It hurts real badly when people who have absolutely no idea about your past call you names. I would rather they know how my journey to where I am began, before judging if indeed I’ve travelled it right.
It started some years ago when I was seven. I was living with my uncle and his family, after Dad fell from a palm tree one evening, and broke his spinal cord. Mum had accompanied him to the city hospital where he received medical attention, but I never got the chance to see him before I left.
My uncle’s house was a two bedroom flat: he stayed with his wife in the bigger bedroom, while I and my two cousins, Uju and Ebuka, occupied the second.
Uju was four years older than I was while Ebuka, who was mute, was three years short of my age. He played a lot with himself; he was a quiet boy that never involved himself with anyone either for good or evil.
And since my uncle was a teacher, and his wife was a trader, they were rarely at home. So Uju became the figure authority in the house. The madam. The head. The “mother” meant to take care of us.
One night as we were sleeping in our room, I felt a nervous hand grabbing at my penis. I didn’t take the intrusion serious until it became more forceful, insistent, and deliberate. I knew it was Uju, but I wasn’t sure what she wanted from me or why she would even want anything from me at that time of the night. So I laid still, observed with my eyes half-shut, and stared at the dim blue electric bulb hanging from the ceiling.
My heart raced back and forth in anticipation to an uncertain outcome. And after what seemed like an eternity she stopped, sighed, and went back to sleep. I too joined, after a while, though the tense feeling in my short made me warm and heavy between the legs.
The next morning when I woke and saw Uju doing chores, I wanted to ask her what the previous night’s incident was about. But her cold gaze when I called her name made me think otherwise. I decided I would take my time, let the days go by, and see if I would have the chance to ask the questions her actions left me with.
However, things never remained the same between us. Uju changed. She became easily irritated and difficult to understand. She hardly smiled, and when she did, it was mischievous and sinister, in a way that looked more like a smirk than a gesture of endearment. She also started depriving me of food. When I took the situation up with her after becoming surfeited with her attitude, she twisted my words and got her mum to scold me for unnecessarily bothering her.
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I called a truce between us. I promised to do whatever she required of me. That was when she told me what the other night was all about. That was how she became my license for food and survival through childhood, and my golden ticket to a life of privilege and happiness after University. That was how I became a penispreneur: the man who made a living with his penis.
Awo Kingsely Emeka is a law student at Ebonyi State University. He has so much passion for literature. He spends his free time penning down stories. You can reach him on Facebook via Awo Kingsely Emeka.