An Innocence Shattered..

Thanks for the comments on my last post.
Appreciate it..
The recurring theme though seemed to be when I'll do a post..
Next week, insha Allah..

Pending then though, I have an intriguing guest post this week..
From my fabulous guest blogger, miss.fab
I totally inhibited my editing side on this one, just so you'll feel the raw emotion in her writing.
Enjoy!

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I was 8 when it happened. I remember this clearly because I had just celebrated my birthday mere days before. It was another typical birthday in my house: there was no cake from my mother, no presents from my siblings, no phone call from my father... not even the neighbors or my best friends came to visit. My 8th birthday, one that I'd looked forward to all year, had just occurred, and apparently nobody but me even cared.

He was 18 when it happened. He was much, much older than me, but that wasn't even the problem, you see. The problem was this: he was my cousin, my favorite cousin at that. He was my mother's sister's son, tall and good-looking and funny and intelligent, and all the girls in our apartment loved him. I didn't know many of my other relatives, and when my friends talked about sleep overs and camping trips and summer vacations with their cousins, I always felt immensely proud to be able to tout my very own "popular" cousin. He bought me a poetry book for my birthday; he was the only one who bought me a present.

There was no electricity in our house the night it happened. I remember this because we were all watching Secrets of the Sand in the living room when the lights went out. The obligatory grumbling and hissing and cursing of the fathers, mothers, and children of NEPA employees ensued briefly, and minutes later, we all trickled out to the balcony to enjoy the breezy evening. My aunt had just begun regaling us with stories from her recent trip out of town when people on the street began screaming "Ole! Ole!" My mother, thinking our neighbors were referring to the strong gusts of wind, joyfully joined them in shouting "Ole!", something you should never do, by the way, in case there are actual armed robbers philandering and terrorizing citizens in your neighborhood.

We all went inside after a while and my uncle went down to buy Indomie for the next morning's breakfast from our Mallam. Seconds later, he ran back into the apartment, panic and something that looked like fear written all over his face. There were thieves in the building, he said, and they were holding our two Mallams and the residents of the downstairs apartment hostage. Panic erupted in our house. We'd never been robbed before, you see. I remember thinking there was nothing in our house the thieves could possibly want, but my mother seemed oblivious to this fact. She shoved my cousin and I into his room, content in the knowledge that I was safe with him, and then locked the door behind her. The adults would stay and bravely face the thieves hands-on if they ever came upstairs, she said.

I often wondered in the months that followed why my mother didn't put me in the same room with my other siblings, but what would that be implying? She could not possibly have known what would occur next. At least that's what I told myself.

I was asleep when it happened. The first thing I felt was his cold, clammy fingers between my legs. My eyes shot open immediately, and for a second I wondered where I was. I was sleeping in a strange room, wearing clothes from the day before, and there was still no light. As the events of the previous night slowly returned to my memory, I again felt my dress being gently nudged upwards. Fear struck me. Timid, innocent little me, I had no clue what was going on. At first I thought I was imagining things so I gently turned on my side to face him and yawned magnanimously, closing my legs firmly shut in the process. I kept my eyes closed, surreptitiously peeking out of one eye every now and then and trying my best to keep still. Nothing happened for a couple more minutes, and I had just convinced myself I dreamt the whole thing when I felt his hand again. This time he seemed more urgent, more aware of what he wanted, and with a distinct nudge my legs were once again wide open. Before a cry of protest could even form in my throat, he was pushing my panties aside and stroking my privates.

This is for real, I thought. I'm not dreaming this. I can't be dreaming this. I honestly didn't know what to do. I didn't want to call him out, didn't want to embarrass him. He was my cousin, my blood relation. If I said a word, things were sure to be awkward between us at the very least. But was I just going to lie there and pretend to sleep while my own family finger-raped me? There I was, torn between a misplaced love for my cousin and a fear of the unknown. What was I to do? His fingers were stroking harder, his breathing was getting louder, and I for the life of me could do nothing but lie paralyzed beside him like a corpse.

And then the strangest thing happened. The nerves in my thighs pulsated with pleasure, blood rushed into my legs and my hands and my head, and my palms felt hot against the bed sheet. I remember thinking it was all too much; the pleasure I felt was almost unbearable. My heart beat faster; I felt myself get wet and my mind fill with simultaneous urges to jerk away from him and stay within the reach of his fingers.

Within minutes it was over. I lay beside him, filled with immense shame for what had just occurred. I remember wondering how I would face him in the morning, what I would say, what he would say. Would he still give me a big sloppy kiss when I woke up? Would he still tickle my tummy and play Minesweeper with me? Would I still have to call him Uncle Dapo, or would it simply be Dapo from now on? Why was I even forced to think these things? How had we arrived at this place? My own cousin, my favorite cousin, the one whose words I hung on day after day, whose stories I loved to retell to my friends, whose prowess in the church choir was nothing short of legendary, had just done to a child (me!) what a child of that age should never have to go through. I did not know whether to burst into tears and accuse him right there and then or just go back to sleep and pretend the last 5 minutes did not just happen.

But then, what did it matter? I had sinned also, that was for sure; this had to be my fault somehow, and even if it wasn't, I had just aided and abetted a crime, enjoyed it even, and I was going to hell for it. Ten whole years after this event occurred, and I still cannot fathom my young body's reaction to his touch. I could not possibly have foreseen what was going to happen, could not possibly have known he was going to betray my trust and my innocence like that. I did not even know my body was capable of feeling or reacting that way. I hadn't even grown breasts yet!

I was only 8 when it happened; he was only 18. We were both very young, one of us much younger than the other. One of us didn't know what was happening; the other one did. In the space of three hundred seconds, one of us lost her virginity and her innocence forever.

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This story is fiction, but sadly, situations like these are much more common than most people realize. 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18, and 30 - 40% of all victims are abused by a family member. More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8, and nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12.

There are many more statistics and preventive measures available online. http://www.darkness2light.org/KnowAbout/statistics.asp is a good resource for more information.

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PS. Please visit miss.fab by clicking here to leave comments.
Thanks again good people!!