Broken Innocence

By Claire Igwe 2 weeks ago

Broken Innocence-Part One

 

Jones sat by his window, enjoying the peace and quiet of the early Saturday morning. His heart was pounding in anticipation, knowing fully well that his neighbors would be long gone by now.

He checked his watch again for maybe the thousandth time and realized that only 2 minutes had passed since he last checked. It was 9 am. He thought of the girl and how stupid her parents were, how predictable they could be.

As always, every Saturday, the girl’s mother leaves the house for church at exactly 8:30 am, only to return around 6 pm singing softly with her neck bent to the side like a Christmas chicken not fully beheaded. Her father, not a full subscriber to the mother’s faith except on Christmas and Easter leaves even earlier for his shop at Trade Fair and returns late at night tipsy, not fully drunk with his pot belly hanging before him like a calabash filled with water.

When Jones first arrived at the compound, he didn’t realize that the girl was always locked up whenever the parents were away from home.

In fact, he thought at first that she was their maid because she usually wore these long flowing shapeless gowns. After listening to snippets of their conversations, he realized that the girl was indeed their only child. The girl at first greeted him shyly with her eyes to the ground like she was afraid to look him in the eye lest she becomes corrupted.

He found the family really weird the first few weeks, but he quickly realized that their weirdness could be to his advantage. His two-bedroom apartment was set apart from their own with a long wide corridor, this corridor, as the weeks flew by, would come to be his perfect place every Saturday afternoon.

The girl’s father usually had no problem responding to Jones’ greetings, the mother was an entirely different case. She looks at him like he was the one that solely nailed Jesus to the cross. For some time, he stopped greeting her but these days, he does so just to spite her.

If she looked better than a stuffed Thanksgiving turkey, then maybe, just maybe he would have looked at her differently, but unfortunately for her, she was not his type.

Thinking about them this Saturday morning, he wondered, not for the first time since the corridor ‘business’ started, where the girl got her beauty and brazen attitude. Their morning devotion as always was quite entertaining with all the enemies that would soon die by fire. He hoped for their sake that they were wearing bulletproof vests, in case there was someone somewhere also sending them some bullets.

Jones smiled to himself as he thought about that fateful day it all began. The girl almost gave him a heart attack because Lord was that a surprise!!!

At first, he did not really notice the figure sitting quietly at the end of the corridor very close to his neighbor’s door, but then she cleared her throat and he squinted his eyes to make sure that he was seeing his neighbor’s daughter dressed like one of those at Allen Avenue. Oh, he noticed her then.

He just couldn’t think of a man with blood running through his veins, who wouldn't notice. He had to notice that skimpy skirt with nothing underneath, that bra-like top with her full teenage breast almost spilling out. He stood there for more than a minute staring at the offering before him, his mind bereft of all thoughts that had nothing to do with the girl.

That she was just a little girl did not deter him from looking his fill, why should he, when there was plenty time for regret later. She cleared her throat again, expecting him to say something and all he could utter was ‘wow’. He had to sit down and ask her some questions before his legs in surprise would give up on him.

He sat down gently in the chair she had obviously provided for that purpose. He pinched himself, trying to ascertain whether it was all a dream, but hoping that even if it was, he wouldn't wake from it. That was how much he was enjoying the sight before him.

‘How old are you’, he blurted.

The minute those words were out of his mouth, he regretted asking. He felt for the first time in years like a teenager confessing his feelings to a crush. He was a 32-year-old man for Christ sake, he should be in charge, but he had to give it to the girl for slipping the rug from under his feet.

She smiled at him shyly and replied in a tiny voice;

‘I would be 15 next 4 months’

That was probably too young, but at the moment, it was the right age. He knew what she wanted to hear and so he told her;

‘You look like a full grown sexy woman’

She met his eyes for the first time and said ‘Thank you’.

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