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The woman she now knew as Mrs Damini took her to her house when she was discharged from the clinic the next morning. She called Tari to inform her of her whereabouts, but didn’t tell her the whole story. There would be time enough for that. She freshened up while Mrs Damini prepared breakfast. Once they were through with the meal, and she had taken her drugs, they delved into the incident that brought them together the previous night.
Kade rubbed her palms together. “I guess you are wondering how I got involved with someone like that.” Her voice trembled a little, marked with sorrow and regret.
Mrs Damini smiled, revealing a gap-tooth. “I’m not judging you. There’s always a story behind every occurrence.” She said in a friendly tone. “Tell me your story.” Her tone was encouraging.
And Kade did.
She told the story from the beginning. How her excitement about Priye’s proposal had gotten her to say yes without any spiritual conviction. All she had seen then was a secured future. She told the story of his volatile temper. How he would apologize after each physical and verbal abuse. How he made her feel like it was totally her fault. Finally, she told the woman what led to the beating that fateful night.
A tear rolled down her cheek and dropped on the table. She exhaled and straightened in her seat. “He could have killed me in his blind fury last night.” She said. A shiver ran through her at the thought of Priye beating her to death. She started crying. “I have been a fool all this while. I thought he would change. I thought he would change if I do all what he wanted, but it was never enough. He grew worse despite my submission.”
The woman pitied her. “Was that the reason why you didn’t leave him, because you felt he would change?”
Slowly, Kade nodded. “I was also worried about what people will say in church. I didn’t know how to tell our pastor that I wanted to break up with Priye. I was scared of telling them the truth. I was also scared of what Priye would do to me if I expose him in church where everyone assumed he was a saint.” She explained, sniffing. “And how do I repay him for all he has done for me. All these kept me in silence.”
“Listen carefully to me, Kade, we can never change a person on our own. It is not our job to change anyone, because that is God’s job. So you made a mistake from the start, fine, but that doesn’t mean you should spend your entire life paying for it, or pay for it with your life.” She took Kade’s hand across the table. “Even if it wasn’t a mistake, you should not keep feeling that all will be fine one day when it involves a threat to your life. Let me tell you, Kade, it wasn’t because you weren’t submissive enough or loving enough, Priye just has personal issues to deal with. And until he deals with them, he’ll continue be the way he is. You can’t help him. What he needs is professional and spiritual help. You can’t live your life to please people. Your parents should not make you stay in a relationship that will destroy you. Your pastor, friends have no say if such relationship will cause you great harm.” She sighed, a sad look in her eyes. “I wish I had the opportunity to know all this earlier.” She said.
Kade angled her head. “Know what?” She asked.
Mrs Damini rolled up her left shirt sleeve and revealed a rugged scar on her upper arm. Kade gasped. Her eyes flew to her in horror. A sad smile played on Mrs Damini’s face. “I got that from my husband. I stayed back so we could be one family for the children’s sake, but it was one big mess. All I wanted was for our children not to have a broken home. You see, I came from a broken home, and it wasn’t easy growing up that way. My mother was all we had and she tried her best. I wanted to help her. So when James, that’s my husband’s name, proposed to me immediately I finished university, I jumped at it.” She shook her head at the memory. She went to the sink and got a glass of water. She downed it all at once. She returned to the table to continue her story.
“We didn’t date for long. He was a contractor with shell so we hardly had time for each other. I didn’t mind. I just wanted to be married to someone who could take care of me. I discovered a little too late what mistake I had made. James had a penchant for perfection. His drive for perfection made me believe I could be an angel, his angel.” She let out a bitter laugh, running her fingers through her short hair. “But each time I showed myself to be human, the consequence was always disastrous. At the end, I got stabbed during one of his violent outrages. That ended our marriage of six years. Did I say marriage? No. Bondage of six years is the right description. My mother wept when everything became open. It became a family war. We’ve been separated for thirteen years now. Our two children are doing very well now. I must say you’re fortunate, Kade. You haven’t said ‘I do’. I want you to do the right thing my dear, for your future and for your children. It’s time to speak up.”
Kade blinked away the tears that gathered in her eyes as she listened to Mrs Damini. The ball was in her court. She could choose to stay with Priye all in the name of crazy love and a secured future that may never come, or break her silence and be free.
Kade’s crossroad? Almost at an end.
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