25 July, 2019
I have always loved the concept of bringing a new life. A life that is formed because of love. A life that is wanted. A life that is sacred and a life that is blessed.
These are what kept me going for years. They became my inspiration but I guess, the beauty of life doesn't apply to everyone.
I'm not sure where to start, but I'll do my best to tell my story honestly. I was raised in a caring home. Because I was an only child, my parents lavished me with love and attention.
My father is a pastor, and my mother is a housewife, and they were the best. We own a small market vegetable stall; we aren't wealthy, but we are content and happy.
It all began when I reached the legal age.
The days are always cheerful, or maybe that was just me? I could hear my parents arguing about money late at night, but when it's morning, they'll act fine.
It was perplexing to my impressionable mind.
My parents violently pounded on my door while calling me one Sunday afternoon. I opened it right away, thinking there was an emergency.
Sharp glares from my parents pierced me the moment I opened the door.
I was about to ask my mother what was wrong when she began throwing my clothes out of my closet into my baggage bag and told me I needed to leave because they don't want me anymore.
My mind was a tangled mess as I tried to figure out what went wrong.
My father was gawking at me, and my mother was trying to drag me out of my room. I began to cry and asked my mother what was wrong.
She didn't respond, so I asked my father, who was following us, carrying my luggage bag. He did nothing but shrug his shoulders.
We were in the living room when I began pleading, telling them that I would obey their orders and that I would no longer be stubborn if they would just let me stay with them.
I'm completely unaware of what's going on, and I'm at a loss for I don't know what to do. I won't have anyone to turn to if I leave.
We were nearing the door when my mother stopped, she then looked at me with a smile on her face and said that she was sorry.
She also looked at my father and ordered him to accompany me to my room as she will prepare a snack for us.
Muddled, I followed my father back to my room, and that day, we ate our snacks normally just like we used to.
When they let me stay, I assumed everything was fine, and it was just a typical family quarrel. I was wrong. My biggest regret in life was begging to stay.
It felt like the beginning of the worst days of my life.
Few days after the fight, I was in my bed taking a nap after doing my last homework for the week when suddenly, my father came into my room.
I didn't realize he was in with me until I felt him pressing down on me.
"Hush", he said as he began fondling me.
I can still remember the smell of alcohol from his breath when he started kissing me. I began to cry and whimper when he tried to remove my shorts and my underwear.
I recall attempting to break free from his grip, but I was too weak. He pressed my face into the bed pillow and raped me.
He left after a while, and I remained silent, crying and thinking about what had happened. It was excruciatingly painful, and all I could do was cry under my blanket, terrified that he'd return.
That night, I couldn't sleep well, wishing that everything was a nightmare.
Even though I was in pain, I decided to go to the bathroom early in the morning after I woke up. I discovered blood on my nightgown and legs, which were already dry.
I washed them off and put on some underwear, then changed my nightgown. I slowly crawled back into my bed and tried to sleep to regain my strength.
My sleep was disrupted when I heard my mother knocking at my door. She smiled as I told her to come in.
While gathering my courage to tell her what had happened, I gave her a weak smile. She sat on my bed and patted my head, wishing me a good morning.
She was about to walk away when I grabbed her arm and pulled her back. While telling her what my father had done, I began to cry.
I expected her to be furious, but she surprised me with what she did. She hugged me and smiled.
I stopped crying as soon as she said something because those words shattered my entire being in an instant.
Her words were still vivid. "Shhh, sweetheart, it was nothing out of the ordinary", she said.
"Your body was made for men."
I feel terrible. It was as if I had been thrown into an infinite void with no one to help me.
I was so terrified that I couldn't leave my room for the entire day, and my parents didn't seem to mind.
It was Sunday morning when I decided to go out. Feeling my empty stomach, I roamed my eyes searching for my parents as I headed towards the dining room. I saw them eating at the table.
I gently sat at my usual spot and silently ate my breakfast. The silence was interrupted when my mother called me.
"Visitors were on their way, so get ready," she said.
After the meal, I went straight to my room and started getting ready. I started thinking about what had happened while I was in the bathroom.
Should I call the authorities? But they were my parents. Where would I go if I were to leave? All I know is that my father made a mistake.
"I'll forgive him. Maybe he was just drunk," I told myself, ignoring the tiny little voice in my head telling me that rape isn't a simple mistake.
My father raped me, and he had other men rape and assault me several times in exchange for money. Yes, they were the visitors my parents were expecting.
I was so terrified, my parents threatened to kill me if I didn't keep quiet. My parents' actions have left me with a lot of unanswered questions about how they allowed this to happen.
My father is a pastor.
How could he rape his very own daughter? What happened to my mom, who is known for being a caring mother?
When I saw the tiny packets of salt-like substance near their drawer while cleaning, my questions were finally answered.
I was a normal person at school, behaving as if nothing was wrong. I had to hide my bruises with a concealer at times so they wouldn't know what I'd been through.
I was relieved that my best friend, Wakim, isn't as perceptive. I don't want him to get involved because I'm afraid my parents will hurt him.
I wanted to be free, and I had made numerous attempts to do so, but they would always find out and punish me. Every month, a couple of visitors, 2 or 3, would arrive, and the usual would occur.
I got used to it, but I'll never get used to losing someone who hasn't even been born yet. I got pregnant twice, but they forced me to abort it when they found out.
I felt dirty and depressed, and I had no idea what to do.
My world seemed to have slowed down for me. I can feel myself drowning in the void of darkness. It's been eight months, and I'm still grieving the loss of my unborn child.
I became aloof at school as a result of the happenings. I began to avoid spending time with Wakim and my classmates. After the class, I would immediately go home.
From all of the texts and missed calls from my best friend, I know he was worried.
After a few months, the classes are over. I wasn't able to attend the graduation rites because my concealer couldn't hide the wounds and bruises I have.
I became so tired of hiding them that I decided to stop studying. My parents were fine with it; they said it was better because there would be fewer expenses.
The people around me were becoming concerned as to why they weren't seeing me anymore. My parents intervened, and to my surprise, the people stopped talking about me.
Even Wakim had stopped checking up on me. I shrugged off my inquisitiveness at why they all seemed to be unconcerned anymore and went on with my life.
I was depressed and traumatized, but there was nothing I could do. It's almost as if I've already accepted my destiny.
When my mother told me she was pregnant, it was like a tiny ray of light peered into the void I was in. It was as if it were a ray of hope. I was overjoyed.
Because of the baby, my parents might decide to stop using my body for financial benefit.
But that happiness was short-lived because I discovered the truth. I'm a foster child, and the only reason they kept me is that they were paid to look after me.
That explains why, when I turned 18, they asked me to leave the house.
I also learned about their plans for the baby, which includes using him/her for money regardless of gender. That small part of me that still believed in my parents' love for me had vanished.
I mean, who am I kidding? They don't, and they're the worst of the bunch. They're devils.
I gathered my courage and asked them about their plans for the baby. I told them I would work for them as long as they would allow the baby to live a normal life.
They laughed it off and said they needed someone to take my place because the "visitors" needed a choice because they might get sick of my body.
I detest them, but I remain silent. I need to get out of this hell, and I'll be bringing my sibling with me. I began to devise a plan for escaping, which I hoped would be successful.
I began my plan four months after my sister, Meira, was born. Thanks to the money I stole from my parent's drawer, I was able to save money for this.
I'm sure they won't notice because they have plenty of it from all the dirty things they made other people do to me.
My parents were napping in their bedroom, and I was in the living room with Meira.
I found out the night before that an attorney named Marcus DeAngelo was in charge of my welfare as a foster child.
Attorney, it was you, and I told you everything. You said you'd come here to get Miera and me. I smiled at my sister as I looked her in the eyes. Finally, we'll be free.