*DHUM DHUM DHUM.*
Sshh. Don’t make a sound. He will know you are awake.
*DHUM DHUM DHUM.*
Get inside the blanket. If he comes in, don’t come out, close your eyes, cover your ears. Don’t come out.
*DHUM DHUM DH…*
The door broke down, a drunk Uncle Abid stumbled inside. She pushed Ahmad inside and stood up to draw attention away from him. He stepped forward, she didn’t step back. She kept quiet. Who could she call if she shouted? Aunty was not at home. She could do nothing.
“Why do you dress like such a slut? Why do you show so much skin? It is to tempt me, isn’t it?”
She closed her eyes.
“You want to seduce me? Break up my marriage, you ungrateful bitch.”
A tremble went through her. She wished she was anywhere but here.
“I am keeping you to help your mother and this is how you repay me? You tempt me with your smooth skin and innocent face?”
She winced. She covered her ears. She floated away. She was at her home, listening to her favorite song. He stepped forward. He pulled at her dress. She squeezed her eyes. I’ll spend the rest of my time…He ripped her dress. She waited for the sharp pain that usually came afterwards. Laughing hard with the windows down..
He dropped her on the bed. She prayed he wouldn’t touch Ahmad. He didn’t. He left him alone this time. He was gone. Ahmad crawled out, curled up against his sister and fell asleep.
She didn’t know how this started. First it was the beatings, then he would ask her to sit in his lap, he would touch her at places, she told her mother but she didn’t believe her. She didn’t think it weird that every time she came to Uncle Abid’s house, all her old clothes ripped ‘while playing’ and she always got new ones. She didn’t want new clothes if the old ones were to end like this.
She just wanted to go home. It was worse when he touched Ahmad. Uncle Abid didn’t have any children of his own and their mother was raising them alone so he always stepped up to help when her mother had to go somewhere out of city or country to work.
She was 10 now, Ahmad was just 8. She had begged her mother to leave her home alone. Her mother had promised she could stay once she turned 12. She was counting the days to her 12th birthday. No one believed her. Her own mother dismissed her complaints, who could she go to? Who could she seek help from? Who could save her from this monster?