Loathed and Lonely
The silvery moon, adorning the calm harmattan night sky, poured its gentle light into Darra’s room. A random thought kept her awake, but not really about anything. That calm, however, was soon disrupted by terrifying recollections of what had happened months ago — of what Kofi had sneaked into her room to do.
She had perceived a negative change in how Ma Adwoa and Kofi — not surprising of the latter, anyway — treated her.
Had Kofi perhaps sold his mom a different narrative of that fateful night, already making Darra guilty of whatever she was yet to report?
Should she tell on him?
Ah, but what if doing so subjected her to even more hostility?
These burdensome questions and more ran through her mind, leaving Darra too tired to pursue answers.
Ultimately, Darra decided to spill the beans — damn the consequences — once she settled on the right moment and manner to broach the matter. Braving it all, she just let out her complaint one day when in the kitchen helping Ma Adwoa ready dinner.
“Eh, but Darra, why have you kept it to yourself all this while?” the seemingly startled woman asked in response. “Who else have you told?”
Ma Adwoa appeared rather perturbed — but not because she felt any sympathy for her house-help. Darra, like many other victims in such situations, only got served the blame her abuser deserved.
Darra increasingly felt alone and dejected, struggling to douse flames of hatred from a family that once welcomed her, and chafing under the burdens of contempt and chores that only seemed to get more laborious.
One thrifty thing, though, was that Darra had never forgotten to save up. There was something to fall back on in times of need, certainly guaranteeing her a ticket to where relief lay next if this maltreatment persisted. And it did, making Darra feel the need to confide in someone.
But who, really?
One cold evening, Mr Ntow — Ma Adwoa’s husband — summoned Darra. He, too, may have believed the false stories and wrongly accused the poor girl of malicious intent to smear the family’s name. Darra wasn’t given a chance to speak in her defence, but the tears that rolled down her pale cheeks spoke volumes. Sadly, no one was listening. She excused herself and headed for her room, a gesture Ma Adwoa interpreted as being unthinkably rude — cue even more abuse.
Darra barely managed to push through her tedious daily tasks, unhappy and unmotivated. Days and weeks did little to lessen the bad treatment she so regularly tholed. Kofi, meanwhile, felt emboldened by the family’s condoning his bad ways.
Darra eventually decided to leave, after twice being groped by a shameless Kofi in the period that followed, but not without first informing her employers-turned-oppressors.
Were the Ntows going to let her off that easily, though?
Fearing the worst — from Kofi and his parents — Darra bided her time, in hope and in doubt.
When the Sun Pointed South is a weekly series — exclusive to Daily Mail GH every weekend — that tells the entirely fictional and incredibly inspiring story of a young girl who escaped the rigors of life in Ghana’s North, braved odds down South, and emerged radiant. Get the previous episode here if you missed it.
Mathy Adortsu — Daily Mail GH