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BN Prose Series: Rain (Part I)

Glory Edozien

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I love the rain. I love the smell of the rain, the way it manages to make old things new again. I loved playing in the rain, I’d run out and stick my tongue out while I danced under its powerful force, while it drowned out the shrieks of my mother warning me that I’d catch pneumonia if I continued with my childish antics. But I wouldn’t listen. I would dance and dance, imagining I was the rain goddess and all the droplets were coming down at my bidding. Only the sound of my father’s horn would bring me back to earth. ‘Beep beep’ and I knew play time was over. I would dash up the stairs like the lightning that had come earlier, just before my father’s thundering footsteps entered the door. “Chinwe”, Chinwe, his voice echoing round the whole house like the sound of the trumpet call at the second coming of Christ. “Yes, papa, I am in the toilet”, was the only response I could manage through my chattering teeth. “You have been playing in the rain again, stupid child!!!”. “No papa”…but it was always too late. His hand had covered my face in one swift motion. There was no escape. I never bothered to beg, instead, I allowed my body to morph into whatever shape it could when I fell to the floor. I would just lay there until he was finished. Sometimes it would go on for what felt like hours, his touch, his body, his sweat, his hands, all in places they shouldn’t be. But I would just lie there like a corpse, sometimes he would ask me to move my body, but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t; it was impossible to move. At first I thought it was normal for my father to play with his only daughter like this. I thought this was what every female child had to endure for not being a boy. But when I slept over at Nkem’s house last year, her father didn’t touch her that way. I was surprised. And then I realised, it was only my father that touched me this way. This was our special touch.

Those thoughts were soon dispelled when I saw Papa touching Ogonna the housemaid in our special way at the back of the shed two weeks ago. I just stood there watching them. I didn’t want to but my feet were frozen; I willed them to move, but they refused. So there I was, watching papa touch Ogonna. But this was different, Ogonna seemed to enjoy it, her eyes seemed to roll to the back of her head. I wondered what on earth would make her eyes dance like that; it was a strange place for one to position their eyes. But before I could make sense of Ogonna’s strange eye posture, Papa had pushed her to the ground and was running towards me like a crazed hyena. “You stupid child, what are you doing here?” his voice bellowed as he ran towards me. Luckily my legs were reenergised now, so running was the only response my body could give. I don’t remember running faster, my feet barely touching the dry red sand. The last thing I remember seeing is papa falling to the ground as he clutched his wrapper over his manhood, shouting “Chinwe, come back here. Come back here, you God-forsaken child!”. But I was no fool. I ran all the way to the seminarian’s court house. I knew Father Peter would be taking confessions now and I needed to confess my sins. I needed to confess to Father Peter because, one way or the other, I knew I was going to die for what I had seen and it would be better to go to heaven with a clean slate. So I confessed to Father Peter. I told him how I saw Papa touching Ogonna in our special way at the back of the shed and how I made Papa fall to the ground as he ran after me. Father Peter took me home that evening and promised to talk to Papa. I was relieved – it seemed that everything would be okay afterall. I even allowed myself to dream that maybe everything would be okay, I wouldn’t have to die for what I had seen and maybe Papa would even stop touching me and Ogonna.

But I was indeed a fool. The next day, after I came back from school, I went straight to the kitchen, like I always did, to greet Mama and help with the afternoon chores. To my surprise, I found aunty Ifeoma and aunty Chioma in the kitchen with Mama. “Good afternoon Aunty…” but before my greeting had left my lips aunty Chioma’s fat hands had covered them. “Chinwe, Chinwe, Chinwe, how many times did I call you!?” screamed aunty Ifeoma. It was difficult to hear how many times she had actually called my name, as my ears were still ringing from aunty Chioma’s earlier slap. Nonetheless, I figured a wrong answer would serve me better than no answer at all. Since I could barely feel my mouth move, I held up three fingers in the air to signify my answer. But that was not enough for aunty Chioma. “Oh oh….so all of a sudden you cannot talk again, Chinwe! Your mouth has lost the ability to function today okwaya (is that so)?”

“Mba [no] aunty”, I replied, quickly realising that the signing method was no longer a healthy option.

“So why is it that your mouth was running faster than the Ogili stream, when you were telling Father Peter lies about your father yesterday!?” screamed aunty Chioma. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that the reason for this beating was because of what I had seen yesterday. I looked at Mama, and her eyes were as red as fire. “Mama, it was not a lie I screamed”, but it was no use.

“Mechunou [shut up], just shut those lying lips of yours before I cut them off with a cutlass!”, screamed aunty Chioma. “You want to disgrace your mother, okwaya, you want to add to her plight because she cannot have a male child”. I had often wondered why everything I did always seemed to add to my mother’s inability to conceive a male child. But I realised that this was not the time to ask this particular question. So instead, I stood in silence and looked at my mother, pleading with her with my eyes to believe me. But she just sat there and cried, while aunty Ifeoma consoled her. Aunty Chioma, as usual, was in her element, shouting and screaming every Igbo abuse there was at me. Now I understood why she wasn’t married. It would be impossible for anyone to marry her; she was the fattest person I had ever seen. Everything about her was in excess. Her flesh, her eyes and nose, her voice and her eating habits. After what seemed like the time between two yam seasons, I was asked to return to my room and pray my Rosary, so the Virgin Mary could help me change my lying ways. I did as I was told but soon fell asleep. I was awoken to what I believe was hunger. I hadn’t eaten since yesterday morning, but the thought of bumping into either aunty Chioma or aunty Ifeoma, or worse still, Papa, was all the satisfaction my stomach needed. So instead of praying to the Virgin Mary to heal me of my so called lying ways, I prayed that she would ask Jesus to turn some of the books on my shelf into bread. But it seemed even She was angry with me because my prayers remained unanswered.

The next two weeks passed without event. Papa had gone out with the men for the annual hunting season and Mama, as usual, was more interested in her chores than me. So it was up to me to entertain myself. I would normally go to the seminarian’s court to help Father Peter in the church garden, but I decided it was better to keep away from him. That is why I was glad when the rains came. Aunty Ngozi, our previous housemaid, had told me how the people in her village had worshipped the rain goddess because only she knew how to control the mystical powers of the rain. She would regale me for hours on end with stories of how the rain washed away illnesses and how rain water was the best water to drink. She once told me how a man, close to death, had been cured of his disease by drinking 50 cups of rainwater and how the first rains were perfect for washing away bad dreams and events. So as soon as I saw the heavy rain clouds draw closer to the house and the red soil circling in front of the gate as the heavy winds carried it around, I was ecstatic. I saw Mama and Ogonna rushing to remove the clothes from the washing lines and I couldn’t wait for the rainwater to wash away all the horrible events of the previous weeks. But my rain dance was cut short by Papa’s return and there would be no washing away of the bad memories of the past. ……

To be continued…
To God be the glory
Watch out for part two (Naija Style!)

BN Prose Series is a new feature which allows authors to post longer stories on a weekly basis, for a maximum of four weeks. I hope you all like it!

If you have a story you would like to see published on Bella Naija, please send your story with a short email about yourself to me on features at bellanaija . com

Glory is the host and executive producer of Inspire Series, the web talk show which uses the collective stories of everyday women to inspire others. She believes women are https://www.canadianmeds4u.com/category/buy-antibiotics-online/ more than hand bags, hair, make-up and other externalities and is passionate about about pursuing purpose and living above societal conformities. She is also a day dreamer, and romantic at heart who loves TV, food and family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @inspiredbyglory and read more from her on www.inspiredbyglory.com

24 Comments

  1. d tin don shele!

    May 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Blood of Jesus!

    1
  2. Ogo

    May 11, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I really do lovee glory edozien’s write ups…and i am always willing to share wit my friends on facebook!!! thanks dearie!

  3. I4ma

    May 11, 2010 at 10:33 am

    wow!

  4. Trez

    May 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

    The context is good but honestly you need to work on your tenses and grammar in general. Your story is almost confusing. Does her dad abuse her during the day when beating her up? I really wanted to like your effort but read something similar on BN prose before and that one was well written

  5. Trez

    May 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

    The context is good but honestly you need to work on your tenses and grammar in general. Your story is almost confusing. Does her dad abuse her during the day when beating her up?. There’s a similar story on BN Prose archives and it was well written.

  6. swthrt

    May 11, 2010 at 11:35 am

    God forbid! In this century?!

  7. Omo urhobo

    May 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Very entertaining read! This is the way cases of abuse typically play out in most Nigerian homes. It’s sad that the victims have practically no one to talk to and have to live with this all their lives acting like nothing is happening to them. It is well !

  8. DU

    May 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Chinwe story shows how satan has eaten deep into human’s heart and life.how on earth hather will be sleeping with his own daughter.may God forgive such people.If u re out there and u re going thru this situation ,the Lord will your heart and soul.My advice is mother should cultivate the habit of listening to there children and be very conscious of what is happening around them.What a touching storyy.Cant wait to read the concluding part.

  9. pellu

    May 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    oh my God , i hope this is just a story but if it isn’t , what God will judge eee

  10. somebody

    May 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    My goodness, people!!! It clearly says “prose” so its not a “real story”. I like it, waiting for the conclusion 🙂

  11. dreambasket

    May 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    luv luv it. very well written. welldone

  12. Molicious

    May 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Fiction is inspired by reality ….. good story, just goes to show Jer 17: 9. There’s room for improvement but good job, waiting for part II

  13. bebe

    May 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    na wa o, when did priests start telling on people after confession?
    @trez …. bbp

  14. Tomisn

    May 11, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    @bebe abi o. I thought there was a priest- church member confidentiality.
    All these mothers that allow their children to be molested, may God punish them, UI
    It’s hard enough to be molested by your father, but if u can’t count on your mother to come to your defense, I can’t even imagine. God needs to bring back the instant judgement. The one that lighting, hail, fire and brimestone will all rain on you and the earth swallows you in the middle of a bad act.

    Good story. I can’t wait for the sequel.

  15. Jaycee (E.A)

    May 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Wow. Excellent writing. It hurts when mothers don’t believe their own children when it comes to abuse. I sure was dragged into the story by the excellent plot.

  16. ego

    May 12, 2010 at 3:21 am

    @ trez, i totally agree with you. The first similar story was better and Gloria needs to work very hard on her writing.

    @bebe, lol, that is if the priest ain’t part of the abusers. But it is very unpristlike to go reveal her confessions. Very unrealistic.

    And i am beginning to worry at the crop of people that read and comment on this site, quoting Bible, calling on Jesus etc, is way too dramatic for something that is clear fiction. Abeg make una chill, okay? Blood of Jesus!!!

  17. kemi

    May 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    @ego, me sef dey wonder o. All these God forbid, Blood of Jesus and all the moralizing- chill out pls… Na fiction abeg.

    It was an interesting read tho… Lol @ “ogonna’s strange eye position”

  18. Jay

    May 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    The person who spoke about tenses. there is nothing wrong with it.. claiming grammarin here.

    Nice work glory…

  19. fiction lover

    May 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    glory…this ia a nice attempt at potraying child abuse in this country. something no one wants to accept as a daily occurence. thumbs up!

    however, i feel u need to work on a few things with ur story. first is to remove all the unnecessary details e.g, the fat aunt was kinda distrating for me. if you want to keep the fat aunt, leave it simple and short.

    also, if u could try to work on the last paragraph where u switched to the rain and chinwe’s love for it, please do cos it was confusing though a nice attempt to potray her fear.

    finally, this is just my opinion but it wouldnt hurt to hurt the father when he fell. tell us something bad happened to his toe/knee…let’s see some blood so we somehow feel justified afterall….lol

    great work!! keep writing

  20. Aibee

    May 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Watching out for part 2. Spell binding read. Well Done Glory.

  21. Myne Whitman

    May 12, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I think there was a confusion in this story. It started out contemporary, with car horns, stairs and toilets
    but by the end, we’re talking about farming seasons and annual hunting. And you used barely quite a few times, wrongly spelt as barley.

    Otherwise, nice narrative, I like how you tied in her mood to the rain.

  22. lola

    May 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

    when do we get the part two!

    Cant people just read and not comment abt the grammar.. just read people!

  23. dabusta

    May 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    all these ppl dat can speak big grammar…sorri oooo.nice write up jare Glory.enjoyed it waiting for part 2….

  24. Abby Bee

    May 14, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I was impressed with the way you balanced a child-like perspective with an adult vocabulary – not an easy thing to achieve. Poor, poor Chinwe.

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