‘Yes! Yes!! Yess!!! Urghhh!’
I’m still. Unmoving. I watch as his face contorts into this grotesque form as he finds his release. It kinda reminds me of the time I was little and pooed a big one. Unlike myself I giggle.
‘Hey baby. I made you laugh? Huh?’
His arms wrap around my waist and I resist the urge to throw up. No matter how many times I have to do this, it never gets easier. There are moments where both the sex and men are amazing but more often than not, they aren’t.
‘Did I do something to make you laugh? Huh?! Answer me bitch!’
I am unable to react fast enough, to steel myself quickly enough. It felt hot at first, then stinging, like little needles continuously pricking my skin. I bite my lip in an attempt to hold back the pain. This is nothing compared to what dad put me through. Nothing. It seems my determination is reflected in my eyes because in the same way, I see it reflected in his.
The hands that were once used to caress my body until it was pliant in his arms turn to steel against my body. I roll myself into a ball -the way mom taught me to- using my arms to lessen the impact, my eyes shut tight but it seems to infuriate him more. It in no way lessens my pain.
‘Now who’s laughing bitch?! Laugh! I want you to laugh. I want to hear you make that sound again!’
He pulls my arms apart. I feel his hands around my throat and my eyes widen in shock. Instead of tightening, his hands slowly makes its way up to grab my chin and force my face up close to his. Our faces are so close I can feel his breath on my skin and catch the faint wisp of alcohol. How did I miss it before? Why would I miss something like that? Mom always reminded me about the importance of rules. While we played hide and seek, hiding where dad wouldn’t find us was the number 1 rule, right now, not taking men that drink is my number 1 rule. Once again, I’m made to live out my punishment for breaking the rules.
The metallic taste of blood is in my mouth, on my tongue and on my lips.
‘Wake up! Wake up!’
Am I hearing things? His screams seem more frantic than hate-filled. It has to be my mind playing tricks on me. I wish I could hide with mom again. Only this time, I don’t want to be found. His frantic screams keep my mind alert and prevents me the luxurious embrace of sweet unconsciousness.
I must have finally gone under because I don’t hear him anymore. My eyes feel like they’ve been sewn shut by an invisible thread or was that dried blood? At least I can’t see that bastard’s face. I try to move my arms, they feel more like detached parts than my arms. That must be why they don’t obey me. I don’t even want to think about moving my legs. Maybe if I just remain this way, unmoving, I’ll finally be able to die. I’ll finally be able to leave this God forsaken world. Heaven, hell, I don’t care. Anywhere should be better than this. Anything is better than the hell I live in.
‘O… la! …la! Ola!’
It seems I’ve finally lost my mind. I must have received one too many hits to the head. That can’t be my mom.
My thoughts are foggy, I’m unable to think.
‘Take this. It’ll help with the pain.’ I hear a voice say. It seems familiar but my head is in so much pain that I am almost sure my skull will crack. I try to move my arm and it’s the same. I can’t. The person must have noticed because my body is slowly lifted into a sitting position and gentle hands part my lips to receive whatever it is.
‘You’ll feel better soon.’
I want to feel better. I’m aching so badly I would gladly swallow palm oil if I was told it would make me feel better.
Slowly, I feel myself being lowered once more. Exhaustion takes over and I’m dragged into a dreamless sleep.
I open my eyes to see a figure crying beside me.
‘Oh thank God! I was so worried you wouldn’t make it.’
God? What has he ever done for me? I’m more grateful for the fact that I can open my eyes than anything else. I watch her hover over me. Naomi is such a worry wart.
‘Didn’t I warn you? I warned you not to leave with that man but you wouldn’t listen.’
Without turning to see -I couldn’t even if I wanted to- I know it’s Naomi’s sister, Ruth. I always found it hard to believe that they are sisters but I’m glad I’m with them and they’re with me.
I try lifting my arms and this time, they move. Not so much but at least they don’t feel detached anymore. My eyes sting. I can feel the prickling of tears. I can hear footsteps move away from me and I panic but not long after, I’m soothed by the feel of something soft dabbing against my cheeks.
‘Let it out. Let it all out. Don’t hold it in. You’re in safe hands now.’
It was more Naomi’s gentleness than my pain that broke the dam on my tears. I am unable to fully release my sorrow but for now, I’ll find comfort in the gentleness of Naomi and Ruth’s presence.