Culture of Silence

Culture of Silence

With a deep frown etched on my face, I watched Uncle Tony as he swallowed a big morsel of eba into a stomach that looked like it housed a set of triplets. Droplets of sweat escaped onto his already suffering singlet as he tried to mop them off his brow. Getting nauseous by his act, I turned to gaze into the bowl before me, immediately getting irritated by its looks. I had thought about getting up to leave when I remembered what I had been made to go through the last time I hadn’t been able to finish my meal. I sighed to myself wondering why certain things happened.

I downed every bit of the bowl’s content hastily, taking water at intervals. Uncle Tony began his routine of asking how my day had gone like he truly cared and I shivered in fear as he winked at me discreetly.

I wasn’t surprised when he attributed my failure in my Civic Education assignment to my supposedly preoccupation with seducing the boys in my class. He had to keep his cover.

************************************

My heart slammed heavily against my chest as I heard the door open with a loud groan. The wooden boards creaked underneath his feet as he made his way slowly to me, arms stretched out and a smile like that of a kid being handed his favourite toy. I swallowed as I looked into his face, praying with everything within me that my feeble hands did not give me away. I clenched my hands together tightly in a haste to stop them from shivering beneath the wrapper I had thrown over myself.

He flung himself carelessly on my bed and pulled me into his arms while I flailed like a helpless chicken. He was angered by my actions and wasted no time in lashing out at me.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” He silently bellowed. “You act the same all the time and it’s becoming irritating.”

“Why do you keep doing this to me?” I answered with a sob. “Don’t you have a conscience? You were my father’s closest friend.”

Uncle Tony had been my guardian since the death of my parents four years back. I had been only 11 then and wasn’t able to understand what had really happened. After two years, he had suddenly walked into my room with a made up mind and all my pleading had fallen on deaf ears. He had forced himself on me while hitting me hardly each time my feeble hands met his face. I had reported to his wife the next day who yelled at me, calling me a slut for making advances at her innocent husband. He had beat me up mercilessly after that and warned me never to open up to anyone else. I had looked on helplessly as he made wretched my innocence, battered my self worth and choked my emotions.

I felt no remorse as I plunged the knife I had kept beneath my dress deep into his heart. A big smile made its way to my face as he looked at me with a mixture of pain and shock all over his features. It felt like a big rock had suddenly been lifted off me. I was free at last!

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