Their red house 2 ( A Series)
A Story of Lost Trust and Stolen Innocence
Morning dragged slowly to the fore. I peeped through the window as soon as I heard the usual morning ruckus from their red house. This morning, Chichi’s father wore a pristine white shirt over a new grey trouser. He clenched his black work bag as he rushed to his workplace, he must have been a few minutes late. His fat wife followed in tow, dressed in a loose blue top and a faded union wrapper. The duo stepped out of the compound with their eight ducklings in a row, except for Ikenna, their new houseboy.
I stayed by the window and watched for him but neither saw him nor heard any movement in the house. I sighed and dragged myself from the floor.
Mother had left earlier than usual; she had been called for an emergency at the hospital. A young boy had been raped and was about to lose his life from bleeding.
“What is rape?’ I asked mother as she hurriedly put on her white nurse uniform.
Mother stopped in her tracks and looked at me, “Somto, there are some things that you should not bother yourself with,”
I scrunched my brows and looked at her, “So, why is he going to bleed to death?” I asked in confusion.
“Where did you hear that?” Mother blurted,
“On the phone,” I said with pride.
Mother sighed and sat down beside me, “Rape is when someone forces any part of their body into your private part, including your bum bum”
“Eww!” I shouted.
Mother laughed sadly, “I know, my dear”. Mother sighed and looked me straight in the eye, “If anyone tries it, run and tell me,” she said as she covered me in an embrace as deep as a hen covers her chicks. “Do not hide anything from mummy. Do not be afraid, okay?” She said into my hair.
I managed to nod my head inside the human cave, “Okay, mummy” I mumbled.
I watched mother leave through the big compound gate and I sighed. I was alone in the estate, or so I thought. A noise from their red house startled me. I dropped to my knees and crawled to the window. I strained my ears until I caught the sound again. They were muffled sobs. I remained on my knees until I forgot why I dropped to the ground in the first place. The muffled sobs had stopped. I was hungry.
I stepped out to buy some snacks and a noise stopped me. I turned to see Ikenna coming out of their red house. He carried an empty bucket and went to the borehole with a limp to his steps. I thought for a second and threw my hands in the air to wave at him. He moved his eyes away from the filling bucket, looked at me and resumed dutifully filling the bucket.
I shrugged at him and went outside. I was too hungry to care about a new neighbor ignoring me. Outside, I had gotten the a few eggs and a loaf of bread. I was finally going to satisfy my toasted bread craving. A few moments later I walked back into the compound. The bucket Ikenna was filling had overflowed and was pooling at the edge of the wall. I rushed to turn it off and just as I stretched my hands to the tap, I screamed.
There with his head dunked in the flooding water was Ikenna sprawled out on the floor and bleeding. I dragged him out of the water, switched off the tap and ran inside and called mother. She was a nurse. She would know what to do. A few seconds later, Nancy the pharmacist across the street burst into the compound with a first aid kit and an assistant. I watched from the sidelines as they pushed his chest until he coughed the water out of his throat. He was alive I was relived. Nancy and her male counterpart took Ikenna in a stroller to the ambulance outside and that was the last I saw of Ikenna.
Night came very quickly. From the window I heard shouts from their red house, Chichi mother kept screaming at someone. She said, “You did it before. I had to send the girls away. I finally brought a boy and you are worst off”
Her father said, “I can explain,”
I heard plates shatter as she screamed, “There is nothing to explain. You are a monster!”