The First Time I…
Between the ages of 9-10 years old I saw quite a few ‘first times’ in my short life.
After Cam gave birth to my niece, my parents and I traveled to America the following year for a summer holiday. I took Chrissy with me and my hand luggage was all my nieces clothes aged 6 months. They were now Chrissys’ clothes and she would never grow out of them.
My first time…
It was strange, as I pictured the U.S to be in the same technicolor as what I saw in the movies! I didn’t expect it to look and feel like England, people like me etc.
The shops were different, everywhere there was a Deli. Singing accents flowing with upbeat excited conversations – everyone was always in a rush.
So much relatives and friends, there was no need to stay in a hotel, we just stayed here and there. Everyone took to my English accent and was told constantly ‘ Oh my garrsssh, she’s too cute’ so of course I felt great, I felt liked and nobody thought I was annoying!
Such a good feeling being accepted and liked, that I thought nothing of it when one night I complained that I couldn’t sleep and someone said “come and lay with me I’ll keep you company.” Well of course I got up from where I was and went in there bed.
It was a single bed and proved difficult to lay side by side so it was suggested I lay on top of them. He said to just stay quiet and sleep will come, so I did, the talking stopped. I could not sleep for a while though as he kept moving slowly all the time. I just thought he was trying to get comfortable but I started to feel uneasy by the feeling of where the movement was touching me and soft groans was coming from him. I decided to pretend I did not notice and began to move and go back to the other bed where I was, but he held me and whispered ‘shhhhhhhhhhhhhsh’ close to my ears. I froze, eyes wide shut and froze. I don’t remember anything else.
That was the first time…
I never thought much about what happened, only to think to myself ‘you made me feel safe then you used me.’
Inside I felt sick and angry, it was not a rage but a coldness that curdled on the inside but masked itself on the outside to the sweet cute smile they all adored. I trusted no one. I hated the way that person acted like it was nothing, he chatted and laughed and went on with his days as normal, was a child as small as me able to imagine this? was it all a dream? Hell no, it was real, it was nasty and I hated feeling that people were just pretending to like me so they can get close enough to hurt me. Did anyone like me? Anyone?
Lots of new found cousins seemed to. I met my Great Uncle who had 11 sons, they were so lovely. I met my dads sister and family in Washington D.C, we toured the Monument and The White House, we went to Connecticut, Baltimore, Queens, Brooklyn… just all over and it was great.
Lots of pleasant memorable first times.
So we’re out visiting again, have no idea who or where until I heard the word ‘sister!’
I got a sister? where? when? Then I get this crash course story that my dad had two daughters before he met my mum… I HAVE TWO EXTRA SISTERS!! A barrage of thoughts entered my mind, where have they been all my life? why was I not told about them before? why were they some big secret? but dad lived in England with us, he has not been on holiday to America, so has he not even seen them? how could he not look after them? Really?? I felt so sad for my new found sisters and bad as well because I felt it was our fault (my other sister and brothers) why dad may have not been there for them.
Wait, I have a niece?, not Cam’s daughter but there was another one, an older one from my eldest sister. I felt robbed! all this time I thought I was an aunt for the first time last year, when in fact I was an auntie a few years before and didn’t even know.
The first time I met my sister I kept staring , I guess still in shock and I had so many questions that I could not ask but desperately wanted to. My niece was hooked on Sesame Street and I remember my sister took us to the cinema to see the Muppet Movie. My niece called me’Aunt Ali’ and loved playing with me and my doll Chrissy, I had so much fun with her that I forgot about the other stuff that made me feel upset and weird. Now I felt the love I wanted, untarnished, unconditional, childlike love.
That was my first time…
I started to feel negatively about my dad, a layer of respect peeled away… For the first time.