BROKEN by Meena Diasso 

                     ~13~

                ✔AHMAD✔

I CLENCHED MY JAW WHEN I SAW IT WAS A REPEAT OF THE PREVIOUS SHOW,  I runned my hand through my shaved hair that was the only means to see her face, her smiles and she had to take that too away from me, I looked around the en suite like I had misplaced  something, I really needed to get back to Naija being away from her is killing me, I frowned a bit when I remembered the last time she called me all she had to do was talk but she kept mute till I ended the call. I could tell the smiles she puts on TV were fake. I had to finalise a deal in Frankfurt, I could only make it to Nigeria next week. 

The days that passed were much harder, I couldn’t sit a second without thoughts of her  invading my mind, it was like my soul was being called I needed to be in Naija, I looked at Schneider we’ve finalised everything but I still had to inspect the supplies before they’re shipped, “I’m pleased with the supplies Schneider, but I have to be sure there’ll be no problems with the delivery of the goods” I said looking deep into  his eyes. 

We shook hands to seal the deal. I booked for  a flight online, I wanted to really watch her today but I want was tired of seeing the sadness she hid so well, I’m sometimes amazed by how much I love her, I chuckled as I looked at the picture I snapped at the parking lot when I was asking her out from lunch, come to think of it she never honored the invitation I kissed the pic and held it to my chest, this is going to be a long night, “See you soon my darling”.

I whispered as I dozed off. 

                          ⏪FATIMA⏩

THE GIRL’S STORY TRIGGERED OLD MEMORIES, I REALLY NEEDED AHMAD I’m amazed by how much I need him I’m suppose to be afraid of him I sometimes push him away from me but I still needed him to hold me I was crumbling inside just holding on by a thin thread which might break anytime. 
“FATIMA we have a new development Amida wants to open up to us” Stanley said like I knew what he was talking about, I knitted my brow in confusion  waiting for him to explain further,  “You really don’t know her?” he asked in an amazed voice I nodded and shrugged, he took the seat opposite mine and placed the file he had in his hand on it. 

“You know it’s been a week since the news of a girl who’s dad has been having intercourse with her came on the news?” he asked rhetorically, I nodded trying to get what he meant and regulate my quickening heartbeat. “Well we were contacted by the girl today she said she wants to have an interview with you cos of what you’ve done for those men in the army” I swallowed to wet my sudden dry throat, “Are you alright?” he asked in a concerned voice,  I nodded and forced a smile “Is OK, but do I get to meet her before the interview?” I asked biting the side of my lip. “It depends on the time she’ll get here, the program starts at 4pm and it’s 2:45 she’ll be coming here from the airport so we’ll  whenever she makes it here” my eyes twitched on their own accord “You mean she’ll be coming here today” I asked breathing through my mouth. He nodded giving me  a wary look, I smiled and shook my head calling out the names of Allah in my heart, “My Shadows Of The Past” has been lurking for quite sometime it’s about time I faced them I’ve been hiding behind them for quite a long time. 

***

I sat emotionless as my make up was done I didn’t even smile to the jokes Oluchi (the make up artiste) made as she did my make up, I felt like I was going on a war,  this is actually war, a war against a faceless, emotionless beast who takes advantage of weak children, I slowly breathed out as my fear turned into anger he was fucking dead but he still control my life from the grave I wasn’t going to make him anymore. 

I smiled as she joined me on the stage, I stood and hugged her when she got to her chair, she returned the hug tightly like she really needed, “I know how you feel” I whispered in her ear as we parted,  she widened her eye when we were looking at each other and I nodded. 
“THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME ON ANOTHER EDITION OF “LIFE WITH FATIMA” our show today is not so different from the other ones we did but it’s very emotional and surprising” I said my voice quivering a bit.  I looked away from the camera to Annette she smiled and nodded. “Most of us woke up to one of the most horrifying news last week,  I was quiet shocked when I heard it myself” I sighed and licked my lips. “Well we were quite surprised with the news about the girl whose dad had been having intercourse with since she was twelve, today we have the victim here to tell us what really happened and how it all started”. I ended looking at Annette .  She smiled and nodded “Well I’m from a family of four we are all girls and well loved by our parents” she chewed the side of her lip and fidgeted in her seat I held her hand to give her support “Then dad started acting weird mom has never been one to stay at home,  I don’t know how it happened but he started visiting my room at night when she went on one of her numerous trips, then the indecent touches I didn’t take them as anything cos he is after all my dad” I passed over the box of tissues to her, she wiped the tears that had fallen “I once complained when he touched my private parts, but he told me it was nothing,  I was only twelve then but I knew a little about the female reproductive system and a little sex education but dad said it was nothing he could do that to me”. She massaged her temple closing her eye I held her hand tightly in support “Then he made me move to his room at night,  and forced me to watch kidporn with him, I hated every second of it but I could do nothing about it, he threatened to do same to my siblings and eventually kill us all if  I ever told anyone” I couldn’t ask her a thing every question wiped out of my brain I couldn’t think of dad doing same to me. She gnawed on her quivering bottom lip “Do you want us to end this?” I asked silently she shook her head and continued “He forced himself on me one night after we had finished watching one of his porn sessions, I thought I would die from the pain” she ended making her tears fall without wiping them,  I was trying so hard to keep mine at bay,  “I had to stay at home for  two weeks without school till I was OK and he slept with me any other night after that”. Almost everyone in the studio had tears in their eyes. “How did you finally come in the open about it?” I asked her quietly “Well mom couldn’t tell what was wrong when she came back and I couldn’t tell her, I was very hurt when she didn’t notice how different I acted, she was too engrossed in her business and the profit she made to know what I was going through, I distanced myself from everyone, he came to my room whether she was around or not” she said laughing hysterically, you could tell it was a painful laughter.

“My head mistress noticed how withdrawn I had been and asked me what was wrong with me but I couldn’t tell her what was happening, she studied me for almost 4 years before finally forcing me to tell her what was happening with me, I couldn’t hold it anymore I broke down and told her all that was happening” I gaped in surprise, trying so hard to hold on to my anger, “You’re sixteen now?” I asked in a surprised voice,  she nodded and held on to my hand tightly, she didn’t look sixteen she  looked much older than that. “I had to repeat secondary school for two years” she added bursting into uncontrollable tears.  I hugged her tightly  trying to  seep some of the little strength I had into this little girl,  she is a WARRIOR,  and I was still complaining when this little girl has been raped by her dad for four fucking years. 

I couldn’t hold on to my tears anymore, I did well sitting through the whole interview without breaking down or having a panic attack, a hand held me,  my body relaxed into the familiar hold, my back was patted lightly continuously, “I hate him, I really hate him for what he did to me he ruined me, he ruined me and now he wants to ruin my marriage, he wants to ruin my marriage” I uttered repeatedly and closed my eye welcoming the peaceful darkness  that awaited me. 

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