© Tunde Oni
“How dare you Nimi? How dare you? He began to shout.
“Jaiye, did you just slap me? Did you just lay your hands on me?” I was still astonished
”Now listen to me, you are going to keep your mouth perfectly shut until I am done speaking. Any other word till I ask you to speak will amount to you getting the beating of your life”
I just sat down on the sofa with my mouth open. This felt like a Nollywood movie sincerely.
”Let me tell you the magnitude of what you did today because I don’t think you understand it. Our Executive Director came into the country yesterday and came to the office today after about six months absence. The main agenda of the meeting was maintaining office decorum and image and how he was looking for somebody to use as an example no matter how high up. Now he had some international investors visiting at the time you came in to display your madness and they all stood there watching while you embarrassed yourself, me, my Executive director and the whole company. Are you getting the picture?”
I sat there quietly not knowing what to say. His next slap geared me awake.
”Answer me when I am talking to you. Are you freaking getting the picture?”
”Yes Jaiye, I am,” I said shakily in the midst of my tears.
”Better, so imagine how unsurprising it was when I was called into his office few hours later. I was given a letter of summary dismissal due to breach of office policies without any settlement and even forfeiting my current salary. They are also going to be suing me for damages for causing them to loose a big investment deal. Can you see how you have destroyed my life?”
”Yes I can, I am sorry”.
”Did you just say you are sorry? His face was so tight and astonished and I could feel the anger coming off him in waves.
”You don’t get to apologize my darling wife. No you don’t. By the way congratulations on the pregnancy. Isn’t that why you came over?
”Yes it was”
”Okay good. I married you just six months ago and you managed to finish my life in such a short time right?”
”Do you realize we have no savings? I put everything together to buy us this house last month and I was supposed to start saving afresh this month and now you are having a baby?”
”Jaiye I am sorry, the slaps hurt a lot but I know how angry you are and I feel bad”
”You feel bad? The slaps hurt? Oh my darling, you haven’t seen the beginning of hurt. You will feel and experience every pain I am experiencing trust me. Your one regret in life will be that you married me. That is one assurance I can give you”
Jaiye’s words have been ringing in my mind since he walked out yesterday. This was the first time he was staying out beyond 9pm not to even mention an all night out. I have reflected so much about my actions yesterday and I still was not making any headway. Did I over react? Okay let’s say I over reacted, has he explained what he was doing with the woman? Did my actions deserve being beaten by my husband while pregnant? Am I officially in an abusive relationship? My mind has been muddled up. I have shed so much tears, my eyes have dried up. My heart is heavy and my head aches. I finally decided to give Chisom a call. As soon as she picked up the call and I greeted her, she knew something was wrong.
”Tell me everything Nimi”.
I told her everything up on till his last words before leaving the house.
”So what do you think Chisom?”
”WOW! I can’t believe that happened. While you are pregnant? I am shocked,” she said
”But Chisom, I feel like I deserved it, I provoked him”.
”Sincerely, you did provoke him Nimi, but I can never justify beating a woman and a pregnant one for that matter”.
”So what should I do Chisom, you heard what he said. He sounded serious, not just like the words of an angry man”
”Nimi, I think you should give him space for a while, you can come stay at my place until he calms down”
”Chisom, I can’t do that. How can I abandon him when he needs me most. You know how much Jaiye has been good to me. I love him”
”You can help him by putting yourself in danger. He is too bitter. You need to help him from a distance. He beat you for God’s sake. He is threatening you. We don’t know how far he will go especially now he has lost his job”.
”But I cause it all. I cannot just abandon my marriage after six months. What will I tell our parents?
For the next few minutes Chisom tried to convince me to leave the house temporarily. I just could not agree with that. I agreed to stay with Jaiye for better or worse. I had to stay by his side. As I sat on the bed and heard the front door slam signalling his arrival, my heart thumped. I just hope our marriage can survive this storm.
…to be continued