Read Also: Abike #4
Chapter 5 – Hurt
The match was about to start and I had just tuned in but it was the last thing on my mind — I could barely look at the TV. At first, I thought it was the same stunt she pulled before but this time, Abike had been gone for almost a week. I was beginning to get worried.
“She better not be in another man’s arms” I said to myself.
But I knew Abike, she wouldn’t do that. She has always been prim and proper. She believed in true love which would explain why I was her first and only love. Chai, my guys used to say I was lucky because she hated me spending stupidly on her. She used to take me out in fact. She had always been independent. She could win anyone’s heart well except my mother who saw her as competition.
Mother had advised me to hit her as a form of discipline for when she misbehaved. I never wanted to try it but the more she insisted, the more the thought came to me till I finally did it. She was so surprised that very first day that she just walked out on me and went to cry in her room. I on the other hand, liked it. It gave me a sort of power over her. Slowly it turned into a routine and now, I can barely stop myself from hitting her. Sometimes I feel guilty like I have damaged the innocent being I fell in love with but that feeling doesn’t last long. Seeing her cry and whimper gives my inner man peace. The only thing that gets to me at times is the fact that mama blames her for our childlessness. Still, I’m never going to tell her I have low sperm count. She will start assuming all her fetish nonsense.
I was so lost in thought that I didn’t notice Abike walk in till she locked the door behind her. I felt so relieved seeing her and all I wanted to do was hug her. As I moved close to her, she was pulled back abruptly. That was when I noticed the young man and woman standing beside her.
“You can’t just keep beating her and then apologize just because you are sure she will take you back.” There was anger in the man’s voice as he spoke. Who did the guy think he was to come into my house and make a fuss about how I treat my own wife.
“I don’t know who you are but let me educate you. I can treat my wife in whatever manner I deem fit.” I was about to punch him square in the face if he continued the way he was going.
“Because she’s just a trophy to you. Can you even hear yourself? Do you even love this woman?”
“I don’t need to explain anything to you mister! Abike please come.” I said, stretching out my hand but instead she moved backwards and her eyes began to water.
I was getting very furious now.
“Abike please come to me.” I demanded again, still not moving from where I stood
“I am not your toy, Jide. You cannot just command me and expect me to follow. You love me only until your mother comes whispering things into your ears. I become a lowly filth because your mother says so. I’m tired of living like a rag, Jide. I am tired!”
I sank slowly into my seat. This was how she really felt. My wife felt worthless. I could barely hear the conversation in the background but I saw Abike and the lady leave. The man took his seat beside me. He introduced himself as Chike and started telling me how much I had hurt Abike. That hadn’t been my intention but then again, I never had an intention. He spoke about my mom and I hated that but he was right about a number of things. I had never seen dad hit her one day. Why did she think hitting my wife put me more in control? I guess she always felt Abike was too challenging as a woman; a false idea she’d seduced me into believing.
Chike continued talking as he spoke about how messed up his childhood was with his dad being a drunk and mom always getting beaten up. This behaviour had led to the death of his sister and was also the reason his mother had run away with all the other children. He never saw his father again till he died of a stroke. Alone.
He was trying to let me know I was going to lose Abike if I went on like this. I wasn’t ready to lose her and I promised myself I wouldn’t.
Image Art by Dempsey Osahon Eguae
I learn to live my life as everyday comes but still controlling the elements around me. I’m not perfect but the more I strive towards perfection the more things fall in place