Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 118 in June, 2009.
'Get me ma breakfass!' he yell and push me cross the room out to the kitchen. 'You can give me that stuff I eat yesterday,' he say.
'Gimme same,' his wife Afua call, 'and hurry up bout it.'
I go out in the kitchen and prepare muesli with milk for both them. Then I put on kettle to make coffee; only I start to cry then cos I feel so bad and just don't know if I can take it no more.
'Dear God,' I say, 'if you up there, what is it that I do for deserve this?'
Then the doctor he come into the kitchen. 'What you crying for, fool?' he yell and slap me real hard, so I just begin sobbing harder stead of answering him. Now the doctor's the kind of man who he don't like if you don't answer him, so he hit me again, then he kick me and I fall to the floor. I crying out in pain by this time.
I stay on the floor for little while; then the doctor and his wife they go out and I set bout cleaning the place up and washing the dirty clothes. Those was the times I like best, when I was lef all lone in the house, and I begin to remember many things and wonder bout my folks back home, innit. I hope they still live, but there no way to know it for sure. I seen pictures on TV: houses full of people been kill; whole families that been kill for no reason, not far as I can see anyways, cept they belong to a different tribe from the ones what theys doing all the killing.
I'd speak a lot more bout it, cos some times I feel like I got a lot more in me to say bout things what been going on; only soon as I start to tell bout it, it kinda dry up in me. Truth is, most the things that been go on are jus too too terrible for speak bout. Ain't no words can scribe any of it.
I scape to Zaire and it was there I was meet the doctor and his wife, Afua. They took me on as they servant; they say they was come to London. I so happy; but I wasn't knowing the way things was going to become. How can I to know it? Fact is, if I'd knowed the way things they was goin to be, l would of been running off right back to Zaire, innit. I'd try and scape now if I could; but you see I ain't got no rights in this here England. What frighten me is if I do run away then maybe the authorities they can catch up with me and put me on the plane back home. Wouldn't you be fraid, you was in my shoes?
The doctor he come back home in the afternoon. 'What wrong with you,' he say. 'You no please to see me?' Is a mouse please to see the hungry cat? He laugh as if he just say something real funny; then he take hold of me so I can't move, cos the doctor he a big powerful man, and he say to me, 'What you cry for? Don't you like it when I touch you?' Then he laugh again and drag me off to his bedroom. 'No, please, I beg you,' I plead with that terrible man, 'don't do this to me… you have no right… this is an evil thing you do.' He seem to be very amuse by my words. 'No right,' he say, like he talking to a chile. Then he stop laughing and a fierce, ugly spression come over him and he grab hold of me and throw me down on the bed, the way he alwiz done when the mood on him. That real fierce, nasty evil mood he got on him.
You can guess the rest, so I won't tell the disgusting details. But what worry me most bout all this is the doctor he alwiz refuse to use the protection and so I fraid to be pregnant. Maybe I have his chile start to grow in me already.
That night the doctor he take me out to the garage and chain me up like a dog, same as every night. And I fall sleep on the cold stone floor, like usual. But he don't let me out gain in the rnornin to make breakfast, like normal. Fact he leave me chain up there four days and nights. Then, on fifth day, the old people next door musta listun my howling and they call the police and they come let me out.
But soon as it do end for me nother problem it always begin, innit. Thass the way my life been and nothing gonna be different this time. How can I scribe the situation? First I tell the good news, which is Doctor Ngombo and his wife they been put on a plane back to Zaire and told to don't come back. I so happy when I hear that. But then there is the bad news. Alwiz there is the bad news. 'I kill you when you come back!' the doctor he say last thing he speak to me. Only he don't say it so much as kind of hiss it out: 'You won't be safe in Zaire,' he tell me, 'and if you go back to Rwanda after the fightin has stop I gonna find where bouts you is goin and I have you kill.' Now Doctor Ngornbo is man with many money and many many important friend in high place in Africa, so if he say he gonna have someone kill then that person they need to better watch out. So you will understand me when I am tellin you the other bad news is thev people at them Home Office have gone told me I got to go on a plane and get sent back to Zaire. 'You send me to be kill?' I say to them. 'You don't care if that monster he have me kill?'
But yaknow, plain fact is they just don't, innit.