear, I did. That was the last day, I left the bathroom door unlocked.
In the weeks that followed, uncle Chuks rarely looked my way and infact flogged me at the slightest mistake. This seemed to give aunty satisfaction.
One cold afternoon in my fourth month here, the morbid sound of almost silent footsteps awakened me. Uncle Chuks was in my room wearing a strange smile. I tried to stand but he insisted I remained on the bed. He then sat by me, “do you know that you’re a very beautiful girl?”
I remembered Chinelo calling me ugly and said nothing.
“I’ve been beating for a while now but today, I’ll massage your body.”
Fear gripped me, “Aunty will not like this”
he ignored me and removed all my clothes and massaged my body with shear butter.
The minute he finished, I reached for my clothes but he stopped me then i started to cry. i didn’t understand why I had to be naked.
As his hands moved through my burgeoning breasts,, the door swung open and there stood Aunty Chioma fuming furiously.
To be continued…7th April, 2018
By Kehinde Anita
Kehinde Anita is the author of a christian romance novel, “Why Won’t She Have Sex?” Its available on okadabooks app for N700 only.