You woke up to the stillness of the night, shivering in the mess you felt in between your legs. You raised your head above your chest just enough to discern what was real and unreal, but you were completely shocked by the unclear image of a boy, skinny and very dark. He stood drenched in perspiration which happened to be a mixture of yours in his, watching your lifeless body on the mattress in the dark room. For a moment your brain stopped and came back on like a flash of lightning and for the first time in your life, you wished you were dead.
You could smell the filth and disgust that sprouted from the rustic gray walls of the dark room, the room you shared with your brother “obinna”, it nauseated you. That was not the first time it happened to you. You recalled vividly the uncompleted building with the coarse river rock walls, a place you called home for just two years and how it first happened with the house boy, the one with the hefty shoulder muscles and awful body odor. You could not possibly forget the day it happened how he reeked of dead carcass as he forced the weight of his muscles and hips against your helpless eight-year-old body choking up your lungs till you no longer had the strength to squeal for his empathy.
Sometimes, he handed you rough and patchy twenty naira notes as though an explanation for ruining your life and would always threaten to kidnap you and take you to the village if you ever told anyone. As far as you were concerned death was a better option than being kidnapped by the beast himself, so you stayed quiet.
You were constantly being drowned in the ocean of your pain till you no longer felt your skin, you felt invisible.
It happened again and again, it went on like the rattle of an abandoned body in an endless pit until the twelfth day of the twelfth month when Obinna had caught Emma through the torn patchy sitting room window forcing his penis into your mouth, an act which nauseated you and made you throw up on his shorts.
It was over, at least you thought you were free until the dark room.
Weeks later, you tried to confront Obinna for what he did to you that night, for the shame he had subliminally stitched unto your forehead. Dismissively, he told you that Emma asked him to touch you and if you were going to be angry at someone, it should be Emma. There was a pause, a stone-cold self-realization.
You staggered into the tiny room your parents shared, lifted the bed and from the corner, took out your father’s pistol, it was heavier than you imagined and totally overwhelmed you, so you dropped it.
You staggered back to the dark room with thoughts swirling in and out of your brain like the visiting mosquitoes. As the rage grew and thickened within you, all you wanted was a purge, a break from the world that rejected your innocence. You thought of many things that could send you away, pills, rat poison, sniper and insecticide. They were all available, you could use any of them and all of them at once. But deep within you, past the periphery of your soul, you knew Afamefuna was never a kind of girl to take actions, you just couldn’t. You could only wish, a continuous wish to die.