As yet another blow lands on my back sending sharp pains down my spine, it dawns on me that I need to do something, else my husband is going to kill me. I try to push him away and make a move for the door but he pulls me back and throws me to the floor. I land on my stomach and bile rises up to my mouth.
God please, don’t let me die like this. Please God, I don’t want to die and leave my children to this man. Please God.
I can hear Winifred and Osas banging at the door. Winifred is wailing now.
“Mummy, open the door. Mummy, open the door.”
Another blow lands on my face and I can feel blackness beckoning. With the last of my energy, I scream, ‘’Osas! Osas! Go and get Uncle I.K. Go get Uncle I.K.”
“Ok Mummy.” Osas shouts back.
I hear the shuffling of feet and the sitting room door slams shut. I pray that it is Osas running out to call the neighbor from the next compound. Another blow lands on my stomach and I can feel warm liquid flowing down my thighs. As the pain envelops me, I give in to the darkness.
—– —- —
I stand transfixed at the door open-mouthed, starring at the scene before me. Wale, my boyfriend…is in bed… with a man, completely naked, doing what? I don’t know if I should be disgusted or shocked or angry.
I just know that as I stand here watching them fumble with their clothes, the first thought that comes to my mind is “no wonder!”
No wonder he proposed a relationship without sex. No wonder he hasn’t given me more than a kiss or two in all our 7 month relationship. No sex before marriage he had said. I respect the marriage bed, he had said. I love you too much to violate you before we say I do to each other, he had said. I want to wait till you are legally my wife before I make love to you, he had fucking said!
“Gloria, I’m sorry. I am truly sorry.” Wale says from the bed.
His words snap me back to reality. Wise guy. He probably knows that if he comes close to me right now, I might just kick him in the balls or scratch out his eyes or something.
I turn around and walk out of the room. In the sitting room , I pick up the remote and turn off the loud music . That is what had ticked me off in the first place and had enabled me to walk in on them unannounced. Wale never played loud music.
As I march out of the house, I hear Wale and his “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” or whatever they are called, arguing and all that keeps ringing in my head are those two words “no wonder!”
At the junction, I hail a cab and get in. My phone rings. I take it out of my bag to see who it is.
Wale. I ignore the call and toss my phone into my handbag. I stare out of the window and the houses and cars are a blur; I see nothing. As a matter of fact, I feel nothing. Just really numb and scarily calm. My phone continues to vibrate and I ignore it.
My mind drifts back to the night that I met Wale, two years ago at my friend, Lillian’s birthday party. Wale is her husband, Jeffery’s colleague at his office. At the party, he had helped me carry the cakes and drinks and had even succeeded in making my boy friend very jealous. We had exchanged BBM pins and a friendship had begun. Wale is a nice guy…good looking, great sense of style, awesome sense of humor, generous, very intelligent, trustworthy, hardworking, and successful, by my standards.
Some months later, I broke up with my boyfriend because his jealousy and insecurity had gotten out of hand, and he had hit me. That day, I had walked out on him without a backward glance. Granted, I had cared about him, but I had also promised myself very early in life, never to become one of those women who stayed in abusive relationships, listening to apologies and hoping that the man would change.
Ordinarily, I cannot even stand pain; the reason why I have just one pair of ear piercings and no tattoos, seeing how much I loved both. I wasn’t going to allow anyone to inflict unnecessary pain in life or on my body for that matter. I’ve also learnt from experience very early in life, that the cycle of abuse once started, can hardly ever be broken.
After my break up, Wale had stepped in as my rock because even though I had walked out, I had loved my ex. I had been broken hearted and seriously depressed. I remember the times I had cried on his shoulders, gotten drunk and thrown up on his sofa. He had been there for me, dragging me along with him to everywhere, forcing me to eat and look good, until the pain of the break up has lessened and lessened and finally faded. I guess I should have suspected that something was off even then. He had been more of a sister than a friend.
Eventually, Wale asked me out and the rest is history. He had made it very clear that he did not intend for us to have a sexual relationship, and I was more than happy to go along with it. We all know how much sex complicated relationships and I was happy to not have to deal with that kind of complication.
I have spent hours and days with this guy. I have known this guy for 2 years and dated him for almost 7months. Two good years! And not once did I ever suspect his sexual predilections. Has he always been gay?
“My God, how could I have missed this?” I ask myself aloud
“Aunty you say make I stop?” the driver asks me
“Oga no be you I dey talk give.” I snap at him.
From the rearview mirror, I can see him give me a funny look and I couldn’t care less.
I stare out the window again and I go back to wondering how I could have missed this. Where do I even start from to handle this issue?
My phone continues to ring and I fish it out of my hand bag to switch it off, but the number is my sister’s. Wale has probably called her. I wonder how much of the truth he’s told her.
“Hello sis” I answer, but it’s not Margaret. It’s my eight year old niece.
“Osas Honey. Calm down and talk to me ok. I need to understand what you’re saying. What happened to your mummy?” I ask, listening with my heart in my mouth.
After about a minute I manage to understand what she is saying. God please let Maggie still be alive
“It’s going to be ok baby. Osas honey, listen to me, where is your mummy right now?” I listen as she replies that the neighbor had rushed Margaret to the hospital.
“And where is your daddy?” I ask
She answered that she had no idea.
“Where are you right now?”
“In Daniel’s house with his mummy.” Daniel’s mummy is the neighbor from the next compound.
“What about Winny? Is she there with you?”
She answers yes.
“Ok Baby, just remain there and I’ll be there with you really soon. Please stop crying ok? Nothing is going to happen to your mummy. Ok?”
I don’t even believe myself, but she probably does because the wailing stops.
“Listen to me Osas, your mummy will be fine. I’ll be with you in a few minutes! Ok?”
“Yes Aunt Gloria. Please hurry up, I’m scared” she says between sniffles
“Don’t be baby. Everything is going to be alright” I end the call
“Driver abeg, location don change…”