Kemi struggled out of bed, the nagging pain in between her legs was excruciating , she rolled onto the floor, crawled to the bathroom , put on the tap in the bathtub and managed to crawl into it, she wasn’t sure how long she sat there but by the time she got out it was daylight, the pain had gotten a bit better, she put some water in a glass took the paracetamol and sat down, at that minute her Aunty came into the room, she saw the blood stains on the bed and said, “Kemi congratulations you’re a woman now, watch out for all those small boys , if they come near you you will get pregnant. So keep off them, I will ask Fola to bring you some sanitary towels, stick it on your pant and wear it as normal, it will help soak up the blood,” with that she walked out of the room, stopped at the door and said “when you have finished changing the sheets come to my room , I want to send you and Fola to the supermarket”. And she was gone . Kemi was shocked, what is Aunty talking about , the questions flooded into her head, does Aunty know what uncle did to her, how can she condone it, or is this really how to become a woman, am I suppossed to keep doing this with men not boys, she wanted to scream but nothing came out , she was unaware that her Aunty thought she had started her menstration. She was so confused, her mother had not taken the time to educate her on growing up issues , like menstration , sex education , boys etc, she thought of going to her Aunty to ask questions but she also remembered her Uncle’s warning not to discuss anything with her Aunty , she decided to keep it to herself for now.
The pain killer had started to kick in about an hour later, she got up to make the bed, she noticed that she had slight pains between her legs every time she took a step, she tried walking with her legs slightly apart , this helped. She walked towards the wardrobe put on her clothes and went to herAunty’s room, her Aunty had earlier sent Fola to give Kemi some sanitary towels to use. When she Kemi and the way she was walking she automatically assumed it was the sanitary towel in between her legs, she smiled and said to Kemi, “don’t worry dear, you will soon get used to it”, with that she gave Kemi a big hug.
Kemi didn’t understand, get used to what uncle just did to me, she thought. She had so many questions she wanted to ask , she wasn’t sure what to do or who to talk to about all this, then she remembered Vicky her friend in school, Vicky had 3 older brothers and was always bragging about how knowledgable she was about boy matters….I will talk to her about this, surely I will get my answers. School resumes in 10 days , she thought, the answers I need will have to wait till then.
The week dragged on slowly, she was a happy her uncle was out of town for 2 weeks , he had gone on some sort of training course in Dubai. The house was quiet , she had time to think , as she lay on the sofa in the sitting room. The television was on but she wasn’t really watching it, all she could think about was what her Aunty had said …”don’t worry dear, you will soon get used to it” …suddenly her mobile phone rang, it was her Mum, she was calling to say she will be back in a couple of days, they exchanged pleasantries and the call ended. Kemi was happy with this news , by the time her uncle got back she would be back home with her mum.
The summer holidays came to an end, finally it was time to go back to school and start a new class, on the morning of first day of resumption Kemi had gotten up early, she was ready for school by 6am, she usually had to be at school for 8.30am, but today was important , I get answers to all my questions today, was all she could think about. The school was about 20 minutes walk on a normal day, but today was not a normal day for her, she decided not to walk but to take the bus. She went to her mums’ room gave her a hug and sprinted out of the house to the bus stop, in 5 mins she was at school.
School was a girls only day school, private , which meant children who attended were from middle class families and above, they were those who could afford to pay the school fees. These girls mostly grew up being raised by nannies or family members , parents were too busy chasing careers and money. Their parents had very little time for them, so the children made each other their confidant and advisor.
Kemi was now in year 8, the 2nd year in secondary school. As she walked around the compound exchanging pleasantries with friends she was on the look out for Vicky, after walking around for a while with no luck, she decided to sit by the gate and wait for her, the time was 7.35am. At 8.10am she saw Vicky arriving in her Dads’ car, she got up ran towards the car , Vicky got out and ran into her arms , “Good to see you Kemi” , “Good to see you Vicky , I have lots of questions for you”, Kemi said ,” let’s go sit down”, “Me first “Vicky said. And with that they skipped hand in hand into the school compound.
By lunch time came Kemi has still not asked her questions , before school started that morning Vicky had told Kemi all the places she visited over the summer, she had spent time gisting about each place and the shopping she did until the morning bell went. When the lunch time bell went , she hurriedly got up from her desk , this is my time she thought , I will ask my questions now. Vicky and her met up outside the library as usual , walked to the garden , sat on the grass and began to eat their lunches. Vicky was about to continue with her holiday gist when Kemi stopped her and said “I need to talk to you”…..by the time lunch was over, Vicky had the full details of Kemi’s ordeal but Kemi still had no answers. “I will give you answers by the end of school, dont worry”, and with that Vicky went into her classroom, Kemis’ was next door.
Vicky pondered over what Kemi had just told her , she wasn’t surprised , she was going through that right now with her older brother, who was 22, the first time he did it to her he had told her, the same words “I love you , you are my sister and nobody will love you as much as I do”. She believed him, he pampered her all the time , she was his pet, her parents and other siblings just saw this as a big brother taking care of his little sister thing , he had also told her not to tell anyone , if only they knew what was really going on between them, she thought. Vicky’s ordeal had started at 11. She was 2 years into it and was now comfortable with the way things were going. At one of the summer camps she went, she had discussed the ordeal with a friend , the friend had advised her to milk her brother for everything she wanted, “ask him for anything you want, tell him that if he doesn’t do what you want , you will tell everyone what you two were doing” . The first time she tried it on her brother it worked like magic, before she could say jack Robinson, she got the brand new blackberry phone she had asked for…from then on there was no stopping her. Her brother had his way with her and she had hers…..I will tell Kemi what to do , she must use this on her uncle , she thought.
The bell went to signal the end of school for that day, Vicky rushed out of her class, got Kemi , they went to sit at the usual spot. Vicky started to explain…” Kemi , I have been going through the same with my brother, it’s a very profitable arrangement , he gets what he wants , I get what I want, here is what you need to do” with that she began to explain the blackmail process…… As she listened to Vicky, kemi was already thinking of all the nice things she will ask her uncle to get for her………