Behind the Smile

August 17th 2002, so innocent and loving, the nine year old girl was busy plucking fruits in her grandparents’ garden. She had that sweet smile that assured everything was fine. Suddenly her smile turned into fear. They were there standing in front of her. She didn’t say anything- she didn’t have to. One of the men who had earphones put them on the little girl’s ears. The music was so loud that she couldn’t hear what the men were saying. The earphones were removed from her ears and an instruction was given to her. Fear and confusion possessed her body and she started trembling. She didn’t carry out the instruction.. With the earphones put back on her ears, one of the men held her mouth while the other removed her panties.

Then the worst happened- they defiled her. Pain was written all over her face. She tied to fight back but she couldn’t. There was nothing she could do, she was helpless. With all the pressure, she lost consciousness. When she opened her eyes, she found herself in bed. On the sight of the two men, she tried to scream but the men were quick to her move. One of them held her mouth tightly. They warned her not to say anything to anybody otherwise the incident would repeat itself. With that, they walked out.

Tears rolled down her eyes. The pain was more than she could bear. She wished her mum would just take her out of that place. For three days she cried. She did not want anybody to see her. She knew she could not convince them that she was fine when her face portrayed the opposite.

For one last time, she thought about the whole incident. She did not understand why it happened. She felt great pain in her heart, pain that she could never forget. The two men were her uncles- her father’s brothers, brothers from the same mother. The pain came back; this pain was eating her up. “Why me?” She thought between sobs.

Each time she considered telling her mum about the incident, her uncle’s voice came back to her. She knew she could not talk. There was no way she could have gambled with her life. She had decided to take the risk of remaining silent. She wiped her tears, put a smile on her face and walked out.

The smile on her face assured everybody she was fine. Like always, it did. What nobody knew was that behind that sweet, beautiful smile, there was so much pain. The pain of a confused nine year old desperate to share but afraid of the circumstances. A secret she has kept till now; eleven years later.

by @jaysonmaniac



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