“My scars tell a story. They are reminder of when life tried to break me but failed” … or did I eventually break and life won?
I was about 16 years old when I first saw him. I was a little girl with dreams and hopes as large as the sea.
He came to my father’s house with his clans men, bringing palm oil and a few baskets of farm produce. They disappeared into our little hunt with father and talked for awhile.
Mother danced , the other women sang a song and whistled with tongues flapping inside their mouth and turning around in circles while I was made to sit on a stool and ardoned with chalk and beads while mother and the women poured holy water on my head with the sprinklers of the green leaves.
I stood and watched as mother and father smiled at the toothless old man, whose grey hairs had reached his knuckles. ..and some danced inside his nose and ears. My inside was screaming but going against your parents especially on their choice for a mate for you is like going against the god of the land and that resulted in your being banished and thrown into the forest of the cast.
When father tells me to knee before the man that would be my husband I looked at father with tears in my eyes but he looked past me. Mother held my hands and brought me to my knees and the old man touched my head and smiled. .his breath smelt of stale and nothingness. And I closed my ears and swallowed my tears knowing my fate had been sealed.
On the day he came to take me. I didnt say a word to my parents . My eyes was devoid of emotion and pain. I knew it wasn’t their fault. .but they were my parents and if they couldn’t protect me from the ugly hands of societal evils then why should I bother calling them father and mother. .so I dusted my heels knowing that I will not return and today would be the last they would see of me.
I closed my eyes, his ravaging breath caused bile to rise in my throat. He wasnt gentle . I realised only too late his fetish fantasies . He would bind my hands behind my back. Spread my legs and force himself into me. Every night. Spilling his content and leaving me bruised and sore for days. I was his slave , to fill his tummy and cure the throbbing between his legs.
My first son came a year latter. He was beautiful even though he was deformed. Doctor said my womb had been ruptured somewhat causing a dent in his face during pregnancy. I told them I fell while going to the farm. How could I tell them he tied me to a palm and used a plank..because the child stopped him from enjoying his wife the way he wanted.
Mother and father came to see me, I held him in my arms as they gathered around me wearing black.. He had died in his sleep. But they didn’t know his father had let the pillow linger over his small nose as I wailed in the background . No child of his shall look like a monster he said as he beat me to a pulp saying I must have been with another .
Adana came two years later. Her eyes were beautiful and calm. Her smile gave me hope. I will protect her with my life. Husband went away to farm and I had ample time to play with Adana. My joy. When he came home not wanting to upset him. I would bind my arms and spread my legs. And endure his thrust just to keep him happy. He was old but old doesn’t make a bull soft. When he slums back and snores I would disengage myself and run to my daughter. ..cradling her in my arms I would rock her to sleep. One day. ..one day all this would be over.. and we would be free.
He staggered into the room. Adana rushed to greet him..I called her away. He hated to be bothered .
He smelled of shekpe. Eyes bloodshot and his voice hoarse when he called my name.
Rushing to him as been my daily routine..to calm the sea and still the waters. .
With a swift move he ripped off my gown and pushed me to the floor..baring all infront of my daughter as thrust unpon thrust tore me, Adana’ s cries non the bother. My pleas and protest earned me a black eye. My little girls arms held on to his legs, with one quick move he drags her after him, out the hut..out under the rain..my body weighing a ton as I ran after them…but I was too late. The stone had left a hole in her tiny skull. Red thick clots of blood danced around her face. Her eyes devoid of life and her hands outstretched as though reaching out for someone to hold…her mother’s hand. My voice seized..my eyes became unfocused and tears trekked down my eyes as he dragged me back and finished what he started. .and I lay there unmoving..unseeing…un-me
Mother and father came to see me.. wearing black as I held her in my hands while they mourned my second seed taken away by their father’s hands..
Tonight as he laid snoring , and my body sour. I picked up his machete and towered over him. My heart ticked ticked like a time bomb waiting to explode. .I knew I could make him suffer less but I needed him to see who did it…who caused him pain and send him to his maker.. a herbal drink would make him weak..i made sure he drank it .Kicking him awake I watched as his eyes shone recognising my face,my intent and then his fate.
I had no emotion left. No feeling. My heart had turned to stone and all I wanted was to end it..For me..for my boy and for Adana. .and be free. And I let the machete drop, as it steamed red hot from the fire I prepared ..and his head left his body not before he watched me take him out limp for limp.
Mother and father came to see me, wearing black as I towered over his coffin..but not a tear was shed. For the man who ruined my innocence and made me motherless.
I was 25 years old when I saw him, with his clans men..father going to welcome them and mother and the women dancing towards me. I looked at my hut once last time, and to my parents I said a finale goodbye and made the walk into the forest of the cast. .lost to them and to the world. .forever. knowing that only in there will I trully be free. .albeit dead ..atleast I will be with them again..my baby boy and Adana. .for life without them wasn’t worth living anyways. And that is the only truth.