Monday, 9 August 2010
It should have been a simple nappy change. I followed my husband and son and joked with my father as we walked into the spare room at his home. It should have been a simple nappy change.
The room was dark, curtains drawn. The room has barely been touched in the past few years and is used mostly for storage. It is dark and musty, and all of a sudden I am 10 again. I am 10 and I can feel his hands on me. I can feel his whiskers and his breath, hot against my skin as his hands travel lower.
My heart pounds and I shake my head, reminding myself that this isn't real. That I'm here, safe with Joel and Dad and that he's gone. Long gone. But the room, it smells exactly like the old spare room at his house. The dark, overlooked room that he used to steal from me, to take my innocence and trust.
I held my breath and tried to concentrate on Joel's face, tried to ignore the smell. It was too strong and 25 years of distance cannot take away the impact of such treachory and hurt. Cannot erase the feel of calloused hands where they ought not be and a small girl quite simply frozen in panic. It doesn't matter that I am a grown woman now, mother, wife. It doesn't matter that he is dead and can hurt noone ever again.
For a few horrible moments, my heart raced and I trembled, my blood rushing through my veins with a roar and I wonder that noone else can hear it. I remember his whiskers, the way they felt on my stomach and my skin crawls.
I can hear Sammy and Joel talking, and know Samuel is asking for a hug, his arms outstretched and his hands beckoning. They sound so far away, drowned out by my pulse and my fear. I'm not a mother or a wife. I'm still a 10 year old girl.
I am sick to my stomach and frightened. I'm just a little girl.
It should have been a simple nappy change.