I Am Woman – Episode 12
A Story By Brian Ngoma
Being the first born and a girl, I was charged with the responsibility of taking care of my siblings especially when mama left us. I had to take up the responsibility of motherhood. Even though I couldn’t be a mother to them, I had to try to protect and love my siblings like a lion protects her cabs. With Gary and Papa dead, I remained with Kasuli. I remember saying a silent prayer on their funeral that I would protect Kasuli with everything I got. Hearing her say what Enoch said to her made me question what I had been doing in protecting her. For some reasons, I felt like I had failed my task. Without hesitation, I stormed out of the bedroom leaving Kasuli on the bed and ran to Enoch’s bedroom.
“Don’t you have any shame Enoch?” I shouted shading tears.
Enoch got up from his bed and looked at me blankly.
“Don’t stare at me like that, you know what you did, idiot,” I said angrily.
“Tinashe respect me.”
“Or what Enoch,” I asked offensively stepping forward.
Seeing Enoch’s face becoming angry was what I needed in that moment. I was so ready to go down with him. He stepped forward and so did I. We were now head to head. I only needed him to slap or hit me so that I can go wild on him.
“What are you doing?” Uncle Richard asked looking at the both of us.
“Ask your stupid son uncle,” I pointed him.
Enoch pushed me to the floor and was about to kick me when his father stepped in. He was so angry like I had never seen him before but my anger and hatred for him was as deep as an ocean.
“Enoch what’s wrong with you?” His father asked furiously.
Enoch didn’t answer.
“Let me tell you what’s wrong with your son,” I said standing up. “Enoch almost raped me this morning and he failed. Worst thing he did it on…………”
“Tinashe,” Kasuli cried.
I looked at her with tears all over her face. She was standing on the door.
“What did you just say?” Uncle Richard asked.
I didn’t know what to say. Kasuli obviously stopped me from saying that Enoch did something to her. With my anger, I wanted to yell.
“He didn’t sleep with me,” Kasuli sobbed. “He only told me that I have to sleep with him so that you won’t be chased from this house. I am scared Tinashe,” She ran to the bedroom.
“I guess you have heard it all,” I said looking at Uncle Richard and left Enoch’s room.
I found Kasuli laying head down on the bed. She was sobbing. I had no time to find out what really happened. I let my anger get the best of me. A part of me was angry with Enoch but another part was happy that he didn’t do anything to Kasuli.
“I am sorry Suli I didn’t let you finish telling me everything,” I apologised,
She got up and sat upright, looked at me and hugged me, “He pushed you.” She said.
“I know, he’s a coward.”She let go of me and said, “I am scared Tina. I want mama.”
We were not safe in my uncle’s house. The fact that Enoch made advances on the both of us made it even worse. He had the guts to even reach Kasuli who was way younger than him. That night, I couldn’t even sleep. It was as if something was lurking in the house and that something was Enoch. Any sound I heard, I got jolted. I even wished Marlon lived nearer to our house. My thoughts were running wild night until an idea came into my mind. The idea made me feel defiant and I was determined to do whatever it took to make it a reality.
Early in the morning, I waited for my aunt to wake me up as usual but she didn’t that morning. It was surprising and strange. I thought maybe she wasn’t feeling too well. I took an advantage of it and slept a bit as I had not slept that night. Kasuli was also asleep and I could see stains of tears on her cheeks.
“Tinashe, are you awake?” My uncle asked standing on our bedroom door.
“Yes I am,” I answered getting out of the bed.
“I need to talk to you. Come with Kasuli,” He said humbly.
If my uncle was a dog, I would have said his tail was between his legs. The humbleness and kindness depicted in his voice was all new to me. I woke Kasuli up and we took a bath and changed our clothes. We went into the sitting room and found everyone sited waiting for us. My aunt had done all the house chores and prepared breakfast for us. I was hungry but I didn’t touch the food. Kasuli looked at me and I nodded for her to go ahead and grab a bite. They waited for Kasuli to finish eating.
“Aren’t you eating,” aunt Tamara asked.
“I am not hungry,” I answered looking away.
“In light of what happened last night, I am sure we can all agree that it was a misunderstanding right?” My uncle said.
“A misunderstanding Uncle Richard?” I probed. ” You call an attempt at raping us a misunderstanding?”
“Enoch was drank Tinashe, forgive him.”
“Yes forgive him,” aunt Tamara added.
I looked at Enoch who seemed remorseful he couldn’t even look at me in the eyes.
“Enoch was not drank uncle, he was sober. He knew what he was doing.”
“He told us that he was and you know how heavily your cousin drinks. He was under the influence. He is remorseful you can see,” uncle Richard looked at Enoch.
I couldn’t smell alcohol nor any drugs from Enoch. I knew they planned to tell us that he was drank in order to bury the issue but I was not having it.
“Enoch say something to your cousins,” aunt Tamara yelled at Enoch.
“I am sorry Tinashe and Kasuli,” He faced down.
Fooling me like that was never going to work on me. I decided this was the right time to tell them about what I thought about the whole night. I knew it would come as a shock to them because they were my guardians but living in the house where our safety was threatened was far much worse. I had to say it for the both of us. Kasuli was my responsibility and her safety came first.
To be continued