Tito got married to her beau in grand style. If wedding ceremonies were any sign of how marriages will ultimately turn out, then one would surely conclude that Tito would have the best of time in her marriage. I was happy for my friend, but I was also concerned for her. Few days to her wedding, while putting some last touches to the wedding prep, I noticed some swelling on Tito’s face and queried her about it. She brushed it off and blamed it on stress, but I was not convinced. I was almost sure she’d been recently hit by her fiance but then, there was really nothing to be done again. Tito was desperate for marriage and she wanted it at all cost. I simply resolved in my heart to relentlessly pray for her. There’s nothing prayer can’t do, right?
So the wedding ceremony came and went. When, after her extended honeymoon, I saw Tito beaming and blooming, I sent a prayer of thanks upstairs. It appeared all will be well after all. Hmm, I couldn’t be more wrong!
The demon in Tito’s husband bared it’s real hideous fangs soon enough. I started noticing unusual changes in Tito. The boisterous extroverted Tito suddenly became subdued. In the months that followed her wedding, she drastically became a shadow of her former self. Dark shades became a perpetual part of Tito’s ‘fashion statement’. My ever outgoing friend withdrew so much into her shell, I almost could not recognize her again.
At first, Tito dismissed my concerns about her changed demeanour. “Bibi, my husband is an introvert,” she would moan, “I can’t be the same outgoing person I used to be. I have to be in sync with him, you know.”
I knew she was simply employing defense mechanisms to make people around her believe everything was okay, but I was not fooled. Well, she could not keep up the pretence for long. After she suffered a broken rib and had to be confined to a hospital bed, the truth came spilling out.
“Tito, you can’t go on like this, you have to do something.” I sat beside her on the hospital bed. “Gosh, you look like hell…”
Tito looked past me like she didn’t comprehend what I just said to her.
“Did you hear me? You have to do something fast!”
“What do you propose I do? Move back to my father’s house?” Pain marked every inch of Tito’s face as she struggled to sit up a bit. I swiftly moved to help her. “You and I know that’s not possible. You heard when dad told me on my wedding day that I should not come back except I’m visiting.” Tito half-smiled at the memory of that conversation and my heart broke into tiny pieces for her.
“You know he was just humouring you, don’t you? You’ll always be his little girl and I’m sure he has not let out your room yet.” I winked and a little smile tugged at one corner of Tito’s mouth.
“But it’s true, Bibi, what he said is the truth. I’m supposed to leave and cleave. My husband’s house is where I belong now.”
I had a thousand and one responses to that but I chose to ignore her statement. “Do your folks know you’re here?” She nodded in affirmation. “Do they know why you’re here or you made up a story?” I locked my gaze with hers, demanding an answer. When she averted my gaze, I got my answer – of course, she made up a story!
“I can’t believe you! What has come over you? What….” I wanted to rant on but her phone chose to ring at that moment – her husband calleth! She spoke with him a bit, mostly in monosyllables, and then ended the conversation with, “Love you too, babe.” I wanted to puke!
“Toba is on his way.” She turned weary eyes to me, “Are you staying a-while?”
I would stay if her husband was not on his way. I wasn’t sure of my reaction to him – I felt like beating him to a pulp, if I could – so I’d rather not stay. “Girl, you know I’ve got lots of love for you but right now, there’s no love lost between me and your husband. I better go before an extra bed is needed in this hospital and I assure you, it won’t be me needing it.”
Despite her pain, Tito chuckled. “You and your theatrics, eh! Oya, dey go. I will give him your regards.”
I rolled my eyes mockingly, said a brief prayer for her and hugged her. I was out of the room in a jiffy!
All the way home, I wondered. I felt like doing a lot of things ranging from casting out the ‘mute’ demon that entered Tito, keeping her from crying out for help-to-scourging her husband with a cruel whip-to-running straight to her parents with information about their daughter’s predicament. I had never felt helpless like I felt at that moment. What was I to do? How would I help a friend who was obviously in denial? How would I save her from ‘dracula’, her so-called husband?
“Somebody help me….”
To be cont’d…
© 2014 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!