When mother asked Joy why she had suddenly loss appetite and was vomiting every morning, I thought nothing of it. Little did I know that her getting under the sheets with me had gotten her ill; but I wasn’t the only one!
Joy was in her 20s then and I was only 10 when mother brought her back with us on our visit to the village. She was a light-skinned, tall and attractive girl with a long dark hair, nice set of teeth and a perfect body figure. She seldom wore makeup and was always clad in her long gowns. She was incredibly naïve and young and I liked her, maybe a little crush.
Mother just opened a store and needed someone to assist her with working at home. We occupied two rooms in a small ‘face me I slap you’ compound in Lagos. Mother slept in the smaller room and the other which we referred to as the parlour served as a sitting room to host visitors and also had a bed where I, my sister and Joy slept.
Joy wasn’t one of those house maids who maltreated the children when their mother wasn’t around. She was all round nice to us and specifically sweet to me. She was very friendly, treated me like a baby even though I had a younger sibling. After bathing and dressing my sis, she would always want to do the same for me. When I allowed her, she always touched and played with my “thing” which I used in urinating.
One certain morning, I had to wake up very early to take an external exam. Mother asked Joy to get me ready that morning. It was cold and I never wanted to wake up that early. She managed to bundle me out of the bed, pulled my clothes and carried me to the bathroom. In order to keep me up, she began playing with my “thing” again. As I woke up, the first thing I saw was the two fleshy round-shaped soft balls on her chest. It had popped out of the sleeveless pyjamas she was wearing as she bent to bath me.
I recalled uncle Gbenga, a neighbor who always called us into his house when he was watching Mr. Bean collection. I remember the day he was watching a movie and locked the door, but I went peeping through the key hole. I recall seeing a scene where a boy touched the chest of a girl when she bent in front of him and the balls on her chest popped out just as it did before me. As I recalled, I didn’t know how and when I managed to also place my hands on her chest. I looked at her face and she smiled at me. It felt as soft as I had imagined and she allowed me hold it till she finished bathing me.
Unknowingly to me, I had given her the go ahead to start something I knew was bad, but didn’t know it was wrong. By touching the soft balls on her chest, I had given out an invitation to a relationship that I couldn’t ascertain the end. She taught me a new kind of play but warned that we could only play when mother and little sis were asleep. Mother always went to bed early and Joy made sure my sis slept early too. She would put off the lights and beneath the sheets we played.
She would off her pants when it was time to play and also removed mine. She would tell me to sleep on her, then would hold my thing and put it into her own thing and begin gliding under the sheets. She would move me up and down and ask me to move forward and backward. She never stopped until I got tired or she hears mother’s steps. Sometimes I even slept off while the play was on.
It became a routine for every night and she seriously warned me against telling anyone. She didnt care about the risk involved or how unsafe the play was to our health and mine especially. She asked if I liked the play and I said yes, so she threatened if I tell anyone we wouldn’t play it again. For a 10 year old, such a play was new and strange, but I couldn’t say a word of it. I enjoyed it too and every other night I would stay awake to participate. Within me I knew I was doing something wrong, but I was scared what will happen if I eventually let anyone know.
It went on for up to a year until Joy herself stopped the play. When I told her I wanted to play, she would say go to bed you don’t know how to play it very well. I really couldn’t understand how suddenly I couldn’t play it well again. She had introduced me to a play and now I couldn’t do without it. She noticed the addiction and tried to please me once in a while but didn’t allow me sleep off on her.
The weather, food, water and air in Lagos seemed to have favoured her. She was getting fat and her skin had a radiantly pleasing colour. I liked her more when she smiled to reveal her nice open teeth. I always say her chest and I could tell the soft round fleshy balls where growing big. I was no longer thinking like a 10 year old. I had been taught many things by Joy. At times when the neighbours were not home, she would take me with her to the bathroom. She would show me the thing I always play with beneath the sheets, and ask me to wash it for her with my fingers.
One afternoon, mother came back holding Joy by her arm. She dragged her into her bedroom, locked the door and all I could hear was mother asking who the person is as Joy whimpered. In my curiosity, I leaned at the door and listened for understanding. Mother had never raised her hands on Joy since her arrival in our house. She was hard working and completed all chores on time. After some minutes, mother came out of the room and went out very angry. I didn’t really hear clearly what happened but I sensed trouble. Mother came back with some men on black and some neighbours.
Our small compound was crowded with a group of people led by three men on black. I heard one woman who pulled Joy by the ear, saying to her “why did you allow him play with you. Why did you even let him touch you here as she pointed to her thing? It was the same thing I had washed for her severally and it was what seemed to be the problem. Mother tried hitting her again as she said ‘oya come and show them the person wen touch you there’. I knew my touching her and the play at night was bad, but I never knew it was that bad. I was frightened at what would happen to me. Joy stood in front of our house crying and saying it was only once.
I remained mute inside and didn’t know what to do. I knew I touched her more than once and we played more than once. Maybe she had lied so as to reduce my punishment or whatever the men dressed on black would have done. Mother threatened the men would take her away if she didn’t tell them who was touching and playing with her when she wasn’t around. Finally she muffled it out in a stammering tone. I strained my ears to hear clearly as mother asked her the second time.
When mother asked Joy the previous week why she had suddenly loss appetite and was vomiting every morning, I thought nothing of it. Little did I know that her getting under the sheets with me had gotten her ill; but I wasn’t the only one! Uncle Gbenga too was taking the same risk playing with her and that was why she said I didn’t know how to play it very well. Now she took ill because uncle Gbenga was a better player than I was.