Abelenma looked back on those years, thinking of how those events had shaped her. She wondered if the case would have been different if she had been educated, properly for that matter. It was a conversation she looked forward to but one that was never had. Her teachers in each class she had been in liked her but she couldn’t talk to them about it, none of them had caught her in the act. She couldn’t also tell them of the pain then. She didn’t like the sound of what she was told, it put fear in her. She grew up to learn the word for it was threat. Who in his or her right senses does such to a child in primary two? And so when she learnt how to feel good by herself, it was more than a welcomed option.

She was yet to descend from the climax she was on when two quick comb spanks brought her to reality. Aunty Maana had a look that was a combination of shock and anger, she couldn’t believe what she had just witnessed. All she said after was, your father is calling you and left, still with that look on her face. Abenlema followed with fear, thinking her mother would let her father know what she had been up to. Her father had a guest, a family friend and when they both saw the expressions of both mother and daughter, they wondered what had happened. Abenlema wished she could disappear when her father asked what the issue was only for her mother to say it was nothing for him to worry about and life on that fateful afternoon went on as if nothing had happened.

Later that night, sleep deserted her as she was not sure what her mother had up her sleeves. Aunty Maana was not one to hit her children on a regular, she had to be pushed to the wall to have to do it and that double spank told Abenlema she had pushed her mother to the wall. Aunty Maana did not hit her that night or even bring up the issue ever again. She had been using her big towel to help her get that good feeling between her legs. She liked how it built up steadily till it tipped her over. Obenewaa, one of her play mates had taught her how to do it and as time went by, she would try it using different props. By now, she knew her big towel was the best option.

She liked how it felt each time. At least, it didn’t hurt like when brother Kumi touched her down there. He lived in the neighbourhood and attended the same church as Abenlema’s family. He played with all the children and she was no exception. And so when he asked her to sit on his lap, she gleefully did. Who wouldn’t enjoy being his pet for the day? He steadied her with one hand while the other was hidden from sight as it was beneath her bottom on his lap. He had gently tugged on her dress till it was out of the way and all he could feel between his palm and what was down there was her panties.

He started moving his fingers around, asking her if she liked it. When she didn’t answer, he probed further with his fingers, it was like being given a wash down there during bath time but this time it hurt. She squirmed and wanted to get down but his grip was strong and she couldn’t. As if he knew she wanted to scream, he warned her not to so she keeps getting sweets just like the other kids. She shushed and when he asked again if she enjoyed it, she nodded. In her mind, maybe it would get him to let her go. He warned her never to tell anyone and sent her home. It became the norm and even when she tried to avoid him, she became the disrespectful and arrogant child… disrespectful she understood but arrogant, she wondered what it meant but didn’t seek answers.

She wanted to be respectful so endured until Obenewaa had shown her how to feel good down there without the pain brother Kumi subjected her to which didn’t even come with any good feelings. She didn’t know how or where Obenewaa learnt it from and she didn’t care, so long as she had been shown the way. After that fateful afternoon, she made sure the house was empty before going on her feel good action. She was never caught in the act again but it went on.

By the time she was in upper primary, she had found a way to avoid brother Kumi totally. In church, she would stick strictly with Obenewaa and Abena. At home, it was strictly indoors for her, it wasn’t boring as her love for books had steadily developed over time and it was her getaway. She had learnt how to feel good on her own terms and it was going to stay that way. She had finally won the battle to be free from brother Kumi. But feeling good, unknown to her young self was a battle she was going to fight through to her adult years.

She was now going over the prompts she and her husband had created for their twins. She had ‘forgiven’ her parents for not teaching her how to flee abuse even though she had never told them what happened to her. She loved them too much and didn’t want them going to their graves with guilt. She told herself that maybe if they had known better, they would have been able to shield her.

She had strived to be in a better place and though she would sometimes experience panic attacks, therapy and the support of her husband was something she could always rely on. Unlike her, her children were going to be educated through and through and she was going to give it her all.

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