The Coming of Grace
This is the continuation of excerpts from the book, which will be featured here each day until November 30th, 2021. The book is on sale on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and ebooks.
Being shy of five years, Rebekah barely understood the immense gravity of the moment. The loss seemed impossible at the time, and it indeed was. But what her young mind could not fathom were the adversities that would beset her in the coming years due to that loss. This misfortune would shape her destiny and, in time, shape her personality as well.
Rebekah and her father were very close, which she wasn’t with her mother. After her husband’s burial, Winifred sunk into a deep depression, leaving Rebekah at the mercy of those around her. The older women in the community watched over her as best they could, but others could not; with children of their own and being very poor, the best they could do most of the time was to ensure no harm would come to her. Rebekah had to grow up fast if she were to survive in such a harsh world.
Rebekah noticed that girls a little older than her would come under attack by grown men. They tried seducing the girls at every turn. She realized it was only a matter of time before she would also fall their victim. Listening to the older women’s conversations, she quickly picked up some survival tips.
She learned the native men would not go to a girl during her menstruation cycle. So, at ten years old, she began wearing sanitary napkins in hopes of not becoming a victim. It saved her many times until that fateful day when nothing or no one could have protected her.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and the women were off to the marketplace shopping for their families. The freshness of the ocean breeze swept across the island, swirling the lingering aromas of whatever the families had made earlier for breakfast from the three tiny houses sharing the large yard space they called home. Radios were blasting, and Reggae music’s filled the air. Its hypnotic sounds drove listeners in a heightened sense of oneness with the music. Some children would lip-sync to the songs as their bodies surrendered to the beats, which would have them bob their heads and gyrate their hips in unison to the sounds of the music.
Winifred was away at the market, food shopping for the week’s provision, while Rebekah, an eleven-year-old, home alone, was responsible for doing chores and cleaning their house. She went on with her work while daydreaming about her future. This activity became her routine since she was eight years old; cleaning the floors on her knees. Having coated the wooden floor with wax, Rebekah knelt with the coconut brush in one palm. At the same time, simultaneously, the other hand balanced her during the buffing motion as she listened to the blasting in the background. Rebekah shook her bottom to the music while buffing the floor on her knees in harmony with captivating sounds in the background. The pulsating beat of the drums ingrained within her soul, and she became one with it.
Without any warning, she felt someone grab her from behind, and before she could let out a scream, she was pinned to the floor by what felt like an elephant. A hand went over her mouth, muffling her cries. The force that impacted her filled her lungs, to where she felt as if it was about to explode. He had almost knocked her unconscious, and mercilessly he ripped away from her innocence, leaving her in a pool of blood. She lay on the floor like a discarded ragdoll, whimpering in pain. She rolled over to see the monster cleaning himself off. Glaring down at her, he angrily instructed her, “Clean up this mess, and if you ever say anything to anyone, I will come back for you and Winifred…!” The trauma of that moment would become the onset of abuse that she had to endure. At the time, she could not fathom that this painful memory would grow to become the hallmark of her life.
Rebekah spent two-thirds of her life trying to widen the chasm between worlds of barely having to be able to afford to create meaningful growth. The world she emerged from steep in taboos and myths, and the progressive attitude of the metropolitan in which she now resides, moments of assimilation within both, leaves her confused. Rebekah’s journey shifted her reality paradigm, placing her on a turnstile with immense remnants from the past. Within this change and chance, her Creator makes the difference. She believes that God would release her from the world in which she had hoped to escape.