This is a story told through the eyes of a real child.
WHY IS SHE HERE?
I have never been one to hate the fact that I was born this way. Never been one to wish i was something or someone else. Up until this time, even if the truth about this recent realization had smacked me in the face with a chair, i still would not have believed that its fallacious insinuations or its somewhat ancient behavior actually existed up till this day.
The truth is that I never believed that one day, I would be the weak link in a seemingly strong chain. Someone should have told me that this organ i have, in this dark part of me as secret as it is, would become the death of me.
I do not wish such ill fate on anyone, not even my worst enemy , but this is only hope speaking. I was submissive to my father’s bidding and every word he said to me was binding because he was a man and I must be subject to men.
WHAT DOES SHE KNOW?
All my life, well the little I have lived, I learnt my place is in the kitchen, in the market, in the bedroom and back to the kitchen. As i washed and scrubbed the cement floors, i often wondered why. Why I couldn’t spend some time outside exposed to the sun, sprinkled with cool water to calm my sweaty lips, play suee with Haphsat and Mairo or just simply sit on the porch and air my aching limbs. I never knew and i never asked or i’d risk getting one of those harshly yelled reprimands that were always followed by slaps on the back of my head or a pull on my dry lips. I knew better than to question the way things have always been and one slip up and my mother would stand aside… It was the price for trying to be too wise.
So I always took it as what I must accept, after all this is what i get for being born with a fountain between my pillars. I was silent up until the time my vows and price were paid for me.
The reality began immediately I got into the house. There was no time for adjustment or ‘getting used to’ the new life. It was immediate work and i didn’t have a say or pay. The market and the kitchen, those were the easy parts even though I had money flung at me and food poured in my face whenever he felt it didn’t taste as good as he wanted it to. I was always sorry i could hear my mothers voice saying ‘if you are submissive and quiet, your marriage will prosper’.
I believed her.
WHAT DID SHE LEARN?
There was one strange part about being married however. One that I refused to talk about until I realized that I was not the only one. He would grab me by my hair which was usually covered and drag me into the bedroom, push me on the bed and begin to tear off my clothes. One time, I hit my head on the wooden table next to the bed but he didn’t notice. He just pulled off my panties and sodomized me with his…(okay okay I can’t bring myself to talk about it in detail). But it was painful and i cried a lot. I dreaded his visits because he wasn’t always in town and his returns were not so pleasant. Soon after, the changes came and I began to feel sick with my body swelling. The doctor said I was pregnant. I guess he saw the naive look in my eyes if not he wouldn’t have gone further to explain to me that pregnancy meant I was going to have a baby. I didn’t see any cause for alarm, babies are small,cute and harmless. Having one would be easy… or so i thought. The doctor said i was already 3 months due and even at 7 months, nothing changed in the house. In fact i worked harder than I did before. At least my lord was more careful with me in the bedroom but it still felt dark and cold, I really wondered if he knew that I wasn’t enjoying these ordeals whatever they are called.
WHAT WAS THE CONSEQUENCE?
Labour was the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life, the doctor said i had spent 28 hours in there. I couldn’t remember most of it, all I knew was that I was laying on my back drenched in sweat and my fountain hurt like hell not to talk of all the blood. I could not understand why a baby so small would hurt me so bad until I saw the child so fresh and soft, I felt a lot better carrying him in my arms. For a while everything seemed to get better because of the arrival of my son, there was even a time my lord smiled at me.
I felt warm all over and I actually was beginning to love being in the house. At least that smile kept me going, it made me feel like there was hope for me and no matter what, one day I would really be a part of my lord’s life. Just when I thought my life would get better, it came… i tried to hide it, i tried to clean up more often, i tried not to make it obvious but it just wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t talk about it, I felt so ashamed. Soon enough my lord noticed it, ”It stinks Walahi you are not staying in my house with this!!!” His words cut straight through my heart.
”…but I carried your son” I said in tears. I could never brace myself up for what happened next. A new girl was brought in to take my place and i was thrown out of the house. They took my son away from me. I was too sad, too lonely, too hurt, too scared, too broken, too lost, too young. Everything was too much for me to bear.
I never considered going back home, Baba will have me severely beaten and maybe even killed. I felt like dying but not like that. I had had enough rejection and hurt from family. I finally took refuge under a bridge. The harsh environment did not hurt me as much as the thought of leaving my child behind did. He had made me want to live and he brought a little hope between me and my lord but the urine just wouldn’t stop flowing.
WHERE IS SHE NOW?
I do not know why this happened to me. Perhaps I wronged the world somehow. Now sitting beside my lifeless body, I still cannot understand why I am here, I lay down to sleep and I woke up outside my body. I feel nothing now but I still remember everything. I would probably never understand why my life ended this way, perhaps it was my destiny all along.
‘According to web dictionary, Vesicovaginal fistula, or VVF, is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder (or vesico) and the vagina that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault.’ This condition is common in little girls who give birth prematurely. Child marriage, rape is inhumane. But we already know that right?