Uncle Carl was not my uncle.
(WARNING- Adult content)
I slept on the outside edge of my brothers bed and I waited for the man we called Uncle Carl to come and wake me. I wore my two piece pyjamas. My brother slept against the wall. Uncle Carl touched my shoulder as I lay sleeping with my brother. The irritation of his touch woke me. I wanted to look at the book he had shown me that afternoon. I wanted to see the drawings of women wearing black bras and panties with no bottoms. I was curious. I had never seen a black bra before. The bras in the Sears catalog were white. I didn’t wear a bra. I was eight. I didn’t even have a training bra.
I followed the man I called Uncle Carl from my brothers bedroom to my room across the hall. My room was at the end of the hallway. My window faced the backyard. My pink ruffled curtains were pulled shut, the pink covers on my twin bed were pulled back.
My brother was asleep. My mother was asleep. My father was asleep in Ontario. The neighbors were asleep. My cat was asleep.
He did not turn the lights on in my room. I couldn’t understand how we could look at the drawings of the women in black bras without the lights on.
“Where is the book?” I said.
He said, “I will show it to you in a minute. First lay in bed with me.”
He was a man we called Uncle Carl. He was sleeping in my bedroom. He was sleeping in my bed.
I have lain in bed with my parents in the dark when thunder and lightning raced across the Saskatchewan prairie sky. I had slept beside my mother and father when I was afraid. This man was in my bed. It was my bed. I didn’t know it was wrong to lay in bed with him.
It was my bed.
I lay down in my twin bed beside him. I faced the door with my back to him. He pulled my pink Bedspread over us. He brought his knees under my legs. He put his hand into the waistband of my pajama bottoms and put his hand between my legs. He touched me where I pee. I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t think he was going to show me the book. I got out of my twin bed and walked out of my bedroom and walked across the hallway and went back to sleep in my brother’s room.
I never saw him again.
He wasn’t in the kitchen in the morning drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. His brown suitcase was no longer on top of my desk.
My mom washed the sheets and put them back on my bed.
I didn’t tell my mother the secret. Not yet.
As I write this story, the song “Jesus Loves Me” plays in my head, on a continuous loop.
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus love me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
You can read the next part in the story here: “Mommy, I have a secret.”
These writings refer to Carl Shaack, a Canadian man who died in the early 1990’s. Any resemblance to the name or likeness of any other person using the name Carl, Carl Shaack, or Uncle Carl, is purely coincidental.
About Pamela Hodges
My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.