Eight years ago, at the age of just twelve, I witnessed the most inhumane and cruel act that anyone could think of. And to this day, I feel as if moving mountains would be easier than carrying the burden I bestowed upon myself.
I remember it all so clearly, the screams, the cries for help, the blood stain on the carpet. What I remember most vividly is standing still, watching my sister’s rapist torture her, killing whatever was alive and good inside her, and leaving her emotionless and bare on the carpet in our lounge.
I watched as he pulled up his zipper and quietly walked out the front door, as if whatever had just happened was nothing new for him. I realised that he was unaware of the fact that I had just witnessed his cruelty. And then it hit me – I could have helped her.
Calling my parents was not an option as they were out of town. But what about the police, or a neighbor, or any of the other relatives we had? I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. It was as if the sky had fallen over my head. I could not think straight. My heart beat so fast and loud, I could feel it in my throat. I was sure that if my poor sister had been in her senses, surely, she would have been able to hear it.
The rest of the evening was quiet. Tension filled every corner of the house. My conscience screamed at me, mocking me for being a coward. I was as much a criminal as that man had been. By sunset, my sister had cleaned up the mess and locked herself up in her room.
A few days later, after my parents had returned, they noticed that things were different. And how wouldn’t they be? Even a blind person could see the changes.
So after supper, which my sister had refused to eat with us, my mother and father sat down with me in the same room that my sister had lost her innocence in. They told me they were worried. They asked me if something had happened that they should know about. My conscience smirked at me, folding its arms, as I said, “No, nothing happened.”
Saying those three words was the biggest mistake of my life. Because two days later, my sister’s funeral was held in the exact same room where the event had taken place. And it was where we had found the suicide note, written explicitly, without mercy. And things have never been the same, ever since. There was no denying the fact that I was, in a way, my sister’s murderer.