After Love – The In Between – Memories & Slow Songs

He was late.

I cooked a three-course meal and he was late.

Trying to imagine what was going through his mind was driving me crazy, this couldn’t have been easy for him but he knows how much punctuality means to me.

I wanted to be there for him but he wanted to go alone. Losing Oarabile changed him. He smiled less, went out less, it was almost as if he had no desire to make his presence known in the world. He just wanted to disappear, actually he disappeared.

I can’t blame him though, I wouldn’t be myself if I lost Keamogetse. Being a single mother is hard but a child is the truest love one can ever find. She changed my world and on most days I think she is my soul mate.

When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t know what to do. It caught me off-guard, I didn’t even know when it happened but I was grateful. The idea of bringing a child into my life scared me. I was struggling to find a job, my boyfriend had just broken up with me and things were awkward between Angelo and I. I had no one I could turn to for the first few months.

“Mommy, mommy. Someone is at the door….HE IS HERE”. Kea run up to me, she was excited that her favourite human in the world was here. She and Angelo got along really well. She saw him as her father. He loved her dearly but I could see he always kept his feelings reserved and was guarded. A huge part of me hoped that he wouldn’t do that with Oratilwe but I also hoped that finding out about his daughter with Namisa wouldn’t come between him and Kea.

Sometimes I wish Namisa had kept Ora a secret, Angelo was finally learning to make peace and move on with his life. He was happy with his job, started dating Lonwabo and was making efforts to go out more, to spend more time with his friend. However if Namisa hadn’t come back into his life, maybe he wouldn’t have found the strength to visit Oarabile’s grave today. I guess one must always take the good with the bad.

“Hi Vuyo… I’m sorry I’m late”, he said while wiping his feet on the doormat. “I had a flat tire. That took a bit of time and I had to drive slowly, couldn’t risk it”.

“Wait”, I said as he tried to give me a hug. “Let me get Kea to get you a towel. You’re wet. I don’t want a mess all over my house. Dry yourself off and go freshen up in the guest bedroom.”

He said it was a flat tire but I’ve known him long enough to tell when he’d been crying. Rain and tears, this was just like that night.

Watching him play with Kea always warmed my heart and this night was not any different. She knocked on the guest room door a few times before he came out and so began their antics. Piggy back riding, watching television and talking about what she wanted for Christmas. Their conversations were as loud and animated as ever but fun to watch.

“Goodnight mommy”, she whispered and ran to kiss Angelo on the cheek. “Oh… So where is my kiss” I asked.

“You’ll get it in the morning”, she giggled and ran to her room.

As soon as Kea shut her door close, I looked to Angelo. He had that look in his eyes again but this time it wouldn’t work.

“I know you have a lot on your mind Angel, talk to me. Don’t shut me out”.

He looked at me and then at his phone. He asked to be excused so he could call Lonwabo and tell her that he would be getting home late, he wanted to wait for the rain to calm down a bit. He wasn’t always this cautious. Trying to stick to the speed limit or driving carefully are traits he developed during his period of reclusion. It wasn’t necessarily that he was reckless but he just seemed to not trust himself as much.

I wanted to offer him a drink to help him relax but I was afraid he might think I was trying to recreate that night.

I remember seeing him walk up to me. He first sat on the couch, stood up, sat again and then gave me hug that felt like he was throwing himself in my arms. I was confused but I figured he would open up to me and after a few drinks he did more than just open up.

I remember that night vividly including how bad I felt but the way he kissed me and the way he held me, it was wrong but it felt right.

He spoke about the funeral, about how he tried to tell Namisa how he was feeling about losing their son but she would just burst into tears, and that he felt that her pain was greater than his.

After a few drinks I was opening up too.

I wanted to let him talk that night but I had been bottling up so much. I told him that Thabo used to hit me, that Thabo was seeing other women and he made me feel not enough. I was a cliché. I was basically a desperate woman and I needed attention. I must have convinced myself it was okay, as I moved closer to him that night I had to remind myself that he said he and Namisa fought and he was sure it was over that time.

I was still with Thabo but I told myself I was going to leave him, I had had enough of the abuse and cheating. I don’t know who kissed who first but I know I didn’t pull away, I know I wanted more. For the first time in a long time I was being kissed by someone who I knew loved me even if I wasn’t sure it was the kind of love I wanted to feel.

Quickly we realized what we had done was wrong. He smiled and laughed nervously and I played with my hair while looking away. He was tired that night and asked to sleep. I obliged him but I was still curious.

We had just kissed and I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol or emotions but he needed comfort and I needed to feel something. I went to my room while he slept on the couch and put on my night dress. I always liked how the black lace felt against my skin, so wearing it, hopefully it would give me the courage to persuade him to continue.

As I made my way to him, Namisa and Thabo were the last thing on my mind. I was however concerned about our friendship. I wondered if it would survive the night and would I be able to stop myself from wanting to feel that again.

I kissed him on the lips again and put his hand on my waist. I kissed him once more and put a little more effort into it. I felt my tongue graze his teeth as it made its way to his.

He opened his eyes surprised, he wanted to speak but I feared he would say her name and so I put my finger on his lips. He sat up and we looked eyes, him looking at me, me looking at him. We were in a stale mate and I knew he needed a push.

I went on my knees and felt my nerves build up. My hands were moving on their own as I tried to convince myself to go further, “Vuyo. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay. Just try and if he says no, then you stop”.

Slowly I unzipped his pants and prepared to taste his manhood but quickly the nerves faded as the size filled my mouth and his moan fed my ego. I continued, making sure all the lessons I got from Thabo were put to use. He always said, ‘Make sure it’s wet before you use your hands and don’t forget, pressure. Use the right amount of pressure’.

Angelo was silent, hardly moving. I wanted to see if he was okay and as I began to pull back I felt his hand pushing down on my head, urging me to take more in. I obliged and heard him whisper “Oh, GOD”. I kept going, every so often moving my hands along his inner thigh, rotating between taking it in, focusing on the head and playing with his sack.

I felt him get close, he was almost there. Ready to explode and I wanted it inside me. I made him lean back against the couch and positioned myself on his lap. I wanted to do it but I paused.

My nerves were back. I froze and just stared at him. I blushed and looked away. As I was about to pull away I felt his hands on my waist lowering me down onto him and I felt him open my gates. It slid right in. My walls surrounded him and we were one. With eyes closed, I let out a prayer in the form of a moan and there was my first orgasm.

Even though he belonged to someone else and I, to another. Me in his arms and he in mine, making love made sense and I reserved tomorrow to focus on today’s regrets. That night I realised I was actually in love with my best friend but there was never a right time to tell him. He was with Namisa by the time I was ready to accept my feelings for him and I was pregnant.  He had lost his son and the last thing I wanted him to do was be a step-father to a child he wasn’t ready for but while I was waiting for him to heal, he fell in love with Lonwabo and now here I am with him beside me, watching listening to music, reminiscing a weekend we have never acknowledged happened.

After Kea was born, he visited me often but this was the first time this couch symbolized something else. It was the place he lay me down and put my feet in the air. I remember him looking down at me and shame running across my face, I was afraid he could see how much I was enjoying it.

How I was enjoying his chest pressed against mine with my knees to my head. His thrusts and my moans were in rhyme. He had his way with me and I was happy. I knew he was using me as an escape but it was amazing and a moment I cherish.

We made love in different ways, in different places all over my house and in that I learnt so much. I learnt so many things about my friend. When I sat on his face, I found out that his tongue feels like silk. I learnt that as gentle as in nature as he is, he can be forceful when he wants. He showed me that he knows where to place his hands while a woman rides, how hard to hit when her rear was in view and how hard to pull her hair when she wasn’t being loud enough.

I don’t know if I let him have it or he just took it but it was his over and over again. Begging him to go deeper, pleading he go faster and begging that he do it again. On all fours, against the wall and on the floor.

Angelo made me feel like a woman again and I lived on that high for a few days until I had to get the morning after pill. Filling in the form and answering the questions felt like an insult to my experience. ‘Yes, it has been 72 hours… No, it wasn’t rape or sexual assault… Yes, I want it.’

The only question left was to ask if the person I slept with was my boyfriend or not.

I don’t think I will ever find the right time to tell Angelo how I feel about him but to be honest, I would rather be keep my feelings hidden than risk losing him. I have my daughter and the man I love in my life. Even if not romantically, it is more than enough. So even though he was spending the night at my place today and we would not be recreating that night, I was just happy to know that he was next to me as I lay on the couch and fell asleep with my head on his shoulder.

Thank God for rainy days.

Memories & Slow Songs – PDF

Jade Novelist ©️ 2018

After Love – Chapter 5 – Memorable Amnesia

For The Previous Chapter of After Love, “Girls Need Love” – Click Here

I didn’t know what hurt me more, the fact that she carried all this pain or that she felt the need to hide it from me. I always knew she was a strong woman but hearing about how her uncle and cousins used to rape her, my heart sank.

A part of me wished she had not said anything, I could feel my hate and anger build for people I’d never met. How could family do that to their own? I could hear the pain in her voice, she spoke the words calmly but she wasn’t okay,

“It started off small. He would offer me sweets in exchange for a kiss on the lips. Letting him touch my breast meant he would help me with my chores, so I had more time to spend with my friends. When I sat on his lap, it meant I could watch whatever television show I wanted and letting him give me a bath or help me change into my pjs meant a little extra tuck shop money”.

“I’ll be right back”. I said the words and knew what I had to do. I moved my hand from hers and ran out the room. I had to get everyone to leave. Loni was opening up to me and this music, the guests it had to stop. I wanted her to tell me everything and I needed her to feel safe.

I always knew Loni didn’t get along with her family but she never told me why. I respected her privacy because my own family dynamics weren’t something I was always proud to share. It was beyond me that a mother could protect her daughter’s rapist merely because they were blood.

Each group needed their own reason to leave. So I told Loni’s friends that she was tired and wanted to call it a night. They understood because Loni always arrived early for events, so she could leave early. I never asked myself why but maybe it was because she never felt safe enough to be out late. Tshepiso felt it was too early even for Loni but Jessica, tired of her advances at Kyle agreed it was time to leave.

Kyle pulled me to the side, he said he wanted to talk. He had on his naughtiest grin but as he was about to speak, Jessica gave him a look and his demeanour changed. “Dude”, he said, “You can’t clean this all up by yourselves. Don’t you need help?”.

“Yeah Kyle”, I responded, “I can’t do this… but… but Vuyo will help me. Yeah she’ll help me. So I won’t be alone”. I knew Vuyo hated cleaning up but if anyone would understand I need everyone to leave without asking questions it would be her.

He smiled and as he shook my hand goodbye, he slipped me a condom. Seems the only reason he wanted to offer help was so that Loni and I could consummate her moving in much sooner. If only he knew that sex was the last thing on my mind.

One by one the guests started to make their way out until it was only Vuyo and I left down stairs.

“Angelo, I don’t know what’s going on and I can tell you are nervous. You’ll explain when you are ready. I hope you haven’t killed someone’s daughter. Also you owe me big time”. She said her peace and helped me clean up. Once she was done doing the dishes she hugged me goodbye and left.

We were alone. Finally. I could go back and check on Loni.

As I made my way up the stairs, my phone started to ring. It was a number I didn’t have stored on my phone, so I assumed it was one of Loni’s friends, maybe they forgot something and needed to come back for it.

“Hello… Is this Angelo Blake?… My name is Dr Lynda Tsdira and I am Lonwabo’s psychologist… I was on the phone with her earlier and I believe she was having a panic attack… Would you kindl….”

I put the phone in my pocket and ran up the stairs. Loni was on the floor. I picked her up and carried her down the stairs. I lay her on the couch and tried to wake her.

“Loni, Lonwabo. Wake up”. I was panicking, I wasn’t sure if I held back or used all my strength but I was shaking her, hoping she’d wake up. “Lonwabo, wake up. Please wake up”.

“Angelo”, she responded, “I’m awake”.

“Are you sure? Some lady named Lynda called. She said you were having a panic attack”. I pulled her close to me. She was awake. She was fine. In this moment she was fine.

She told me about how it started at the age of 12. Her uncle used to rape her whenever her mother wasn’t around. He felt he could do whatever he wanted with her because they had no place to go. Her grandparents left the house in his name and her mother couldn’t afford to pay rent for the both of them, so they lived with him for free.

He treated her as his sole property until she turned 14. Then he taught his sons to rape her as well. It became their bonding ritual. Whenever they would visit they would take turns raping her. It continued until they got her pregnant and she told her mother. Her mother was infuriated but forced her to have an abortion and forced her brother out of the house. She threatened to report him to the family elders if he didn’t leave.

My emotions went on a rollercoaster. I hated them, I admired her courage and wished things could be different. She was still dealing with her past and here I was bringing more drama into her life.

“Loni, her family asked me to pay lobola”. She had been honest with me, I needed to start being open with her.

“Is that what you want?”, she asked.

I shook my head and kissed her forehead. “You’re what I want baby. I’m happy with you”.

She smiled a temporary smile and said, “I’m afraid you’ll pick her over me.”

“I told you that I wouldn’t do that to you. Ora won’t come between us”. I held her hand and pulled her closer.

“Ora’s not the problem”. She pulled away. “Since the rapes I’ve become paranoid, I’m depressed. So many people thought I was an ungrateful child or I was seeking attention because I was reserved but it’s the voices in my head. They made want to be alone. They told me nobody cares about me and no one would pick me. My own mother picked a house over getting justice for me and now they tell me she’s the problem and the fact that they want lobola just made them louder”.

“Loni, why didn’t you tell me? I told you if you wanted to talk, would could talk. You know how much communication means to me”.

She looked at me and rolled her eyes. “If communication meant a lot to you, you would have told me that her family wanted lobola or better yet that you met with her in the first place instead of involving Jessica and Kyle in your lie. You and your decisions feed my anxiety.

And you want us to talk? Talk about what Angelo? How she is giving you everything I wish I could? You think I don’t want a child?”. She looked down and shed a tear. Everything inside me wanted to hold her. Everything inside me wanted to tell her it’s going to be okay but everything inside me told me this is my fault and that I couldn’t expect her to trust in the one hurting her to comfort her.

“Lonwabo, I am sorry.”

She just looked at me. I could see she didn’t know what to do with those words, she still had her fears.

“Do you want space Loni? Do you want me to move to the guest room, just for tonight?”. I knew it was the wrong thing to ask and the timing was off but after what she’d told me and expressing how she feels, expecting us to share a bed and pretend like everything is fine would do more damage than good. I also didn’t want to force her to tell me how she felt about everything.

She shook her head. “The last thing I want is to be alone. I’ve done that for so long and felt like I need to hide from the world. I want you. I want you to have all of me and that won’t happen if we start things off that way.”

I knew she was right. Distancing one another wasn’t wise.

“I don’t want to marry her. I just want my daughter. I want to make up for the time I lost”.

“And where do I fit in?”, she asked.

“She’s our daughter. Loni, I gave up on having children and just like how you didn’t give birth to her, I didn’t know I fathered her.” Jokingly I said, “For the most part I see Namisa as a surrogate.”

She laughed, “A surrogate. Come on, your surrogate wants to marry you”.

“That’s between her and her family Loni. You and I are trying to build a family. We always thought it would just be us but now we have Ora too. Come on, sit next to me”, I tapped the couch inviting her over.

“Can we please have some rules?”, she asked firmly. “I don’t want her disrespecting me or her feeling like I’m disrespecting her. The sooner we set boundaries the better.”

I nodded. “Yes, we can do that”. I yawned. “I’m sleepy, can I sleep babe? We still have unpacking to do today and I want to rest”.

She smiled and nodded. She lay my head on her lap. Today was more than I bargained for but I learnt to appreciate Lonwabo in a whole different way. We still had a lot to work through but we were going to get through this together. It felt good being in a relationship where I had someone who would go through things with me and not someone who would put me through things.

I managed to sleep for about 15 minutes until I heard the doorbell ring. I sat up to find myself wrapped up in a blanket. I guess Lonwabo must have fetched a blanket for me. I sat up to see where she was. As I was about to call out for her, I heard a voice that sounded far too familiar at the door.

““Hi, my name is Namisa, is Angelo here?”.

It was Namisa, I couldn’t believe she was here. This was the last thing I needed. Loni had just confessed how she felt about Namisa and her arriving unannounced was not going to help at all.

I walked to the door, a walk that felt like a fast trod. “Namisa, what are you doing here?” , I asked.

“Hey. Sorry to come like this but I really need your help. Can you watch Ora for me for a few hours?”.

Her request left Loni and I speechless. How could someone who hid a child from me for two years just give her to me so willingly. I wanted to say no because this was the disrespect that Loni wanted to avoid this was also the first time I could spend quality time with my daughter. I was conflicted, do I please the one I love or get a chance to show my daughter I want to be a part of her life?

Memorable Amnesia – PDF

Jade Novelist ©️ 2018

After Love – The In Between – Promises & Key Rings

I walked out of the bathroom with the towel wrapped around my body. For a moment I felt silly, the towel did well at hiding my body but not my shame. I could see Angelo was confused and I knew this wasn’t the right way to bring this up, but was there ever a right way or even a right time?

He looked at me with hurt in his eyes. I wasn’t sure if he felt rejected or unwanted but it wasn’t his fault. We were living together and would share a room, I knew eventually he would want sex but somewhere in my mind I hoped he would wait.

“Before you ask, it’s not you. I find you attractive”, I whispered gently as I moved to sit next to him. “I know it’s not the right way to tell you or the right time but I’m done making excuses in relationships. I had my excuses lined up. Today I would say it’s not possible cause our friends are around or I’m too tired. Tomorrow I was going to lie about my period or something and on and on. I’m tired”.

He was lost. He had this thing he would do when he couldn’t understand something, he would look down and play with his fingers. Normally playing with his hands were fine but now he was scratching his scratching his palm and I knew a half explanation wouldn’t be enough.

“I told you that I couldn’t have kids, I didn’t tell you why.”, she paused. “My uncle… He used to rape me. He raped me. He then taught my cousins… His kids how to please a woman with me as their training doll. He got me pregnant but my mother didn’t want everyone to know her brother and his sons were rapists or that her daughter was now used goods, so she took me for a backdoor abortion. Something went wrong and I lost my womb. Other than the rapes, I have never had sex. I don’t know how to”.

Two days ago he first told me he loves me and today I am telling him my biggest secret. Through his eyes I could see that his soul was leaving his body, there was a spark in them when he was happy but with each word I saw the light fade and all that was left was a brown void begging me to stop, begging me to say it was a lie.

I wondered if he was as afraid as I was. In his mind he probably thought I lied about who I was and that he could never love someone so broken. I on the other hand struggled to let myself be loved but here I am moving in with a man with more demons surrounding him than the devil. Maybe that’s why I fell for him, we were broken in different ways but our brokenness was what we shared.

I felt my throat dry up and my conscience tell me that I shared too much but I wanted a future with this man and laying with him, even if just to please him would be another form of rape. So I needed him to know everything, to understand everything and hopefully he would be patient until I was ready.

“It started off small. He would offer me sweets in exchange for a kiss on the lips. Letting him touch my breast meant he would help me with my chores, so I had more time to spend with my friends. When I sat on his lap, it meant I could watch whatever television show I wanted and letting him give me a bath or help me change into my pjs meant a little extra tuck shop money”.

“I’ll be right back”. I felt his hand move from mine as he spoke. His body followed and before I knew it, he was out the door and rushing down the stairs.

I put my clothes back on and walked to the hallway. I stood at the edge. I struggled to hear what was going on with the music playing but I heard him say to Kyle, ‘I can’t do this’. I knew it, this was too much for him. I walked back to the room and started to pack my things. How could I expect him to love damaged goods?

I walked back to the room and started to pack my things. The least I could do was make it easy for him when he kicked me out. My friends were still here so they would help me carry my things and I could ask Tshepiso to let me stay at her place. I could feel my heart racing and I knew I had to call her, a panic attack was coming and I had to call Lynda.

“Hello Lynda”, I called her, “Lynda, he said he can’t do this”.

I felt my chest tighten and grasping for air felt like too much work. As the room spun around I struggled to hear her pleas for me to calm down. “I told him. I told him. I told him and now… now… He doesn’t want me.”

He doesn’t want me. I should have just let him have his way with me. I have laid and let men who feel nothing for me satisfy themselves with me, so why couldn’t I just quiet my fears and let him love me in that way? If anyone deserves to have me, it’s him.

The room just kept on spinning. I felt my eyes heavy. I felt my soul heavy. I felt the music fade into the background. If this was death calling, then I was ready.

“Loni, Lonwabo. Wake up”. He was shaking me violently. “Lonwabo, wake up. Please wake up”.

“Angelo”, I responded, “I’m awake”.

“Are you sure? Some lady named Lynda called. She said you were having a panic attack”. He asked with a worried look in his eyes.

He was worried about me. I guess that meant some part of him still felt something for me. Lynda must have called him when I passed out. I looked around and we weren’t in the bedroom.

“Angelo, what are we doing here?  What happened to the music? Where did everyone go? How did we get to the living room?”, I asked confused.

“Oh them”, he responded, “I asked them to leave. I felt we needed to be alone to talk and I didn’t think you’d be comfortable talking in the bedroom. So I got rid of them, so we could talk here. I want you to tell me how you feel, tell me everything. Only if you are ready to.”

He was still here.

He was still here.

I couldn’t believe he was still here. He was still here and he wanted to know more. Whether this was love or pity, I didn’t care, I was just happy someone other than my therapist cared to listen. Someone else was willing to believe me.

“Hmmm… You know I don’t wear make-up right and I tell you that it is because I prefer being natural but the truth is I don’t wear make-up or dress up because I don’t want to look like something someone would want to rape. I don’t want to look attractive but even this, downplaying myself doesn’t feel enough because men find other reasons to justify their actions. So I am scared. I am worried because of something that started over a decade ago”.

He put his hand around me and pulled me closer, placing my head on his chest. As he played with my hair I felt safe, it felt like he was telling me to carry on and that he wasn’t afraid to take all of me.

“It started off small. He would offer me sweets in exchange for a kiss on the lips. Letting him touch my breast meant he would help me with my chores, so I had more time to spend with my friends. When I sat on his lap, it meant I could watch whatever television show I wanted and letting him give me a bath or help me change into my pjs meant a little extra tuck shop money.

The first time he did it, I remember blood. There was blood everywhere but I wasn’t there long enough to memorize the sight. He just picked me up off the ground, kicked sand over it and took me to the park.”

Angelo’s hands around me felt so comforting. I couldn’t see his face but I felt his tear on mine. He was hurting too. I was hurting him. My past was something I carried and only shared with Lynda during our therapy sessions. This was different, I was speaking to someone who wouldn’t detach themselves from the pain and hopefully help me carry the load.

“Do you want a break?”, I asked. “We can stop. I know it’s a lot.”

“N… No”, his voice was breaking. “I’m right here. Keep going if you are comfortable.”

I knew hearing all of this was hard for him and I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to be nice but it felt good to know he was there for me.

“My uncle was always a bad man. A lazy drunk and loud most of the time. He blamed everything on his parents, saying they favoured my mother over him and that’s why his life turned out the way it did.

For most of my childhood he stayed away from me but when I turned 12, I was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. I came home one day while he was fighting with some girl. I think she didn’t want to have sex with him because he was drunk. So he saw me and saw a replacement. At first it was just comments about how I’m the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, then comments about how lucky the man I marry will be to have a woman with a body like mine. The list went on and on until one day he added actions to his words and the touching began.

It was just him at first. I was his property until I turned 14. His sons were celebrating their birthday at our place and my mother was out of town. They were bored and unhappy, so he thought up a fun activity for them to do and teach them how to be men.”

Angelo’s hands tightened around me, it moved from a hold to a grip. He had a sense of what I was going to say. I wanted to stop, maybe I should have but where would I find the courage to open up to him again? I just hoped he would not look at me differently after I everything was said.

“I remember asking myself if I should fight back but how far would I get. He had overpowered me enough times for me to know I had no chance. He took me to his room and forced me to undress. When I refused because his sons were watching, he slapped me and told them that a woman should never talk back to a man. Not only was I about to be violated, but I was also being used to teach misogyny.

He ripped my clothes off me and told me to lay down. I knew what was coming and normally I took it because it was always our little secret, a dirty secret but something I wanted buried. I still remember his sweat, from the moment he started until he finished.

His older son wasn’t having it. He said he saw something on TV and he wanted it that way, that he wanted me to bend over. The look of pride on my uncle’s face sickened me. He was celebrating that his son knew exactly how he wanted to defile me. He was 15 and should have known better but his father was a monster, so I guess the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree.”

I guess that’s where I learnt ‘family’ is just a word people use. If they loved or saw me as their blood, they would have stopped their father or walked away and said they weren’t interested. Instead they took turns using my body. Pleased at earning their father’s approval and becoming men. I spent days praying Angelo was different. I forgot how to pray until Angelo gave me a new reason to pray. Right now in my heart I was praying he would still want me tomorrow and the day after, that I’d still be enough despite all I had to say.

“A few months after I turned 16, he and his sons got me pregnant. I thought my mother would hate me, that she’d think I was busy running around sleeping with men but when I told her the truth she believed me. I used to find comfort in that, the fact that she believed me but all her belief did was fuel her desire to keep their sin within the family and not allow him tarnish the family name any further.

When she told me I had to get an abortion something inside me said I should pack my bags and run but I was a child. I was 16. My focus was finishing and getting out of school. Something went wrong and I lost my womb.”

I sat up and put my hand on my stomach. Had I known that I was going to lose my womb, I would have kept quiet until it was too late for my mother to tell me to abort. Having his bastard child would have been better than never being able to feel the joy of giving birth.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself. God was punishing me. Not only could I not have children but the one I love just found out he had a child with the love of his life.

We spoke until sun came up. We spoke about how my cousins and I never saw my uncle again after the abortion and how even though I never saw him in person, I saw him in the new habit he taught his sons. We spoke about how becoming a teacher was my way of trying to protect other kids from getting hurt like I was or how I would be ready if any of them said they need help. We spoke about Namisa, Ora and how I felt about the situation. I said a few hurtful things and he said some things. We carried on until he fell asleep.

I went upstairs to get a blanket for him and as I was about to lay next to him I heard a knock on the door.

I went to open and there was a lady standing there, staring at her watch. She was clearly in a hurry. I was surprised as we didn’t have any guests planned for today but her greeting really caught me off guard. “Hi, my name is Namisa, is Angelo here?”.

Promises & Key Rings – PDF

Jade Novelist ©️ 2018