Of Raindrops and Storms

Precious Onyeka Okoye
Posted February 28, 2018 from Nigeria
black girl child

CHIOMA! tall dark girl, honey gold skin, white bright eyes, charcoal black hair... I envied her sometimes, especially when she packed her dark hair in two doughnuts, she was as pretty as she was graceful. Chioma was my neighbour thirteen years ago when I was eight, she was ten but she bloomed like she was twelve, save that her breasts were still two tiny nuts like the rest of us. Chioma was a very cheerful girl, she was the joy of the neighbourhood, she had her way with people, she was my best friend.

I remember the day he came, it was raining and I pressed my face on the living room window, my breath formed misty circles on the window pane as I watched the raindrop in crystal balls on the flowers in our front yard. He arrived in a noisy motorcycle, wearing what I now know as NYSC uniform, he hurriedly ran into Chioma's parent's flat and the bike man took shade in the zinc shade where Chioma's mother fried Akara balls each morning.

"Menstruation", she quipped with self-pride, "Uncle Festus has told me all about it. He said it happens to big girls, and without it, you cannot have children". I stared in wide-eyed amazement at the amount of information Chioma already had. I had only read about menstruation in my elder sister's Home Economics workbook but did not pay much attention to it till Chioma mentioned it again. And that is how Chioma fed me with a lot of adult knowledge, from Uncle Festus. I envied her again. How would I have known that 10-year-old Chioma did not only know but had experienced what we saw in the movies and our mothers closed our eyes, what we heard during Sunday School and the teacher shrieked we would go to hell if we tried it, Chioma had become a woman as a child.

Thirteen years later, Chioma is twenty-threeand she is loveless, Chioma does not trust men, she doesn't want a relationship, she is broken, she says she lost her childhood, and her life is a storm. worse still, her parents did not believe her when she told them what Uncle Festus had done. I feel sorry for the girl I once envied, I really do feel sorry for Chioma.

This story was submitted in response to You Are a Silence Breaker.

Comments 7

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Olutosin
Feb 28, 2018
Feb 28, 2018

All these perverts uncle, may thunder fire them. And may she find healing and peace again.

Thanks so much for sharing this story, it infuriates me. The worst part is that the victims are never trusted or believed.

Jill Langhus
Feb 28, 2018
Feb 28, 2018

Hi Precious. Thanks for sharing your friend, Chioma's, sad story. Are you still friends with her? Has she had counseling to help her overcome the trauma?

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Mar 10, 2018
Mar 10, 2018

Hello, Precious,

Something really changes in a woman after being taken advantage from a man. Stories like these enrage me.

I wrote this piece for women like Chioma. I dedicate this to her and to all women who suffered sexual abuse: https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/karen-axalan/posts/83891

Thank you for sharing.

Lisbeth
Dec 07, 2018
Dec 07, 2018

Hi Previous,
Thanks for this nice story of child abuse. This has become a norm in Africa now, how sad for Chioma to fall as a victims..

Kind regards
Lizzy

Rachyrae
Jan 26
Jan 26

With people like you who have owned and voiced up "Chioma's story", you are the key to that encouragement and upliftment that she needs right now. You can start as a friend and move up to being her confidant and that will enable her open up to you. This way, you can help to guide her from the barriers she is experiencing now.

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 10
Feb 10

Dear Precious,
As with our sisters who found your story some time ago, I am also enraged at what was done to Chioma , forever changing her happy childhood into a struggle to survive the horror. I hope that over time she is surrounded by love and can find that vibrant wonderful self that is her true spirit. I hope that she finds her way here to WorldPulse sisters. Thank you for honouring her by telling her story. May your story here embolden all sisters here who have had similar horror happen.
With love in sisterhood,
Tam

Marie Abanga
Feb 19
Feb 19

Dear Precious,

And you lost your best friend in the whole trauma. Simply terrible what goes on and some families even out here will hide it and say it is "family matter"