It has been 6 months since our wedding anniversary and I am beginning to wonder about some changes I am seeing in King. He has not cashed the last 5 cheques I have left for him. I also noticed he has been going out more often. I don’t know what he is up to and curiosity is killing the cat. Not like I care if he gets run down by a truck but the inquisitive part of my brain doesn’t seem to desire a break. I have almost asked him a number of times but I just stop myself before I do. After all, we have never been answerable to each other. The opportunity to ask him presented itself one Saturday afternoon as I sat down on the sofa trying to catch up on some episodes of Scandal. He came to the living room and grabbed his car keys from its usual position on the center table. I could smell his perfume where I was sitting and it was obvious he had just showered.
”So is it your low life girlfriends or your shady business deals that is taking you out today?” I couldn’t help the sarcasm I was feeling. I don’t know why his going out irritated me.
“Does my wife suddenly care? Is that jealousy I hear in your voice?” He moved and sat beside me on the sofa, touching my laps.
”Get your hands off me King, do I look like I give a damn about what you do?”
“Anyway, to answer your question babe, I do not do shady deals any longer. I told you I am going to work hard on being the man for you and I meant it. I got a contract to supply some office equipment to some ministries and that is what I have been working on. I can show you the offer letter”
”I am not interested…” I quickly cut in before he decided to start pouring his heart to me.
”and to your second question, there are no girls anywhere. I am waiting patiently for the day my wife decides to let me into her bed.. although I must add that I am growing impatient.”
I didn’t even know when I started laughing, I laughed so hard, it was hard to contain…”are you freaking kidding me? You really expect that one day, by some miracle, I’ll willingly decide to sleep with you? Trust me, I am not that horny”
”Let us test that shall we?” Before I could grasp the full meaning of what he was saying, his lips closed over mine. Part of me was angry and I struggled a bit to be free not responding at first. Then he became persistent and my lips parted of their own accord. I actually felt butterflies fluttering about in my tummy. It had been so long and I could not help being lost in the moment. My hands went round his neck. I was truly enjoying the kiss and our bodies moved closer together on the sofa, his hands caressed my back. I was still enjoying it tremendously when he gently pulled away. I was so angry with myself and with him. I don’t know which one got the better of me, anger that he stopped or anger that I responded to him in the first place.
”From the way you responded, I gather I was not so wrong was I?”
I did not hesitate to give him a dirty slap, which landed right on his cheek in swift motion. He was not expecting it. ” Do not ever touch me again, do you understand?”
He rose up from the sofa and looked at me with so much raging anger in his eyes. I had never seen him that way and I knew immediately I had awoken a beast. He turned to me with the weirdest grin and said, “Its time you understand who you married”.
He lifted me off the sofa with such precision and I became so scared.
”King please, please put me down, I am sorry for slapping you” I pleaded but his face was unflinching.
Once he dropped me on his bed, I could not stop the tears, I tried rolling off in that instant but he immediately took off his shoes and held my two hands over my head.
”King please don’t do this. Please”
I had to shut my eyes because I could not bear to see the devil unleashed in this man I called my husband. I felt my gown being ripped apart. He could have easily lifted it up. I felt my panties as he moves them aside and rammed into me with me with such force I had to scream.
”It has been 18 months since I touched my own wife. I am tired and I am not taking it for one more second”
I closed my eyes as the tears continually rolled down my face. This was plain rape, this was sexual abuse. Who do I tell that my husband raped me? I knew the moment he reached his orgasm, I could feel the tension in his body. I kept my eyes closed as he slumped against me exhausted from the aftermath of his release. He lifted himself a bit and wiped the tears off my face with his fingers. I recoiled at his touch. He immediately got up but I could not bear to look at him. When I finally heard the force of the door slamming shut, I knew he had left. I laid there for hours not able to comprehend what just happened. I thought I hated my husband after I discovered 18 months ago that he had married me for my money and lied, now what I feel for him can only be called empty.
I got up from his bed after about 2 hours. I had finally run out of tears. My leg shook of its own accord as I walked to my bedroom. I felt broken. I should have annulled our marriage after the whole honeymoon saga but I guess I felt a tiny ray of hope not to talk of the shame of telling the whole world the marriage had crashed. I took off all my cloths and dumped them in my laundry basket sitting on my bathroom floor. I filled my bathtub with water and soaked myself in it. I washed and washed until I could wash no more.
As soon as I came out of the bathroom, a text came into my phone. I walked to my bedside drawer and checked,
”Don’t wait up for me. I think we need a break from each other. I’ll be staying with my friend till I feel ready to come back home. Quite unsure about this whole marriage thing.”
I could not believe my eyes. He lied to me, raped me and now left home? What more can a person take from a so called husband? I didn’t even know what reply to send. I ended up just writing,
There were no words to say and I had let out most of my anger through my tears. I went to bed early that night and for the first time in a long time, I said a little prayer for my marriage.
Two months later, my husband had still not returned home. I had gone through different phases in that time. From anger to worry to fear to anxiety to forgiveness and finally emptiness. He texted me once a week to say hello and he was sorry he had to do this and was making sure I was okay. I never replied any of his messages because to be candid I did not know what to say. I lied to my parents he had been sent to Kenya for a temporary project. I just had to throw them off somehow seeing there was no other way to excuse his absence.
As I sat in the hospital waiting room one Wednesday waiting for my medical results from the compulsory check-up the office had made us do, one thing that never occurred to me was the possibility of a pregnancy. Until the moment I saw the results, it never crossed my mind. We had sex plenty of times during our honeymoon without protection and nothing happened. This is how life plays a funny joke on you. The moment I never wanted to be reminded of was the one that produced a baby. A lifetime constant reminder. I was pregnant and husbandless. How crazy can my life become. How do I bring a child into this non-existent marriage of mine.
I thought of calling King and telling him but what difference will that make? Will it suddenly make everything okay? Later that night, I decided to have an abortion. It was the best decision and I really did not need any complications right now, not when I was still unsure where my marriage was headed. I called a couple of hospitals I was familiar with. After being turned down by two of them, I got one that was willing to do the procedure. The pregnancy was just 6 weeks old so the risk was not so high. I booked an appointment for Saturday morning and I lost myself in work the remainder of the week.
Just as I was getting ready to head out on Saturday morning, I heard a knock on the door. I hardly had visitors because I was basically friendless. I opened the door and it was no surprise to find my mum standing there all grinning and smiling. Her driver was behind her with loads of shopping bags. She had gone to the market for me again without asking,
”Mum, I still have enough food at home”, I exclaimed which was actually the truth since I was the only one at home.
”There can never be too much food in the house darling, you need to have enough to feed that husband of yours when he comes home one of these days”.
”Mum, I told you he isn’t coming home for a while”, I said as I walked into the kitchen to arrange all the food items her driver had put on the floor. “Do you want me to make some food for you? I was actually on my way out”.
”Esther, you look like you have lost some weight.” She came over to my side and turned me to face her while looking into my eyes. Suddenly, she screamed. I jumped back not expecting the noise.
Then she started dancing and shaking her bum sideways the way it’s done in her village. I knew she had found out about the pregnancy. My mum had always been talented in spotting pregnancy in women. I waited for her to finish dancing and then she bombarded me with all the questions about my health.
”Mum, I am fine. I am eating right and yes I have registered in the hospital”, I just had to lie because I could not possibly tell her I was on my way to abort her first grandchild. I felt a pang of guilt at that but I quickly brushed it off.
”Esther, are you okay? Do you want to stay with us for a while till your husband gets back?”
”Mum, I am fine. I don’t even have any morning sickness palaver”. At least that part was true. I was not exhibiting any signs of sickness.
I was able to get my mum out of the house about 30minutes later and headed straight for the hospital. She gave me a full lecture on how to work, walk, eat, sleep and even talk. I got to the hospital 30 minutes late for my appointment and while I waited in room in which I was asked to undress. I decided to text King and get his reaction on the pregnancy. I was so sure he was going to start calling and begging me to keep the baby. I sent the text,
”I am going into the theatre now to do an abortion. I discovered your rape made me pregnant. There is no point having a baby right?”
Not up to two minutes later, I got a shocker reply,
…to be continued