My story began in 1983. I was the child of a single dad. My father was an extremely talented man, a pianist who had turned that into his profession. We were spending a few days a one of his friends homes and there were get-togethers and parties every other day. The piano in there home is where my father spent most of his time.
That evening while the adults sang familiar sing-along songs in the large living room I, feeling rather lost and out of place ventured out into the garden that was resplendent with the most beautiful roses of every hue. As I skipped from rose bush to rose bush I failed to notice someone watching me.
A while later, when sunset was making its appearance the son of one of the ladies present approached and offered to play a game of hide and seek with me. We began our game and it led me to the side of the garden where the old cement water trough lay amongst a cluster of Hibiscus trees. It was there that he lured me and told me to look at the setting sun. Then he began to grope and I felt his hand upon my privates, pushing through my underwear until he had it right where he wanted. I squirmed and tried to break free but one arm around my neck held me tight.
Next he had unbuttoned his trousers and pushed me onto the floor beside the trough. I could feel the weight of his body pressing down upon me. He wouldn’t hurt me for too long he said. It would be over soon…it was necessary. But I mustn’t tell anyone or it would happen again and it would hurt much more.
I felt a sharp pain as he thrust into me. I cried out, muffled cries through the hand that covered my mouth. I could hear the sound of the piano and people singing but they didn’t hear me. When he was done he pulled me up, smoothed my short, curly hair and dusted my clothes. And then he was gone.
I stood there under the hibiscus trees and watched the blood run down my legs and onto the white lace ankle socks. I wiped my tears on the hem of my white dress with the strawberry print. I was afraid and the pain between my legs was so sharp it brought tears to my eyes. I washed my socks in the trough for fear of being beaten by my father if he saw them ruined. And then I forced my painful body to walk inside. When I entered the room and stood at the door, more blood trickling down my legs everyone stopped singing and stared. My father looked out from behind the piano and the music stopped. There were voices, people talking and I remember my dad giving me a hot bath. I was carried to bed and I slept. Nobody ever spoke of it again. It wasn’t until I was older that I realised what he had taken from me that day by the trough and under the trees. I was four years old when he took my smile but the memory remains even today.