Futon Avenue in September nights was quiet, so quiet that one could hear the clinking sound of the church bell from Christ Church Chapel even before the bell chimed.
You were standing behind the window of your sultry room sobbing, and peering into the darkness like a child locked up in a room and forbidden to step out. You had left the whole windows open to let in cool, fresh air. The air smelt of nothing, it wasn’t like the foul air that forced itself into your car whenever you drove past Eyo-Ita hostel. You let the windows open too because you were waiting for your husband, Uwazuruike.
You exhaled, the air making a whistling sound as it left your small nostrils. When you heard the sound of his approaching car, you wiped away the tears on your long face with the curtain and waited. He parked, under the big mango tree that stood in front your bungalow, the street lights were on now so you could see him clearly. He staggered out of the car while you rushed to help him.
You locked up the car while he grunted.
You refused to reply him. You took his big arm, put it around your shoulder and walked him into the house.
Weeks ago, Uwazuruike had come back drunk yet again. You were fast asleep but you heard someone moaning from afar. You went out to the verandah, saw Uwazuruike sprawled on the floor and bleeding badly on his shin. He had missed a step and injured his leg.
After he had recovered, you told him that he wouldn’t get in between your legs again unless he stopped drinking, not that you actually meant it then, but you hoped it would make him stop. He came back smelling heavily of alcohol the next day and when he wanted to kiss you, you avoided him.
As you helped him up those steps where he had broken his shin; he whispered into your ear, “today would be different, Nkem.” He chuckled. You think he was different today.
In the room, he removed his hand from your shoulder. He pushed you, you fell to the bed with your back. Before you knew it he was on you, his powerful hands pinning your arms to the bed. You tried to wriggle free but you couldn’t. You screamed. He started to thrust himself in and out of you slowly, then faster and faster. You cursed and cursed him. He looked into your tear-filled eyes and said those words that shattered you, ‘Nkem, we call ourselves men because we decide to take consequences of our actions’. He chuckled again.