I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 10 years old when it happened and had just come back from Amaka’s house… she was my best friend.
I got home to see my dad bawled on the floor of our parlour and crying like a baby. He clung to my moms picture like a lifeline. I found out later that my mom had been knocked down by a car while crossing the road, just in front of our house.
There was a short pause.
My parents had the best marriage. Even as a child, it was so obvious they loved each other and me. Now I think about it, I’m not really surprised about his attitude then, but it hurt me badly.
You see, it was my belief that we would get closer, that we would comfort each other. I was hurting too god damn it! I guess he was just too selfish to understand. I’m grateful for Amaka though… and her brother Eloka.
A sad smile on her face.
I had a little crush on Eloka.
The minutes ticked by as she said nothing.
The first night he came into my bedroom I was overjoyed. He didn’t say much, just sat at the edge of my bed for sometime. I waited silently, hoping and eagerly waiting to hear his voice. Just as he was about to leave, he said two words, ‘I’m sorry’. I was confused and happy at the same time but said nothing in reply.
A few days passed before he came again. It was different this time, he… he…
She shook her head and wiped away tears with the back of her hand.
He climbed into bed with me and when I tried to say something, he hushed me and then he… he put his hands under my nightgown and touched me.
I was so confused because I didn’t understand the way I felt but I was also scared to say anything because I didn’t want him to hate me.
It became frequent after that night, always beginning with ‘I love you’ and ending with ‘I’m Sorry’. A few weeks passed before I was able to talk to Eloka and Amaka about it.
I had never seen Eloka that angry. He dragged me to my house and punched my dad’s face.
My dad was furious.
I was scared.
I didn’t know it would turn out the way it did! I had no idea that I would lose two people whom I loved so much that day!
She was screaming now, kicking the bed.
Immediately three hefty men rushed into her room followed by a nurse holding a syringe.
‘Hold her down!’ the nurse yelled. This they did with much difficulty. The nurse stuck the syringe into her arm and she finally calmed down.
They waited a few minutes before they left, one at a time. The nurse and a man stayed behind.
‘I’m curious, what’s her story?’ the man asked.
The nurse was quiet for awhile before she answered.
‘She’s one of our oldest patients. Been here for 15 years. Claims her dad molested her and that her friend and dad killed each other’.
‘Turns out her dad really did molest her. The molestation and the death of her mother messed up her mental state badly. Her best friend found her on top of her dad, holding a bloody knife, stabbing him over and over again. The best friends’ brother tried to stop her but she stabbed him too. Killed them both and she was 10 at the time. Messed up shit I’ve heard in years’.
He looked at her again.
‘Why does she talk like she has an audience?’
The nurse shrugged. ‘She wants someone to believe her’.
They stood silent for a while longer. ‘Life can be shitty and there’s no age limit’. She tapped his shoulder before leaving.
He looked at the face of the beautiful woman who laid sedated on the bed of the mental hospital and shook his head before he finally left too.