Tainted childhood

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An innocence stolen from her she relives her horror and keeps it a secret.

Submitted: January 10, 2017

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Submitted: January 10, 2017

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Memories of a tainted childhood
Hie! My name is, its not really important at the moment. First let me introduce you to the many faces I have warn, I swear once I thought I was a chameleon! 
My childhood is nothing special really! I remember not a lot but some of the things I remember I wish I did not. I was raised by my mother, father, aunt and lots of relatives and siblings around. Nothing extra ordinary. I remember back when I lived in the flats with my aunt, her two sons and daughter, and one of my distant cousins.
 I don't remember much about that, except that I had an Indian friend who was my partner in crime. My aunt always narrates to me how naughty we were, telling me how one day I gave her a scare and got lost only to find us by the tuck shop nibbling away at liquorish. In that part of my life I also remember how my distant cousin would always threaten me if I did something saying she would flush my head down the toilet.Once me and shalom! Yes Shalom was his name, we once went and peed then did number two on the neighbor's stoop. My aunt a soft spoken and sweet woman that day! She lost all her marbles and with her shoe she mended our floured manners. Poor Shalom was Indian and I secretly believe had never felt the bite of a belt, he turned pink, purple and gray in one swipe! The good old days, it sort of explains why I was always afraid of flushing toilets but truly I don't know the significance of that memory.
My other memories are just scattered all over my head, but I remember a lot in my childhood. I remember living in Zimbabwe with my mother. We lived in a very rural village my grandfather's yard I remember. I don't know the significance of certain memories but it feels like they just stuck with me. One particular memory is when I believe I met my father for the first time! Yes you read correct,I met him, you see I always knew the man but never could tell his significance in my life. 
I recall we were by the small bushes just next to our yard when he appeared, first like a mirrage then it bacame a small figure walking along the road.He was carrying many plastic bags, he was so lively, young and had an air of coolness about him. It fascinated me as a little girl when he smoked his cigerettes all that smoke puffing from his nostrils and mouth. I was so excited to see him enter our yard and my mother went to him, took the plastics from him then she called my sister and I. Being a food fanatic my heart swelled and did back flips. 
I ran toward the man and his bags and took a plastic. One look from my mother I knew better than to go through the plastics without permission. My sister jumped up and down calling this man dad, then I knew it, he was very young at the time because I remember that he took out this fancy radio and started playing a song by some group called "thathi sgubu"! A mere song then but now it holds the most precious memory. They say leave the past in the past but I like to poke around there and see how I came to believe in certain things or to follow certain principles. 
There is one day, a long time back when I had just started school. Seems like yesterday to me though I was pint sized and dawning oversized shoes which Mama said I would grow into, we were heading to school. The bush was thick, ever green but not in a frightening sense because even today the memory is quite beautiful it is not scary at all. Yes the way to school was a bit far from our home and naturally I was frightened by walking alone so I had to run behind my sister and her chatter box friend. I remember particularly that Samantha, my sister's friend had been to South Africa to visit her mother so when schools opened she would not be quiet until she was in class and the bell had gone. Invisible I was to them, just running behind them no questions asked or my sister would, well she would do nothing really, she was the quiet one, but her friends! Vicious and ready to pounce.
 I kept quiet on the way to school anyway the interesting part was the dam we crossed every time we went to school. I believe that is why I can not swim today! The dam was huge and had a small partition which I would not only like to describe but would rather if you saw it. The partition was so small that one had to walk as though walking on rope and with me and oversized shoes it seemed a mission impossible.On the left side was the steep part Where water would fall like from a waterfall, the right side there was endless water stretching and stretching until I could not see any further. We would walk slowly past until everyone was safe but doing this everyday one would think I did not have my sphincter muscles unclench every time I crossed but sadly I did. That bridge to school was a terrible! terrible! sight but it is not the one that tainted the memories of my childhood.
Happy memories I have but not enough to forget the important rude awakening from childhood to womanhood in seconds. Even though I want to believe my childhood's memories are scattered about truly they are all there just that I have worked so hard to pack them away. Out of sight out of mind, out of mind out of sight I would think. Little did I know that one can not put a bandage over a wound which needs surgical treatment. Here I go again! I know I am going about the bush, but truth is I still pile on the good ones on top of the bad ones. 
Even today I watch your doctor Phils and Ophrahs and read articles becuase I am a smart young lady I can not be derailed by the past I think to myself.Reminiscing is no joy ride for many and I don't believe I have it hardest but there are some memories I still want to believe are not mine.I still remember but I choose to think over it, think and think because I am smart intelligent but that's a curse too. This mind of mine refuses to let go of the one memory that holds me prisoner to my past. I want to forget all about it and stick to the good ones but no I have to remember.
I believe there is no better time than now, but I choose to remain faceless or two faced as I unfold the folds of memory that I have. I remember my sister got hurt while we were at the bushes with the herd man. Usually its a herd boy but not him, he was a man who seemed to have seen many years pass by. We had been climbing on trees as we watched him watch the cows. He went about watching while we clambered about on the tree. My sister slipped and she landed on a sharp branch. My sister never was the one to haul and scream when hurt like me. She had quiet sobs then even though in pain she would brush it off and go about with life. 
The herd man took her off the branch as I watched, he broke it off her behind where it had pierced her buttocks. It looked painful but my sister never even let out a sigh! That evening when we went home Mama had cooked and waited for us to bath us before we could go to bed. Around the fire we set, and bathed, ate and then slept. The next day My sister in pain began to cry she cried so hard I could see her face turn pink, she had always been more shades lighter than me but mama said I was the pretty one. That day mama took my sister to the hospital after discovering an effected wound still the small remains of the branch stuck to her buttocks. I walked to school and back alone that day. Well I mostly ran all the way through the bush and then back.
I don't know when it started but I believe its one of those memories I buried to avoid self destruction. He put me on his lap, rocked me back and forth while everyone set around but they never knew it was happening. I no she! That little girl, she sat silently without a word. He would sometimes take her into his room and she just didn't know what was happening, so innocent she would just be there and never knew that was our childhood being tainted. One day my sister walked in and she ran calling mama! I ran after her, I do not know why but I recall begging her not to tell ashamed of what! I do not know. Embarrassed! She did not tell, we never talked about what she saw and now I understand why we are not that close.
We are haunted by the same memory but we can never discuss it. 
Its been years since I was a child. Mama is gone now and I have found comfort in writing it all down for your reading pleasure. I remember one last memory of Papa coming from a funeral and while I was cooking my sister seating with him discussing the funeral.Papa suddenly burst in excitement telling us how we would never believe whom he saw. As we both waited he uttered his name. I dropped all the plates I had been holding and though shocked Papa carried on to tell us that he met the herdman's son. He was sad to hear that the herd man had been convicted in prison for statutory rape. 
I cried that night for the first time I allowed myself to be a victim. In all those years my childhood was never a place I visited but that night I cried, I cried because deep down I knew that ,that man deserved it. He had tainted my childhood and now he would pay for it. I was happy and I vowed to never never revisit my childhood with a sad face but rather to embrace every joy I experienced.Some things we do not tell people we write down so as to appreciate its ugliness.
As I grow older I make new memories which you will surely hear about.


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