In this series, people (mostly me, my friends and close associates) are writing letters to certain individuals in our lives who have in one way or the other hurt us or cause us grieve. This is not a pity party but an avenue to speak up, take back the power and free ourselves of whatever grudge we held. This is our responses.
Dearest Uncle P,
Oh! how I loved you. How I respected you.
And why wouldn’t I? You were a big deal in town. All the youths loved you. You invested so much in making sure that the youths had money while in school. You gave bursaries to a lot of people. You made sure your parents were comfortable in town and you were always so sweet. And of course, I wanted to be liked by you seeing as I was the little girl in the corner who everyone seemed to like but murmur when it was time to answer the question; Omo ta ni? Who are her parents?
So, it was a joy when you picked interest in me. I felt special. You liked me. As a matter of fact, you could even be a father figure to me now. All was right in the world. I could look for a way to mention you in every statement I make to my friends, especially when we talk about families. God is good!
But I was wrong, isn’t it? You had other plans. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you are just too engrossed in your dirty habit that it didn’t matter who it was, as long as it’s a girl. The first brush on my breast in your car was a mistake. At least that was what I thought. You didn’t mean to do it. You were just so passionate about what you were saying that you didn’t know that what you had touched was not my shoulder. It was my left breast. That couldn’t have been my shoulder, it was too soft to be. But – you know – mistakes happen.
But you did it again. You were relentless. And it didn’t matter the discomfort on my face. Or how much I moved your hands away or even how I resorted into folding my hands over my chest just to guard myself. That wouldn’t stop you. It was not a wrong thing to do, as far as you were concerned. You just wanted me to “be comfortable and free” with you.
And that was the beginning of everything sexual for me. Every time you were around, you invited me to your hotel rooms. And of course, I came because I respected you. I didn’t want to lose you. I wanted you to like me. I wanted someone to accept me. I wanted someone to talk to, like a father and a friend since I had none. So, I came all the time and tried to be careful – I would insist on open doors, hotel bars and low volumes on TV just in case I would need to shout for help. Until the day I felt your hard genitals at my back, the very first time I would try to catch a nap while visiting you. That was the last straw.
I shouldn’t have to think anything funny whenever you call me. You are my uncle. If I am to get married and I wanted to pick someone to walk me down the aisle, you are on the list of people who should qualify. You should never be that “free” with me. I should never have been able to have nightmares from the memories of your hard – on behind me. I was just twenty. I had not even had my first kiss. That was my first exposure out of the watch of my guardian. And you knew it.
You disgust me. You made me start to doubt all possible male figures. No one is to be trusted. You never know who is a dog who wouldn’t mind where they get food from. You are my uncle and you made it impossible to be close to you. And you wonder why I run every time you ask us to hangout now. It’s because I don’t trust you. I don’t think you ever even think that what you did was wrong, because you have never acknowledged it to me. I am scared around you. You took advantage of me and as much as I want to move past it, I cannot.
I know you say you are a pastor now, but I don’t think that’s enough to cleanse you. Because you are knee deep into it. I have heard about your escapades with other girls in town. You are a scoundrel. Just remain at a distance and I will say “hello” out of courtesy, once in a while.
You may say you never had sex with me, but you broke my virginity when you felt me. And I can never forget that. Because even if I didn’t want to wait till marriage to have that feeling, I would never have imagined that the first time I had it would be with my uncle – someone who was supposed to be above reproach.
You are filthy and you disgust me. I hope you eventually acknowledge the consequences of your presumed “closeness” and “playfulness” and work towards being a better person. Because you are definitely better than this. And you should act better. At least for your gorgeous wife and adorable kids.
Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay