I always worked with grandma on summer holidays and this one was no exception. I had just turned 17 and grandma was getting more attached. She said that every moment was crucial because it was my last year at home.
        She doted on me like a mother hen. It was so funny to me but I didn’t mind at all, I actually basked in the attention. It was my last year in high school and I was kinda excited about going off to college. Grandpa was quieter, he had suffered a stroke the previous year. We were a family, the one I never had and I was immensely grateful to them.
        I still thought of Papa but on rare occasions. I missed him but the terrible ache had dulled to a light throb. I hardly thought of mama. Thankfully I didn’t even resemble her, I was a lot like my dad and I was genuinely pleased. I think grandpa missed her. He always talked about his little girl with sad eyes. Grandma insisted mama had chosen her path and she couldn’t be bothered to worry about an unyielding, ungrateful child. I was sad for them.
           Then one night mama showed up on the doorstep with a rugged looking man. I hadn’t seen her in six years. I greeted her briefly and went to call grandma. I barely recognized her. She had changed so much since I had last seen her. She was thin and unkempt.
         When grandma saw her she wailed. They went into grandpa’s study to talk but they had a sharp argument. Apparently mama and the rugged man had nowhere to stay.
        Grandma was so mad at mama. She kept saying mama was irresponsible and she was deeply disappointed. Grandma told them to leave but grandpa intervened. Eventually grandma relented because she didn’t want grandpa to have a relapse.
       Mama and her boyfriend started to live with us. It wasn’t comfortable but we had to live with it. Grandpa became quieter. I think he was weaker than he let on. Grandma and mama continued to argue at the slightest provocation.
         It was too much for me. One night I walked down to the beach. I needed some air. The tension in the house was beginning to choke me. I sat down a little away from shore and closed my eyes.
       Awhile later, I felt a shadow over me so I opened my eyes and was shocked to see Rick, my mother’s boyfriend standing over me. I didn’t know he followed me to the beach. He had no reason to. I avoided he and mama as much as possible. Mama was still not interested in me and it was just as well.
           He smiled in a way that made me quiver with fear. I looked around but there was no one in sight. I tried to stand but he restrained me.
          “Leave me alone.” I protested but he didn’t budge.
           “What do you want? Let me go.” I struggled beneath his grip.
         “Stop that princess. You know we want the same thing.” He drawled in a disgusting way.
        “Don’t call me that. Only my dad called me that.”
        “I know princess. You know, your mum is jealous of you and with good reason.”
      “What nonsense are you saying?”
      “It’s not nonsense princess. She told me herself. She said you took away your father’s love from her. She used to be the center of his world before you came along.”
       “That is insane.” I screamed. “My papa loved us both. He was going to buy a big house for us.”
      “She’s jealous of you and I can see why. You can turn a man on.”
         I was terrified because his eyes, reflected by the moonlight turned really dark. I scratched his face and he screamed and released his hold on me. I scurried out of his reach but he caught me. I screamed but it seemed like a whisper amidst the rumbling of the sea.
          He was so rough. He tore my clothes off me like some wild animal. It was sickening. Much as I tried to plead and reason with him, he didn’t listen. He was blind to his desire. I cried and shouted but nobody came to my rescue.
        As his hands grabbed me I longed for the gentle touch of my papa.
         It was the most painful and degrading experience of my life. When he was done he left me in the pool of my blood. I felt sick.
        Would I survive that horrible experience? How would I crawl through life? I felt despicable and ashamed. And mama, why??? All I did was love her.