Miriam was about 12 years when she started noticing her body changing. Her breasts were getting bigger and tender by the day, her hips were getting round. She also noticed whenever she walked past a group of boys they would whistle and cat call. She found this so embarrassing and would blush every time. One morning she woke up and found her bed sheet as well as her nightdress was bright red. She was scared to tell her mother in case she got a beating. So, lay back in her bed and when her mother came to enquire she said she was not feeling well. Once everyone had left the house, she jumped out of bed and quickly took a bath, burnt her bed sheets, changed them and went back to sleep. This happened every day until she could not take it anymore and spoke to her mother about it. Of course, by this time it had stopped. Her mother laughed and consoled her. She told her she was growing into a young woman and it was time to stop playing with boys.
Miriam was growing faster than she would have liked. In her clique, she was the first to develop. She missed running around with the boys, climbing trees and playing hunting games. Instead, she would stay home more and do housework or the chores her mother would give her. Because of this change in her free time she would sit in her room and read books. Mills and boons, romantic novels and wish she was like those beautiful ladies.
It was at around this time that her uncle (Macharia) came to visit. He had just finished high school and was waiting to go to university. The last time he visited, he was short but this time he had grown into a young handsome man. During this time, he teased her about her changing body. Her mother and father decided to let Macharia stay permanently. They thought that Miriam needed a tutor since she was weak in Math and Sciences. Macharia was fond of Miriam since she was his only niece who was close to his age.
Macharia used to come to Miriam’s room to talk and would stay for hours on end. It during one of this visits that he started playing the tickle game that ended in a kiss. It lasted more than a minute. She was so embarrassed and thought it was her mistake. Macharia made her promise not to tell a soul. Every day, he would come into her room and kiss her or lightly caress her breasts. She knew what he was doing was wrong but she was too scared to tell her mother.
It stopped for over a week because Macharia was not in town. When he came back he was so moody, she avoided him. Apparently, the marks he got were not efficient to get him into university. He mopped around the house and even refused to tutor her. Her parents had had hopes that he could join a college and do a bridging course and eventually get into university.
One night, she felt a presence in her room. She woke up to find a Macharia standing at her bedside. She stifled her cry, scared that he would hit her. He sat on the bed and covered her mouth with his hand. With the other hand, he undid the buttons of her pajama top. Slowly, he caressed her breasts and later bent his head to kiss her nipples one by one. She tried to remove his hand but he was too strong for her. He pulled her towards him and tried to kiss her but she resisted. His breath was reeking of alcohol. He pulled the bed covers back and climbed on top of her and entered her.
For three consecutive months, he came to her room and raped her. Miriam was an introvert by nature but she would talk when she had a problem. Her mother thought she was withdrawing because of teenage hood but her father sensed she wasn’t happy. Miriam and her father were close, not only was she his only little girl but also the apple of his eye.
To be continued……..
©thelma migue, 2010
From the cizoepoetry collection