I hear my brother open the gate from the room I
share with my mummy. I run to the parlour to see
who it is, its Uncle Bassey. My father’s friend, he’s
fair and old. Grey hair growing on his face. He has
a big stomach and he’s wearing pink. I run out to
greet him and he smiles at me, I smile back even
though my brother says I don’t know how to.
‘Mummy Bishop. Let her keep me company na.
She can bring her books’
When I hear that, I run inside and bring my books
ready to teach like Aunty Joy from my class. I
drop the books and run back inside for a stool to
sit down on.
But he says to me, ‘come sit on my lap.’ I don’t
know why even when there’s a stool already but i
do as I’m told. I become a teacher telling him all
about Quantitative Reasoning. I feel my pink shorts
shifting slowly, I can’t speak or scream.
‘Continue reading.’ This time, I read to him the
story of King Jaja.
‘So king jaja-‘ A gasp of surprise cuts me off as
my panties are shifted aside too. My spirits
screams at me to run but my body is glued to his
‘Jaja was sent-‘ He’s taking advantage of me,
holding me steady on his lap. I’m not even 8 years
old yet. I know its wrong. His fingers begin to
move, back and forth like he is sawing through
wood. He thinks I like it but I’m praying that
mummy calls my name.
I feel the need to pee, a chance to run.
‘Shift the stool and pee.’ He says holding my hand.
Again, I do as I’m told. In front of him.
I’m back on his lap again.
‘But-‘ I’m cut off by his fingers in my mouth. Its
getting darker, I’m getting dizzy.
Then NEPA arrives and see the dark figures of my
favourite brother and my mother moving around in
‘Let me go and keep my books. I’ll come back’ I
start to get down but his hands are holding me in
‘Uncle please! I’ll come back. Uncle!’
He let’s go after another quick touch and pull at
where my mummy says no one should touch.
I run into the house and she asks me what we
‘King Jaja of Opobo’