#50DayCountDownTo2015 – Day 44. Written by Aderenle Laru Amosu, he blogs at www.lxaxrxux.wordpress.com
The woman ran. Her legs were getting heavier, but she ran. The weight on her arms heavier with each pace she took, but she ran. She adjusted the bundle on her arm, tears streaming down her face. Spurred on by the sound of the heavy feet behind her, she ran…faster.
It had never always been like this. Long before the late night beating. Long before the drunken rapes. Long before the emotional torture and ostracizing from the outside world, He had always been the sweetest guy ever.
She met him during her activism days in college. The college fees had just been hiked, and the student governing council were is session to discuss the way forward. It was as raucous as usual. Everyone and anyone who thought they had an opinion talked at the same time. Until he spoke. The hall silenced up. The boom in his voice arresting. Everyone nodded in agreement to his opinion. Just like that a consensus was reached and everyone dispersed.
Ordinarily, He wasn’t her type of man. Seeing as he was slim and extremely dark as against the tall, muscular and light skinned men she was in the habit of dating. But then she had always been a sucker for men with deep, masculine voices. Just like her favorite OAP. Being a bold lady, she walked up to him and introduced herself.
That was the beginning of a relationship. They became the talk of campus. They were seen everywhere. They became a student power couple. Often invited to even speak together at couple’s events. After graduation, they both got jobs and were successful at it. She made money, and he made a lot more.
He was doting on her. Spoiling her silly with gifts, trips to exotic places and even sponsoring her younger ones in school. He was her dream man, and she in turn was entirely submissive to him. Her friends were both openly admirers and jealous of their relationship. She couldn’t have asked for a better man.
In three years they were married. A lavish wedding. A wedding that even had the state Governor in attendance. This was the life she had always imagined. The fairytale life she read in books as a child. Her dreams were becoming realities…but she was wrong.
It started exactly a year after their wedding. They were on their way from their anniversary dinner. She stroked his arm while he drove. That’s when he dropped the bomb. He wanted her to quit her job so they could start a family. She pleaded that she could take some time off to have kids but she would not leave her career. He fell into silence which killed her. For weeks he avoided her, no words uttered. Her food uneaten. She sat him down to talk. He reiterated his request, she again disagreed…then he slapped her. She was stunned, this had never happened before.
He kept late nights, drank heavier. Eventually, she gave in. she resigned from her job to satisfy him. She thought he would change but he got worse. He forbade her from entertaining visitors. Trips abroad reduced, even public outings. People saw less of her, even her family. At the slightest provocation, he would beat her. On nights he came home drunk, he would rape her. Not minding if she was on her period or not. She became a shadow of herself.
She lost two pregnancies. On the third, she begged him and He seemed to listen. The birth of a son tamed him a bit. He became loving again, although she still felt threatened by his presence. A month after she stopped weaning the child, she approached him that she wanted to start working again, and even showed him an offer letter. He felt enraged, the beating resumed.
He beat her more in the coming days. Just a few minutes ago, at a few minutes after midnight he had come in reeking of liquor. The look in his eyes had that same stare he often gave her when he wanted to take advantage of her. He grabbed her and she struggled. Her fingers clutched around the vase close to her, she smashed it on his head, and He collapsed. She had had enough. She ran upstairs grabbed a bag and stuffed as many things as she could into it, grabbed the bundle in the cot and ran out of the house. She slowed into a walk seeing she was far from the house. That’s when she heard the heavy steps behind her. He was running closing in on her…she ran.
The piercing scream of her child brought her out of her reverie, but also too late to notice the car that just rounded off at the corner. The sound of flesh on metal and the unmistakable sound of glass smashing rent the air. Three bodies. All the noise died suddenly with the persons. And there he was standing, looking at the dead…she no longer ran.