Old Flame EP 6

Welcome, Fam. Happy Fathers day. Happy reading!

Episode Six

Bina’s aunty was a nice woman, Ebika noticed. She welcomed her with open arms and complimented her without any reservation. Ebika liked the woman. It was the first time she was meeting her because she had been living in Ghana and just relocated to Nigeria after the death of her Ghanaian husband a year ago. She was a pretty woman who still stood straight despite her sixty-three years. Her smile added beauty to her aged face. Ebika had met Bina’s parents and it had left her wondering if Bina took after someone else in his family. His mother was just like her aunty – delicate and pretty despite her age. Seeing his aunty made her wonder again whom he took after. The only connection between Bina and his aunty was their fair skin.

“Aunty, who does Bina look like?” she asked, throwing him a sideways glance. His eyes twitched at her question, but she didn’t mind.

Aunty Nene laughed. “Bina is a replica of our father, his grandfather. His mother must have thought of him so much as he died some days before Bina was born.” She explained.

Ebika gave a nod, smiling a little. “No wonder.” She said.

Bina sat up beside her, his brows knitted in puzzlement. “No wonder what?” He and his aunty chorused.

Ebika’s face flushed in Embarrassment. What was she thinking bringing up issues on Bina’s look? He was not ugly. Why was she bent on painting him like that?  She coughed a little to cover her embarrassment. “Oh nothing. I was just wondering why Bina… er… well, he’s not as tall as you.” She rushed to explain.

Aunty Nene laughed again, but Bina’s lips tightened in displeasure. He kept looking at her all through the time his aunty spent telling them stories of her stay in Ghana.

“Let me go and get you something to eat, my dear. Bina is not a stranger, but you are. I must take care of you. That drink is nothing.” She pointed to the glass of juice on the side stool she had offered them when they came in earlier.

“Okay, ma’am.” Ebika answered.

Aunty Nene got up and moved to the kitchen, leaving them to watch the drama series on the television. Ebika felt Bina’s eyes on her and so she turned to him.

“What?” She asked with questioning eyes.

“Go and help her in the kitchen.” He said in a whispery tone.

Ebika looked towards the kitchen and back to Bina. “It’s my first time here, Bina. Why should I join her in the kitchen? I didn’t plan on coming here to cook.” She replied. Her tone was sharp with anger.

Bina said no more. They spent the rest of the time in silence, watching television. When Aunty Nene served the food, Ebika offered to help, but Aunty Nene brushed her off and told her to enjoy the treatment. Ebika flashed her tongue at Bina and mouthed ‘I told you so’. He gave a shrug and let it pass.

Their visit came to an end and they appreciated Aunty Nene for the good time. When they got into Bina’s car, he brought up the issue of joining Aunty Nene in the kitchen.

“Ebika, you should have joined her in the kitchen.” He chided her. “You should have shown your good home training.” He turned the key in the ignition and started the car.

Ebika waited for the noise from the engine to reduce a bit before she answered him. “Bina, please don’t spoil this wonderful evening we just had. Must I help in the kitchen just to prove I am a wife material?” She demanded in anger, arms folded across her chest.

Bina kept his eyes on the road. “It shows respect, Ebika. You seem not to understand the point I’m trying to make here. It’s as if you’re deliberately disagreeing with me.” He turned to look to her briefly, then back to the road. “What was that comment about my look, Ebika. I never thought it mattered.” His lips drew together in disapproval.

Ebika huffed. “Are you saying I’m just against you for the pleasure of it?” She gasped. “Honestly, I like the fact that you are showing emotions. I like the fact that you noticed my comment about your look.”

He looked at her. “What do you mean by that, Ebika?”

“Please keep your eyes on the road.” She stated. He turned. “Take a good look at the way you are dressed today. Why would you wear a dress shirt on a jean all tucked in with a sandal, Bina?” She bawled at him.

Bina laughed. “There is nothing wrong with the way I am dressed, Ebika.” He said.

“Yeah, right.” She sneered.

He kept talking about his taste in fashion, but Ebika stopped listening. Her mind wanted to see someone who took his time looking good. She had checked his whatsapp display picture and liked what she saw. Even in a polo, Tolu could stop her in her tracks. When she complimented his look, he had forwarded some of his recent pictures to her. He requested for hers and she had sent the best. He gushed over them. It made her feel like she was back in Creek Haven University again when Tolu couldn’t get enough of her.

Sad lines crossed her face when she thought of the last time Bina had complimented her. Sometimes she wondered if he noticed at all. They just went through the motions of their relationship like actors in a scripted play. There was nothing spontaneous about them, nothing exciting. Everything was just steady, nothing out of line.

She sighed. She was definitely bored out of her mind. Bina was not helping matters at all. She’d just chat up Tolu when she got home. At least that would bring exciting memories to her. Her eyes twinkled like the stars as she thought about that. She closed her eyes to watch the texts of her chat with Tolu dance across her head.

They were not moving. Something was wrong. Her eyes opened slowly. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and looked around. She yawned a little, trying to remember where she was. It came to her in no time. She had dozed off while thinking about Tolu. She looked around for Bina. The driver’s seat was empty. The bonnet of the car was raised. She opened the door and stepped out. Bina was bent over the engine, looking hard at it.

“What is going on, Bina?” She asked.

He straightened. Worried lines were drawn across his forehead. He kneaded his forehead. “I really don’t know what is wrong. The car jerked for a while and stopped. It refused to start.” He explained.

Ebika folded her arms. “Maybe you are out of fuel.” She reasoned.

“No, it’s not fuel. Something is wrong.” He bent over the engine again and started touching some parts.

“You see why I keep telling you to change this car.” Ebika challenged him.

He angled his head to look at her. “Ebika, I can’t afford a new car now. This will just have to do.” He told her.

“Then maybe you should sell it and gather money to buy a better car.”

Bina sighed. He stopped hitting the engine. “You know we’re preparing for our wedding. Car is not our priority now.”

“If it’s not then we shouldn’t be going around in this… this…” She looked away in disgust without completing her statement.

“This what, Ebika?” He inquired.

“How do I get home now?” She said instead, fixing him with angry eyes. Around them people moved in a hurry as darkness was gradually creeping in.

“I’ll stop ‘keke’ for you. I don’t think I’ll be able to take you now.”

Her face swelled with anger. She pursed her lips and looked away from him. He came to stand in front of her.

“I’m sorry, Ebika. This is not intentional. Please don’t be angry.” He said in a pleading tone.

She said nothing. She just stood while he got a tricycle to take her home. All the way she fumed over Bina’s stubbornness. Why won’t he just buy a new car? She mused. How much exactly was a Lexus? Bina just has to change his car if he wants me to go anywhere with him again, she resolved as the keke drew close to her bus-stop.

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Old Flame EP 1

Welcome, fam. Thanks for stopping by. Get on the journey with Ebika and Tolu. It’s going to be a long but interesting ride. Don’t get tired!

Episode One

Time was against her. Ebika checked her wristwatch for the umpteenth time since she joined the ATM queue in front of Royalty Bank. She grimaced when she realized she had been on the queue for over thirty minutes. She tapped her feet impatiently. She counted the persons before her now. There were three persons left. She frowned deeply. It shouldn’t take long anymore, if only the man using the ATM at that time would hurry up. He seemed to be making withdrawals for his entire family. People around started murmuring. The man remained unperturbed. He had his back to them, his broads shoulders raised confidently. Ebika finally lost her cool.

Putting up her best imitation of British English accent she called to him. “Hello, Sir. I hope you know there are people waiting on this queue to use the ATM.” She said. Heads turned towards her. She kept her face serious, adjusting her glasses a little. It wasn’t the time to count the number of persons she had charmed with her accent. “You should not remain there like it is your living room.” She added.

The man turned to look at her. When he didn’t turn back to the ATM after a few seconds, Ebika’s confident waned. What if he was a Professor or a Linguist? She pondered. Has he sensed my British accent is not the real deal? Her heart beat against her ribcage in fear.  He must be someone important, she observed, looking him over. He was smartly dressed in a grey suit that hung perfectly on his lean but muscular body. His shoulders reminded her of wrestlers in WWE. She swallowed when she looked at his face. His beard was neatly-trimmed around his strong jawline. When her eyes met his, his was twinkling. A strange feeling crept up her body. There was something oddly familiar about him.

“Oga, face wetin you dey do abeg. We no come here come play.” The man immediately behind him fired at him.

That broke the magic of the moment. The man went back to what he was doing. Ebika shook herself. What was that about? She wondered. Why does he look familiar? She rubbed her forehead. Nothing came to her.

She let it go when it was her turn to use the ATM. The feeling of urgency from before hit her again. She typed in her details and went on to transfer money to her younger sister. Her heart thumped lightly as she awaited the service report. It soon flashed on the screen. Her eyes grew with disappointment as she read the reply: issuer not available; contact your bank.

“Oh, God!” She screamed in deep frustration, banging her hand against the machine. Her card was injected.

The person behind her stepped up to her in front of the machine. She eyed him angrily. “Please, I’m not through with what I’m doing. Give me space.” She said.

The man hesitated, but when she refused to move away from the machine, he went back to the queue. She tried the transfer again and got the same reply. Her eyes glistened with tears as she took her card and stepped away from the machine. She took off her glasses and dropped them in her bag. Enough with the fashion, she was not in the mood anymore.

How would her sister get the drugs now that she couldn’t transfer the money needed to her? She swiped off the first tear that came down her cheek. She inhaled deeply, fighting for control. What good would it do if she broke down in tears now? She would try another ATM. Just as that decision took root in her heart, her phone bleeped, notifying her of text message. She pulled it out of her bag and read the message.

She placed her left hand on her head. Everything was going from bad to worse. The message was a debit alert from her bank. Debit alert? She cried within her, for money I didn’t even withdraw. Oh God! What she had left in her account could not cover the money for the drugs. Her legs wobbled under her. She walked on shaky legs to the rail that lined the right side of the bank and leaned against it.

Who will help me with this now? She pondered, flipping through her phone. She thought of her friend Doubara but shook it off. Doubara just paid her house rent. The next person that came to her mind brought a frown to her already sorrowful face. Her cousin Douye would never help. She was always broke. Sharing an apartment with Douye for the past couple of years have proven that her cousin was quite dependent. She would have parted ways with her if not that the apartment was free, and Douye had her good sides. Who else? A light smile touched her face when she thought of Binaebi. Yes, Bina is the right person. Why didn’t I think about him before breaking down? She chided herself.

She dialled his number quickly. After the first two calls went unanswered, her hope dwindled. She gave it a third try and he answered then.

“Hi, Dear.” She called, her face brightened with hope. She straightened against the rail.

“Hi.” His voice came across the line.

“I really need your help, Bina.” She told him.

“What?” He asked, sounding distracted.

She heard voices in the background. It wasn’t surprising since Bina worked as a customer care agent for one of the telecommunications company in the country. She took a quick look at her watch. It was a bad time to call, but she couldn’t help it.

“I need you to transfer some cash to me. I want to send it to my sister for my mother’s drugs. It’s urgent.” She told him.

He was silent for a few seconds. She took the phone off her ears to be sure he hadn’t gone off, but the call timer was still reading.

“Bina.” She barked down the line in impatience.

“Sorry about that.” He replied in a whisper. “Listen, Ebika, I can’t do anything now. My team leader just sent me a warning sign. We’ll talk later.”

The line went dead. Her tears came then. Bina was her last hope. What would she tell her younger sister? She threw her head back and closed her eyes tightly. Lord, I need Your help, she prayed silently. I’m at a lost at what next to do. Please, don’t let anything happen to my mother.

A hand touched her lightly causing her to jump. Her eyes flew open. Her fingers wound around the rail in a tight grip. She looked up and came face to face with the man from the queue earlier. The setting sun cast a light glow on his shiny dark hair, richly oiled. She squinted at him, wondering what he wanted with her.

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P.S. My birthday is on Sunday!!! yehhhhh!!!!!

photo credit: Google images. Design: Temitope Ezekiel Idowu DD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Roman god

Share this with that teenager you love.

The first time I met him, butterflies flew in my tommy. My innocent eyes twinkled with all pleasure. Oh, this new neighbour of ours looks just like a Roman god, I thought in my childish heart. His strong, angular face was so handsome. I kept smiling at him.

He flashed strong white teeth at me, and I was completely lost.

The mirror became my companion after that. My room became my runway. I posed this way and that, just to choose the right look for my Roman god.

Compliments rolled off him like raindrops on a rainy day. I couldn’t get enough of his praises.

Mama noticed. She saw my swaying hips when I walked. She saw the light in my eyes when he got back from work.

Mama cautioned me. “Finish your secondary school, dear child.”

My ears were deaf to her. I had the opportunity to be cherished and nurtured by my Roman god. I couldn’t give it up for anything. It didn’t matter to me that I was in my final class in secondary school.

My heart was lost to my Roman god. When he requested for my purity, I consented.

His request came with promises of marriage, a better life with all my heart desired. A life away from Mama’s watchful eyes, away from Papa’s belt for every wrong, and away from siblings trying to prove themselves to the world. I chose the world with my Roman god.

All too soon, I became sick in the morning. Mama gave me drugs with great suspicion in her eyes.

When my sickness in the morning continued for days, I had to stand before the doctor to listen to the consequence of the request I granted my Roman god.

The atmosphere became charged, and fireworks exploded in the house.

My cheek became a drum set as Papa landed slap after slap on it.

Hot tears found their way down my cheeks. My mouth trembled as I told them who was behind my sickness in the morning.

My Roman god stood before my family, head bent in shame and told the truth.

My things were arranged in a Ghana-must-go bag, and I was sent away with my Roman god.

The compliments stopped coming. The smiles refused to form. The face of my Roman god could rival the solidity of Olumo rock.

The beast became a Prince for Beauty, but my own Prince became a Beast.

I became the reason for every mistake. I became a good spot where anger could be unleashed.

Believe me, Soul Sister, his anger was unleashed regularly, and my little body took it all in pain and regret.

Along came our little one, and my Roman god softened like baby lotion. It remembered so until SHE came around.

She was the new employee in his office. He was drawn to her beauty and intelligence like bee to honey.

He sang her praises to my sad ears. He pointed her qualities that I could never have to my frustrated face.

Was I educated? Oh no.

Was I intelligent? Oh no.

Was I smart? The answer you know.

Was I experienced? Ah, Soul Sister, no.

What was my contribution to the family expenses? Zilch!

I swallowed the bitter taste of truth down my closed throat like Yoyo Bitters.

Seasons changed, and my life changed.

My Roman god packed my things into the same Ghana-must-go bag and sent me back to my father.

Papa would not accept me. He told me to go to my husband.

My Roman god told Papa he never asked for my hand in marriage. Nothing was legal between us.

Oh, what shame!

Papa spat on me and called me names that only a useless daughter like me deserved.

Seasons have changed again, Soul Sister, and baby is growing. My life is just taking shape, but I just heard my Roman god is getting married to the woman of his dreams.

My fingers are on my lips in regret as I write. The tears in my eyes are telling the tale of my shame. I stirred my love when it was not time.

Dear Soul Sister, what should I do? Do I have the right to stop the wedding? What would be my lot now?

 

 

 

 

I do or I Don’t EP 11

The END!!!!!!!! Thank you for going on this journey with me. I love you.

Episode Eleven

Kade knelt beside her bed, her palms clasped together. She sighed. She was meeting with Pastor Daniel and Priye in church later that day. She had finally seen Priye for who he really was, and she had also realized the part she played in their abusive relationship. She had encouraged him to treat her the way he did because she allowed it. She accepted the blame for each argument they had. She accepted his apology easily without dealing with the real problem.

Her stay with Mrs Damini for some days had shed light on her true situation. She had been counselled extensively by her, and a friend of hers who had a prayer group for women. Everything had become clear to Kade. She had even been able to deal with her fear of what people will say. It wasn’t important. Her part was to make things right. She would start with making things right with God.

She had sinned by lying that God had spoken to her about Priye when all the while it was her flesh that pushed her to him. She wanted to be part of his success. She had also played God when she assumed her submission to Priye would change him. She should have known she had no power to change any man.

She let out a low sigh. “Dear Father,” she started “I’m so sorry for running after material things, instead of waiting on you. Thank you for giving me a second chance to allow you lead my life again.” She prayed for herself and for Priye. She prayed for strength to do what was right. She prayed that God will touch Priye and change him. She also prayed for other ladies facing the same challenge she faced with Priye. Some were already married and were finding it difficult to leave, even when there was grave danger to them and their children. Kade prayed for God to help them break the silence before it was too late for them and their children.

When she ended the prayer, she went about her daily routines quickly. She was thankful to God for a friend like Tari who never stopped telling her the truth. She was never carried away by all the flashy things Priye represented. Some other friends would have encouraged her to keep on with Priye since he met all her needs.

Kade shook her head. When she finally told Tari the whole story, her friend didn’t tell her ‘I told you so’, instead she held her and prayed with her. Tari offered her shoulder for her to cry on, and gave her a listening ear. It made her feel better than she had been feeling before then. Her friend did not condemn her. She was with her when she made the call to Pastor Daniel. Her final prayer was for all to go well that day. She wanted no confrontation with Priye.

Pastor Daniel kept to the time they agreed on. He met her in church five minutes after she arrived. He ushered her into his office. She settled into one of the leather chairs in front of his desk. He moved some books to one part of the table and placed his arms on the created space. They talked generally for a few minutes before Priye joined them. It was the first time they were meeting after the incidence. Two weeks for her to get over her shock. Kade looked at him. He looked haggard. His usual clean-shaven face was gone. In its place was a stubbly face. There were dark circles beneath his eyes. One part of the collar of his polo stood while the other was bent. She pitied him. She saw the man she hadn’t seen before: Priye, the troubled man.

“I’m sorry for coming late.” He said in a calm voice which was strange. Gone was his larger than life attitude.

Kade shook her head. She wouldn’t be fooled by his pretence anymore. He took the chair beside her in front of Pastor Daniel. She turned to say hello to him. He returned her greeting with a ghost of a smile. It was time to end it all.

“You said you had something to share with me, Kade.” Pastor Daniel said.

“Yes sir.” She nodded. She inhaled and exhaled, trying to calm her nerves. “I want to let you know, sir, that I won’t be continuing the relationship with Brother Priye.” She informed him.

Pastor Daniel gaped at her. Beside her, Priye said nothing. He just bent his head. “Why, Sister Kade?” Pastor Daniel asked.

Kade prayed for wisdom to relay her message. “You see, sir, I got it all wrong from the beginning. It wasn’t meant to be.” She said, clasping and unclasping her fingers.

Pastor Daniel considered her words for a while, then he said, “There is more to this, right?”

Kade gave a small nod. Before she could speak, Priye burst out in tears, looking frightened. He placed his hands on the table. “I didn’t mean to hurt her, sir. I just wanted the kind of relationship my parents had.” Kade and Pastor Daniel looked at him in confusion. He continued, “If only Kade was as submissive as my mother was to my father, I would never have beaten her.” His voice hardened a little.

“What?” Pastor Daniel gasped in shock. “You were beating her?” He asked in a tone of disbelief.

Priye looked away when he nodded. Pastor Daniel looked at Kade. “And you kept this all to yourself?”

“I didn’t want to destroy his image in church. I thought he would change.” Her excuse sounded foolish to her now. She didn’t need to look at Pastor Daniel to know he thought the same way too.

“That is nonsense, Sister Kade. You should not jeopardize your life like that. You should have said something.” He chided her. He faced Priye. “Brother Priye, Kade is not your mother. Hitting her is very wrong. The Bible admonishes us to respect one another. God didn’t give Eve to Adam as a punching bag. He gave her to him as a help meet.”

Priye started crying again. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t want Kade to leave me. Don’t let her leave.” He pleaded.

Kade shifted her chair away from him in horror.

Pastor Daniel sighed. “Brother Priye, you don’t need Sister Kade now. You need help. You need to deal with the demons from your past, from whatever you learnt from your parents’ marriage. Until then, you can’t have any sister.” He told him in a fatherly tone.

Priye looked baffled. “Was I wrong to have hit her when she did not submit?” He asked, but went on without waiting for her answer. “Every time my mom tried to be a little bit less submissive, Dad will place her on the table in the living room, and flog her very well. Afterwards, she’ll say thank you to him, and they’ll be fine. Mom never talked back or threatened to leave him. They stayed together in peace until Mom went to the market one day and never came back. We looked for her for a long time. Dad cried. He never got over her disappearance. It was clear he loved her so much. I love Kade like that, and I want us to be like my parents.” He finished his story.

Kade jumped up from her chair. She looked at Priye like he was raving mad, and she believed he was.

Pastor Daniel looked at him with compassion. “Brother Priye, that is not the kind of love that Jesus has for us his children. He would not treat us like animals. He loved so much that he died for us, and called us his friends. What you witnessed as a child was a wrong kind of love. God never intended our marriage to be like that. Let me read Ephesians 5 to you.” Pastor Daniel picked up his Bible from the desk and read verses 28 and 29:

‘So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but cherishes it, just as the Lord does for the church.’

He closed his Bible and looked at Priye. “You can’t claim to love someone and delight in hurting the person. Will you like to cut yourself with a knife?” He asked. Priye shook his head. “That’s the way you should feel when you want to hurt someone you love, because it is like cutting yourself with a knife.” He touched Priye’s hand. “You need to learn the God-kind of love because you can’t give what you don’t have. Your heart is not ready for marital love. Let’s discover God’s love for us first. Let Kade go. Make yourself a better man.”

Priye turned to her with tear-filled eyes. “I’m sorry, Kade.” He said simply.

Kade felt a rush of compassion. “You will be fine, Priye. God will heal your heart.” She encouraged, then she turned to Pastor Daniel, “Thank you, sir.”

“It is well, Sister Kade. The Lord be with you.”

“Amen.” She answered.

As she walked out of the office, Pastor Daniel kept speaking to Priye. Much as she felt for him, she couldn’t resist the feeling of freedom that rushed through her.

“I’m free! I’m free!” She screamed when she got outside. Each step she took led her away from the bondage she brought on herself and to the future God had prepared for her.

 

THE END.

And it’s a wrap. I hope you enjoyed reading Kade’s story. Share the lessons you learnt from this story please. one more thing: We must break the silence, either for us or for someone we know.

Below is an excerpt of the story that will be on the blog soon. Wait for IT!!!

OLD FLAME

One

Time was against her. Ebika checked her wristwatch for the umpteenth time since she joined the ATM queue in front of Royalty Bank. She grimaced when she realized she had been on the queue for over thirty minutes. She tapped her feet impatiently. She counted the persons before her now. There were three persons left. She frowned deeply. It shouldn’t take long anymore, but the man making withdrawal at the ATM seem to be withdrawing for his entire family. People around started murmuring. The man remained unperturbed. He had his back to them, his broads shoulders raised confidently. Ebika finally lost her cool.

Putting up her best imitation of British English accent she called to him. “Hello, Sir. I hope you know there are people waiting on this queue to use the ATM.” She said. Heads turned towards her. She kept her face serious, adjusting her glassed a little. It wasn’t the time to count the number of persons she had charmed with her accent. “You should not remain there like it is your living room.” She added.

The man turned to look at her. When he didn’t turn back to the ATM after a few seconds, Ebika’s confident waned. What if he was a Professor or a Linguist? She pondered. Has he sensed my British accent was not the real deal? He must be someone important, she observed, looking him over. He was smartly dressed in a grey suit that hung perfectly on his lean but muscular body. His shoulders reminded her of wrestlers in WWE. She swallowed when she looked at his face. His beard was neatly-trimmed around his strong jawline. When her eyes met his, his was twinkling. A strange feeling crept up her body. There was something oddly familiar about him.

 

I do or I don’t EP 10

Happy reading, friends!!!!

Episode Ten

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.

Photo credit: Google Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Foxes

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I declared war in my home; war I say. No more will I take what my man is dishing out to me. Why should I yield?

Calm down, I hear them say. But my heart kept raging with anger.

I looked my man in the eyes with all my pain. I removed my head gear and tied it around my waist.

All must be settled today.

I felt a gentle hand on my boiling skin. “Share your problem with us.” Uncle said.

Yes, I must tell what my man has done to me, Soul Sister.

Listen to the story of an angry wife.

I felt the joy of a woman married to a man of her dreams. The sparkle in my eyes radiated like the brightness of the sun. I married my man, Soul Sister.

The hope of a bright future for us brought smiles to my face. Nothing could ever go wrong with us.

Our hearts were joined in perfect love.

The responsibilities of a married woman did not bother me. It was for me and my man.

My first meal was egusi soup, garnished with beef, cow skin and roasted cat fish. I rolled my sleeves and pounded the eba just like my grandmother taught me.

I smiled with satisfaction at the finished work. I was ready to get into my man’s heart.

I served the food with great love and joy. My man looked at me with eyes filled with appreciation. He salivated as I uncovered our first meal as man and wife.

He took his first morsel and rolled it into a ball with his fingers. He kept smiling.

I wanted his compliment that was bound to follow his first swallow. After all, I had mastered the art of cooking over the years.

The smile froze on his face as he rolled the morsel in his mouth. His eyes bulged out in curiosity. He dipped his fingers in the plate of soup and placed it on the tip of the tongue.

He closed his eyes as he tasted the soup again.

When he opened his eyes again, I saw condemnation in them.

“What is wrong, Honey?” I asked, alarmed.

My man pushed the plate of soup away from him. “What seasoning did you use for the soup?” He asked in a chilled tone.

I looked at him in confusion. Seasoning? What was he talking about? He waited for my answer and I gave it.

“I used maggi.” I answered.

His eyes blazed with hot anger. He pushed away from the table. “Never use maggi to prepare my meal again. Always use knorr.” He barked at me and left the dining without eating the food.

Oh, the anger that filled me. After all my efforts? He couldn’t even caution me gently. I would not let this go, I resolved in my heart.

While he prepared for work the next day, I made breakfast: bread, egg sauce and tea. And you know what, Soul Sister, I used maggi.

Hahaha, my man must learn to appreciate me, appreciate my efforts.

He gave me a smile as he took his seat at the head of the table. I smiled too. I didn’t wait for him this time. I dived into my food.

I hid a smile when he spewed out the egg sauce. He shot daggers at me with his eyes.

“Did you use maggi again?”

I shrugged in response and continued with my food.

“What exactly is your problem? I can’t stand maggi. Please don’t use it again. Use Knorr.” He enunciated.

I lifted innocent eyes to him. “Why?” I asked.

“My mother never used maggi. It was always knorr, and we liked it. I can tell the taste of knorr in any meal.”

His explanation angered me the more. “Well, my mother never used knorr. I don’t like it. You can change now because I’ll keep using maggi.”

He glared at me. “Don’t be difficult. Just indulge me on this.”

I turned to him then. “You must indulge me too. I went to the bathroom this morning and found out you still press the toothpaste from the middle when I told you to always press it from the end.” I fired back at him.

My man threw his hands up in frustration. “What does it matter if I press the toothpaste from the middle or the end?”

“What does it matter if I use maggi or knorr?”I countered.

We stared down each other. The battle line was drawn: maggi or knorr, middle of the toothpaste or the end.

Soul Sister, I stuck to maggi, and he stuck to pressing the toothpaste from the middle.

He wouldn’t eat my food, and I wouldn’t use his toothpaste.

And then, he brought in a cook, without informing me or seeking my permission, to prepare his meals in our house.

The worst part, she brought her own ingredients, and I saw packets of knorr. My man threw out my maggi.

I would not take this. Oh no, my man must pay for this.

He listened to my ranting like the family members we invited to hear us out. He got up gently.

“It’s obvious this is not working. Let’s give each other a break.” He told me, his arms folded across his chest.

People around gasped in shock. My own gasp was louder.

“What?” I exclaimed I disbelief, like my ears were failing me.

“Let’s give each other a break and think if we should really continue.” He repeated in a bland tone.

Well, Soul Sister, I lost my cool. I looked him straight in the eyes and said with all pride. “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Hmm… It’s now two months since our break. My man has not come back, and I feel so terrible. How did we go from lovey dovey to fighting ninjas?

Did I go too far? Did we go too far?

Advise me, Soul Sister, what should I do?

The next issue on Dear Soul Sister will be on the blog next week Tuesday. Don’t miss it! (If Jesus tarries.)

Photo Credit: Google image

Design: Temitope Idowu