She sat at the seashore just thinking about her life. She was now free. Free from all the hurt and abuse.
An eleven-year old Naomi moved in with her mother and boyfriend when her grandmother had passed away. Naomi’s mother, Coleen, had refused to take care of her since the day she was born. In fact Coleen had had many abortions in the past, and the only reason that she had Naomi was because her mother had pleaded with her to not abort this baby. Yes even though the circumstances were not right, she would accept the child as her grandson or granddaughter.
Coleen wasn’t the prettiest woman and she had a lot of insecurities. She had put on weight and getting a boob job was a dream of hers. She knew that her boyfriend Chuck wasn’t in love with her. He would party late at night, and sometimes come home the next morning. She wouldn’t dare question him about her suspicions because she was afraid that he would leave her. She felt as if she had to hold onto him because he was the only man she would ever have. It was always about keeping him happy enough to stay with her and that was all that mattered.
Coleen left the house one day to go and see a friend. Chuck and Naomi were alone in the house. They never really talked to each other. Ever since she moved in, Naomi went on with the same routine; wake up, have breakfast, go to school, get home and stay in her room. She didn’t enjoy watching TV. She’d rather stay in her room and draw. Her Grandma loved all her drawings. She missed her dearly. If only she was here to tell her sweet things and comfort her.
That day, he called her to his room. Naomi obediently went. Then he looked deeply into her eyes and said, “Naomi do you know you’re beautiful? You’re like a pretty little flower, and I want to touch you.” He brought her closer and closed his lips on hers. Naomi was unsure of what was happening, next thing she felt a hand up her skirt and her panty coming off. The only time she took off her panties was when she was bathing, having a pee or attending to nature’s call. Was he going to teach her how to do that? He laid her on his bed and undressed himself. It was the first time she had seen a naked man, but why were they both naked and on a bed? She found out in the next few minutes. He forced himself on her and kept kissing her. She didn’t like it one bit, and when she felt him inside her, it hurt so bad and she begged him to stop. He did, only because he was satisfied. “Naomi, this is our little secret. No one must know or else you’ll join Grandma in her grave,” he whispered in her ear.
Naomi was in shock. She wasn’t sure what had happened, but she knew her body didn’t like it one bit. He was going to kill her if she told anyone so she would comply and keep quiet. So sadly this went on for a very long time, until one day Coleen saw her boyfriend on top of her daughter in their bedroom. She was hurt deeply, not because of Naomi’s sake but because this was the ultimate form of rejection for her. When Naomi came downstairs to her to tell her everything, she slapped her hard and threw the glass of wine she was drinking at her. It hit Naomi’s forehead and gave her a deep cut. The blood stained her dress. “Mummy I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you but he told me not to or he would make me join Grandma in her grave” Naomi said crying. “I hate you so much that I wish you actually would,” Coleen said to Naomi. “You’ve taken the one thing that I really love and I will always hate you for that. I regret bringing you into this world and I despise the day you were born. I don’t even know why I allowed my mother to convince me to keep you. I hate you Naomi with all my heart”. Those were words Naomi had not expected to hear. Each one that was said stabbed her in her heart like a knife. Was this really her mother talking to her? She had not intended on doing anything to hurt her, but apparently the sight of her disgusted her mother. She agreed with her on something though. At that moment she wished God had not brought her here. This pain was too much for her. What kind of life was this and was it going to be like this till she died? Tears flowed, but they were not going to solve anything. She was leaving. Where to, she didn’t know but she knew she wasn’t wanted here. Her mother had told her plainly she hated her and Chuck had scarred her for the rest of her life. Every night that she had gone to bed, she had had nightmares of a man pulling her legs apart and in the morning she would find her bed wet which she knew wasn’t normal because she wasn’t a bed wetter.
She went upstairs to her room, looked round and took a hanky. The one her Grandma had given to her on one of her birthday celebrations. It had flowers embroidered at the sides and a rainbow in the middle. She tied it across her head where the glass had cut her. Then she left the house and walked on without stopping. She had reached the beach. She sat down and watched the sun set and the waves roar at her. Now on her own, the worst had already happened to her so she was not scared. She made it a habit to visit the beach everyday because she felt calm and at peace, something she had not felt in a long time. During the day she would find food to eat, and at night she would sleep at the gates of a cemetery nearby.
Days went by and her body revealed to her the changes she had been feeling. Something was moving in her tummy, it was different, not what you felt when you were hungry. Why was the size of her tummy also getting bigger? She hadn’t eaten any decent food for days so it couldn’t be that she was bloated up. There was a sudden tenderness in her breasts. They hurt when she touched them too hard. And why did she feel sick especially in the mornings? Naomi was very young but now she had to prepare herself to be an adult in a child’s body. The sad thing was she didn’t know that the changes in her body meant she was going to be a mother. It was time to seek help. The past month had been tough and she felt she had to be alone because she couldn’t trust anyone. But she knew she couldn’t go on like this; she hadn’t been eating proper food, she bathed in the sea, and she still had on the dress she wore when she had left her mother and her boyfriend. Naomi had always been a smart girl. It was time to move on and be brave. Bravery, is tackling the problems not caused by your own doing but by others. What hadn’t killed her, had only made her stronger.