It’s Only a Game
Moving to Banks Ave was the best. There was no park behind our garden fence, just a maze of alleyways which soon turned into our playground. The adjourning streets joined at different points that made play-times and exploring fun.
There was a vast difference between this area and Greenford, it was like we moved to another country… The Caribbean! From living on a long road where you could count the black people on half a hand, to an area that you could count the white people on one hand, Oh yes talk about culture shock! Our family lived just two minutes walk from the main road with all the shops you could possibly need.
Not just shops but banks, the launderette, buses and friends, oh my goodness so much friends and all my colour, that was so weird. There were more than sixteen families on my street alone with kids my age and we were all friends. No longer did mum have to find people for me to stay by in the summer holidays and half terms. All she had to do was knock on the neighbours door and let them know I was home so keep an eye out. I was thirteen and capable of staying at home on my own. My sister and a couple brothers had left home but came around often.
Mum had strict instructions, play outside after all my chores were finished and stay where neighbours can see me. Everyone used to knock on each others houses asking to play out on the road, we played skipping, athletics, hopscotch, blind mans bluff, roller skating, skate boarding, cycling and playing ‘Had’ running in and out of the alleyways. Life was good.
Mums instructions were strict but the number one rule that was not to be broken was NO BOYS ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE. Mum was such a stick in the mud as that rule stood even if she was home.
The younger children had nothing to worry about as we felt safe having the older boys around and a few older girls, they looked out for us. Myself and my friend use to race around the block. As we approached where the older boys congregated we always slowed down to say hello, they’ll ask how we were and felt great as they remembered our names and knew where we lived. For some reason it felt great to be remembered. Anyway everyone knew where everyone lived to be honest.
There was a forest near to where we lived and a large group of us used to walk there and have loads of fun playing hide and seek, blackberry picking for mum to make blackberry jam. There were some steep hills that we navigated down to a group of trees where we etched our names on. The grassed hills is where we had fun rolling down the hill and sliding down on a piece of board when it snowed heavily. The air was forever filled with laughter. Life was good.
One of the older boys showed me extra attention, I felt special and all gooey inside but I was just a girl of thirteen and thought he was just a flirt as I didn’t think I was pretty enough to be girlfriend material. A day came when there was a knock on my front door whilst my mother was at work, it was the summer holidays and I was looking after Cams daughter. We just came in from playing outside and my niece was tired. It was him. ‘So can I come in? I won’t be long just want to chat.’ He shone a smile that seemed to hypnotise common sense away from me and threw all caution to the wind. My niece said hello and smiled and did the biggest yawn, I said to hang on a minute I’ll just put her to lay down. I took her up stairs and as I took her upstairs He came in the house and quietly shut the door. Coming down the stairs I saw the door shut and thought he went. I walked into the living room and there he was sitting on the sofa smiling beckoning me to come sit down. Inside of me was in a panic, it was late in the day and mum would be home soon, about an hour or so and there’s a BOY in the house. Oh my gosh I felt so clammy.
He told me to relax and that everything was okay. So I went to sit next to him, his smile melted any anxiety I had, he came up close and kissed me, then his arms moved up and down my body. I froze. My mind frantic, screaming inside yet frozen on the inside. Do I like this or not, I was confused… happy for the attention of a boy yet scared of what was taking place. I literally zoned out as still as a mannequin. He continued to touch me whilst reassuring me it was ok. I couldn’t say a word I could just about breathe I had not realised the zipper of his trousers were down and he slipped my panties to one side, he flipped me around and held me down, I got frightened, very frightened but I was pinned…’ssshhhhhhh its okay, you can’t get pregnant and you’ll still be a virgin if I do it like this’…dumb me! Was he really going to do what I thought?? YES he did I felt this pulsating very warm mass going into my back passage. I unfroze in the greatest panic, I fought my way from underneath him and told him through my teeth LEAVE ME ALONE…my niece was upstairs, what on earth would I do if she woke up to see THIS??? He smirked and said I’m just playing with you, it’s just games. He tried to grab me back but I looked up and shouted MY MUMS HERE SHES PARKING…I was lying but he didn’t take the chance, he jumped up fixed his trousers and ran out the back door, over the fence and down through the alley. Fifteen minutes later mum really did come home. I felt sick and dirty, his words lingered in the air, he was playing, and it’s a game, so he didn’t really like me, I wasn’t girlfriend material I thought. Who was I fooling? Someone like me? No he used me to abuse me.
That was the start of my boiling hot baths; I ran hot baths and slowly oozed myself down in the water. I needed to be clean and only scolding water can help cleanse me in my mind. I also walked the four miles to school. The breeze would blow on me and blow away the dirt. My thoughts made no sense but made sense to me.
If the shame and filth wasn’t enough, that day my niece awoke when my mum came home. She was always such a brat with me when mum came home. She turned to look at me and smiled as she said ‘Grandma, I fell asleep when the boy came around’ what was the point trying to explain? What could I say? All I heard was shouting; all I felt was licks; all I could do was cry. The tears were more from the dirty experience I had just only half an hour ago endured. Mum beating me was null and void. Life turned ugly and dirty.