I woke up to the brightness; the sunlight was pouring into my usually shady room. I had forgotten to pull the curtains tightly together the night before and there was a line of light that escaped through the opening of the curtains and shone right onto my bed. I stretched out my hand and played in the line of early morning sunlight. The peace and the beauty of it making me forget all my hardships. The dust bunnies in the line of light danced in the air; danced over my fingers as I wiggled them in the light. This was the peace I was seeking; this was the peace I had forgotten existed. This was the beauty of creation my father always spoke of; anyone looking at the pureness of sunlight and not feeling as if it could cleanse your every sin and wipe away all your pain would be evil, I thought; evil or simply lacking an eye to see beauty. I followed the light up from the floor to the foot of the bed and up onto my bed sheets. It stopped almost exactly on my now bulging belly. Almost as if God himself was caressing the being that was now growing inside of me, as if he was telling me, daughter go in peace—what was created in sin can be washed in my blood and be pure. For the first time since I found out I was pregnant I felt as if it was less of a death sentence and more of a way out and a way to regain the innocence I had lost. My child would be my salvation— born in sin, but washed clean. There would be no sins of the father executed on this child of mine. He or she would be innocent and I would protect that innocence in every way that I could.
I lay in bed basking in the peace and the beauty of the sunlight. I enjoyed it while it lasted because today was Sunday and my uncle would be coming soon to lead me in after church ‘Bible study’. I had feigned illness to get out of going to service, but I know I will not get out of ‘Bible study.’ I slowly fall back into a restless sleep, the impending visit bouncing around in my head; my dreams were disturbed.
I stir and realise that it is mid morning and my uncle has just entered my room, Bible in hand, priest collar still intact. I sit up in bed and wait, the less I protested, the faster it went and the faster I got back to being by myself. I let him sit next to me on the bed. He sat to my left and rested the Bible at his feet; he had told me that he did this (when I had bravely asked him one time) because he thought it was disrespectful to drop the Bible or let it fall to the floor. I usually found a spot to stare at during these ‘Bible study’ times, but today I was sitting directly in front of my full-length dresser mirror, so I focused on myself. No words were spoken and I saw as his hand crept up my leg, massaging my thigh and moving to massage my now ample bosom. I focused on my face, a face that did not change in expression even when I felt him tug at my shirt.
When he finally freed my shirt from behind my elbows, which had sealed to my sides, he saw the now noticeable swell of my belly and he looked up at me with a questioning look. The reflection of this expression in the mirror was the strangest thing, something suddenly went ting! in my brain, as if a small bell had gone off and I awoke from where I usual go to hide.
“What is this Danielle?” he asked looking at me with a curiously questioning look on his face. “What have you been up to when I am not around?”
I could not believe what was coming out of his mouth, was he seriously asking me if I was sleeping with someone else? Was he as stupid and mindless as I wondered, not knowing that what he was doing to me all these months would lead to what he is seeing now? Unbelievable!
I pushed him away and leapt off the bed, for once I had the strength and the reserve to do something, to say something.
“Are you kidding me?” I screamed at the top of my lungs, I couldn’t care less who heard; my mother was in the living room watching her ‘stories’ on television and she would hear me soon enough. In fact, I think I heard the television volume lower as mine got higher.
“Are you for real? You have the gall to ask me what I’ve been up to when you are not around?”
I screamed at him with such vehemence, spit flew out of my mouth—I could not be bothered right now. I was just so out of my mind with anger, an anger that had been growing ever since my father had died and doubled in intensity the moment my uncle thought it was a great idea to make me his own special pet. I stood in a corner of my room and rested my hand on the dresser to steady myself; I could feel the pounding of my heart in my chest.
He pushed himself off the bed and stood up tall, straightened his collar, and smoothed his greasy hair back. He stepped forward so swiftly I didn’t see the slap coming, it connected with my right cheek and the force of it threw me against the dresser. I screamed in pain, tears burst out my eyes with such a ferocity I felt my eyes twinge; I kept screaming and was still screaming when my mother ran into my room looking all concerned.
“What going on in here? What is all this noise about?” her Trinidadian twang that I had always found so beautiful now seemed to sting as her words hung in the air. She looked towards me as I sat in the corner crying and I saw her face change; the concern pushed off her face by a shadow of dread and disgust. She turned towards my uncle and asked a question that put the final nail into the coffin that I had been constructing for her ever since the day we met.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………The entire story is a bit longer than this, but let me know if you want to read the rest ok. Tell me what you think!