Twenty Years Ago, I Died.

Dear Diary, You don't need to be physically dead to feel dead inside. You might have heard the phrase "dead man walking." No, I don't think you have. You are just a book without feelings or emotions, and like me, you are dead.

Diary, I have discovered that one can be dead while still alive. You are dead when there is a deep void in place of your soul when you no longer feel any emotions except sadness when you lock yourself in your room at night and release silent tears that only your pillow witnesses. I have been dead for a long time. I can't really recall when it started, but it may have been five years ago, on a rainy evening. We had fried plantains and eggs for lunch, and we tuned in to watch the news just because my dad expected us to. I wasn't really interested in the country's events; it was always the same old news: aging men ruling the country, fuel shortages, etc. But I watched it because of the smile on my dad's face when he came home from work, and I told him what I heard on TV. However, on that faithful day, he never came home.

The man with glasses, who apologized for every little mistake he made when speaking, came instead. Mummy asked him what was wrong and how his family was, but he didn't answer. He just stared at me as if, by doing so, I would simply disappear. Mummy got the hint and asked me to tidy my room. An hour later, with no sounds in the house, I went down to the kitchen for a snack and saw mummy on the floor with disheveled hair and red eyes. Her head was bent, and her hands were folded across her body. I asked her what was wrong, and she looked at me pitifully and said the words that shattered my heart, "Your father is dead." Dear diary, five years ago, I died.

Maybe I didn't die then; maybe it was much later. I remembered the funeral and Papa's friend, Chief Sunday, holding mama as she cried. She looked beautiful in black attire, as if she was made by God for times of mourning. We went home, and two weeks later, there was another blow. Papa's assets were being seized because he had taken a loan that he failed to repay before he died. Mama broke the news to me and told me that we would be moving in with Chief Sunday.

I don't really remember much about the move. I haven't remembered much since Papa died, but I do recall the day the police came to Chief Sunday's house. Mama told me to go tidy my room again, but this time, I didn't. I stood behind the living room door and eavesdropped as the police broke the news that after the autopsy, they found out that Papa had died because the brakes of his car were tampered with and caused him to lose control on the highway. They offered their condolences once more and then took their leave.

I waited for mama to wail after hearing such sad news about Papa's death, but instead, she said, "Get a grip of yourself, Sunday. It had to be done." Dear diary, that day, I died. When I think about it, I now remember the day I died clearly. It was the day that Papa bought a new car for Mummy, and it was filled with a lot of new clothes. Mummy danced around the car several times, and I remember the smile on Papa's face. It was a smile of satisfaction, the smile of one who enjoyed providing and spreading love. I remember this because it was the day that everything started.

It was the day Papa snuck into my room and forced me to put his penis in my mouth. He told me that I would be a good girl and I'll go to heaven if I did that; he then made me lie down and forced his penis into my vagina and thrust till I felt a sticky liquid run down my thighs; it was very painful, dear diary. Even when Papa promised to get me whatever I wanted, as little as I was, I still wanted him to die. Dear diary, that day, twenty years ago, I died.

~Ricky~

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