EPISODE 8. THE HEAVY FEELING OF HELPLESSNESS.
I fell sick.
After that night my daddy…no, my step father raped me, I’ve been bed ridden and sick. At first, my step father told everyone who cared to ask that I got the flu, then he realized that it’s only in America that getting “the flu” was common and easier to use as an excuse. Then, he settled for telling people I only have a small fever and I’ll be back on my feet in no time.
“I’ll be fine now Lora, I promise. So, go and do your assignment.” I urged Flora for the tenth time.
As always, she shook her head. “It can wait.” She replied. Again.
Flora was always beside me since I got sick. When ever she’s back from school, she’ll come straight to my room ‘taking care of me’ like she’s the older one. She insisted on making noodles or buying junk food for me to eat so I won’t go hungry.
Like I said before, sometimes it’s easy to forget that she’s just ten.
I haven’t gone to the lesson center since then. I’ve told them that I’m sick through the phone and they wished me good health.
Samuel and I communicated through the phone because when he came to visit me, my step father took one look at him and dismissed him saying he’s daughter ain’t well enough to entertain visitors.
The first three days after that hideous night, I bled constantly, feeling so sore and torn. I could hardly get up from my bed, the only journey I could take was from my room to the bathroom.
I walked like an infant: Two-steps…stagger…three-steps…stagger…four-steps…fall. It was humiliating and unavoidable.
“Why are you walking like you’re two years old, Aria?” Flora asked me on the second day, her little beautiful face edged with concern.
“It’s all part of the sickness, sweetie.” I lied through my teeth and blinked back tears.
When dad entered my room to ‘check up on me’ like he claimed, I told him that if he ever touch me again, I’ll run away from the house but he only shrugged saying “I don’t care if you run away, but don’t ever go anywhere with my daughter Flora or I’ll track you down and you won’t like the punishment when I find you.” He said so coolly as if we were discussing the weather. He knew I’ll never go anywhere without Flora. The monster!
I’ve never been out on my own, been on my own, and there’s no way I’ll ever leave Flora in this house with that monster. Being that independent scares me a lot, especially when I know it’s not only me I’ve got to think of. And what if being out there becomes worse than staying in here?
“I’ll report you to the police. I’ll sue you for what you did to me.” I’d threatened.
“And who’s gonna believe you, Ariana? No one. You’ll just manage to convince then that you’re mentally unstable and I’ll help by telling them that it started even before Alicia died. You’ll be thrown in the mental asylum.” He stated matter-of-factly as he continued reading his newspaper like I never interrupted.
I knew he’d do all he threatened, my step father is a very powerful man both financially and otherwise. He can do all those and more. “I’m sure being in an asylum will be very better than being here with you.”
He flipped his newspaper without looking at me, “If you say so, then I guess there’s nothing we can do about it. You’ll be in the asylum and Flora will be here with me. Alone.” Then he stared be right in the eye, “Flora and I will be one good united family.” He deadpanned.
I tapped down the horror I felt. I’ll never leave Flora with him. I know it and he knows it too. My chest constricted at the feeling of helplessness that washed through me. He got up and walked to me, “You’ve made your own threats, now I’m gonna make mine. If you ever tell anybody about our love or ever do anything that will make me angry, anything at all, Flora will pay severely for it.” He stated in a calm voice.
Oh God, I can’t believe this! “Flora is your daughter for chrissake!” I screamed in frustration… And fear.
He shrugged, “All the more reason she’s mine too, just like you are. Don’t you ever forget that Ariana. I own you and Flora, and we’re gonna be one happy family.” He kissed my lips, his open eyes staring into mine, daring me to dislodge his mouth.
I couldn’t… Oh God, I’m finished. I stilled myself as he kissed me thoroughly, a deep feeling of helplessness setting on my heart like stone. He smiled smugly in victory, turned away from me and left.
The day my best friend Cynthia, a Nigerian girl that lives across the street, visited me, I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my best friend the main reason behind my sickness because Dad threatened that if any ear hears about our “beautiful relationship”, Flora will pay for it.
How can a man so such a thing to his daughter, a girl he raised? How can he live with himself?
Mom, why did you die???
These are the unanswered questions I’ve kept asking myself.
Every night, I cry myself to sleep, asking myself endlessly what will become of me now, I ask the thin air why mom had to die, Every night I think of a solution again and again and again. I always fall to come up with none, again and again and again.
I am alone in a crossroad,
I am alone without my mother,
I am alone with a monster,
And so… I hurt.
Everyday I die a little more inside.
WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 9.