"Why did you lie to Mummy and say I had put my finger in here?" He placed his hand over her vagina. "Why?"
She cringed and stared at him with big round eyes. She wished someone would come and take him away from her. She started to make funny sounds through her nose.
"I had to put ointment on you. Didn't I?" He looked at her, sweat glistening on his balding forehead. "Mummy said so. You know I wouldn't hurt you!"
She wished her own Daddy could have been here now. She wished he hadn't died in that horrible car crash. Why? Oh, why did ALLAH have to take her Daddy? He would not have allowed "The Man" to come into her room and to touch her!
She kept staring at him fearfully, making those whimpering sounds as his hand moved up and down over her vagina. She wanted to scream for help, she wanted to jump out of the bed and run to her mother Amina's room, but she knew her Mummy wouldn't listen, would only say that she had had a bad dream and that in the morning, when the sun came out, her nightmare would be gone and everything would be all right. Her Mother never listened to her or to her younger brother, Ghalib, nowadays. She said that if Malik hadn't taken them in, and fed and clothed them, then what would have become of them? Ayesha's own Daddy had left them with a lot of debt. He had also not paid the rent, and they had had to leave.
When Ghalib did something wrong "The Man" would take him into the bedroom and lock the door. She would hear him scream as "The Man" punished him. She would hammer on the door and shout at "The Man" to stop hitting her brother. She would not cease until "The Man" opened the door and let her brother go. She hated "The Man!"
"You shouldn't tell lies, Ayesha," Malik whispered, trying to allay her fears. "Remember, I've told you that if you are going to be a good girl I'm going to buy you that big doll that can talk, plus that big teddy you've always wanted. Remember?"
She stared at him, the child in her taking over. She stopped whimpering. "And Ghalib? What are you going to buy for Ghalib?
He smiled. "Why...of course! I'm going to buy him that big, radio-controlled car!" He kept on smiling. "You know I always keep my promises..."