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“Of Screams and Moans” is a fictional story about a young girl’s traumatic experience from childhood to adulthood.

By Precious Ndumanya

Partly because I want to tell the full story. I’m going to start by telling mine; how I came to live in Craig’s house with his wife and only son.

A plane crash had taken the lives of my parents. My mother’s sister was more interested in her dresses and wrappers than the daughter she had left behind. Two days after the burial, she came and packed everything. I only have my mother’s favourite gown, which I hid the moment I saw Aunty Itunu at the gate.

My father’s brothers planned the burial with all the money in my father’s account, the two houses he had in Port Harcourt, and the plots of land in the village.

When I asked his immediate younger brother how I was going to survive and go to school, he said that I could get something to do and save up for my schooling. He walked past me and slapped my buttocks as he left.

Craig was my father’s personal assistant at his office. He said he was indebted to my father for giving him the job when he had given up hope of ever getting one. He invited me to live with him when my father’s elder brother moved into our house. Craig took care of my schooling, feeding, and accommodation.

Here’s why I’m telling you about my stay at Craig’s house.

Two months later, I came to live with them. Craig’s wife came to my room and insisted I put my fingers in her private part. She moaned and rubbed her breast as I did. That was my first experience.

I got spoiled for men. Puberty came, and I found myself yearning for a woman’s touch. I made only female friends in school. Craig sent me to a boarding school, despite his wife’s refusal. She could have tied me to her waist if she had the power. I went to an all-girls boarding school and had my pick of whatever girl I wanted. Craig and his wife were separated in my second year of junior secondary school. She lived alone in the house with her son and insisted I always come back for whatever holidays came up.

I refused her one day; I was tired of her anyway. The girls in school were much better. She got stark, raving mad, threatened to kill me, and I still refused. She tied me up and had her way repeatedly. This was my second experience.

Somehow, I enjoyed her rough handling. When she was done, she untied me and started crying, telling me how she couldn’t resist me and all. I walked out on her and never went back. I was in secondary school then and had an upper hand in school because of my intelligence and good grades.

I befriended one of the female teachers in our school, and when she succumbed, I moved in with her. My second experience with Craig’s wife made me dominant, and I started to enjoy inflicting and receiving pain. Rhoda came into my life at this point.

She was a natural submissive. Rhoda was the female teacher’s younger sister. I couldn’t bear sleeping with her and her elder sister in the same house, so I moved out. I was done with secondary school then, had a job, and was saving my way to university. The fallout between Craig and his wife stopped him from taking care of me. I also suspected he knew about me and his wife, and maybe that was what led to the end of the marriage, but it wasn’t my business.

I got a place, so Rhoda could always come around whenever I needed her. She attended to my needs, obeyed my words to the last letter, and worshipped the ground I walked on. Of course, her sister did not know about us. I still visited her occasionally.

She screamed when I wanted, moaned when I asked, and occasionally I beat her till she begged for mercy. I got her an ointment to cover her bruises. Her screams and moans gave me a heady feeling and were intoxicating to my ears.

She was my aphrodisiac, and I could not get enough of her. In the true sense, she held the reins of our relationship.

My female calendar was running faster than I could keep up with, its bells ringing nonstop in my ears. Surprisingly, I, who had never desired a man nor had any need for one, wanted a child.

I couldn’t tell Rhoda; she would go ballistic. Somehow, during the period of our relationship, I had created a monster. She would not take lightly my wanting a child or being with a man to get it.

Maybe I was losing touch or becoming soft in my almost old age, but I wanted a child to suckle at my breast and need me for everything. So I picked a fight with Rhoda; it was very easy.

I moved out of the house I rented for us both after the fight and rented another one as far away from her as I could get. I befriended a man who met all my qualifications, though I never enjoyed the sex. I acted all through and months after we met I became pregnant.

I broke up with him for the flimsiest reason I could come up with. He knew nothing about the pregnancy; I wanted to train my child alone. I also intended to tell the child that his or her father was dead.

In my sixth month, I nearly had a miscarriage because I ran into one of the girls I had slept with in secondary school, and she rained insults and curses on me, accusing me of spoiling her and ruining her life. It turns out she could only have sex with a man if she was drunk or on drugs.

I got home, drank whatever I could lay my hands upon, and cried myself to sleep. I woke up with gut-wrenching pains in the night and was rushed to the hospital by my neighbour. The doctor said I had had a narrow escape. I could have lost my baby; he, however, recommended that I come to the hospital every week until I gave birth, so as to avoid any surprises.

I gave birth in the first week of my tenth month. It was through a C section; I couldn’t push due to a lack of strength. My contractions lasted for eighteen hours. Gwen was born and died after sucking my breasts for thirty minutes.

I pleaded with one of the nurses to let me see her before she was taken away. After staring at her for over an hour, I walked out of the hospital in my overalls and kept walking. The noises in my head were the screams and moans of Rhoda.

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