Tayo packed his car in front of The Place at Lekki Phase 1, he looked at his face in the rear view mirror, and shook his head. He quickly fetched his sun shades from his glove box, and put them on.
As he made his way out of the car and into the club, he mentally braced himself for all the hugs and back pats, sprinkled with possible playful punches his friends would be very willing to give to his pain-wracked body. This was his first escape out of the house in over 6 months, and nothing was going to spoil his fun, not even the fear of what might be waiting at home.
Titi paced in the living room of the duplex. Suddenly, she paused and looked around her; they had nice things, furniture her father could not have even dreamt of having with the meagre salary that ensured the family’s continuous suffering. The whole family had resigned to their fate, attending the worst ever primary & secondary schools, schools she was certain the ministry of education needed to close down; her 12 siblings went on to become carpenters, auto mechanics, electricians, food vendors, and hairdressers. She settled for tailoring, which was where she met her husband. A smile played on her lips as she remembered how they met, and how he had fought all odds, namely his parents, to see them together. Her smile widened as she realized how hard her husband works to make sure they were well cared for, lacking nothing, then her gaze fell on the clock and her face darkened with such speed, even Usain Bolt would marvel.
As Tayo drove into his compound, he immediately looked at the windows of the living room, realizing the light was on, the fear that had nudged at his heart all through the evening enveloped him fully. He braced himself as he entered the house, and without failure, it started in its usual progression – the shouting comes first, then the verbal insult, followed by the physical attack, first with her hands, then whatever she could find around (stool, a chair, her shoes) – it usually lasted an hour, until her strength was expended, then she would go into the room, leaving him writhing in pain at a corner of the room.
It took a sharp pain followed by a gush of blood for Tayo to realize this night was different, in his attempt to brace himself against her abuse, he had not noticed the knife in Titi’s hands. When she saw the blood, her already dark face became even darker, and Tayo realized with trepidation that this night might be his very last. His mind flashed back to when it started, and forward to all the things he still wanted to accomplish in life. He had tried to confide in his friends when the abuse started, but how does a grown man open his mouth to say, “I am being abused by my wife.” All the agencies he knows only cater to abused women, where exactly was he supposed to have gotten help? His thoughts stopped, as he slowly slipped into unconsciousness.
With his good hand, he held the cloth to the gash in his head, as they made their way to the hospital.
The Doctor looked at the seemingly worried woman beside him, then took another look at him and with obvious unbelief, asked again, “You said you fell down the stairs?”
He turned to look at his wife, he wasn’t fooled by the worry on her face, she was an actress for crying out loud, her eyes bore the important message, “Tell the Doctor the truth and you would die, right on this hospital bed.”
He turned to the Doctor, and repeated his story once more, of how he was in a haste to go see some friends and tripped at the top of the stairs, tumbling down, he was met by his concerned wife at the bottom, who quickly got the car key, got help transferring him to the car, and immediately drove down to the hospital.
The Doctor did not need to know that his wife had been hitting his fractured hand with a chair repeatedly, he did not need to know that she had pushed him down the stairs, he did not need to know that she took her own time in getting him help, and he did not need to know that this was not the this was not the first, and most likely would not be the last.
Unfortunately, Dr. Peter knew, as he shuddered at the thought of when his own wife would take her abuse this far.
Its is early Saturday on this side of the planet and so I decide to indulge myself a little on the blogosphere. While on my ravenous adventure, I came across this story and just couldntx shake of the urge to share.
I hope you enjoy it immensely and let me know your thoughts too in the comment section.
Source: #DontLetTheDevilUseYou: Episode 5