He has a Side Chick……

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Side Chick, Mistress, The other woman; She is that girl who shares your man or worse enjoys your man more than you do. . She is the one your man pings early in the morning just to tell her “Good Morning Beautiful”. When he is with her, he is this cool guy who knows all the cool joints in town, they both sing along to Dorobucci on the radio. She is the one he takes along when he goes on business trips. It is just more convenient, she doesn’t have to think of who to leave her children with, besides she is more fun, she is the one he does acrobatic sex with, the girl who has enough time and energy to match his libido. You on the other hand are the wife, the one he has “married sex” with – the ” flam-bam-bam-yawn-are we done yet” type.

Yes he comes home to you every night but how is that going? Does he still hold you close to him every night, do you guys still play and fight under covers or does he turn his back to you and acts like he is too deep asleep to notice you have been tapping him. Yes he still buys you stuff, bags, perfumes, dresses and stuff, that’s if you are lucky though but then he buys them to ease his conscience after he and the side chick has spent a whole day shopping or worse. If the side chick is the “nice” type, she makes him buy them for you. She goes “Baby, This perfume is nice, your wife will like it”, “She doesn’t need it.” he responds frowning because he is a bit uncomfortable his mistress is picking a gift for his wife but she prevails on him.

But then I have news for you, this side chick, she usually doesn’t want to take your place, She has a boyfriend or even a fiance and so has no desire to chase you away. No, it’s only learners that operate that way. The wise side chicks are comfortable being just that, they even add you as a friend on Facebook, and they follow you on Twitter (Trust me, you most of the time don’t know they are your rival). They like the pictures of your cherub faced children, when you post your hubby’s photo captioning it as world’s best husband and gushing about how you love him to bits. They comment on it, they go “Awww, I covet”. (Yes they really covet and errr, they are already getting the better deal).

Some will even buy presents for your kids on their birthdays. You may or may not know the gifts are from them, it all depends on how far gone your husband is in this game. He could act like he got the gift himself or tell you its from this friend or colleague of his; Mrs Lagbaja  she really likes the child as he is her son’s birthday mate. You even tell him to call so you can say thanks. Of course the Mrs Lagbaja or Mummy Tamedun is to make you not suspect. Saying Lara or Jennifer my friend wouldn’t have sounded so good.

It’s not like you are totally clueless, some days you ask yourself how come he no longer comments on your hairdo, other days you wonder why he seemed to be impatient or downright mean. It’s Saturday you need to cook three different soups so you could stock the freezer for the week, the floors need to be mopped, the bathrooms cleaned and yes you need to get to the market, not forgetting that you have to take Sisi to her ballet class and Bobo to his Violin lessons. Come evening, you are dog tired and depressed that you have just one more day in the weekend. You smell of Onion, Garlic, Breast milk and baby reflux. You need a hug, you go to dear husband in the Bedroom.

“I am so tired” you say. That’s an opening. You expect to hear “pele baby, why don’t you come lie down here for a while” Instead you hear “What’s that smell?” It’s so horrible, can’t you use a glove or something if you need to cut Garlic or Onions? jeez you can be so annoying.” You have an angry retort on your lips and if you are the no nonsense type, you let off, you give him a piece of your mind, “yada, yada yada”.

Finally your suspicions get the better of you. “I need to know”, you say, so you wait till he is fast asleep and pick his phone to check through (Meanwhile women who want to keep their sanity will not do this no matter the temptation). Your heart rate is 360 beats per minute, yet you can’t stop yourself. You go ahead and boom you get more than you bargained for. Not only is there a side chick, but they are so damn close, he discusses everything with her, he even tells her how much he hates seeing fishnet on your head, he tells her when your six month old had her first teeth, you wince when you read how he tells her he is preparing for work and she goes “Baby be careful o, don’t injure Big Joe with your zipper again, ayam not ready to starve for a week again o”.

You almost had a heart attack. Big Joe? That has to be his ….. “OMG, starve for a week, how often do they do it?” you thought fighting a sudden desire to go stab him to death. But wait oooo, when did he injure Big Joe that you his wife did not know? You check the date of the chat, it was about a week ago and that was when it dawned on you, “won ti gba oko mi” you murmur. “Yeh. I am a housekeeper and mother of his children. This lady is the wife.” Suddenly, it’s clear, you run your fingers through your hair trying to remember the last time you made love or the last time you even had a glimpse of his equipment – “Big Joe”. “O ti pe mehn!” You mumble. You had not made love in over 8 weeks and neither of you had missed it. As for Big Joe, it must be close to a year you saw it last. Lovemaking sorry “meeting your husband” became a middle of the night thing after your second child, no foreplay (ki lonjebe), he just runs his hand over your breasts and you get the message, you spread your legs , he climbs on you and it starts, you feel nothing abi small sha, you are just too fagged out.

It hurts but what can be done? You think of giving him a giving him a big slap on the back to rouse him and demand explanations, but you realize you don’t want that confrontation. Tell Mama? Oh no, you don’t want to do that. No third parties remember. Then you remember someone who wouldn’t tell anybody else; Google! You open the Google search and type “He is cheating, what to do”. There is so much information. Wow!” You say feeling some relief that it’s not just you. Millions of women are in your shoes, there is so much advice to choose from but in the end, it is you who decide on what to do.

First you reply the last message she sent to your husband. It came in after he slept so unread. She tells him to dream of her as she will of him. She says she would be expecting him by 11.am the next day. You reply her “He sure would dream of you darling. However please don’t expect him by 11 tomorrow, he might be late. He has an errand to run for his wife at that same time. Have a nice night dearie.” Your teeth is clenched as you type, yet you derive some satisfaction. This way he will know you know.

So what next? Its morning and you wait for him to say something, you wait to see if he will confront you, but he says nothing. You watch out of the corner of your eyes as he watches you when he thinks you are too preoccupied to notice. Its 10 a.m and he is yet to yake his bath.10.30 am and still he is on the bed. You don’t offer him food even though you made his own portion. You wait till 11 am and tells him you need to talk to him. He doesn’t respond so you start anyway. You talk about how things had to change, that you need to shed and or share some responsibilities. Henceforth, ballet practice and Violin practice will be his call. Yes, he thought house helps were unnecessary but you need one and intend to get right away, this person will resume at 7am everyday and close at 7pm.  Friday nights would be date nights, you two alone anywhere but the house. You intend to go on summer vacation, Seychelles to be precise and he would be coming along. He listens to everything you say and at the end he says. “I am ready to do all you want”. I am sorry Babe”. But you say nothing.

Not So Happily Married…… Episode One

Hi everyone,

A new series begin. Let’s start the ride. New episodes to drop every Wednesday.

Enjoy

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Yes I do…………..But should I really be doing? I asked myself the moment the pastor said the words “You may kiss the Bride”.

“Join me in wishing the latest couple in town a happy married life.” the pastor shouted as soon as Jite’s lips met mine.

The cameras clicked away and the wedding guests shouted excitedly as we kissed. It seemed genuine enough; we tried to make it look so.

As we received hugs after hugs and wishes after wishes the smile plastered on my face never wavered, perfectly masking the fear and sadness that enveloped my throbbing heart.

****

To say I didn’t know I should not have married Jite will be a big lie. Who else marries a man that hates her? Truth be told, I don’t know why he married me either. He obviously hates me enough to not go on with it but for some reason he saw it through. I have my suspicion though. I think it might just be due to plain ego. He once promised me it was either him or no one else. If he can’t have me, no one will.

 Jite used to be wonderful you know. Every inch the gentle man. He was the kind of guy that won’t expect you to cook for him just because you are his babe, he was a man that would open doors for you, fight anyone for you and say I love you like a hundred times daily. Yeah he was that kind of man from the first day we met until the day an unborn baby and a cripple came between us.

*****

I don’t know whether to call how we met unusual or dramatic. I had been in Game to look for a set of pots. For some reason I had scoured the whole of Lagos looking for a set of non stick cookware and had frowned upon every brand I saw until that day in Game. There it was on a well polished low shelf; sleek, red, with ornate wooden handles. Just what I had been looking for. I was about to grab the carton not bothering to check the price when another pair of hands touched it.

‘‘Hey, I bought that.” I said.

“And you bought it how?” He asked fixing me with a piercing glance.

 “Errrr…. I bought it by thinking of it already and as you can see I was standing in front of it about to carry it.”

“And madam, as you can also see, I was about to carry it too and I think my hand touched it first though.”

“It did?” I asked unsettled by his glance. He had on one of those massive eye glasses that some guys believe look cool. We looked about the same height but because of the advantage my heels gave I decided to stare him down but I needn’t have bothered. Dude was ready to stare back.

“What kind of a man even drags pots with a woman?” I exclaimed exasperatedly.

“The kind of a man that cooks and also appreciates good quality cookware.”

“But there are other brands here, Mister. Why don’t you just pick one?” I asked my eyes already getting misted with tears. 

“No Madam, I want this.”

“Okay”, I said walking away before he could see the tears in my eyes.

“Hey, you know we can solve this by getting married. That way the cookware will be ours or better still yours.”

“Oh, Jokes.” I replied waving him off. I would later learn that phrases like “let’s get married”, “I love you” and “let’s break up” were some of the easiest words for Jite to say. They come naturally and it’s hard to decide if it’s being said jokingly or seriously.

I left the mall few minutes later. I was about to start my car when someone leant in and said

“Can you open your Car boot”? I looked up sharply and it was him.

“Hey, I’m sorry if I sounded like a twat in there but I was just pulling your legs really. You can have your cookware; all you have to do is refund my money.” He added handing me the receipt.

I didn’t even think twice before jumping out of the car to hug him. I didn’t let go until he started patting my back like I was a baby. That was when the irritation came back full force and I condescendingly pointed to the boot for him to drop the carton in.

 “Can I get a ride?” he asked afterwards and against my better judgment, I allowed him. Halfway through the journey, we were already talking like old friends and I think I fell in love the moment he told me he left his car at the mall just so he could meet me. Yeah, that was the cool Jite. Not the one he became after I did what I did.           

****

We prepared for the wedding with so much passion and energy that you couldn’t tell how much Jite detested me. Sometimes I blame him, Most times I blame me and the rest of the time I blame both of us for going through the charade of getting married.

The day we went to see our wedding planner. I smiled when the wedding planner asked what the budget was and said just one word.

‘‘Unlimited’’ Jite’s mom had decided her son’s wedding was going to be one to remember and had given us a blank cheque. She had just finished a contract for the federal government and was rolling in cash. We were to spend as much as we wished she had said while giving us the cheque.

The event planner shifted in her seat and then asked.

“What and what do you want, how do you envision your day to be?”

 I told her we wanted something that screamed money, romance, elegance and class. I pushed away the niggling thoughts at the back of my mind and smiled.

“Just go all out please, go all the way. Money is not a problem.” Jite interjected rubbing my arms affectionately.

And all the way she went.

****

My friends’ emotions were bitter sweet and also tinged with slight doses of envy. I had paid for their bridesmaid dresses and I had also handed a kit to each of the sixteen of them complete with jewellery, hair accessories and even toiletries. In the midst of the oohs and the aaahs I couldn’t fail to see some of what they really felt. It was quite hard for them to get over the fact that I was leaving the single’s league and in style too. We had all shared stories of our efforts to make the men in our lives propose and they knew there weren’t going to be such stories again. That brought a kind of grief. I have felt it before and so could recognize it.

Our theme colour was Gold; it dominated the 1200 capacity hall that was our reception venue. The hall was exquisitely decorated. There were Gold draperies, fireworks, table to ceiling high center pieces, Candle holders, and a cozy couch for Jite and I strewn over with rose petals. The dimness of the purple lighting and the coziness of the couple’s enclave gave our reception the perfect romantic ambience that I wished for.

Our faces radiated sunshine, warmth and love, we smiled at the cameras, we kissed at every available opportunity, we both smiled for the guests, for the cameras. We danced for an hour to Lionel Richie, Phil Collins and Marvin Gaye’s songs; our favorite songs. He held me close and we smiled into each other’s eyes. To the world the pictures will show a couple totally in love but within us we know it was all a lie, we know it was a mistake that should never have happened.

****

The Limousine that took Jite and me from the reception was snow white. Mom stood by the door and wiped at her eyes. ‘‘Go well my daughter’’, she said. ‘‘We miss you already’’. I felt tears roll down my eyes and Jite wrapped a hand around me to comfort me. He kissed my ear and cooed against my ears. ‘‘Don’t cry baby’’. We closed the door, and we watched them wave till we could see them no more.

Jite’s mood went black immediately the Limousine moved. ‘‘Drive us around’’ he told the driver before closing the partition.

I cleared my throat. “Jite, aren’t we going to the hotel?”

“Not yet.” he grunted removing his arm from around me and shifting to create space between us.

“Okay, Jite will you just hold me? I’m cold.”

“Well, that’s your business. Didn’t you know you would be cold when you chose that dress he asked pointing a finger to my strapless mermaid tulle dress. I would have thought wearing a dress that accentuates your flat and firm stomach would have given you enough happiness and you won’t even need me.”

“Jite, please let’s not do this, please make me happy if only for today please.” I said my eyes misting over. Silence. It was as though I was talking to a wall.

to be continued …………

image designed by Okunade Hammed (@okunadegoodman)

My Wife is Another Woman by Kolade Gboyega @newnaija

 

                               This was written as a sequel to Some Men Make you Want to Hurt Them, see here

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We got married ten years ago and the union had been blessed with three boys before the birth of our baby girl some six months ago. Ever since the birth of the baby girl my wife has turned into another person.

We are intimate strangers. Forever together always miles apart in our thoughts and priority! It was not like this from the beginning! What happened to us…?

We had the three boys in quick succession. Every other eighteen months there was an addition to the family via my ever loving and beautiful wife.  Um, after the third boy, we had to do a little re adjustment that would keep the babies at bay at least for the next four years or so.

After much nagging from my wife and serious complaints that she also needed someone of her gender I heeded the call to try another one though I promised her that it would be my last attempt. As God would have it, her desire was granted, we were blessed with our bouncing Morenikeji.

The blessing is what is turning my once adorable wife into another person. The boys as we are now referred to have to fend for ourselves. Dinner is out of it, we make do with restaurant meals because the “gals” are busy or too tired to see to us. In fact, the house help we agreed not to be part of our household now does nearly everything.

Six months after the birth of her daughter we are yet to be together in the way of a man and wife.

“I’m tired”, “tomorrow” “later” are some of the few excuses I’m given. To make matter worse, her BBM carries Morenikeji’s picture, twitter handle name bears “keji’s mum’, her bio reads a loving mother of a beautiful and adorable queen KJ. Even her details on the facebook read on column for work “full-time mum and proud mother of KJ”.

How long can I cope with this KJ stuff? She is my daughter and I’m not jealous but the transformation of my once loving wife is bringing stale air to our family environment.

 

 

Why I said Yes

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So after he proposed, and I said yes, he sighed and said;

“Tilewa, I have some questions for you to answer”.

I looked at my fourth finger and sighed;

I just got engaged to the man and he has started questioning me.

What’s he about to ask now? I mused.

‘‘I hope he is not going to ask me how many men I have slept with, or if I have ever been pregnant.’’ I stylishly put my left hand behind me. ‘‘There is no way he will get this beautiful ring back.’’ I decided

And then he started…

“Tilewa, why did you say yes”?

I sighed inwardly once again, what kind of JAMB question is this one now I asked myself. I smiled at him ready to tell him it was only because I loved him so much. I however decided to be honest.

‘‘Timi, I accepted your proposal for the following reasons’’;

  1. I am honest to GOD tired of living with my parents.
  2. I haven’t gotten any other offer yet and I will soon be 29.
  3. I am tired of my sister telling me what and what not to touch in her house. I want to be a madam of my own house too.
  4. I really want to stop hearing my mum nag about how a part of the house wasn’t properly cleaned.
  5. I think it’s time to have my wedding pictures on Bella Naija too
  6. I also said yes because I love the ring,

‘‘I couldn’t say no to such a ring’’, I concluded grinning oblivious to the shocked expression on his face.

He stood up and left the room without a word.

I watched him leave wondering why people hated to hear the truth. I made myself comfortable and looked for a perfect angle for the proposal picture, the one I was about to shock the social media world with. My stalkers revealed themselves when barely a second after I posted it on BBM and facebook, the comments began.

“Oh babe congrats”

“I’m so happy for you”                       

“When is the wedding”?

I responded to the first person with “thanks hun” and copied it; it was to be the standard response to everyone.

*****

I relaxed on Timi’s bed and changed the channel to Sound City, One of the problems I was sure our marriage was going to have will be Timi’s preoccupation with Universal Channel and the boring series they keep doing. I was having fun but kept feeling as if something was missing, after a full hour and there was still no sign of Timi, I sighed and picked my phone, he picked on the first ring.

“Hi baby”

“Tilewa”, he said simply

“Baby, are you pissed at what I said”?

 “Hmm”, he replied

“You know without any doubt that I want to be with you but for now those are my reasons”

‘‘Love grows with time. You know that right?”

“You know that baby, don’t you?”

He didn’t respond so I said;

“Please come home, so we can talk better”

“Outside the house already”

At that, I dropped the call and heard the front gate open and close almost immediately

He walked into the room and I met him with a hug

He hugged me back a little loosely.

“This is kinda crazy; we should be celebrating the proposal” I told him holding him closer.

‘‘Hold on a minute Tile, I think I should also tell you why I proposed marriage to you.’’

  1. I am tired of going to bed hungry on most nights
  2. I felt with all these sexually transmitted diseases around it will be better to put one woman in the house and get it free and constant.
  3. Mum would not let me rest, she keeps asking for grandkids
  4. I chose you out of all others because you are the only one with a well paying job

‘‘Is this a joke Timilehin? Where is love in all of these things you have said?’’

‘‘Well, I didn’t see love in any of those things you said too.’’

‘‘Its okay then, but I have to say this. You are going to be very miserable in this marriage if it ever happens.’’

  1. I don’t like cooking and marriage won’t make me like it
  2. Who says I won’t be sleeping with other men?
  3. I don’t intend to have kids for the next five years, so your mom has five more years to disturb you.
  4. I would be the only one to spend my money. The best I can do is borrowing you some which will be collected back by any means possible.

‘‘Babe you are a clown’’, Timilehin said frowning.

‘‘Bobo you are a dunce.’’ I replied drawing my sandals out from under his bed.

He sat on the bed fiddling with his wristwatch and then said; ‘‘Tile, since we have both realized we are not ready can I have my ring back?’’

‘‘No, you can’t have it back, what do you want me to tell my friends who have already seen it on blackberry messenger and facebook?’’

‘‘You can tell them it got missing, just get creative.’’

‘‘No Timilehin, I would have to borrow this for a while and after some time I can tell them you dropped dead and return it to you.’’

‘‘I dropped dead? What sort of nonsense is that?

‘‘Bye Timilehin.’’ I said moving to the door of his one room apartment.

‘‘How about a good bye kiss and errm, err….?’’ He asked scratching his head.

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‘‘I can do that.’’ I replied dropping my bag on the rugged floor and heading towards  him.

 

images credit: google images

Some Men Make You Want to Hurt Them…..

Kosi

 

 

Some men make you want to hurt them; men like my husband….

To him, he is first Tomide’s dad before he is my husband.

 

His twitter profile reads……… Thinker, Lawyer, Tomide’s dad”

 

His Facebook profile name was Tomide’s dad. Going through his albums on Facebook, you would never guess he is married. The pictures were either of him or of Tomide. You wouldn’t find a single picture of me anywhere.

 

****

His life and our marriage revolves around Tomide. He is the one that he spends seventy percent of his income on. My husband only bought me a car because I gave him a son. During the pregnancy; he believed BRT and Danfo were good enough for me. It was because of Tomide that I got the first opportunity to travel out of the country,

“My son is too precious to be born in this stupid country, let’s arrange for you to have the child in America”. 

It was because of Tomide that I had to be a stay at home mom. “I don’t want my son in a day care.” “No one can take care of him like his mother”

 

I had insisted I couldn’t be a housewife and he had promised to give me money to start a business of my choice. Five million naira later and a promise of more I agreed to quit my job. I kept the money in a fixed deposit account and chose to sit at home taking care of Tomide. My husband never asked why I didn’t start a business, he was happy to see his son have a full time nanny.

 

*****

I have no illusions; Tomide was the reason he married me. I am a baby factory, nothing more.

I still remember how my journey into baby mamahood started.

I had been spending a weekend with him like I usually did; I hadn’t been myself that particular weekend and he had noticed.

 

Baby, what’s wrong with you?

You’ve been quite sluggish of late, abi I don score goal?

“Which goal?” I had asked raising an eyebrow

“Do you want to score a goal? Did you not say you are not interested in getting married for the next five years?”

“I know I said that but I didn’t really mean it oo, pregnancy changes a lot of things you know. If you get belle now, the story go change. In fact I will marry you before the end of this month.”

“Ehn ehn, really? congrats nigbayen ooo, because I’m pregnant.”

I kicked myself inwardly the moment the words left my lips. No one was supposed to know I was pregnant. It was a pregnancy destined for termination. I had no wish to have a child for the world’s greatest loafer. The action that led to the pregnancy itself had been a mistake, a madness induced by excess alcohol intake.

“Are you kidding me?”

 Say you are joking, I told myself but I found myself confirming it instead.

“I’m not kidding.”

“You mean you are pregnant for me?” He asked pointing a finger towards his chest.

“Yes”, I replied almost choking on the lie.

That confirmation changed our relationship, I got an engagement ring the next day and two months after we were married.

Perhaps, I would have summoned the courage to tell him he wasn’t my baby’s father if everything hadn’t happened so quickly. I never had a chance to take a breath.

 

****

Being a baby factory or feeling like one is no fun. Tomide is Kosi’s world. I have a tiny corner there just because Tomide existed. Some days I feel so tempted to tell him that Tomide isn’t his son especially on days when he makes me feel like Tomide’s nanny instead of his mother.

“Why is my son’s feeding bottle on the dining table?”

“Why hasn’t his cloth been changed all day?”

“Did you buy the toy I asked you to buy?”

“How many times have you changed his diapers today?”

He would go on and on irritating me to no end.

I would want to scream, “relax oga, he is not even your son”. But I never did perhaps out of pity for him or just out of plain fear of what he will do to me.

 

Sometimes I would laugh inwardly when he bragged about how much he and his son had in common.

He would tell a friend;

“Na my forehead, nose, mouth and eyes my boy carry. He resembles me in everything. I won this one oo totally. Maybe I would give this Iya the next one, she can decide to have a girl if she likes; this one is mine.”

 

Sometimes he would turn to me and say;

“Did you see how my boy kicked that ball? He will be a good football player like his dad.”

“Did you see how he turned up his lips just now?”

“Mum said I used to do that as a kid.” He would add grinning happily.

I would nod and summon a fake smile. I would later wonder why nature decided to play such a huge joke on men, a woman would always be sure that a child was hers but men on the other hand accept whatever we present to them as theirs.

 

Tomide shared absolutely no resemblance to Kosi, their nose and forehead might be of the same shape but I was sure there were millions of other people who had the same type of forehead and nose.  I knew for certain that Kosi’s blindness would be cured if he saw Tomide and his biological father together. My son is the split image of Setan. I don’t like it but there was no doubt about it. I could only hope that they would have different behavioral patterns.

 

*****

It is not my wish to tell Kosi he has been wasting his time and money for the last three years but Kosi tempts me so much. Each time he treats me like a machine that produces children and takes care of the house, I feel like screaming the truth just to hurt him. I have tried to keep myself from saying it for three long years but I feel one day I won’t be able to restrain myself.

I fear that a day would come when I would scream it out; he would go pale in shock and would ask me if I was saying it just to hurt him or if it was true, he would point at Tomide and say, “he is not my son?” I would nod, grab my son and run. Five million naira plus the more that will come should go a long way in taking care of a woman and her child or would it not? One can’t be too sure these days.

 

photo credit: google images

On Such Nights

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Muina stretched and yawned. She turned towards the bedside clock, “3.15 am” she muttered shivering. She grabbed the eider down and drew it up to her cheeks; the cold that suddenly enveloped her was not just due to the air conditioner in the room or the fact that she was completely naked; it had more to do with what lay ahead. It won’t be long now she thought picking the bowl of potpourri on the bedside table; she brought it up to her nose and inhaled the heady scent of Jasmine. “This should relax me” she thought at the same time realizing it had never been able to at least not on such nights.

She heard his footsteps immediately he entered the hallway; her heartbeat increased immediately. She watched the door open noiselessly, her heart in her throat. Her eyes followed him as he entered the room. He didn’t even glance at the bed; he knew she would be there, she was always there. He opened the door of the bathroom and Muina heard the running water; she clamped a soft palm on her nostrils in readiness for the pungent smell of hand sanitizers that was bound to come seconds after. She hated the smell especially on such nights. Barok had a special brand of sanitizers; they were more pungent than any she had ever come across. When he was finally through with washing his hands, she heard him run the shower – a ritual that would take another thirty minutes.

Muina waited patiently, she hated what was about to happen but knew it couldn’t be wished away. She watched him as he walked to their bed almost forty minutes after he had gotten into the room. There were no words, none were needed. Muina knew the drill, on such nights there were certain duties required of her and she was ready. She got down from the bed and knelt on the cold marble floor, she bent double at the waist ready for what was to come. “One would think this would no longer be painful after four years of marriage” she thought shouting as she felt the first strike. It was just as best that it was painful since Barok expected her to cry out at each lash of the leather belt. He never exceeded ten lashes, never. When he stopped, she raised her head and watched him stretch his arms as far as they could go. He was done, she didn’t count the lashes but she was sure it wasn’t more than ten, “so dealing lashes of a leather thong must bring some pain to the wielder too” she thought as she watched him stretch his hand muscles.

He motioned for her to stand up; she did and moved to the bed. She lay flat on the bed. The welts on her back stung but she endured fixing her eyes on the chandelier, on such nights, she would wish the chandelier will fall and pin them both to the bed. He removed the towel around his waist and she fixed her eyes on his manhood, some days an instrument of pleasure but on such nights a harbinger of terror. She watched as he poised over her, she turned her eyes to the side as he pushed himself into her roughly. Tears sprang from her eyes, her body had gotten used to the intrusion and had ceased to bruise but that didn’t stop it from hurting. The irony of such nights was Barok preferred her silent when he was having his way with her. Fifteen minutes later when he was finally done, Muina sighed inaudibly. She was free for the night, free until the next time Barok would go out on his killing sprees – the source of his endless wealth.

When that would be she had no way of knowing but she was certain she would be made to atone for his sins again, she would once again be the object that clears his mind, the vessel that brings sleep to his eyes.

She watched him lay face down on the bed spent and ready for a deep sleep. She turned her back to him, the tears still running down her cheeks. She thought of the apologies she would receive the next morning, she would be standing, he would be kneeling, he would have tears in his eyes and hers would be dry. She will forgive him or rather she would say she did. She would watch him stand up wiping at his tears. She would then think of the small bottle of Gammalin 20 in the false bottom of her jewelry box.

She would wonder when she would finally be strong enough to use it.

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