I wipe the tears from my face the umpteenth time, willing my nose to stop running as the priest recites some verses. My tears are multifaceted and multifactorial; my dead brother, my distraught father and my missing brother. I am angry at him too; for dying, for making me miserable, for breaking my trust… For changing my life.
*****TWO YEARS AGO*****
Non, as we fondly called him was just too playful. Aided and abetted by Jona, his mischievous, close to good for nothing friend, he pulled all sorts of pranks on people. Jona… (God, that guy is freaking annoying) was too smart for the foolishness he displayed from time to time. His influence on Non; incomparable! They were original big boys, wrecking havoc as often as they made us laugh.
Salom, my other brother, handsome and tall, was more serious and quiet. Every lady had a crush on him. He was focused, determined to make his own money so he does not have to depend on father’s wealth, even though he is a prince. Salom rarely spent time with us but I knew I was his favorite. He got me more jewellery than the other princesses and was not bothered when I went on and on about my crushes.
Everything was going fine until Non started acting weird. He wanted more time with me… Alone. He wanted more tight hugs and I caught him staring at me, especially at my cleavage, often. Yes, he was my brother, I just didn’t feel comfortable. I told Salom about it and he told me not to worry seeing as we all knew how mischievous and playful Non could be. I agreed with Salom but I still took caution anytime I was near Non.
One day, father, the king, summoned me to the palace. I was to go take care of Non. Apparently, he had been ill and indoors for days. I felt bad that I hadn’t bothered to check on him even though I hadn’t been seeing him around. I decided to go cheer him up the best I could and even bake him a cake. I had recently discovered a new and exciting recipe.
I put on my special gown; white and flowing. It had this calming effect on me. I was hoping it would help Non get better too.
Getting to his place, there were many servants scurrying around. I could imagine the order the king had given them to ensure his son is nursed back to health. For a moment, I wondered, “why am I here too? Well, blood is thicker than water. I am sure having family around is going to do much more than whatever soups and sauces they could get together.”
“Tami, I’m so glad you’re here now.”
Non was propped up in his bed, not looking so sick and I was glad. He must be getting better, I thought.
“Sorry I didn’t come earlier, I did not know. How do you feel now?”
“Better. I’m sure with your coming over, I’d get well completely.”
I smiled and told him I’d be in the kitchen. With the help of the servants, I baked the cake quite fast. I also made his favorite soup with little chunks of chicken. It was going to be a mini feast for him.
“Non, it’s food time. I’m sure you won’t refuse the drugs after this feast.”
He smiled, a half toothed smile.
“Christina, you and the other servants can leave now. I’m sure Tami can take care of me for now.”
Christina bowed and left. I’m sure I saw relief on her face.
“Tami… Come over here.” He tapped the space beside him on the bed.
I made to bring along the tray of food but he shook his head, “leave the food for now. I’m just glad you’re here.”
There was a look in his eye; creepy and glazed over sort of. Probably because of his fever, the only clothing on him was the bed sheet pulled up to his chest.
Mother’s words echoed in my head, “as much as possible, don’t be alone with any guy behind closed doors.”
“Tami!!! Get here now!”
He was angry and now, I was really scared.
“Non…”, My voice was quavering, ” let’s go and eat in the dining. I don’t like it here.”
I made for the door but he was off the bed in an instant, blocking my path to the door with his nude body.
I averted my eyes, knowing for sure I had made a mistake coming to his house.
“Tami, I want you. I have always wanted you. But, of course, you’re my sister. No one would listen to me. Well, except Jona. He told me to pretend I was sick and then request our father to send you over.”
He laughed a dry and wicked laugh, putting his arms around my waist.
“Non, please. If you want to marry me, all you have to do is tell father. I’m sure he would bless us. This is not the way, please.”
He shoved me on his bed, seemingly enjoying the fear in my eyes as I tried to scramble away from him. My long white dress was not helping matters at all. I was crying, begging, hoping he would come to his senses. It was lost hope though, the lust in his eyes was raw and fiery.
My 21year old body was too young and weak to resist him. He raped me.
After his last thrust, spilling his seed on my thighs, I knew the storm was not over. He looked at me, at my tangled gown and tussled hair, “Get up, get out!”
Whatever he had for me before had transformed to anger and hatred.
“Non…” My tears and weak voice probably made him angrier.
He slapped me hard, “I said get out! I’m done with you!”
I ran out. My crying turned to wailing as I ran to Salom’s house. I ripped my gown in two as I fell in front of his door. The royal gown meant for royal virgins…
“Tami, what happened to you?”
He hugged me and took me into one of his rooms. He said nothing about Non. I knew he understood all that had happened. But he said nothing.
I’m at Non’s burial.
Salom waited, he made plans, he never showed his anger or intentions towards Non. He killed him, in cold blood, in public, at a party, in the presence of the other princes.
I’m not sure my tears would ever stop.
I’ve lost two brothers. One to death, the other to the unknown.