indexCHAPTER ONE

She felt rather than saw herself hurled out in the storm, her father towering
over her with a fury stronger than the storm now cutting to skin.
‘Papa what is this?’ she whispered in shock, mind still foggy with sleep, momentarily wondering if this was still a nightmare, only to feel her soaked clothes pressing in on her, and the cold biting through her bones like a cancer.
In a drunken growl he answered. You mindless bitch, you thought you could turn your mother against me, against me your father y spewing your lies? Let’s see who will save you now.” and the door was shut in her face.
Teeth chattering from the cold, tears rushing down her face, the horror that had only intensified with the shutting of the door washed over her, all alone and she rushed to the door, hitting it with both fists, with all of her might, screaming ‘Daddy please don’t leave me out her all alone, it is raining, Papa, please I won’t do it again please, mama, please open the door, plea-se’ she wailed sinking to the floor, the storm muffling her cries. She rose and went to each of her siblings windows, banging but the storm was a bitter rival.
Drained from the entire struggle, shivering from the cold, teeth chattering on the brink of snapping her jaws in two, she lost consciousness.
She awoke the sun in her face, her mother looking down at her with so much disappointment and anger, as the elders of the community that had been summoned arrived in the home.
‘Where were you all night?’ she asked angrily. The entire village is humming with gossip about your behavior. you were seen loitering last night with one of your lovers, and you dare accuse your father of of of, she couldn’t bring the words out, because she just wouldn’t believe it, she refused to believe it.
“You will stand trial, and you will confess everything you claim I have done, after all everybody in this village knows the kind of disgrace you are, you cheap lying skunk.” her father’s voice bellowed.
She just could never understand why her father despised her so much. Why he had defiled her and then thrown her out for the world to crucify.
Slowly she turned and looked at all the accusing faces staring back at her, her family looking at her with so much betrayal in their eyes, as though she had done them an unforgivable sin, and in her hurt and heart, she vowed to survive and triumph over the shame and humiliation.
She lowered her gaze, slowly rose up with all the dignity she could master, and walked, head bent to the circle of elders to await her punishment.
“she has shamed us all, she has disgraced the great family of Lwigale, she is a common prostitute who will bring more curses and disease to our community, she should therefore have no place among the living, among us, she should be banished.’ to each word they all nodded assent, as Musazi the chairman and representative of the village gave his verdict.
“so what do you have to say for yourself?” as she lifted her head he added, Oh I almost forgot, children do not speak before their elders, they should only be seen, and we’ve seen enough of you already.”
She winced as though she had been hit, as he continued. No one is to offer her any shelter, and if anybody dares, they too will be banished from this community, be warned.”
he then gave a silent order and she was escorted away from the village head bowed, but even then she could feel each stare boring through her back, the condemnation, and the loss weighing heavily, but she refused to cry, and only kept praying in her hear asking God where he was and how she was going to live, or better still, where she was going to live. When they reached the boundary, the end of the community, all her escorts made a line behind her, silently telling her, she had no place in the community, and should never return.
Acknowledging her fate, she walked on a tall girl of fifteen, dark skinned, of slight build, face marred with dirt, dress weather beaten, a shadow of its former self, now dirt grey, never once looking back.

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