The first thing I saw as Mama Salma and Natalie standing near my bed. They were talking and laughing. When Mama Salma saw I was awake she came towards the bed.
“Child you did such a great job. Jeffrey was very impressed with you. Now you belong here. You get some rest we will talk later.” Mama Salma said. She leaned over and gave me a kiss on my cheek.
In that moment I felt something I had never felt before in my life. Intense hatred. It burned in me I cant explain it but I hated this woman with everything in my being. I turned in bed and looked the other way. I hurt everywhere; I felt I hurt even deep into my soul. My body felt like it had met a battering ram. I forgot it had.
Mama Salma and Natalie left the room. I saw at the door a female guard. This time she stayed inside. Mama Salma wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything harsh. Maybe she thought I would jump out of the window. Believe me that day and many other times after that I thought about it but I guess am a coward I couldn’t go through with it.
I stayed in bed for a week. I cried and prayed. I thought finally that God didn’t care about me. He abandoned me in that house. In that house the gods that were worshiped were money and sex. I stopped praying. I didn’t pray for the next 6 years. I refused to eat anything. I wish I could say I didn’t drink anything but I was overwhelmingly thirsty. I thought, “If I don’t eat I will waste away and die.”
Mama Salma wisely stayed away. Natalie came to check in on me periodically. She would talk to me like nothing had happened. It’s only once that I saw a crack in her mask. She told me, “You have to be strong. Don’t let them break you. The biggest revenge you can have on them is not to break. They want to break you. That’s their purpose and plan” she didn’t say who “them” were but I understood.
The doctor would come every day. He would ask me to part my legs and then he would check my privates to see how they were healing. He used to put some kind of medicine to help me heal up, at least that’s what he said. The first day he had come, the time when he drugged me to take me back to Mama Salma’s he had stitched me up. I had gotten torn up pretty bad because I was small, not old enough to have sex.
I used to play the memories of my childhood in my head like a tape. To try and forget what had happened. I would focus on the happy times I had with my parents. My parents had wanted many children but unfortunately when I was born the doctors at Pumwani botched up the c-section and so my mum couldn’t have other kids. I would play pretend in my mind that they were still around and that we were having fun the way we used to. Sometimes I could pretend for up to an hour but when I moved around the bed and the pain started again I couldn’t hold on to the fantasies.
After one week Mama Salma came into the room with Natalie. She said, “No more sleeping girl. Its time you came back to the land of the living. I hear you are refusing to eat. You will eat or you will discover that crossing me will be the most painful decision you will ever make. Natalie give her a bath and then bring her downstairs.”
Natalie sponge bathed me and dressed me up. She took me downstairs taking the lift. It was painful to walk but I had to. The tone Mama Salma had used told me I would be in very big trouble if I didn’t obey her.
We went to the first floor dining room. I had never been there before. It looked like something I had seen in a movie about how a dining room should look like. There were serving dishes on the side of the room and there were some women in uniform standing there dishing out food.
In the room were about twelve beautiful women. They were different. Some were short, others tall. Their complexion range was from dark black to a lady who was white or something close to it. They stood in groups talking and laughing. They all got quiet though when I entered. They looked at me from top to bottom. I felt shy because I had never felt such hostile eyes on me before or maybe I had never noticed. Then just as suddenly they started talking again. I got the feeling that they were discussing me.
Natalie led me to a chair somewhere in the middle of the huge table that had been set up with dishes, folks and spoons. Later on I was told that the cultured word for this was cutlery. Natalie asked, “What will you eat?”
I didn’t know what they had on offer so I just told her to get me whatever was there. She went off to get me food. I was left there at the big table hoping that the ground would come and swallow me.
“Hi.” I heard a cheerful voice saying to me. I had to turn and look at this person addressing me. The lady addressing me was a short, plump but very beautiful woman with a chocolate brown complexion. She smiled and then sat down.
“They are all jealous of you, she said. Nodding her head towards the other ladies in the groups. No client has ever paid the amount that was paid for you.”
I didn’t know what to say so I just shut up.
End of part 3