Forced by My Long-Lost FatherbyUncleMichael©
My mom is like the world's worst mom. I hate her. I can't stand her. We fight all the time.
I started asking about my dad to annoy her. My dad was like this big dark mystery. My birth certificate is blank in the spot where it says, "father."
Then I started asking her about him in front of my stepdad just to make it a hundred times worse. I told her that I was old enough -- I had just turned 18 -- and wanted to meet him.
It just drove her nuts, which is exactly what I wanted to do.
But you know, I had had these very elaborate fantasies about him too that had started back when I was eight years old, like that he was fabulously rich and handsome and led an exciting life, sort of both Indiana Jones and James Bond or a brain surgeon who was also a secret crime fighter. I imagined that he wasn't part of my life only because she'd kept me secret from him.
I had fantasies about him coming and taking me away. We'd fly around the world treasure hunting and spying, or I'd become a doctor, but not by going to school -- since I hate school -- but instead by being his apprentice who was also his secret crime fighting partner, like Batman and Batgirl.
It was all so silly and childish that I'm blushing as I write this down. Whenever I read comic books or watched adventure or suspense movies I imagined that the main character, the hero, was my real father.
Well, she started to tell me a little, but I didn't believe her. She said that my dad raped her and that she didn't know who he was. I just didn't believe her, so I started really embarrassing her in front of my stepdad and especially the people from our church.
Finally she told me what she said was the truth as she was crying the whole time. She even drove me over to his house while she told me.
We're Jehovah's Witnesses. She told me that when she was only a little older than me she and a woman from our church were going door to door handing out Watchtower and Awake! magazines. They went to this big creepy old house. The lawn wasn't mowed. The paint was chipping and almost all worn off the house. There were old cars in the yard with grass growing halfway up the wheels. There was this big nasty looking dog chained to a huge tree out front, barking and barking. A few of the windows were broken. And best of all, there was this big turtle hanging by its tail with its head cut off, dripping blood from its neck, with a pan under it to catch the blood. She said that the turtle looked like just its shell alone was about two feet long. She said there was a nail driven right through its thick tail and into the house to hold it dangling by its tail alone with its front feet, with long claws, and its bloody neck hanging down.
In our church, we believe that Jehovah God looks out for people doing witness work, that when we're going door to door spreading the Word, we're in Jehovah God's special care. So bold as day mom and her companion went up to the house and knocked on the front door.
The big mean scary-looking dog was really howling and pulling as hard as it could on its long chain. The turtle was hanging just a few feet away from the door, and flies were buzzing around the turtle and the drip pan and a thick line of ants were crawling up into the drip pan for the blood. And sitting there in the drip pan was the poor turtle's head, which she said was bigger than a man's fist. The turtle's eyes were open with an ant crawling on one of them.
Well, this skinny old lady opens the door. They offer her the Watchtower and bring out their Bible and start talking about scripture and witnessing the Word. The old lady invites them in and they sit at her table. There are flies buzzing around the kitchen too. Several mangy-looking cats are sitting in the sun in the shade-less windows. They can smell cat pee too and fleas jump on their legs while they sit talking to the old lady. There are piles of yellow newspapers, and the table has dirty dishes and even some moldy and rotting food on it. The old lady's matchstick legs are all hairy, and she has no teeth and this white, ghostly mustache. They are talking and the old lady moves and my mom can see right up her old threadbare housecoat, and she sees the old lady's hairy "hoo-hoo," which is my mom's word for a woman's vulva.
My mom's thinking that this is like the Addam's Family without any of the funny stuff.
Well, this guy comes in. The old lady says it's her grandson. He's in dirty jeans and a grimy, grease-stained t-shirt with yellow sweat-stains in his t-shirt's armpits. His feet are bare and dirty. He hasn't shaved. He's got a tattoo of a single rolling dice on the back of each hand. He's got a broken stump of a tooth right in the front, but he has the beautiful blue eyes of an angel.
We are black, but I still have blue eyes. I'm the only black person I know with them.
Well, he starts talking to my mom, listening to her talk about the Bible and Jehovah God and the Watchtower magazine. My mom's companion is still talking to the old woman.
He says, "Let's go and talk on the porch." It's outside, but it's out back, where no one can see from the street or anything. My mom thinks Jehovah God is watching over her and that if anything happens she'll be martyred.
My mom said that he raped her out on the porch.
At first she wouldn't tell me any more, but then she said that she was wearing her long skirt and that the guy was very strong and that he held her down and stuck his hand up her skirt and then pulled her skirt up and ripped her panties and raped her, raped her for about forty minutes, and that she had been a virgin, but that he raped right out in the open with another big nasty dog on a chain close nearby howling and barking and straining on his chain the whole time.
She said that she was so ashamed that she didn't tell anyone, that she went on witnessing the Word another couple hours after that with her virgin blood and her rapist seed oozing out on her torn panties and dripping down her thighs.
Well, I don't believe any of it, but my mom drives me over and shows me the house, a house that looks just like she described.
I still don't believe it. I go to get out of the car, saying I'm going to ask them myself, but my mom cries and holds my arm and won't let me out. But I'm calling her a liar, telling her that I don't believe any of it, that she just let some boy slip one past the goalie a few times, or maybe let a whole bunch of boys do it hundreds of times. She gets so angry at me that she pushes me out of the car and drives off, shouting, "Go talk to your father, get yourself raped by these hillbillies, see if I care!"
We live in the city, and I don't think I've ever heard my mom call anyone, "hillbillies," before.
Well, I'm so convinced that she was lying that I go and knock on the door. I'm so sure of myself that I don't even care when a big mean-looking dog on a chain comes from behind the tree and starts barking, confirming part of my mother's story. We all took the Watchtower door to door, we all had several weird or funny stories about things we'd seen when we did it. Older witnesses had dozens or even hundreds of that kind of story.
I knock on the door, but nothing happens. I knock louder, and nothing happens. I take my shoe off and use it to knock really loud. A girl about my age, or probably just a little older, answers the door. She's got freckles and blond hair and hazel eyes. She smiles and her teeth are all straight. She's more than just cute: she's beautiful.
I'm not sure what to say, so I ask if a man lives there with dice tattoos on the back of his hands.
She doesn't really answer my question but instead invites me into the kitchen. There are three men old men playing cards at the table. Two of the burners on the stove are running with no pans or anything else on them ---- for heat I guess ---- and it's a little too warm in the kitchen. None of the old men have dice on the backs of their hand. I wonder why they didn't answer the door since they are so close they must've heard me knock.
I was thinking it weird to have such a big house with a kitchen so close to the front.
She says, "Follow me. You can talk to my uncle."
I follow her back into the house. It's a big house. There are weird smells and one dominant one of cat pee. It's a creepy, dirty, old house. I follow her up the stairs; I feel safe because I'm with a girl my age. As we go deeper into the house, I ask her age, and she surprises me by saying that she is 18 too. I'm so surprised that I don't think to ask her her name.
We go into this room and there's a man sitting on a beat up old couch. It's cold even though they have a little electric heater running, so he has a dirty blanket wrapped around him. I can't see his hands because they are under the blanket, but he does have beautiful blue eyes. Of course a lot of people have blue eyes. He looks older than my mom, maybe 15 years older.
He's got scraggly dark brown hair and he looks thin and wiry but strong.
His niece sits right up close next to him on the couch and pulls half his ratty-looking blanket over her so that they are sharing it. There's a little TV with a bent coat hanger stuck in the top as an antenna sitting on a wobbly old rattan coffee table in front of the couch. I lean around to peek at the little screen and see that they are watching, "Jerry Springer."
The man stands and the blanket falls off him. He sticks out his big hand and I shake it. He holds my hand, his grip strong, but I still can't see if he has a single dice on it.
Right then I remember that the word for a single dice is, "DIE," and I guess I feel the chilly-willies or something.
He's looking at me and I'm looking at him. He smiles and I see that he has a broken upper tooth right in the front with about two thirds of it missing. I look down at our hands and he turns his, like he knows what I want I'm looking for and he wants to show me so that I'm sure of who he is. I see that he's got a rolling die tattooed in faded black on it, showing six dots.
I think, "This is my father."
He says, "I know who you are."
My heart sinks, but I ask, "Who?"
"My daughter, Shawntelle's daughter." Shawntelle is my mom's name, although most people who don't know her well call her "Mrs. St. James" or "Sister St. James." People who know her well call her, "Tellie," "St. James" is my step-dad's last name, but it's not mine. My last name is my mom's maiden name.
So he does know about me. And I'm thinking, "this sure ain't Bruce Wayne or Indiana Jones or James Bond or even Buckaroo Banzai."
I really don't know what to say, so I just say it. "My mom said that you raped her."
He laughs. "I sure did, but I guess she loved it, 'cause she came back for more every day after that."
Well, now he's admitted that he raped my mother, so now I'm on her side. I feel both hurt and disappointment for myself and my daydreams about my father and angry indignation for my mother.
I say, "She wouldn't do that."
He laughs again. He's still holding my hand, like a frozen handshake or something.
He says, "Maybe she wouldn't now, but she sure did back then. She came over every day after school for a whole year almost, until she got knocked up. You came along and spoiled all our fun."
The blond freckled-faced girl is watching us with her hazel-green eyes. She had leaned toward the little TV and dialed the volume on "Jerry Springer" all the way down to nothing so that I can hear the dog barking outside again.
He says to her, "Remember I told you about that little nigger girl that used to come over here who couldn't ever get enough of my big dick?"
My family never talks about sex that way. We don't use the N-word, either. None of our friends, white or black, Hispanic or Asian, ever do either. My brother used the N-word once in front of my mom, and my stepdad literally washed his mouth out with like six different kinds of soap. And all my brother did was to say, "Hey, niggah, what's up?" to his best friend, a white kid from our church.
The girl said, "So you're my nigger cousin." She was smiling at me, the smile of an angel, her hazel-green eyes looking happy to meet me. "I'm Darlene."
He's still holding my hand. His hand feels rock hard and his grip was like a vice.
I say, "I don't believe you."
He says, "Darlene honey, go get the family picture album, the great big white one, not one of the little ones."
She scurries off, leaving the ratty blanket hanging half on the ratty couch and half on the dirty and stained carpeted floor. He sits on the couch, and because he's so strong and is still holding my hand I have to sit down too, right next to him.
"Wow, girl, you're gorgeous for a nigger."
I say, "Please, don't use that word."
He laughs. "Okie-dokie," he says with a smirk.
I think "my father is a racist and a rapist."
Darleen comes back with the album and my heart sinks. I know he's going to prove my mom both a liar and a slut after already admitting that he is my father and that he'd raped my mother.
Darleen flips through the album. My father is still looking me up and down.
"Oh, sweetie, my daughter would rather that we not use the N-word," he says that with the same smirk on his face, only now his beautiful sky-blue eyes are gleaming playfully too.
Darleen looks up from turning the big pages of their family photo album and blushes. She says, "I'm so sorry," and I feel safe again. She doesn't give me any excuse. No, "oh, everyone I grew up with uses it," or "all the black kids at school use it." I decide that I like her and can trust her.
I say to her, not him, "I'm Becca."
She smiles at me and I smile at her. I think, "This is my cousin."
He says to her, "She's named after you girls' grandmother, me and your mom's mother. Your Grammy Rebecca."
I think, "My mother let him pick my name, too, let him name me after his own mother."
I'm sitting on one side of my dad, and she's sitting on the other. She finds the picture, the proof that my mother is both a liar and a slut. She shows him and he shows me, taking the album on his lap.
My mom, looking so young, like my age, is sitting on his lap, my father's lap. It's a group shot, with five small dirty children, a couple of old men and an old woman, maybe my father's grandmother with the ghostly white mustache, like my mother had told me. I think, "That's probably my great-grandmother." My mother and my father are both laughing. I think, "These are my parents." He looks ten years older than her, even though he looks even much older than her now, maybe 15 years or even 20 years older than my mom looks now. I look more closely and realized that he's squeezing my mother's big breasts, really "honking" them hard, as the nasty kids say in school. They are laughing and posing together that way, my father groping my mother for the camera with the two of them surrounded by children and old people.
I feel this sense of complete defeat and shame. My father is a racist and a rapist and my mother is a slut and a liar. I just want to go home. Heck, I don't even want to go home. I decide that I never wanted to go home again. For a second I hope that he'll kill me right then and bury me in their back yard. No, I have this fleeting wish that he'll cut me up and feed me to their big, mean, barking dogs. In spite of it all, I smile at that idea. Every few weeks the dogs will dig up my bones and gnaw on them and then bury them again. My family will never know what happened to me or maybe the police will figure it out only when someone sees one of the dogs gnawing on my scull or my thigh bone right out in the open in the front yard.
My father pulls the dirty blanket over the three of us, and Darleen gives up some of her side of her part of it so that it will cover me better. It smells just a little bit like cat pee and beer, a smell I hate even more than the smell of cat pee. Darlene leans forward to dial the sound back up on the TV. Jerry Springer is talking directly to the camera, delivering one of his obvious little moral lectures after bringing out depraved people to tell their ugly stories to America.
Our TV at home is a hi-def 42-inch screen and has a remote so we don't have to go to the TV to change the volume or the channel. We have cable TV too instead of a bent wire hanger. I have my very own 27-inch TV in my room and it's much bigger and nicer than this pathetic, grimy, beat-up, little TV.
And right then my father puts his hand on my thigh under the blanket and begins to stroke my leg.
At first I try to ignore his hand, but then he moves it up my leg. I go to push his hand away, but he's really strong, just like my mom said. The more I try to push his hand away, the fresher and more aggressive he gets with his hand. It is moving right toward that spot between my legs. I close my legs as tight as I can.
I have a skirt on, a long one, probably much like the one my mother wore the day that he raped her.
I'm thinking, "I've gotta get out of here, I've gotta get out of here." But I'm embarrassed because of my cousin. How do you say to your cousin that your own father, her very own uncle, is groping you under the blanket that the three of you are sharing while you watch TV?
I try to pull away, but now his other hand is on my forearm, holding me in his iron grip.
His hand on my thigh reverses course and goes back toward my knee and I feel him pull my skirt up from just above my ankles to over my knees, feel his hand go under my skirt. I try to clamp my knees together even harder, but his hand just goes up and over them and over the tops of my bare thighs. He is forcing his hand right up my skirt.
I think, "My father is feeling me up, my father is going to try to rape me just like he raped my mother." I picture Batman raping Batgirl, his secret brown-skinned mulatto daughter, down in the cold, dank Batcave.
No guy had ever touched me before. My parents are strict. I'm not allowed to date. And I never met a boy that I wanted to date either. I had thought a few boys cute, of course, but that was all. I had daydreamed about meeting my future husband my last year of college. We'd walk together under autumn leaves in the quad and study together at the ivy-covered library or a nearby Starbucks until closing time when he'd walk me back to my dorm and kiss me respectfully on the cheek. Our very last semester we'd be lab partners in some advanced biology or chemistry course. He wouldn't touch my hand or kiss me on the lips until after we were engaged and of course we'd not do anything else until our honeymoon.
I suddenly realize that I've been a complete fool all my life and that my head had always been stuffed full with schoolgirl daydreams that had nothing at all to do with the real world.
I try to stop his hand, but he is already touching my panties under my skirt someplace between my bellybutton and the spot right between my legs.
He tries to pull my legs open using just his other hand, but all I did was move my other leg over, keeping them closed tight. He takes my hand in his and then he has my thumb between his own thumb and the side of his index finger. He pinches down hard on my thumbnail and it really hurt.
I'm scared, but I'm still worried about my cousin, worried about being humiliated in front of her. I open my legs so that he'll stop hurting me. In a second his hand is right on me down there, pushing into my most secret place. Then I feel him tear my panties aside.
I cry out. I try to close my legs, but his hand is already on me down there, right on my exposed vulva.
Darlene looks over at us. I'm hoping that he'll stop now that she's looking at us, but he doesn't.
His finger goes into me. My eyes go wide. It hurts. I start to cry. His finger is moving inside me, forcing its way deeper into me, probing me.