When I was a little girl my father finally got me that black and white dress I was begging him to get for months for my 5th birthday. Finally it was mine and I couldn’t think of a happier time. Just a simple black and white puffy looking dress that honestly wasn’t even pretty but it meant the world to me, how simple life was as a child how easy it was to not fear the bad or tomorrow, not to worry about anything and strangely just always feeling safe and carefree. Until one day not long after this birthday my mother had to go overseas for ‘work’ I say ‘ work’ since she had a boyfriend at the time who also lived where this conference of hers happened to be ( tax reduction holidays) anyway, she couldn’t take me with her so she decided to leave me and my brother with her secretary and her fiance.
I sat there on their couch playing my Mothers words through my head wondering how long it was really going to be until she returns, what if she didn’t return? why did she need to go there for work? did she miss me and feel strange as I did? so many thoughts and so much home-sickness feelings running through my body. The smell of my bedroom, my home, you know that smell when you come home from school and walk in and just …. that’s my home smell and feeling. I missed it.
Days passed and I was left to sleep without a cuddle or kiss just pull up my own blanket and roll over. My brother didn’t feel like talking to me, when he was angry or upset he would always shut down. I felt so alone I cried wishing my dad would knock on the door. The sound of nothing at night in their except the fish tank in the lounge room that I slept in felt like it was going to make me deaf.
One day ‘A’ ( the secretary fiance) asked if I wanted to go for a swim with him, it was no secret I was one of the best swimmers in my school and loved swimming so I jumped at the idea. We went to the pool in their complex, no one was there just a gardener. ‘A’ jumped in and told me , ‘stop being a chicken and get in’ so I did the biggest bomb into the pool with my little self. I swam up and down a few laps racing ‘A’ then I was tired, he caught me grabbed me throwing me up in the air. For the first time in almost a week I felt a little happiness, natural happiness that empty feeling wasnt there. Then ‘A’ started hugging me and making me feel very awkward I just remember I felt scared and confused. Al hamdulillah his fiance came and asked how long we had been in the pool and that it will get cold soon. Strangely he moved his hands and repositioned them as she got closer to the gated pool area I didn’t know why but I felt like something was wrong. like the feeling when your mum wakes up and your brother is in the kitchen looking for the cookies yet your worried to be blamed although your clearly not doing anything wrong, that kind of a feeling
I never said anything, not to my teacher not to my friends and certainly not to his fiance. a few days later I was at their home alone with ‘A’ he took some of his fiance clothes out and told me to play with them and try them on I just sat in the room with clothes all over the bed thinking how my mum always told me not to touch other people’s things. ‘A’ came back in asking me why I hadn’t put anything on and if I didn’t like it. Feeling very uncomfortable and scared I just nodded, I’m not sure why but I just agreed with him feeling confused and scared. ‘A’ handed me some see-through items way too big for me and said, ”here put this on.” Still confused why I was supposed to change my clothes I sat down pondering it all and just did what I was told. when ‘A’ came back into the room he looked frustrated at me for not knowing how to put on what he gave me rushing and grunting he pushed me toward a wall and told me to turn around. I don’t recall how long it was but then he said ok put your clothes back on and he rushed to tidy the room. I went back downstairs and sat on their sofa just sat there I don’t even recall what I thought. minutes later his fiance was home. He hurried downstairs with the bucket he used for cleaning his fish tank and then I noticed all his fish werent in the tank as he was cleaning it. Listening to his conversation I realised … this was a secret.
That night I couldn’t sleep I kept thinking how I could get to my dads house from where I was and what I would say, was it really something bad or is me running away at night-time worse, I felt so conflicted.
Not long after I was having a shower and ‘A’ decided to enter the bathroom handing me shampoo and conditioner advising me how to shower etc. When I finished and came downstairs once again his fiance was on her way back home and his story about what he was up to was always way off. looking at me she asked if I showered to which I replied yes seeing ‘A’ scowl at me over her shoulder I just remained quite. Sniffing my hair she asked if i used her shampoo, she seemed very off as if she knew something was wrong but not sure what it was.
I wish I just told her, I wish I spoke up but I doubted anyone would believe me. My mother was too interested in her work and ‘ work trips’. My father was only allowed every second weekend visits which he didn’t always get for whatever reason so I felt a little disconnected from him. I felt alone and confused, in my heart I knew it wasn;t right but why would my mother leave me with such people? why would a man do that knowing I could just tell on him?
The events are true some events are edited to save readers from distress or trauma, some names are abbreviated or edited for privacy reasons and some people I wont give the time of day to mention. My reason and purpose is that maybe someone else who has experienced such events may find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone or a mother may read them and notice something, maybe it wont bring any benefit to anyone other than myself to finally rid myself of the things I held inside for so long carrying them as my own shame, when really the shame should be carried by a number of other people.