It rained the day he died. It rained the day we buried him.
Pouring in torrents; it shielded us from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors who speculated for weeks and months later on whether the wetness on our faces was caused by tears or raindrops.
They would never know; because it rained the day we left the village.
The thunder drowning out the sounds of our footsteps and the rain incessantly pelting the path to wash our footprints away – no one would know where we went or what direction we took.
So it should not come as a surprise that when we chose a new identity, a new name for ourselves we chose to name ourselves after the rain – it had been our ally and Mother Nature had seen it fit to see us off by drenching us to wash away any trace that lingered of who we once were.
But even the rain cannot wash away the stubborn stain of the shame he smeared us with and no amount of rain can drown the memories of that humiliation.
We sought to deny his existence by stripping ourselves of his name and hoped that with time our children would forget him, cease to ask question we had no answers to.
For who were we to tell our children of the man whose loins they had come from? Who were we to mar their lives by speaking of such abominations?
For no matter how far we have fled, we cannot outrace the legacy of disgrace apportioned on us by that man.
There are reminders everywhere of the damage he has wrought, of the ignominy of it all.
For we see traces of him in the children we bore and against our will, we see traces of him even in ourselves. We feel the shame coursing through our veins, our blood forever carrying the taint.
How can we speak of him? He was our father, no, in truth he was a monster. He was a man who fed off his own flesh and blood, forcing himself upon our reluctant nubile bodies, while mama turned a blind eye to his beastly proclivities.
It was guilt that kept her silent, her failure to bear him sons making her take the blame for his behavior – in her warped mind; mama really believed that sacrificing us would appease him.
For in our village, even the barren woman received more sympathy than the woman whose womb could produce nothing but girls – it was believed that such a womb deformed the seed of a man making it virtually impossible for even the most virile man to father a son.
But with time, when our bodies began to bud attempting to blossom into womanhood, he had begun his nightly pilgrimage to our hut – tearing us apart and crushing us beneath the bulky weight of his manhood.
The silent tears we shed in the dark were our only reproach to him and mama’s compliant silence was deafening in its echo.