Big Girl in Hiding

It was a beautiful afternoon in Guyana like no other, laughther from all the neighborhood children could be heard through the window above the bed where I was sitting. Sunlight shone through the curtains and cut into the darkenss like little blades of happiness. Lost in the dismal lights of the tiny rays I almost forgot how confused I was, how unmistakenly scared and excited I felt. For I have done what only big girls do; atleast thats what he told me. Thinking back to what happened I was amazed at how much of a big girl I became. I was happy. The only problem was I was not allowed to share what I’d done or else I would no longer be considered a big girl, and for a six year old, "Big Girl is a pretty big accomplishment.

The door creaked and in he came, huffing with a glass of water which he placed on the broken side table beside the bed. “Drink this”, He said in a low and out of breath voice. I took the glass to my lips while he continued to speak. “Im so proud of you, you amazed me today.” He said reaching for a hug. I huged him back asking why I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone what I’d done. “Your mom would be angry, everyone would be jealous and would want to hurt you.” He almost yelled back. I believed him. Since then I havent spoken a word to anyone on how I became a big girl. I began looking forward to having him come over to help my mom babysit me. We did alot more big girl things and it remained our secret. I was a big girl and he was an adult. Nothing could be wrong. I trusted him and allowed him to teach me.

Seven years later Im a Canadian citizen and im sitting in my grade eight class room. The subject we were learning about brought those memmories back and they gripped my heart and ripped it into pieces, my stomach clenched and I wanted to die I started crying and then I began remembering how I became a big girl. I began remembering how cold I felt because I was naked. The awful taste of man. The encouraging words he told me. I felt his hands all over me, the loving and unmistakable pressence of a trusted adult guiding me to become a big girl.

The subject was sexual abuse, but I know what he did wasn’t that. It was how I became a big girl. My secret killed me that day. It changed me forever. I went home and told my mother for the first time. She was speechless she didn’t belive me at first. I began to cry and I could tell from the heartbroken look on her face she knew then that it was the truth.

It was a beautiful afternoon like no other, only I couldn’t tell. All I felt were hands on me…his hands…I felt his breath on my neck, his chest on my back there I was becomming a big girl. My memmory played like a movie in my head and that afternoon I watched a little girl die.

Big Girl in Hiding


Winnipeg, Canada

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