Farina and Jamaican Sisters, Contributor
This is a true and tragic account of two children who suffered rape and other forms of abuse in their homes and communities.
In submitting the piece, the writer, Farina and Jamaican Sisters, expresses hope that it will inspire and compel Jamaicans to advocate on behalf the children who are caught in the web of abuse, neglect, crime and violence.
Over the next three days, The Gleaner will serialise this story which was written in May and titled 'Sorry, Jesus'.
Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent.
Nicholas is a 12-year-old boy, who practically lives alone in a small board house in Host Town.
His father is a wanted gunman currently on the run and his mother, Mary Brown, is often busy sleeping with another gunman in the area.
Mary nicknamed Nicholas 'Bad Life' to commemorate the downward spiral that her life took since his father forcibly impregnated her, causing her to drop out of school, destroying her dream of becoming a nurse.
Nicholas, an unwanted child, had to raise himself like that wild boy in the movie The Jungle Book.
The only difference is that he was not raised by the beasts of the jungle but by the 'bad men' of the neighbourhood - the soldiers and warriors of the dons.
They call him 'Bigga' because he appeared quite big in size for his age.
They would send Bigga out to buy food, cigarettes, ganja and liquor. Lately, he had impressed them so much as their lookout boy that Uncle Busta rewarded him with a cellphone.
Just a couple days before, 'The Night', one of the men known as 'Shorty' gave him a gun to hide before disappearing.
LABELLED A DUNCE
Believe it or not, this muscular 12-year-old boy, with an undiagnosed learning disability, is miraculously in grade seven.
He was automatically promoted in spite of being labelled a dunce by his teachers, and teased as 'Big Head' by his classmates.
He could barely write his name and had absolutely no clue about the 'hard things' his teachers taught.
So he rarely went to school, and even when he did go, it was because of the motherly guidance counsellor, Ms Johnson.
She was the only one who paid him any attention when everyone else had written him off as a waste of time. He loved the way she called him 'My Dear Nick' in her soft, soothing voice.
Now, let me introduce you to Naomi, nicknamed 'Nyami-Nyami'. She is a 14-year-old, overweight girl and Nicholas' cousin.
After changing hands several times, she now lives with her grandaunt in Treasure Park.
Her father disowned her even before she was born. He accused her mother, Mary Jane, of trying to give him a 'jacket' before he vanished.
Mary J, unemployed and without much education, had it hard. When Naomi was four years old, her mother got a 'chance' to travel to New York.
NO WORD FROM MOM
Occasionally, some US dollars and a couple of barrels came down for this 'bounced-around barrel pickney', but mommy never returned.
Mary J had promised her aunt that as soon as she gets her papers, she would come back for Naomi. But that never happened and no one has heard from her for the past six years.
Rumour has it that she was a drug mule and is presently imprisoned in the United States.
Often, Naomi sits staring at her mother's picture for a long time before hiding it in her book. She misses hearing her mother's soft voice on the telephone.
All she hears now is the constant cursing and jeering from her grandaunt who is very frustrated about taking care of Naomi without any contribution from her parents.
Only because Granny is "big inna har church", she did not send Naomi to the children's home.
However, unlike Nicholas, Naomi is bright in school and wants to become a "children's doctor".
Naomi started behaving 'strange' since last October.
The first time it happened was when she went to buy some chicken back from the nearby shop.
All she could recall was the severe pain in her 'private', a shiny knife at her throat, and the smell of sweat and blood on a car seat.
Tomorrow: Consequence of rape.