I shut my puffy eyes in solitude, away from the unsightly compound overgrown with weeds, as the only word I know to attribute to Onosakponome swims about in my head. Bitterleaf.
I feel throbbing spasm inside my taut belly that makes me groan. I know they have nothing more to do with pregnancy, because yesterday, I lost my unborn babies to Onosakponome’s brutality.
The air is heavy with the stench of stale shit oozing from the pit latrine nearby. Sitting outside our secluded one room apartment with my bruised thighs spread out, I await Onosakponome’s return home. His dinner is in the brown warmer to keep warm. For dinner, I prepared his most favourite soup – bitterleaf.
Yesterday, as the blood from my miscarriage poured down, I swore by my dead babies that I will never see the light of another day after today in this very place – dead or alive.
Once more, I remember my mama, and wished with powerful regret that the knife she had flung at me when I stated my intention to marry Onosakponome a year ago had landed on my left eyeball rather than the eyebrow. Drowned in grief that came from the thought, I sob myself to sleep.
My slumber is terminated by a heavy knock that sears right through my skull.
“Die in your sleep!” the voice growls.
Onosakponome reeks of burnt grass, the kind that makes me want to double over and empty my guts. I do not wait for him to demand for his meal before I serve it knelt on both knees, praying that he finds the ceramic plates clean enough not to be thrown at me. The dark green leaves and chunks of stock-fish floating in yellow broth prepared with weed killer salt, 200g Paraquat Dichloride, is too inviting for him to resist. While he swallows moulds after moulds of fufu, I excuse myself out of the room and lock it from outside.
Getting outside, I walk away without turning.