It is because you are a man. It is why you are supposed to be abused and keep mute about it. How would you even tell anyone that your woman hurls all of these insults that breaks you, when you do not admit it yourself. When you look in the mirror, you see the tattooed version of her fingers on your cheeks, you see last week’s scar on your left shoulder but you say nothing; you let yourself feel nothing. It is that nothing you feel that makes you hang out with the boys later in the evening and when they ask how things are going with her, you make up stories; maybe they are not really stories, after all they are realities you see in your head; they are the way things ought to be: You bringing her flowers and chocolates and she accepting it with loud kisses instead of sending you sneers and showing you pictures of the new car Jide got his girlfriend. Your friends say you are lucky to have such beautiful lady who is deeply in love with you. They are happy you found love.
They are not wrong, are they? You both used to be in love. She used to bring you lunch and bring you surprise gifts, she used to apologize when her anger got the best of her and she lashed at you. Because she apologized, you had stayed. You had stayed because you are soft, and you are love, and you are everything they said a man shouldn’t be.
Once, she called you a weakling. Another time, she accused you of cheating and that was when she threw her high heel at your left shoulder. She said you were not man enough, that you cry when you try to express your pain and worries. That you cry when you are hurt. What a crybaby. What a wimp. Her words pierced your heart because they were coming from someone you loved and who was supposed to love you with the same intensity, maybe also because they were true. And that time you raised your gentle, shaky voice at her and she threw herself on you, daring you to beat her: to show her the man you are. But the man you are do not beat women.
You thought of calling it quits. You really started to think of leaving. because you are man, you shouldn’t quit. How would a woman even beat a man? Be a man. You read those in the articles you started to spend midnights reading; trying to find answers, solutions, sanity – anything.
It is the beginning of a new month. She is in your house to see you, to inquire why there is another girl on your display picture. You try to be tough – you do not lie that she is your sister or a distant cousin – You say the truth; a casual friend. But you are not tough enough. Your eyes are not quick to see the knife she had picked from the table, so your body is not quick to swerve, and the knife hit you right in the centre of your belly.
But because you are a man, the morning news says ‘Girlfriend stab man for cheating.’ and as usual, there is no sympathy for you; macho man.
Elizabeth reads wide and writes when the muse calls. She is an introvert, although bubbly with the comfortable crowd. A lover, believer, liver, dreamer, and lazily, an undergraduate.