She was trembling, shaking.. not sure why dad had summoned them to the living room. He told them to sit down; he was sweating… sighing deeply, loudly, pacing up and down. This meant nothing good. They could all feel it. Betty drew closer to her brother. Although she was the older one, she wanted to feel safe under his protecting arms. He held her- loosely.
Mey would have told him to sit down, but she didn’t dare. It looked as though he was just about to lash out and hurt someone really badly; she didn’t want that someone to be Pierce.
It was safest to just sit down and act all calm, she thought. No need to get all worked out, she told herself. Their secret was safe, she reassured him with her eyes. Betty looked around the room and felt the tension among the members of her family: her father and mother, her brother Tye, and baby sister Tilda; plus her uncle, her aunt, and her older twin-nieces.
The pressure was building up, the atmosphere becoming more and more tense, close to unbearable. Mey put her hand on her husband’s right shoulder. She didn’t know what was going on but needed to do something. He pushed her away.. kindly, he didn’t want to hurt her. No, he really didn’t want to hurt anyone. He was hurting .. badly. He seemed confused, scared. Betty knew that look on her father’s face. She knew her father pretty well. She was worried. She knew there was reason to be, and got up.. she wanted to get away.
“Sit down!” it came.
Scratching his bald head, he continued pacing round the room for what seemed like an eternity..
“Just give me a moment.. Please give me a minute. I’m trying to get my head ’round this..”
He looked around frantically.. at his children, his nieces, his sister-in-law, his brother… his wife; he took the notebook out of the back of his left pocket, opened it where there had been a bookmark, and handed it over to Mey.
“Read this. I want you to read this out loud.”
Trembling, she took the notebook, scared. His words were very sharp, his voice very low. It was a rare sight, a dangerous one.
“What’s this?” she asked, confused? But there was no time – or patience – for explanations.
“Just read it.” he replied, in an even lower tone. She was petrified.. she knew the book.
I love the way
he looks at me
his eyes full of love
the way he smiles
No one else looks at me like this
Not even my father
..and while she read, his eyes remained fixed on her. Tye was looking at her too, with sad eyes- he knew the truth. He held Betty closer to himself- in a way that suggested she might be in danger.
I love the way
he combs my hair
he throws it back
he laughs at that
No one else does that to me
Not even my mother
I love the way
he touches my shoulders
massages my back
makes me feel wanted
No one loves me this much
Not even my brother
The nieces who had seemed clueless until this point, walked up to their father and held his hands. They sensed trouble.
He bought me a lipstick
told me to wear it
Bought me a bra
so he could tear it
He shook them off, carefully placing his hands between his legs. He was hoping no one had noticed his sex was now erect- especially not his brother; but he was struggling to conceal his pleasure. He enjoyed every bit of it: the content, the way she read the poem. He noticed her way of stressing some words, it seemed as though she enjoyed it too..
He brought me flowers
told me to smell them
and as he watched
No one knew when it happened/ or how exactly
How he crossed the room in a split-second/ passed the two girls and reached him
When he grabbed his chin/ and started punching
Where the knife came from/ how loud the screams where
Whether he had only threatened him/ or actually stabbed
..there was blood.
“Stop! Stop! Please, stop! Daddy, stop!” it came.
The room went silent. It wasn’t Mey’s voice, and it sure wasn’t aunt Mo’s. Her father looked around breathlessly.
“It’s mine. It’s not hers! It’s mine! I swear, it’s mine! Please, daddy, stop hurting him! This was a long time ago!” Betty cried.
Tilda – in the heat of the moment- not able to contain herself any longer- ran towards her uncle, placing her tiny hands on his chest. It was his arm that had been injured, nothing more.
“I didn’t tell them, I swear. I told no one. I swear, I didn’t!” she cried. Her nieces looking at her with eyes full of anger… and jealousy.
All this was too much for Tye who had been taking it all in silently. He grabbed the knife off his father, and- summoning all his courage and strength- pierced it through his uncle’s chest. Tye had had enough!
He wakes up sweating; gasping for air… his heart beating fast.
Was it all a dream or could it be real? No, this was no ordinary dream. I knew it! He’s been looking at Tilda in a funny way. No wonder Betty’s always hated him! Now it all makes sense! How could I not know? How could mom not know? Argghh!! I must do something about it. I must do something about it now!
Getting up, and with tear-filled eyes, he walks down the corridor and into his parents’ bedroom.
“Mom, Dad. There is something I need to tell you! Please get up!”
Shocked at the 10-year old’s sound, they get up- half irritated and annoyed, half confused.
“What is it? This better be worth the late-night interruption!” the father says, switching on the bedside lights.
Tye looks petrified and scared, yet stern. Whatever he is about to say would be of importance.
“Uncle Pierce has been raping Betty, and now he’s trying to do the same to Tilda! I’m sure of it. Yes, I know it. As a matter of fact, I saw it!”
“You saw it?” his father asks, less surprised than Tye thinks normal for the situation.
Not rubbing his eyes anymore, he rushes towards the guest-room where his brother has been lodging. He hears the sounds, violently kicks open the bedroom door, and beholds his brother pleasuring his 9-year old daughters. He sure knows his way around their bodies. It’s not their first time…
Watching them, he takes no notice his own erection..