The moment my dad walked in through the front door after a long stressful day at work, David ran down the passage shouting with excitement
“Dad! Dad! I got in, I got accepted!”
“You can just forget it. No son of mine is going to that moffie school.”
David’s lip began to quiver. He was 14 and going to the Drakensberg Boys Choir School had been a dream of his for years. He didn’t object. He never stood up to my father for fear of being beaten with ‘the strap’ that lived at the front of the toy cupboard as a reminder to look after our toys, to put them back exactly where we had found them and to behave in general. The strap was a leather belt that left raised welts and sometimes cuts on soft flesh when we were bent naked over the cold enamel bath. David ran to my mom for love and holding while I braved the strap, already hardened to pain by the age of 11.
“Dad what is wrong with you? You know he’s desperate to go. He’s been practising for months at school and he sings so beautifully. Today all the judges voted for him.”
“I don’t care, that school is useless and it has a bad reputation.”
“That’s rubbish, you’re just a stupid idiot!” Oops. Gone too far as usual. I shook loose from his grip on my school jersey and ran to my room, locking myself in.
My father, probably still reading his newspaper, shouted from the lounge,
“Where’s that snivelling excuse for a boy? He needs to be taught a lesson.”
“Leave him alone Andrew, he’s already hurting enough.”
“It’s your fault he’s got no bloody backbone you stupid woman, you molly-coddle him. Moffie, get your sister and get into the bathroom.”
David knocked quietly on my door and I let him in. He had his school sports bag over his shoulder and tears streaming down his face.
“Sophie, I’m leaving,” he whispered, “don’t tell anyone. I can’t stay here with him anymore.”
“No Davy, please don’t go, don’t leave me here with them. Please!”
After ages of my father banging on my bedroom door, I found the courage to open it.
“Where’s your brother?”
“I don’t know.” Back hand to the face. I set my jaw and stared at him in defiant silence, then I went to cry with my mom. When I stopped sobbing I told her that David had run away.
Hours later she returned home with him, put him to bed and no-one ever spoke about it again. David swallowed hard and never went to choir school.
“Oh my God that boy can sing!” I heard the man next to me say of my brother. My heart swelled with pride. David was the lead in the Pretoria Boys High School musical production of Romeo and Juliet and he was the star. There were even newspaper articles written about him and all of a sudden all the girls wanted this shy dork of a boy with fluff on his upper lip and chin.
It was the final night. David was on fire and the audience was electric. They erupted into shouts, whistles and bravos as the curtain came down. Wow!
After the play David was whisked away to a dinner for the cast and when he came home later he was almost unrecognisable. He was seventeen, suddenly tall and handsome, smiling confidently, wearing bell bottom hipster jeans, a cerise pink jersey and a paisley neck scarf. He was flanked by 5 adoring matric girls whom I recognised as the super cool ones from my school. I ran and jumped into his arms for a hug.
“You were so awesome! Wow, seriously Davy, you’re a star!”
“Thank you sweetheart, it was a great night hey.”
He hugged me tightly while the girls said their hellos to my folks and then he slowly lowered me down, then up, then down again, rubbing me over his erect penis, all the while looking directly into my eyes with that smile I knew too well.
He wanted me.
Not the 5 adoring girls.
My heart exploded with joy and disgust in the same moment. I stood in utter confusion with a contorted smile, not knowing where to look or what to say. He turned his attention to the girls and I took my dirty 14 year old arousal to my room and cried myself to sleep. In the morning I put it in a steel box under my rib-cage and ate family breakfast.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Unsplash Kelly Sikkema