THE MUTED CHILD

Ibinabo Sekibo

A controversial statement to call one who was pregnant, a virgin; but then, I don’t know how I would have classified this young lady. Well,I remember moving in to this new apartment with my boyfriend and amongst the judgmental stares I got from those already living in that environment; one stood out the most. As I later learnt, she was the one spreading the rumors of a girl who eloped with a young man. Well, that was Mama Onome, my next door neighbor. I didn’t care what was said about me, as people would say, ‘that’s her cup of tea’. As for me, I was having the time of my life with the one I loved the most.

Enough about me already, I can’t bore you before I start the main gist. I mentioned Mama Onome earlier; you would have probably guessed right, she had a beautiful girl named Onome. When I moved into the neighborhood I got to know that everyone addressed her as Mama Onome and I followed suit. She was the one with all the latest gist(gossip), you would go to purchase something from her kiosk just beside the gate and she would tell you everything that’s happening, she calls her self ‘the happening woman’. She was also the most troublesome in that environment, but the best part of her life was her daughter Onome.

Onome was so beautiful and I remember how bright her eyes were, her laughter full of life, she would run errands without grumbling unlike the other children living around. I would simply say I was drawn to her free spirit, and the way she embraced whoever ever came her way; and so even with her mother’s repulsive nature that could push anyone far away from the family, I was still drawn to her. I loved her so much and we were really close, I guess she looked up to me as the elder sister she never had.

I was really glad when she got to SS1 (first year, senior high school) although she was a very late bloomer, all tall and lanky; but before her SS1 second term, like a young lady she developed curves in all the right places. I mean curves
like that of a matured lady. She turned heads everywhere she went; a beauty with skin as black as the soil. She wasn’t just beautiful, she was also a very smart child, she already knew she wanted to be a medical doctor. So set and sure in her ways, sorry to say, but I wasn’t so sure about decisions like that at
her age. The young and old drooled over her beauty and the girls were envious and wanted her brain, everyone isn’t born the same way, no one person can be blessed in everything.

Onome was lacking so much in the ability to socialize; she was a very shy child, but I guess that’s where her problems lay. When Onome started withdrawing herself from association even more, then I knew there must be a problem somewhere or it could be one of those phases she was passing through
as an adolescent, I decided to put it off as the latter. My little friend grew worse everyday, more silent than she usually was, I passed by to work in the morning she wouldn’t say hi, she would rather stare until I was out of sight.

Now as I think back, she could not call for help but her haunted eyes did. She could not speak up but her soul screamed out. I was not naïve, but I acted ignorant and careless; she trusted me but I couldn’t reach out to her when she needed me the most. My little girl was molested and threatened to keep her mouth shut or lose the ones dear to her; while I wish her molester be paid for all the harm done to her, I wish more than everything that she would have been able to heal. Her letter said the scars were too much to cover up, but right under our nose she killed herself, bit by bit.

My princess was raped, her beauty became a curse; she could not speak up for fear of what the world would say, and the worse part was that even her mother who could have spoken up for her decided to be mute. She wanted to save her own marriage at the expense of her daughter’s life, not only was her physical body defiled but her self esteem must have also been dealt some blows; if not, how would I explain her empty eyes on her death bed. She got pregnant and while her molester tried to hide what he had done, she bled.

At that point, when she was struggling with her last breath, she told the doctors that it was her father that put her where she was; her letter was later found among her other belongings. The virgin was pregnant, and her father was the father of her child that never saw the earth. Now after she has left earth for a long time, I fulfill one of her last wishes that her story be one that the world would hear. Yes, she is gone and her molester has been put behind bars; but now I wish, she could have survived the ordeal. A cruel fate for a beautiful soul! That was how her life ended. Someone filled with lots of dreams and aspirations, and it was all snatched away; because of a gift mother nature felt she deserved.

Sekibo Ibinabo Faith is a contributor on PAUL KAY’S BLOG. She is a creative writer and a poet, she hails from Okrika Local Government Area in Rivers State, Nigeria. She got her O’levels from Princess International College. She has a few works to her credit under the pen name HighBee.

19 Replies to “THE MUTED CHILD”

  1. A beautiful piece here…..
    Your write ups are always down to earth… A sad but beautiful piece
    Never drop the pen …. Keep writing cause I see a star coming up💘💪 #Highbee

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s