Although she has stopped crying and complaining, I know she is still angry with me. She’s been mad at me ever since I can remember… She’d shout and scream, cry and yell; but not anymore. She’s decided to give me the silent treatment now. Smart girl, for her age I mean. She learns quickly. She knows if she doesn’t speak to me, it’ll drive me nuts! Ever since her father left us, all I’ve had is her, and if she distances herself, I don’t know what I’ll do!
Sometimes I worry if her suppressed anger is pushing her into a depression of some sort. I’d rather have her screaming at me all day than not hearing her voice… She believes I was the one at fault! She believes I am to be blamed for all the trouble between her father and me… I don’t know how to explain to her, that it was him who thought I was a maniac! He was the one who kept abusing me; verbally, sexually… Oh how much I despised that man! I never wanted to marry him, or lie with him!
He had forced me to do the things I’d have never done with him! On the first night of our marriage, he had raped me over and over again till I lost my consciousness, and then some more, perhaps… I remember I couldn’t walk straight the next day. I was a virgin on the night of my wedding and pregnant too; within the first year of my marriage to her father, Rebecca was born. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! I had forgiven him, when I saw her, and tried living a normal life with him. Everything seemed to be going well for a couple years. Then one day he walked in and punched me while I was giving Becky a bath; he took her away and I didn’t see them for a month!
I did everything I could to get my baby back… After countless pleadings to her father, I opened the door a month later to find him with a strange woman who held my daughter in her arms. He had dared to go ahead and start a life with a complete stranger – along with my baby! I grabbed Becky from her arms and threw them out. They kept shouting at me, trying to make up stories… He wanted me to believe that he was not cheating on me, but that the lady was a social worker! Becky was crying… I shut them out, picked her up and went to my room. They unlocked the door with the common key under the mat, and I locked my room. We stayed there past midnight, until the lady left.
I had a row with her father that night. He was telling me that I was a maniac, that I was hurting Becky. I told him he was hurting us – Becky, and me. All I wanted was to be left alone with my baby, and he said he’d never let that happen! He zoomed away in his car after that. I fed Becky, and bathed her. She was crying. She was angry because her father had gone away because of me. She hit me with her little palms and pulled my hair. I didn’t mind.
The next day he showed up with the woman again, and he said he’d call the police if I didn’t cooperate. I asked him to leave. He did. The woman stayed. I told her that I was sorry for her, and told her about how he had abused me. She said she’d help me, but for that she’d need to visit again, and see more of Becky. I didn’t like her idea but I said okay and closed the door behind her when she left. That night I packed my bags and left the city along with Rebecca…
We moved houses often, and because Becky was still young, just 3 years old, it didn’t matter. She wasn’t doing much schooling anyway. I started taking up baby-sitting jobs and earned enough to take care of the two of us. But she was still angry. She cried and screamed often; I put up with it. When she started school, she became worse. All she wanted was daddy! I wondered how she remembered that horrible man from her childhood so well!
I insisted on bathing her myself, and I still do. She’s not too old, just six. She didn’t like that. She thought she was old enough to do everything! She fought with me regarding this almost two weeks ago. I think I was too harsh in trying to make her understand that she was still young. She hasn’t spoken to me since. She hasn’t been cooperative wither; refuses to eat with me, won’t get dressed, won’t let me give her a bath… She just lies down on the bed all day, doing absolutely nothing. She hasn’t even gone to school. Her teachers keep calling… I’ve told them that she had to go for her father’s wedding to his second wife.
I still let her sleep next to me though. Sometimes, some of her maggots trouble me, but I manage. They got to the forefinger on her left hand today. She didn’t even let me clean her stab wound, actually, and now it’s gone bad. Her juices have soaked the bed – not the ones I wanted though. With one eye less and a rotting body, she’s still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And now, she doesn’t cry when I touch her.