“You are not going back to that hell hole. Not on your life and definitely not on my watch!”
Tito stared at me in despair, like one would look at a child throwing a tantrum. “What can you possibly do to hold me back? Tie me to the bed?” She glanced briefly at her wristwatch, “Toba will be here any moment from now, I’m going home.”
“Not this time my friend,” I set my face like a flint, “not if I have anything to say about it.”
A soft chuckle escaped Tito’s lips – a chuckle, that was all she could muster to express amusement. She’d been battered too much to laugh heartily like she used to. “Unfortunately, my dear friend, you don’t have any say in this matter. You can’t keep me out of my matrimonial home against my wish, can you?”
I knew she was just teasing but her words hurt me all the same. I scowled at her.
“C’mon Bibi, get rid of that scowl and help me pack my stuff. I’m still a little sore.”
I reluctantly got up to help her put her things into the duffel bag – after all, I was the one who packed the bag initially, by now, I should be an expert at it. I had received a SOS call from Tito a week ago and when I got to her place, she was writhing in pain and a small pool of blood had started forming around her on the floor of her bedroom. I managed to get her into the car and to the hospital where she was immediately taken off my hands to the emergency room. I wondered if this whole saga was ever going to end.
Tito had been in and out of the hospital within few months of marriage. Broken ribs, swollen eyes or lips that needed stitches, you name it—and the most recent, a miscarriage! She miscarried the pregnancy she had long waited for and her dracula husband was not even around to be there for her. He had gone on a business trip the previous day, after the normal rounds of punches-that callous being!
I wondered many times why Tito remained in that marriage. All I heard from her was, “Bibi, you know God hates divorce.” Puleeeeez, spare me the sermon! I read my Bible too and yes, it spoke of God hating divorce but did it not also speak of God hating (domestic) violence in the same Malachi 2:16? Did God really want Tito to suffer such treatment all in the name of marriage? Well, I didn’t think so and I made it abundantly clear to her, every opportunity I had.
Deep down, I knew Tito wanted out but the fear of other people’s opinion paralysed her more than the abuse she suffered. With time, her parents knew about her predicament and did nothing but preach at her. In the words of her father (and I guess mother echoed it too), “Daughter, you have laid your bed, you have to lie on it. There is no history of divorce in our lineage and it won’t start with you. If your husband is hot-tempered, you have to learn ways of cooling his temper instead of fanning it. It takes two to tango, my dear. You have to devise means of living with your husband in peace. You are the homemaker, it’s all in your hands, my dear.” Her pastor was aware too but what came out of that? More sermons on the mount??. There was also the undue pressure of looking all put together before friends and foes alike. It was such a heavy burden for her to bear.
I pleaded and pleaded with her to take a break from the horror her life had become but she wouldn’t budge. Her father had practically told her not to return to her maiden home, where else would she go, anyway? So she continued to bear the burden of an abusive and horror-filled marriage. When the abuse would not stop, she started wilting under the heavy burden, her health began to deteriorate until one day, after a slap and some punches, she fell exhausted from the heavy burden she had carried all along. She dropped and rose no more…
To be cont’d…
© 2014 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!