She turned startled and found him at the door way staring at her. With hearts beating wildly out of fear, mind rehearsing how to protect her head and her pregnancy. She managed to mutter with a stutter
‘Did you need something?’
‘You want me to get something for you?’
He closed the gap between them and embraced her.
‘I’m sorry.Be my wife again’ then descended his head for a kiss. Bile rose to her throat. All she wanted to do was push him away. Her side still bruised from the hitting. Her long shiny hair scraped from the scalp from the pulling. Her shame evident to neighbors but like a dutiful wife as mum said you don’t deny your husband sex no matter what. She faked the moan as he caressed her breast and open her legs as he parted them. His muttering of you are so sweet and i have missed this gave little satisfaction. All she thought about was he really sorry or was it sex talking then off to plans of the next day as the rhythmic dance came to an end accompanied with a groan and a snore.
The days passed fast and calmness returned but as much as she dared to hope, the nagging feeling persisted. Things didn’t look like it was going to change. This relationship was taking a toll on her. Baby Nathan wasn’t sleeping well. these days he woke with a scream and cry. I have to see Pastor Ben.
‘Sister, the devil like a roaring lion moves to and fro looking for whom to devour. Divorce is not your option O, what God has joined together let no man put asunder.’
‘But sir the last time he attempted strangling me and i passed out and he is cheating on me. Isn’t that a criteria for divorce?’
‘Watch and pray my sister and embark on a fast. Be submissive. Whatever he says or does, keep quiet. He is the head of the home.Fast and pray my sister’.kneel, let me pray for your family.
Two months after she was nursing a heavy slap that cut an eye. The more she thought about it, the more the tears couldn’t stop. ‘I shouldn’t have asked him who Bisi was. Now he would have been home. Where was he? What was he doing?’ Fear gripped her heart for as much as she resented him sometimes she still loved him.
‘ I don’t want to lose my home Father she muttered looking unto heaven. Please, bring him home. Tears poured as she knelt in prayer
Washing with a protruding belly and startled by the sudden loud knock on the door.
‘The Lord has not given us the spirit of fear’ she muttered as she rose with difficulty to find out who it was.
‘What took you so long he rudely brushed past her?’
‘I was washing’
‘Bring my food’
A look of disgust greeted her as she came in tray in hand housing his favorite pounded yam and egusi soup.As he ate, she watched him trying to decipher his mood.
‘I need your permission for something’
‘I can’t really do most of the house chores in my condition. Please,can i invite my sister over?’
‘You are lazy that’s what is wrong with you.You don’t plan and you have no organisational skill.What i saw and married i still wonder.You will have do it yourself that’s the way you will learn’.
He continued eating hungrily and then as usual rose with the dignity of a king leaving the dishes muttering you can’t even cook.Without thinking she returned sharply
‘I can’t cook but you finished the food to the last mole’.
‘You did’t ask if we have eaten or where the money came from’
‘I lack organisational skill but your clothes are sorted and your house always clean’
‘I don’t know value for money but you borrow mine and never return’.
‘You dare talk to me that way?’ he roared as his hand struck head and legs struck belly.
she woke up the next day in the hospital to see his remorse tear stained face and his mother.
‘My daughter wetin happen?’ she asked five days later in a family meeting.
‘na ya fault na’ she relied after the narration.
‘So wetin come happen say en get another woman. Na African man na. At least en never carry the woman come house.That means en still respect you as the wife.’
‘Tell her not to talk to me like that again because if she does i will beat her again’.
‘You don hear. Leave him alone. Make yourself happy. Na man get house.Whatever he says don’t’ be angry. Anger no be good character for woman. Oya, kneel down beg am’
Silence enveloped the house thereafter and resentment grew. Work that gave a little sanity lately held no appeal. The owing of salaries and the impudence of a boss was making it difficult to breath. Church held no appeal, all they wanted was money, money, money. With prayer daily on her lips and heart she looked pale and worn out. Eric went on as normal. Coming home whenever he liked. Smelling of female perfume sharing a laughter and attention for the female on the other end of the line. Sometimes he went straight for the clitoris and every hesitation to open the legs fast enough was reprimanded then she noticed the bleeding one morning. With fear for her child, she rushed to the hospital and news greeted her after the induction was the baby didn’t make it.
Too tired too cry or mourn and the rigors of it all didn’t register with the man she called husband. Life was hell and with one purpose only she made his favorite food dancing to the music that played only in her head accompanied occasionally with a laugh. She made it exactly the way he liked it only with something different, she added something that ensured he will sleep; sleep and never wake.