“I stared at his peaceful face as he lay with his eyes closed and his mouth open and I got that sick sensation in my stomach. I knew the only way it would pass was if I threw it all up. So I reached for you, my most trusted friend and confidant…my diary.
That day, I particularly had a lot inside.” Diana ended her latest entry and was going to close the diary and drive away but the urge to flip the pages back some and read the very words she had thrown up that day, proved too strong for her.
Today, as soon as we got here he told me he was in a very ecstatic mood-it is his birthday- and he wanted to do things to me that he had never done before. Right here in the living room, he started to fondle me, caressing all parts of my body and enjoying the way I trembled.
‘I’ve told you, Diana, forget about all those little boys. They only want one thing from you.’ He said, looking into my eyes as if hypnosis was one of the ‘things’ he planned to do to me.
Then he started to peel off my clothes. ‘Look at your pretty oranges’ He drooled. ‘And they are mine. All mine, Diana. Forever.’
I closed my eyes—as he closed his drooling lips over my nipple—and I recalled how murderously enraged he had been when he came to pick me up from school one day and saw me with Timi. The way he glared at the boy like a crazed lion, the curses and threats he spewed at Timi like fire belched from a dragon’s spleen…
He was touching me there now. I was very aroused. Very annoyed. Very confused. He soon lay me down on the couch and took off all his clothes, smiling down at me. But I had long lost my smile, so I managed a Shrek-like grotesque twist of my lips.
‘I’m going to buy you a brand new bike, Diana. You’ll have the smartest and most expensive bike in your entire school.’ He promised.
‘Bikes are still not allowed in my school’ I said
‘Then you may leave it at home knowing you have the best bike in your school.’
As he made to penetrate me, I wished God would somehow place thorny barbs at my gateway and deny him entry, but of course God hadn’t blocked him for the past two years and He wasn’t planning to start now.
As he thrust within me, my vision grew blurred. Blurred by stinging tears which rolled down my cheeks as I closed my eyes, as if rolling to the groans and grunts of the man on top of me.
I cried because of the pleasure I felt in my body. I cried because of the anger I felt in my mind. I cried because I was ashamed. I cried because somehow I felt responsible. Somehow, I must have led him to desire me in this way.
I cried…and he sighed.
It was over. At least for now.
Panting, he rolled over to the rug and stretched his arms, thoroughly sated. His eyes were open but I knew he could neither see me nor my tears. His heart could feel neither me nor my fears. He was in a world of his own, purring like a contented cat. ”
Diana Bassey closed the diary…and her eyes. The events of that day were still as fresh on her mind as the clothes she presently wore. A black Dolce and Gabbana gown with a matching black hat. She was after all, one of the country’s most respected fashionistas and people always expected her to look the part…even on her father’s thirtieth Remembrance.
As she sat in her black custom-built SUV, Diana couldn’t help but tremble…at how far she had come in these thirty years. The journey this far hadn’t been without it’s ordeals, painful sacrifices and shameful secrets but it had all been worth it.
Her secrets, at least the one that meant the most to her, were safe. She glanced at the diary and smiled. Her friend and confidant of many years. She loved it so much she had never bothered to change it with the changing years. Gingerly and with reverence, she opened it again and continued where she had left off.
“…He purred a bit more and soon he was snoring. He had done way more than his fifty-eight-year old body could handle. I trembled again as I watched him. The tears were snaking out my insides, threatening to rack my body with micro quakes. He hadn’t always been this way. He had always loved and adored, and spoilt me silly—much to the envy of almost everyone, especially my three elder siblings. Then one Monday morning last year, a week after my fifteenth birthday, he came into my bedroom as I slept, and touched me there. I was startled to open my eyes and see him in my room, touching me.
He put a finger across his lips, his eyes a pair of dire warnings.
And that was how this started.
He told me that if I ever told anybody, even my mom, the dreaded gods of our village would instantly strike me dead wherever I was because he was a high traditional chief and one of their most ardent worshipers.
I was helpless…at least I thought I was. Until I had the idea to buy him a gift for his birthday.
As he snored so…peacefully, I brought the package out of my bag with trembling hands prodded by a resolute mind. I approached him and the tears rushed at me again. Where had it all gone wrong? How had I been responsible? I brushed away my tears with trembling fingers and got a grip on myself as I got a grip on my gift.
I was done waiting for God to answer my prayers. I would answer them myself.
I looked at his neck and plunged deep and hard. For me, it was a plunge for freedom.
I am seventeen.
And I just stabbed a fifty-eight year old man to death.
Nobody knows. Nobody need ever know.
Just you, Dearest Diary.
And I know you understand. You understand why I had to kill my dad even though I loved him.
I just couldn’t handle the way he loved me.”
Diana Bassey closed her diary—finally this time— and started the engine.
She had a husband, three kids and three famous siblings waiting for her at the memorial service.
She had a father to mourn.
She picked up the decades-old diary, kissed it and buried it at the bottom of her bag.