Short stories,

Bad things happen to everyone, good girls too (1)

March 29, 2012 Ezer Kenegdo 2 Comments


Holding the glass of water in her right hand and the bag of pills in her left, she read through the suicide note she had written only a few minutes prior. As she walked slowly to the bed, she wished with all her might that no one would get home before she died.

*********


Nike was eight the first and last time she’d gone on holiday to the US with her family. She’d had so much fun she really wasn’t looking forward to returning home. On their last night, her uncle had organised a farewell dinner for her family, and invited the families of 3 of his closest friends. In those days, Nike wasn’t what you’d call shy, so it didn’t take her long to warm up to the guests.  

As she got to what she considered the best part of what must have been her 10th story, it was time for 2 of the families to leave. Their kids hurriedly scrambled up the stairs to join their parents, while she frantically searched for her left slipper. By the time she found it, they were already making their way to the car park. She dashed up the stairs and was almost out the door when her little cousin who was seated on the floor behind the couch facing the TV, called out and asked her to help him buckle his sandals. She swiftly bent over to help. Half way through trying to buckle the 3rd strap of his left sandal Nike felt something hard pressing against her backside. While still bent over her cousin, she peaked through the corner of her right eye and felt a wave of panic when she realised it was Mr Okoro, one of her uncle’s friends who was pressed up against her. She didn’t fully understand what was going on, but she knew whatever it was- it wasn’t right. By the time she hurriedly did up the remaining straps of her cousins’ sandals, Mr Okoro had started to rub her backside and tell her how beautiful she was. Without saying a word, Nike ran up to her room. She desperately tried to get the memory of what had just happened out of her mind, and ignore the voice that kept telling her bad things happen to bad girls. Since that was a bad thing, it must mean she was a bad girl. She couldn’t wait to go back home.

*********


Nike had always been a hugger, she knew it made her mum feel better –especially during the separation, and making people feel better made her feel good. On ‘that’ day, 4 years after the Mr Okoro incident, she’d come home earlier than normal to find her uncle crying while reading the piece of paper in his left hand.

Nike: Ahan, Uncle Bayo what’s wrong?

Startled, he hurriedly wiped his eyes.

Bayo: Nike what are you doing back from school so early?

Nike: Midterm break starts today, so its half day. Why were you crying?

Reaching out for Nike’s hand

Bayo: Nike, why don’t you give me one of those your famous hugs. You know the one’s you used to give your mum that always makes her feel better.

Nike settled into her uncle’s warm embrace- anything to cheer him up. However, she started to get uncomfortable when he began stroking her hair and his grip got a bit too tight. When he started breathing heavily, she was transported 4 years back. Yanking herself away, she ran up the stairs and couldn’t help but think- bad things happen to bad girls.

2 weeks later, while helping her mum out in the kitchen, she attempted to confide in her.

Nike: Mum, Uncle Bayo looks at me funny.

Sighing heavily

Mrs Majekodumi: Enough with your tales Nike! You are just like your father. It’s always one story or the other with you guys. I know you don’t like it that your father and i split up and we’ve had to move to a different state, but your step father is being very magnanimous having you stay here. He won’t appreciate your tall tales.

Nike: But mum, i’m not telling lies. I just wan......

Mrs Majekodumi: Enough! We’ll speak no more of this.

Speak no more about it they did, not even after the first time her uncle finally raped her, nor anytime in the 2 years period he had consistently been raping her, nor the time she walked funny because of his ‘experiments’ and gave the excuse that she had hurt her leg in physical sports education. After all, she told herself- bad things happen to bad girls.
                                           
**************


Nike pinched herself till she bled. That’s what you do when you want to wake up from a bad dream. She looked around and wondered why she was still in the doctor’s office- she was supposed to be awake. After the 2 slaps her mother had given her, she couldn’t even look at her for fear that she would receive a few more. The doctor had tried to calm the situation down, but how do you calm down a mother that has just been told her 14 year old daughter is pregnant and HIV positive? Nike said nothing, she didn’t even cry, not during the drive home while her mother heaped all sorts of curses and insults on her and certainly not when her mother didn’t care to listen when she tried to explain that Bayo, her precious husbands younger brother had repeatedly raped her daughter for the past 2 years, gotten her pregnant,  infected her with HIV and God knows what else.

Mrs Majekodumi: You are just like your father; Cheap and useless. I should have left you with him. You know your step father will not allow you to remain in that house, and truth be told i don’t blame him.

Pointing at Nike’s belly

Mrs Majekodumi: First of all you have to get rid of that thing you are carrying, no use bring a child into this world that is doomed to die, who do you expect to take care of it when you are dead sef?

*********


Holding the glass of water in her right hand and the bag of pills in her left, Nike read through the suicide note she had written only a few minutes prior. As she walked slowly to the bed, she wished with all her might that no one would get home before she died.
                                

To be continued........

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