“Never let your moods dictate the things you do. It is a very, very bad way to go about life.”
That was my dad, always waxing philosophical. He was the coolest, calmest and most collected man I ever knew. He was soft and delicate with words; there was this velvet assurance in his voice when he spoke. He was quick to give a reverend homily whenever I, or Godswill, or Freedom, went into a fit of rage or threw tantrums. Even with all the naughty schemes we pulled, while growing, he never flogged us. That was dad!
Dad was the word, mum was the opposite. I always wondered how dad got to marry a woman like her. Whenever she had a point to make, she’d raise her voice to the heavens, threaten fire and brimstone, and use all the swear words in the universe.
But mummy wasn’t just a lion at home; she was twice ferocious outside our home. Every now and then, different neighbors would come to complain to dad about how mum slapped his wife, or about how she called his wife a witch, or a bitch; or about how mummy rained abuses on him in the presence of his children. Our home became a crisis resolution center, and the cases were pouring in by the day.
Many people gossiped that she controlled dad; that dad was not man enough to hold his home together; that dad was a weakling who could not tie the tongue of his wife. But dad was not to blame, he was just a very quiet and gentle man who could not raise his voice, but was married to a ferocious and boiling woman who could not keep down her voice.
I loved mum, but I loathed her behavior. I wondered how dad could decide his future with someone who was just the south to his north! They were poles apart and it baffled me to think they even ever made love. Yuck!
I took dad’s traits. I was calm, gentle and peace loving. Talking was not really my thing. I hated noise and loved serenity. This made me despise mum all the more, because, think of it, women are supposed to be soft, right?
I made a decision that whoever I was going to marry was going to have my traits, no more, no less.
So I met Joshua, and we started dating.
He was smooth, with a quick tongue that could spin a lady till the world around her twirled. He was everything anyone could ever need. We had started our friendship on Facebook- a few ‘hi’, a few comments on each other’s photos, a few likes on each other’s status updates, and an exchange of phone numbers. The friendship went mobile.
He called me every other day. So frequent and long were our conversations that my phone battery always ran down. We would take for two hours at a stretch. He worked with GTBank and was a Lekki big boy. Soon I started visiting and began to feel warm in his arms. I felt reassured in his presence, and like a princess in his lavishness. He had requested that I spend the night with him, but I had always refused. “We will not do anything dear. I just want us to spend the time together, say watch movies, chat or play games. Don’t you think it will be fun?” Could I say no? Of course, I thought it was going to be fun.
I made myself believe that he meant no harm, that he was just a caring young, thirty-something-year-old man who was madly in love with me. Somehow I had forgone the idea of marrying a man who had my traits. Joshua didn’t have my traits, he was loud and somewhat boisterous. But since he wasn’t violent, I felt he was okay. I was in love and love and emotions are the greatest enigma.
So I went to Lekki on that Saturday. His house was a wonder; it was a bungalow he built with five rooms and three baths. I was amazed by it.
We played games, watched a movie, but it was clear that we weren’t interested in those. Soon, we were both on his bed. A part of me fought to resist, but the other part wanted it, and this other part was winning.
He entered and realised I was a virgin. He felt a wave of satisfaction at this. Then he asked me to turn.
“Why?” I asked.
“Just turn and lie on you belly.” I did.
The next thing I felt was a very sharp pain. I screamed. He pinned my face to the bed to try to muffle my scream. I struggled, but his weight had the better of me.