Many of the stories on this blog are based on real experiences. I wrote this story after covering a rape and murder of an elementary school in Port Moresby. Personally, I’ve always wondered how parents of children who have been killed by total strangers go on with life.
Since her death, calling her name was forbidden in the house. It was just a house now. A home no more. When the police found her lifeless body, he didn’t want to believe it was his little girl. It had to be someone else’s daughter. It couldn’t be his pride and joy. He couldn’t think.
Those few hours were like a blur in slow motion. It was as if time had slowed so dramatically. In his mind he would pick out the events by the minute and look at them over and over. When he arrived at the scene, a crowd of men, women and children were hovering over the drain.
“They must have raped her too…” he heard someone say. “…it happened early this morning…”
Their almost unconscious fascination of a dead little girl sickened him. He pushed them aside and stumbled into the drain. Her school uniform was almost unrecognizable. Torn and bloody. Even her panties had been removed. There lay his own flesh and blood. He opened his mouth but couldn’t find his voice. It was as if his very being had been stabbed by a spear.
|Picture from Zac’s blog
Jennifer’s younger brother pulled him out of the drain when the police arrived. They would not let him hold his baby girl. His beautiful baby girl. They retrieved her small mangled body slowly and painfully and along with it three large rocks. All the hate and anger and sorrow… everything. It was all there. Crushing him under their weight. He tore at his face and dug his nails into his hair. He felt no pain even when his fists became bloody from pounding the earth upon which writhed. He wanted her back. He wanted her back. Why? Why? Why?
What pleasure did that animal seek from the body of an 8-year-old girl? What did he want when he took her away?
What hurt him most was the terror she must have felt those minutes before her attacker bashed her head with those rocks. Childhood fear is real when you dream. But somewhere somehow you know daddy or mummy will be there when you wake up and it will all be over with a hug. But that fear was not a dream. She must have closed her eyes and wished she would wake up from it all. It hurt him so much that he wasn’t there to take her daughter away from it all.
A fly sat on his lip and he slowly swatted it away with his hand. It hurt a bit. He couldn’t remember if he had broken a bone. He hadn’t been to the hospital since he took his girl from the morgue.
Since the hauskai, he had practically lived on the outdoor platform they built outside the house. He sat there for days on end. Another day was slowly ending. His eyes were now cast past the nearby hill. Port Moresby’s orange sunset on the clouds tortured his mind. …A little girl with a backpack…skipping… hopping… up the hill to the platform… then to the house. Jennifer framed by the timber door serving out food on three plates. Then an irritatingly beautiful girl’s voice calling out: “Daaaaaddy… Mama tok kam kaikaaaaai…! Slowly he pulled up his knees and laid down on the platform in a foetal position and closed his eyes. He didn’t ever want to wake up again.