Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Siyona. Siyona was a very happy, skippy and cheerful girl. She loved the smell of freshly baked cake, dancing in the rain and laughing at the silliest of things.
One day Siyona’s mum told her that a close friend of her father was in town, and was coming to stay with them for a few days. Siyona was excited, houseguests meant gifts! Uncle came visiting that evening, and he did bring her some amazing gifts – a doll she had been eyeing at the store for weeks, a candy bar and some apples. He spent time showing her some magic tricks too! Siyona immediately took a liking to him.
After that day, Siyona looked forward to her uncle coming home after work every evening. He would have a new gift for her every day. He would sat listening to her endless chatter about her day in school, tell her jokes and even play with her, which her dad rarely had time to do after his day of work. This evening he got her some fancy bangles. She was giddy dancing with them on, jingling and jangling them all over the house. Mom and dad were also happy to see Siyona so thrilled. ‘You are my favourite uncle’, Siyona squealed, hugging him.
Later that evening, after dinner, Siyona lay exhausted on the sofa, after all the prancing around the house. Uncle asked her whether she wanted to listen to a bedtime story. Siyona was elated. It had been years since she had been tucked in bed with a story, her parents were too exhausted by the end of the day. Uncle started reading her a story, and soon Siyona was transported to magical land of castles and princesses. ‘Princess, would you like to sleep with me tonight?’ whispered uncle. Siyona nodded her sleepily. ‘She can sleep with me tonight. You both have the evening off. It must be ages’, said uncle, talking to dad. Mum gave him a glare, but dad agreed, ‘It’s fine, dear. Just for tonight. Let’s catch a late night movie show. We haven’t been out without Siyona since she was born.’ Though reluctantly, Mum agreed. They really hadn’t spent alone time together since a very long time. Uncle carried Siyona to bed, and she soon drifted off to deep sleep.
Late into the night, Siyona stirred in her sleep. It was very dark, and she was feeling bit uncomfortable. It was getting really hot in the room, and it seemed as if uncle was very close to her. She tired pushing him away, but his hand wouldn’t move. In fact, his hand seemed to be touching between her thighs… but didn’t mum tell her nobody was supposed to touch her there? Didn’t uncle know? Was he too sleepy? Mum had told her long time ago, ‘ Sweetheart, however close someone is to you, however much you like them or trust them, no one is supposed to touch your three special areas – your chest, your bum and the area between your legs. If that ever happens, scream a loud ‘No!’, and please come and tell me or your dad.’
Siyona tried pushing him harder. But uncle just tried to shush her, ‘Hush, its ok Princess. It’s just me. Your favourite uncle. Tomorrow, we both will go out for ice-cream after I come back in the evening. Now go to sleep. Don’t make noise. You might wake up your mum and dad.’ His hand slide under her frock, and now Siyona was wide awake! The skin on her arms pricked, and tears welled up in her eyes as she tried pushing his hand away. Then suddenly, a little voice in her throat said ‘No!’
‘What?’ asked uncle in a slimy voice. ‘No!!!’ she screamed louder this time, and bit his hand hard. She wiggled herself out of his grasp and tried to get to the bedroom door. Just then the door flung open. Mum and dad had just gotten back home, and had heard Siyona’s scream. They came rushing into the room, and one look at Siyona’s tearful and scared eyes and Mum knew what had happened. She hugged her, and asked her what happened. Did she have a nightmare? Siyona narrated what had happened, but uncle denied it. He just laughed and said, ‘C’mon, she has no idea what she is talking about. She was stirring in sleep due to a dream probably and I was just stroking her back to sleep. Silly kid’
Mum got livid with anger! She screamed at uncle, ‘My child doesn’t lie! She knows the difference between good touch and bad touch!! Get out of my house now!!’ Dad was red with anger. He asked the uncle to leave before he would hurt him really bad.
What followed was a blur… Dad called up the police, and someone took uncle away. Mum hugged Siyona tight and cried the whole night, saying ‘I am so sorry, baby. I should’ve never left you alone. I am so proud of what you did. You remembered in time what I had taught you about good touch and bad touch just in time.’
Siyona was taken to a very kind lady the next day, who talked to me about what had happened, and said that I was a very brave girl, and she was very proud of me.
Siyona, though shaken after the incident, felt very brave and proud of herself, when told so by her mum and dad every day. They never missed a chance to give her an extra hug and kiss now, and it made her feel so special. She soon went back to being happy and skippy, and loving the smell of freshly baked cakes and dancing in rain and laughing at the silliest things, all over again.