13 years old.

Dear diary, I feel dirty and need to wash. Today, that man that used to look at me down the street came up to me.

He is so gross.

“Meet me at 8 p.m. around the corner and I will show you how to be a woman!” He said.

My skin crawled and I was upset with him but I finally found the courage to stand up to him. He just didn’t know what was in store.

Its 6 p.m. diary and I am on my way to that man’s house. I know its dinner time and he is with his wife, (who is pregnant), his two children and her family. He lives with his in-laws.

I could laugh diary if it wasn’t so sad. I went there, knocked on the door and the man’s father in law answered the door. You should have seen his face when he saw who was at the door. I almost laughed at him.

“I’m so sorry for interrupting your dinner,” I said to the father in law, ” but Peter (not his real name), walked past our house, and asked me if I could meet him at 8 p.m. around the corner because he wants to show me how to be a woman” I said. “I’m only 13 years old so I wanted to know what he meant by that?” I continued.

Dear diary you should have seen Peter’s face. He looked as if he saw a ghost and I smiled sweetly at his father in law when I asked what he meant by that. His wife burst out crying and his father in law turned to him and asked, “Did you just hit on a child, a child not much older than your own children?” He demanded.

Peter was speechless and spluttered trying to get words out that would exonerate him. I felt sorry for his wife though and his children but it wasn’t my fault.

Dear diary, as I was walking to the shop I saw Peter as he was coming home. I wanted to laugh so hard. He avoided looking at me and I saw he had a swollen eye and a split lip. He quickly rushed past me.

Am I bad that men are doing this? I don’t want to be a woman. I like being a girl. Some of the girls I know have started kissing boys. Eew! No, thank you. I don’t want that. I want to play with them as we did in the past. The girls say I’m childish and that hurt my feelings but I don’t want to kiss a boy yet. Some of them don’t want to hang out with me any longer. They look beautiful though. Their hair looks nice and they’re makeup. I’m not allowed makeup. My mom says I can use hers when I’m older. Much older she says.

Dear diary, I’m so excited my aunt has given birth to my first girl cousin. They have 7 boys. I am on my way to see her. I love babysitting. I did that in the neighborhood all the time.

Dear diary, I want to die. Please, God, take me away. My eyes are swollen shut from crying. So I went to my aunt’s place and was so happy to be playing with the baby. My uncle was there too but he was asleep. I don’t like him. He is always drunk and always shouting at my aunt and my cousins. As I held the baby on my lap, he woke up and saw me. I greeted him politely and continued playing with the baby.

Suddenly, I felt my top being lifted up and his hands were touching my breasts. I did not wear a bra because my mom said she would buy one when she gets paid. I told him to stop and he continued. He tried kissing me and I moved my head and all I smelt was alcohol. I hate drunk people. I could not move because of the baby on my lap. My aunt came back (she was hanging her washing) and suddenly his hands left my breasts. I told my aunt what he did. Guess what she said, “He is just teasing you, don’t be so sensitive!” I felt so betrayed by her. She offered to make me tea and as she went into the kitchen, he came forward again and said, “Next time when you I will do more, I will f*ck you so you can know what it feels like just like I will do it to her (pointing to my baby cousin) when she is your age.

The baby was sleeping but I jumped up and went into the kitchen, gave the baby to my aunt and ran out of there without saying goodbye.

Dear diary, I told my mom what happened and she phoned my other aunt, who came rushing to us. I was still crying and still upset both by what he said and him touching me.

My aunt brought a bra and said,” There now he won’t touch you anymore!”

I wanted to scream and told her and my mom that he would and that he threatened to touch my little cousin too. “He is drunk!” I was told. “Ignore him!”

My mom phoned my aunt that I was just at and politely said, “Thesna said her uncle touched her today is it true and if it is true can you tell him to stop!”

I heard my aunt shouting on the other side diary. She denied it and said I was exaggerating. She said he was just playing.

The aunt that brought me the bra told me to forget about it.

Dear diary, the year I turned 13 I realized how evil men were. Those were only 2 instances that stood out but I was constantly cat called or someone would rub up against me. I don’t like it. It’s disgusting.

Dear diary, I phoned my dad and he went to deal with my uncle now my aunt is not talking to me. Actually, both aunts seem upset with me. I don’t care.

I don’t want to grow up if this is what growing up is about.

I really hope that next year would be better. I stopped visiting my aunt from that day.

Dear diary, I hope when my cousin grows up she will be ok?

To be continued.