I Found My Way

By

Carlo Gabbi

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That night, I returned home later than usual. I was exhausted from the long day at work. My apartment was dark, only a feeble light from a night lamp, stretched shadows on the courtyard from my daughter’s bedroom window. Suddenly a man’s silhouette appeared on the window pane and I heard noises and cries.

The man’s shadow was standing over my daughter, I was terrified… and then another vision appeared n front of me. A vision of violence, which had never left me in many years…since the night my father entered my bedroom.

I dropped my coat and shoes on the hall’s floor and wildly, with closed fists, run to my daughter’s room, to protect my baby from that depraved man.

But when I was closer, I realized it was Mark, my husband. He came to the room, wakened by Anne’s cries, and tried to comfort her out of nightmares.

 

The night my father violated me is constantly in my thoughts.

Against all the opinion of Dr. Donalson, my psychiatrist, I fell that I will never recover from that shock and feel secure. Even now, when men approach me, without any apparent reason, a sense of nausea and desire to run still shake me. I found men always have a dirty mind toward women. Or it is only a thought because of my past?

“Damn you Father, I hope you are in the deepest part of Hell. I will never forgive and forget you. Why did you do this to me? As a daughter, I loved you. I was just eleven. Your breath smelled of scotch and beer.

You kissed me hard on the mouth… I screamed loudly… but nobody was home, only you and me. You overpowered me saying,

“Be quiet, … I’ll teach you all.”

Brutally you have deprived me of my virginity. You ruined my life for ever that night. You destroyed my ability to love.”

~*~

 

“Mother, can we talk? I need your help”

“Not now, Manuelle. I’m very tired and I need some rest. I have to finish the marketing report for the general manager, and then tonight I have to pack my things. I     leave early in the morning and I’ll be in Sydney for the rest of the week presenting the new range of beauty products at Mayer’s.

“Remind me again, when I’m back. I will be able to sort out all your little problems, Manuelle.”

“Never mind mother.”

It was my mother’s perennial problem So busy that she forgets her responsibility to her family. She only came home to rest in between her business trips.

She used to tell me,

“You are old enough to learn to stand on your two feet, your babysitting is over.”

Father had been kind to me when I was younger. He was the one who cared for me, and really, till that night, he spoiled me with his attentions.

When mother was away, through boredom and lack of company, my father got into the habit of going to the hotel at the corner of the street, where he had lots of mates, drink and easy women.

Often on those occasions, he returned drunk, and when he reached home, noisily toppled over the furniture and remonstrated with terrible swearing.

I was scared of him. After that night, I locked my room, and when I heard my father stumbling noisily around, I buried my head under the pillow, with my knees to my chin, and my teeth shattered loudly and uncontrollably.

Many nights, when Father returned drunk, he tried my door, but finding it locked, swore loudly, and finally, unable to get in, he left.

In the morning, he was quite a different person and seemed to have forgotten the previous night’s behavior and jovially used to greet me.

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