Edwin (@Edgothboy) graces our pages with another story from his archives. He normally loves negative comments so go ahead and be dark. Edwin writes for the Pass The Salt band.
I look at my feet. They’re bruised and purple. He’s really angry this time, fuming by the bar, trying to calm himself. I can’t help but wish he would have tried that before he started raining down the blows. A veteran of his one-sided fist fights, I’ve learnt to sit there and take it; fewer broken bones and he expends himself faster. Fighting back only makes him more vicious. Maddie and Amaka used to be horrified at the clinical way I described my ‘marriage’ to Tade.
“Leave him!” Amaka would beg when I called her for moral support after a fight, “He’s a lousy doctor and not worth the ground you walk on.”
And I on cue, would laugh ruefully and reply, “And go where with no job and two small children?” and she would change the subject. It was our little sordid joke. A joke I would wish on no woman, but one which visited itself on my friends each in turn. And our sordid joke became a silent one, where the pitches were black eyes and the punch lines were emergency hospital visits.
He walks to where I lie, crumpled in the corner of our elegant living room, framed pictures of his mother observing me haughtily. He grabs a clump of my hair and drags me to the centre of the room where I curl into a ball giving as little space as possible. I want to scream but the dried blood from my swollen gums has sealed my lips. The pain is so excruciating I begin to lose consciousness but a swift slap from Tade roots me firmly in reality. I peer out of my good eye, (the other is swollen shut) and see four eyes staring at me. Adeolu and Irene, my five-year old son and my ten-year old daughter are still in their pyjamas, it’s obvious their father dragged them out of their beds so they could watch him humiliate me. Shame washes over me and I turn away. I feel the sharp sting of another slap but my cheeks are so numb that it only registers as a tingle.
“Daddy, stop it!” Irene screams. She starts sobbing and is immediately silenced by a quickly dispatched slap from her father. He grabs me by the scruff of my neck and pulls me into a sitting position and turns me towards my frightened children. My good eye fixates on Adeolu whose eyes have glazed over in confusion; he can’t understand the purpose of this ‘game’.
“Your mother is a slut! A prostitute! Nothing more than a cheap trinket I picked off the street in spite of your grandmother’s warnings.” Tade rants. “She is nothing, cheap property, worth less than your video games or my laptop.”
“Tade!” I scream, tearing the skin off my lower lip in the process. My voice sounds like tyres screeching against an unpaved road. “How can you say that about me? Don’t forget you married me a virgin!”
Tade tightens his grip on my neck till his hands leave imprints. He lets out a maniacal laugh.
“An opinionated whore. That’s what I brought home to my parents.” He grabs Adeolu by the arm and pulls him in so that he’s peering into my face. “Your mother is the worst kind of woman you can ever come across. If you meet a girl who even looks remotely like her, you run like the hounds of hell are after you. Run till your feet can’t carry you anymore.”
I thought my tear ducts had dried out but seeing my naive son nod in innocence to his father’s venomous bile reopened my flood gates. I wailed and thrashed on the floor and tore at my hair with bloodied hands. Tade just cackled and surveyed his work. “Where is your thick skin now?”
“Tade, kill me if you want to but send them back to their bedrooms, they are too young to know what kind of monster you are.”
A swift kick to my abdomen replies my plea. “I may be an angry husband but I’m not a murderer.”
“Then leave me alone, find someone your size to beat up.” I scream in my gravelly voice.
“I see you need motivation to shut up. Let me help you out with that.”
Tade pulls me onto a cushioned stool and tears off my torn dress. My lace panties are bloody but he barely notices as he rips them off. He smirks as he undoes his fly. Irene screams and turns away, shielding Adeolu from the abomination with her body. He grunts behind me, pulling my semi naked body to him and violates me over and over again; I’m too far gone to protest. Afterwards, He zips up and kicks me onto the floor so he can sit on the stool.
“That was deeply satisfying.” He says to himself. “Irene, take your brother to bed.”
Irene grimaces as she swivels her reluctant brother and frogmarches him to their bedroom. I am so humiliated by the entire episode that I let the pain and shock wash over me, overload my senses and push me into unconsciousness.
Could there be valid reasons why women stay in abusive marriages at all costs?