When your own blood is after you

My aunt picked me up from my parents when I completed Senior high school. She was doing better in life having married a rich man. She used to travel a lot and anytime she was coming back, she got me something valuable. Her husband also did the same. They both loved me without care.
On my twenty-first birthday, My aunt traveled with me to South Africa to have a little birthday celebration for me. Her husband was supposed to join us from the UK but due to one or two things, he couldn’t. But that didn’t stop us from having fun. She did a lot of shopping for me. Took me to amazing places and we ate and dined at some of the expensive places in Johannesburg. I felt worthy. I felt loved beyond measure. Little did I know what was to come after the joy.
On our way to our hotel, my aunt told me; “My husband isn’t joining us here again so there’s no point for us to keep two different hotel rooms. The rooms are expensive and we still have one more week to stay. It’s better for us to share a room so we can have extra money to do shopping and visit more places.” The thought of staying in the same room with my aunt felt a little bit uneasy and it wasn’t as though I had the power to object. It was a decision she had made and she was only telling me about it.
Our first night together was ok. Both of us were very careful not to get in each other’s way. The second night, we were a little bit at ease. We spoke for the whole night and slept very late. The third night was also good but the conversation got a little bit personal and meandered to areas of my life I barely discussed with people. She started probing into my personal life; “Have you ever had a boyfriend?” Did you sleep with him? How was your first experience like?” And then she dropped the question that threw me off balance; “Have you ever thought of how it would feel like to do it with another woman?”
I said “huh?” As if I didn’t hear the question the first time. She teasingly said; Don’t be silly, haven’t you heard about girl on girl?” I answered, “I have but it’s not something I’ve thought about deeply or something I will think about doing.” Then she started telling me a story about how she wasn’t having satisfaction from her husband and how she tried it with another female colleague and how she had a blast of her lifetime.
I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t know why she was telling me all that but the next night together she made it obvious that it was me she wanted. She said, “I’ve loved you from the very day I set my eyes on you. You were only eighteen and I’ve loved you from afar.” I started feeling uneasy. Scared actually. Before I could say jack, this woman was all over me trying to kiss me. I resisted. She forced it. I fought to prevent her from having her way. I told her, “You’re my aunt and it’s very hard for me not to think about the fact that we are family. How can I do this with a family?”
She lectured me on why it wasn’t that bad and all the while trying to have her way. I told her, “This is new to me. Allow me to think about it. Allow me to get used to the idea.” She obliged and let me alone. That night I couldn’t sleep. I cried. I regretted how everything had turned out, I was scared for my life and thought of how I was going to survive the remaining days.
She woke up the next morning trying to have her way with me again. I was too drained to fight her. I watched her as she tried to kiss me, play with my skin and all. I was just numb until she got tired and stop. When you are in trouble, the day looks very long and the night never ends. The next three days ahead of us until we left South Africa was very long and torturous for me. The fun was all gone and there was no flame left in me. Slowly the days went by and we finally left South Africa for Ghana.
In Ghana, there were other people in the house so I feared less. Her husband also returned from his trip a day later and restored a little bit of joy in me. I wanted to go and visit my parent but she declined. She wanted to go with me. Maybe she feared I would tell my parents about it or when I leave I wasn’t going to return.
And then one dawn, I felt a hand running around my thighs and going up my waist as I was sleeping. The whole thing felt like a dream. My face was against the wall and I could feel the person lying behind me. I slowly came to the realization that it wasn’t a dream but real. I knew who it was (so I thought) so I didn’t bother to look back or even move for her to know I was awake and aware. I thought I should let her do whatever she wants to do and leave me in peace. But as the hand got to my chest, I realized that it was heavier than a female hand. The scent of the person’s breath wasn’t feminine too So I turned suddenly and guess what. My aunt’s husband was lying behind me with only a towel around his waist.
I got up from the bed and turned on the light. I checked the time and it was 2:17am. I started ranting; “What are you doing here at this time? Why do you want to put me in trouble? Do you want my aunt to kill me?” He lied there on the bed looking at me as if nothing else mattered. He said, “Keep your voice down so you don’t wake her up. She had a little too much to drink last night so if you keep it on the low, she won’t wake up to find out.”
“What do you want from me?”
“Please just let me do it and I’ll give you whatever you want.”
“Please, leave my room before anyone finds out. You’ll put me in trouble.”
“Just this once, it won’t happen again. This once and you get whatever you want”
I took my cloth and walked out of the room. I went straight to the kitchen and locked myself in. I heard his footsteps as he climbed the stairs up to his room. I didn’t want to come out. I slept in the kitchen and cried for the rest of the night. Everything was happening too fast. It sometimes felt like a bad dream I was going to wake up from.
The next dawn, his wife too came. I was wide awake as if I was expecting her. She called my name. I didn’t respond. I didn’t move. She lied behind me, trying to do everything to get me aroused. I lied there motionless as she went on and on and on. She didn’t mind that I was crying. She didn’t mind that I was shaking. All she wanted was to play with my body. The next two dawns, her husband came again. I’d locked my door. He called my name. He knocked on the door faintly and then started calling my phone. I didn’t move. All I did was cry and thought about all the things I could do to get myself out of this mess.
I thought of running away but to where? My parents wouldn’t understand why. They would ask me why and I wouldn’t be able to answer. I thought of going to stay with a friend but for how long could she keep me with her. I thought of suicide. The peace and finality that came with suicide looked to me as the best option.
The following night, I slept with a knife next to me and my light on. I was expecting any one of them but none came around. For the next three or four days, they left me alone. When she came around the next time and saw the knife, she didn’t come close. She stood by the door and asked; “What’s the knife for?” I didn’t answer. She saw that I’d been crying. She kept asking about the knife. I told her, “You should ask about me not the knife. I’m the one suffering in this house. Look at me very well, don’t you see all is not well with me?” After you leave this room, I’ll stab myself and bleed to death. I hope that makes you happy.”
She stood there not knowing what to do or say. I kept crying. She said nothing for a while and then opened the door and walked away. That dawn, I gave myself the chance to think about my priorities in life and how my sanity is slowly waning. I made a decision to leave immediately before something worse happens.
The next early morning, I picked up a few things and left the house while they both were in their room sleeping. about an hour or two later, I saw her call on my phone. I didn’t pick. Her husband also called immediately afterward, I didn’t pick. I turned off my phone and kept going.
I got to the house of my parents in the evening. Immediately my mom saw me, she ran towards me and hugged me so tight as if I was a lost child returning home for the first time. She said, “We have been worried. We thought you were missing or something wrong had happened to you. Your aunt called to tell us you were missing from the house.”
I told her, “I didn’t get missing. I left and I’m not going to go back to that house again.” As I expected, she asked why. I don’t know what entered me that evening, I started ranting about the whole ordeal my aunt and the husband had taken me through. I thought my mom wouldn’t believe me but I didn’t mind. I went on and on and on. After I’d finished talking she said, “They both wanted to sleep with you? What kind of devil is living in that house? That’s an abomination!”
My dad cried when he later learned of my story. He wanted to go all the way to have them arrested but my mom couldn’t bring herself to think about arresting her own sister. The sister that had been providing for the rest of the family. Her own family will forever hate her if that happened. So she talked my father out of it. She said, “You don’t have money, they have money and they won’t go to jail.”
In the end, it became an issue no one wanted to speak about until today that I’m sharing it here. But it’s not over. Someday, when the time is right, I will make sure both of them pay heavily for their sins. They will never get away with it.
— Takyiwa, Tarkwa

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