My Wounds May Never Heal

WOMAN

I will never know just how long I spent sitting by the window that Saturday morning after she left. Bosola and I had been best friends right from our first day at the University of Lagos. People had called us twin sisters then because of how we did everything together. Some had even said we looked alike. I loved her like my own sister but that afternoon I wasn’t sure if I should be grateful for the information she came to give me or hate her.

I guess a part of me always knew Jimi was wrong for me and that part had never stopped berating me for marrying him. I had thought he was too smooth even when we were dating. Back then his message inbox was always empty, I had been suspicious about that; I thought it was impossible for anyone not to receive messages at all but I never accused him, not even when I perceived another woman’s perfume on him, I was always ready to make excuses for him, I was totally prepared to see only the best in him.

*****
Jimi and I met at a friend’s introduction ceremony. The bride was my friend while the groom was his. We had been introduced by Bode my friend’s fiancée. I was struck by his muscular build and his handsome features. He had later asked me out on a date which I had wasted no time in accepting. Jimi had gone on to woo me for over two months acting like a perfect gentleman. I knew from the beginning that I was going to date him but I wanted to make him chase me. I was really prepared to settle down, so consciously or unconsciously I had been on the lookout for any eligible bachelor that came my way. Jimi had seemed to be the perfect candidate especially when he kept telling me how he was tired of being a bachelor and wanted to settle down.

The relationship had been okay except for the times when I had suspected that he was dating other girls, but I never got any concrete evidence and so I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Jimi had a hot temper which I had thought was particularly cute. I even used to tease him about it calling him a Volcano. Perhaps I didn’t see the anger issues as a problem because I was never a direct object of his explosive anger. The only time I came close to feeling the anger was when I spent a weekend at his parent’s place.

****
We were home alone with the houseboy that afternoon and I had been taking a nap. I can’t  remember what the boy did again, but I remember his screams woke me up and getting to the sitting room, I saw Jimi beating the boy with the buckle edge of his belt.

The whole room was in complete disorder with chairs and tables upturned, the window closest to the door was already missing five louvers, I shuddered at the thought of what Jimi must have done to the boy seeing as his white shirt was stained with blood.

Jimi leave this boy alone! What in God’s name can he have done to warrant all this I screamed moving close to collect the belt from his hand but he swung the belt around as if to hit me with it and that made me withdraw. I kept begging him to stop, but he never listened. The boy was shouting begging him in the name of all the deities he could think of but Jimi kept beating him. He went as far as breaking one of the dining chairs on the boy’s legs. He didn’t stop until I went to the next house to call the neighbors who then came to restrain him.
That event shook me badly especially when his mum came back and told me that we should continue to pray for him, she said he had been like taht for as long as she could remember. Jimi later apologized to me assuring me it was never going to happen again.
I believed him then, but now after three years of marriage, I knew better.

*****
The first time Jimi hit me was during the second year of our marriage Atilola our daughter was only six months old then. I had to work late that day and had called Jimi to explain that I was going to be late, I even asked my boss to speak with him so he could understand better. The baby was with me in the office as I had to pick her by 7.00pm at the day care centre. Although Jimi had suggested we take a house help I was scared he might start sleeping with her, I could have taken a male help but I was also scared he might abuse my baby sexually. A lot of strange stories were making the rounds about things house helps do to their employer’s children, and so my daughter was with me in the office that night. I had to be there as we had a major crisis that day and I was the only IT expert around. We did not get home until 11.00pm that night and my husband was there in the sitting room waiting for us. On my way home, I had been imagining getting a warm hug from my husband and an offer to rub my feet so as to ease the tension in my body.
Jimi had opened the door without saying a word and did not even respond to my greeting. He only snatched Atilola from my hand checking her whole body as if expecting to find something, he then carried her inside. I sat on the first setee I saw, totally worn out from the day’s stress.
He came back into the room after tucking Atilola in and at the next thing that came out of his mouth both shocked and horrified me.

‘’You whore! Do you have to take my daughter along when you want to go on dates with your men friends?”
I had opened my mouth to say something but the next thing I felt was his palm colliding with my cheek, I saw stars immediately.
“Jimi”, I shouted making an effort to explain only for him to slap me again. I raised my hands to shield my face but he held them both in a firm grip, I looked at his eyelids and saw madness in them. A terrible fear enveloped me and I wondered if it was going to be my last day on earth, the look in his eyes spelt murder, he kept on screaming obscene words at me even as he held my hand in the tight grip.

“You are a slut, a foolish and crazy woman who sleeps with her bosses.”
I opened my mouth in protest and he gave me a head butt immediately causing me to crumple unto the floor.
He left me there and went inside, I spent the night there weeping profusely at the nightmare that my life had become. That night served as my baptism into domestic abuse. But by the third beating, I decided to start fighting back. I made sure that by the time our fights ended; as I am treating my bruises, he is also treating the teeth marks and finger welts on his body.

****
Bosola’s words echoed in my mind
“Seni, you have to do something fast!”
It’s not really worth it or is it I mused. The marriage was basically dead as it is and I should actually feel indifferent about Bosola’s information.
So why am I feeling hurt? Could it be I still have feelings for him? I wondered
My mind went back to the day I made what I had called my irrevocable decision

………to be continued

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49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fabunmi tolani
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 18:24:37

    What a nice and interesting one to start the year. What is she still doing dere. Its high time she left the man for good

    Reply

  2. 9jaBloke
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 19:10:10

    I’m not sure what the Fabs in your name stands for but your writting is FAB , and that’s what counts for me. Would really love to see how this ends cos l’ve been quite interested in the issues of domestic violence. Still can’t wrap my head around how a man who once loved a woman with his all can transform into a monster she never knew existed. Nice one Toyin!

    Reply

  3. ololade
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 19:41:56

    Nice one o
    But ur stories ar always showing d bad sides of men
    Don’t woman av dere own bad side?

    Reply

  4. Olumide Akinwumi-Oke
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 23:49:56

    Shaping up nicely…

    Reply

  5. sagay
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 06:17:57

    Ok. Toyin’s back in the new year. Let’s have the Part 2 soon o.

    Well written.

    Reply

  6. @sheun_endowed
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 07:04:50

    Wow! Wat an incredible Story! Thumbs up to you Toyin,,,,,

    Reply

  7. @rukkie
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 07:33:37

    A good start for the new year. Eagerly waiting for the second part. The issue of domestic violence is fast becoming so rampant in our society, I still can’t fathom how love gets so sour and violence is the order of the the day. So saddening!
    More ink Toyin!

    Reply

    • toyinfabs
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 10:03:12

      A lot of reasons though; fading morals, increasing independence of women, the economy, our society and so on and on. Thank you for stopping by

      Reply

    • 9jaBloke
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 11:00:22

      It has always been rampant Rukkie, trust me, especially in the days of yore when subservience was go-to word in the marriage SOP. It only appears so now due to a number of reasons, one of which is the awareness and the ease with with people get to know about what goes around. But l am totally with you on the issue of how love can suddenly go sour to the point of turning one of the parties into a vicious brute and the other to a hapless punching bag!

      Reply

  8. Adejumo, Solomon Aderemi
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 07:55:34

    Great short at story telling. If this is your first short at it, it is a good first. Don’t stop writing stories, may be, I think truely so too, a new Chimanda is born. Kudos.

    Reply

  9. Mazi Nwonwu
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 08:24:20

    Hi Toyin. This is a story, nice read too. I however have reservations. I am married, and can easily say happily married and it would not be a lie :). I admit that two people living together will clash now and then, but it is how they handle it that determine how far they go in the marriage. Of late, I have read lots of scary stories written mostly by women about marriage. It appears that we now consider marriage to be a war zone where women get battered. Hmmm. I don’t know, what I know is that when people run away from their problems, they never solve it. Believing that a marriage is over because of conflict is a clear sign of the escapist mentality that is now a hallmark of today’s youth. As writers, it is our responsibility to tell these stories, but a balance is required, especially as our divorce rate shows that of every failed marriage, there are dozens of successful ones. I don’t ascribe to men beating their wives of women hitting their husbands–as in, why would you do that to a woman, or man :)–but I really think counselling and interventions by the family are avenues that couples should explore. I wrote something about marriage in the past, perhaps it will serve to buttress my leaning 🙂 Keep writing ma’am. BTW, women tend to slap faster than men, only not as hard :).
    http://fredrnwonwu.blogspot.com/2011/12/marriage-longevity-are-nigerian-youths.html

    Reply

    • toyinfabs
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 09:51:54

      I perfectly agree with you, I know a lot of happily married couples as well as a lot of unhappily married couples. The fact is there are some marriages that should never have occured in the first place. There are always warning signs which we most times choose to ignore. For every woman, there should be some lists at d back of the mind, i.e the things she likes/loves abt the prospective partner, the things she doesnt like but would be able to live with and the deal breakers. A man that cheats or hits a woman before marriage will mostly like do it or even do worse after marriage. The reason we have a lot of divorces these days is because women are becoming more financially and emotionally independent and are able to walk away from abusive marriages. Wise and Godly counsel is good, but sometimes interference by family does more harm than good. I personally believe that once there is some measure of love and trust between a couple, they can always overcome any issues. The essence of write ups such as this is to point out that sometimes the signs are always there.

      Reply

    • toyinfabs
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 09:58:39

      just read ur blogpost http://fredrnwonwu.blogspot.com/2011/12/marriage-longevity-are-nigerian-youths.html and everything you said made perfect sense. However violence in marriage is a more serious issue. I am an advocate for geting out of abusive relationships of course after every other option has been explored. These days a lot of strange things happen, we have heard f men who kill their spouses in fits of rage and women who do likewise. It is not worth it if you lose you life at the end of it all which is why as much as possible one must watch out for deal breakers in relationships before heading for the altar.

      Reply

  10. oneojabiro
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 09:20:30

    Wow!  will like Τ̅☺ know HO̶̲̥̅̶̷̩̥̊͡/read †ђξ concluding part of this………..

    Reply

  11. Adaeze Zita
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 09:23:25

    Well done Toyin. Love d way u wrote dat, abeg, fast fast, d nxt part. .

    Reply

  12. Concept2020
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 09:43:28

    Hmmmmm, wat a pathetic story, sincerely am short of words. I just pray the Lord will help you. But u are paying for ur worriedness to marriage. You wanted to settle down cos u thing u were reap enof. You saw the beast in him and u embraced it. I pray for strengt to cope with the storm. Pray and invite Jesus it will soon be over

    Reply

  13. DB
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 12:24:03

    There are so many irrevocable decisions in life, marriage vow is expected to be one of such. However, under this circumstance will i call for a revocation of my vow, irreconciable differences such as the above stated.

    Great and highly tensed story. I can’t for the next event between the two of them. You are indeed blessing!

    DB

    Reply

  14. Lawal Tunde
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 12:43:48

    “Total inhumanity against humanity” keep it up.

    Reply

  15. Anita
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 17:45:02

    Nice one Toyin

    Reply

  16. Trackback: My Wounds May Never Heal II | ToyinfabsToyinfabs
  17. Dupe Killa (@dupekilla)
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 12:33:27

    I am late here but wow, wow…!

    Reply

  18. zebbook
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 16:14:42

    WOW! It’s not difficult to know when Toyin is writing about an issue that is dear to her heart, this times it’s domestic abuse. I remember ‘the savage thrusts of the kitchen knife’ and I marvel to how much ingenuity grills with your imagination in birthing wirks of fiction that relay such important messages in a gripping way like this. Well done dear.

    Reply

  19. Trackback: My Wounds May Never Heal (III) | Toyinfabs
  20. Mag Fawibe
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 18:59:24

    There are lots of marriages that shdnt have happened like toyinfab rightly said!! I guess d prob is ds popular slogan ‘Lo√ع is blind’. Is Lo√ع really blind? No!! I wonder why some ladies choose to blind their minds to reality all in d name of Lo√ع! Forgetting dt as far as God is concerned, divorce is not an option, it’s for better, for worse. Why on earth will a lady go ahead and marry someone who could beat houseboy to d extent of bloodstain and destruction of valuables?? She shd have perceived that some day, it’ll be her turn to become a punch-bag. I knƠ̴͡w of a very cordial relationship dt ended as a result of a similar case.

    I beg, ladies are advised to open their minds and listen to their inner instict before saying I DO… May God give us all godly homes in Jesus name.

    Reply

    • toyinfabs
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 19:54:12

      Thanks my dear sis. I am glad you read and also shared some of your wealth of wisdom. May God help us single women to make good choices.Amen. I really appreciate this

      Reply

  21. Trackback: My Wounds May Never Heal (IV) | Toyinfabs
  22. Anne
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 09:18:30

    Nice

    Reply

  23. cocosgist
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 09:39:21

    I don’t make excuses for men who hit women. As fo the women involved, he hits you once, pack your bags & leave…there are no vows to be kept here. He has failed in his duty to protect you, so what stinking vows are you keeping to?
    You stay & he kills you, that’s akin to suicide in my books. There are many things I advise women to bear in the marriages but physical abuse is definitely not one of those.

    Very late to your story but it is well crafted…kudos!

    Reply

  24. Somi
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 11:30:21

    Awww… I’m only just getting to read this. This is lovely. Lovely writing and lovely story. Kudos to you.

    Reply

  25. jummy
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 19:06:57

    Hmmm! Abused Marriage

    Reply

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