The trouble, however, was that once I’d started, I just didn’t stop. As a result, I got through several bras in the first few months of sprouting. No sooner did I get a new one than I outgrew it. I was proud of my boobs. I saw it as a sign that I was grown up than a lot of the other girls, that I was maturing earlier. I liked to thrust my chest out, to show it off.
After all, that’s why I wanted a bust in the first place, to look like everyone else and even better.
With breasts that stood out provocatively and nipples that were like two giant knobs on a transistor radio, boys and men never failed to show interest in me. They were forever after me. I also noticed that my father’s eyes were always fastened on my boobs anytime he was talking to me or I was within his vicinity, although I never felt really threatened or attached any significance to it.
Then one night, the unexpected happened. I was in the middle of a deep sleep when I suddenly screamed and ran out of my room. In the sleep, I had a terrible dream. In the dream, a dreadful male figure was tearing at my articles of clothing, apparently determined to violate me. He was stark naked, and his enormous manhood stood out firmly like a Yamrod. He had already torn my pants when I woke up, screamed and ran out of the room.
I sought refuge in my father’s room. I could not bring myself to tell him the details of the dream. I slept in the same bed with my father that night. He held me close, comforted me and soon, I fell asleep again.
About an hour later, I was awoken by little thrills of excitement that were running through my body. I noticed that a hand had come to rest on my buttocks and it gave me a firm but gentle squeeze. I thought I was going to faint. It was then that I was aware of some unfamiliar muscle deep inside me that was twitching, almost painfully.
An intense bitter sweet sensation assailed my tightened breasts. My blood was a raging torrent. I thought remotely that I was going to burst. What’s happening to me?
I was enjoying the sweet sensation of the touch of that hand. I knew this was wrong, awfully wrong. The hand exploring my naked body, squeezing my breasts, was my father’s! This must stop. I must have gone off my head to allow him go that far. Then I felt a heavy weight on me and two knees spreading my legs apart. At that time, all my senses returned and I struggled hard to push him off me. But all my efforts were a monumental failure. He had the strength of a lion. And so, I lay there on the bed spread-eagled, while my father deflowered and debauched me.
The next morning, enveloped with shame, I ran away from home to my aunt’s place, unable to bring myself to tell her what happened to me the previous night, I lied to her that my father had travelled out of town and I couldn’t stay alone in our apartment. For three days, I stayed in my aunt’s place. They were three days of unmitigated horror and misery. I could not believe that my father of all people, the only person I had genuine love for could take advantage of me. I found it difficult to accept that my father had committed incest and had ravaged me. The ignominy and horror of it all was too much for me to bear.
Yet, I bore it alone, without allowing my aunt and her husband to have any idea of the trauma I was experiencing.
Four days later, my father came to my school. It was at the end of the day’s work and I was just about ready to leave school. On setting eyes on him, I wanted to take to my heels, run to a place where I could be safe from home. To me, he had become a tormenter, a dangerous human being.
After the full implication of what he did had dawned on me, I had no choice but to habour a virulent hatred for him. Dad pleaded with me that it was the devil that pushed him to do what he did. He begged for forgiveness and humbly requested that no one should know about what had happened. I promised him that nobody would hear about it on condition that he allowed me to move into our school hostel. And so, I temporarily escaped from him when I moved into the hostel.
Since then till this day, I had tried as much as possible to avoid him. Although he financed my education and generally catered for me till I married Ralph six months ago, I never lived with him again.
I tried hard to put that incident behind me. But each time I had cause to see him or hear his name mentioned, that ugly incident would come flooding my memory. I so much wanted to confide in someone, at least reveal the enormous torment I had been carrying, yet on each occasion my nerves always failed me. Until the third day after Daddy’s call when I decided to shatter the silence.
“What’s the matter with you, Wunmi? You’ve been brooding all over this house ever since that night you received your father’s call. Is anything wrong?” That was my husband, Ralph, pestering me once again.
Indeed, after that Daddy’s call, I had not been myself. The call seemed to have increased the maelstrom I had been living with all these years. The despondency and melancholy that had taken grip of me became a source of considerable bother to Ralph. Unable to give a reasonable response to his demanding questions, I broke into uncontrollable tears. After I had satisfied the irrepressible urge to cry my eyes out, I summoned courage to tell him the source of my misery. I gave him every detail of my father’s unspeakable act of 11 years ago and the mental torture I had been living with since then. Ralph just sat there before me like an unmovable sculptural piece, watching with disbelief.
“Jesus Christ!”, he muttered with a heavy sigh.
“You can’t possibly mean what you’ve said.”
“Believe me. Every word of it is true.”
For a long moment, he held his head, in his hands, looking down at his feet. His face had completely lost colour.
“You mean your father is as mean as that?”
“Yes. So you can understand why I refused his offer to launch me into business. I do not want to have anything to do with him again.”
“What a horror you must have gone through, my dear!” Ralph said, as he held me close to him. I felt enormous relief at having unburdened my soul to somebody.
“He would never trouble you again, Wunmi.”
“You mean it?”
Yes. I promise you, he won’t ever bother you again.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Leave that to me, my dear.” Ralph said assuringly. Whichever way Ralph was going to do it, I did not know. But I believed him.
That day, following Ralph’s advice, I wrote two identical letters to my brothers, Kola and Tunde, both of them were in the United States of America, telling them of the incest that my father committed in 2002. I know the letter would spark off a chain of reactions which I would not hesitate to let you know about. And ever since I shattered the silence of 11 years, I must confess that I have known relative peace. Soon, the memories of that nightmare will be confined to the deepest recesses of my past…
…TO BE CONTINUED