By Ozioma Paul
I’m still mad. Very mad.
The first time Dan hit me after 2 months of dating, I knew it would never end. But everybody at church thought otherwise. The Senior Pastor then, his ‘mentor’ told me not to tell anyone as Dan was the youth leader. Dan apologized, bought me all sorts of gifts and made me feel so special again. I would later find out this was his pattern.
This did not stop as you would expect and I was mad, very mad!
A day before our wedding, I found out he was having an affair with someone at his work place. I couldn’t believe it. It was during one of our numerous fights. I had turned down so many young men because of Dan even when he was a beast. Now, at the slightest argument, he runs to the arms of an 18-year old student?
I decided to call off the wedding. My parents were wailing – actually, just my mom. My dad was indifferent. In his words, “Your happiness is what matters to me…”
You see, Dan’s parents were stinkingly rich, unlike mine. My dad already got a contract that revived his dying business and literally changed his whole life. Thanks to Elder Ighalo, Dan’s father. But oh, how I wish he took a stand to proof this. How I wish he made a choice for me when I was too weak and overwhelmed to think. How I wish he was not indifferent. How I wish my happiness really mattered to him.
On the day I walked down the aisle, I was mad, very mad!
From the first night of our wedding, there was always chaos in our home. On one of such nights when Dan would turn me to a punching bag, I tried to revolt but I was scared because I was carrying our baby. So I stepped away. I had prayed that unlike my past three pregnancies, this one would stay. Dan hated and still hates to fight alone. He shoved me hard to say something. “Don’t you dare ignore me woman!” He howled.
I paid him no attention. As I stood up to walk away, he yanked me backwards. I tried to break free but as we struggled back and forth, I fell down hitting my belly hard on the ground. I passed out. But just before I did, I heard him whisper, “I’m sorry my love…”
And even in my unconsciousness, I was mad, very mad!
The doctor announced to me that it was best I quit trying for a while. He had no idea what was causing the miscarriages. And because as a woman who had home training, I was expected to be my husband’s covering, I kept mute. Each time, the doctor would prescribed drugs and I’d keep them away in my drawer. I would cry and beg my dead children to forgive me for the mistake I made in the person of their father. To everyone who saw me outside, I was the strong, enviable wife who was standing firm despite her many ‘trials and temptations’
But I was mad, very mad!
One fateful day, I had come earlier than normal and was wrapped in bed. I was feeling uneasy from work – I felt I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test when I got home – that confirmed my feelings. I heard Dan walk in – happily chatting on the phone with his mom. Maria, his mistress that caused our first fight had given birth to a baby boy. I sat up on the bed, I couldn’t believe my ears. I was standing by the door when he stepped into the room. At first, he started to stammer, then my anger of many years found an outlet through my mouth. He was initially shocked. I had never spoken back at him in my whole five years of marriage. But today I was done. Suddenly, he seemed to recover. And fast too, he shoved me aside. This time, it was me who needed someone to fight with. He gave me the beating of my life that day and stormed out of the house. He didn’t come back for the next two days. I wondered for those two days how I ended up where I was.
I was mad, very mad!
I went home after those two days. But I was told I couldn’t walk away. “Iyawo o le kuro nile oko re, Ewo ni!” (A wife doesn’t leave her husband’s house, it is an abomination!) I cried and pleaded that they let me stay and bear my baby. Instead of standing by me, my parents staged a reconciliation visit where I was told to bear with my husband and his new wife. Dan, the ‘my husband’ didn’t even apologize. He seemed to have gotten worse with me or maybe I was just blindly in love…”
In the weeks that followed, I lived as a stranger in my own house. I lost myself completely and Dan couldn’t care less. Gradually, color drained from my eyes and the depression I had fought for years overcame me. Sadly, all my friends could not see it because jealousy had covered their eyes. They’d always say, “You cannot have any problem in this life, If I like you was married to the richest 30-year old in town – I would never wear my dress or hair like this…” They were blinded. My parents and siblings were blinded by Elder Ighalo’s money. No one seemed to notice my slow decline, safe Titus, the gate man. But what did he know, I never paid attention to him. Now I wish I did.
I heard Titus scream as he vigorously shook someone who looked like me lying on the floor. I looked at him confused. Who was this woman that looked so much like me? And why was she wearing my dress? Why is Titus not listening to me? Is he deaf or am I suddenly dumb? He ran out. I followed, shouting his name. I tried to block him at some point but he passed right through me. Strange doesn’t properly articulate how I felt. I felt really light. I sat at the door waiting for the people he had called to come in. The first were my parents. My mom wailed loudly from the gate. I stood outside calling out to everyone who came but they didn’t respond. Then an ambulance came and I saw myself being reeled out. Now, it dawned on me. I was dead! I ran like a mad woman that I had been for years into the room. I found myself in the air as I set to run – some strange thing I didn’t know I could do. I focused at the task at hand – finding my killer and then, I saw it, a bottle of sniper on the floor where I laid.
“No Moronke, You didn’t!” I cried and wailed, pulling hard at my hair…. Why did I do it? I didn’t even know I was suicidal. Just then, I heard Dan’s voice. I rushed out and I must have hit him a million times. He felt nothing. I was mad, I was very mad!
Today marks the third month since I died. Eisssssh! I hate the sound of the word. Today, my roaming ends. I went to my house and saw Dan, Maria and their baby boy in the living room. Maria has a small scar on her arm. Dan had started hitting her too. Her face was slowly losing color. I slapped his head and hissed when I realized it would make no difference.
I went to my family house. Nobody seemed to remember there was a Moronke. They had all moved on. I think I saw a line of regret lacing my mother’s eyes but my father had long resumed work at his factory.
A memorial was held for me in church. But they also had moved on, even my cell members and the kids I taught Sunday school. I missed them all, maybe I shouldn’t have taken my own life.
Even my jealous fake friends. One of the biggest bloggers in our time wrote an article on my life. She titled it, “A bosom friend signs out…” She spoke on depression and mental health. I could not believe she knew all this and yet watched me slowly die. She had lied on how I had pushed her away each time she reached out to me. All in a bid to make a perfect story that’d boost her numbers. It did work for her.
Nobody still has me as their display picture on their social media platforms. The obituaries have already been taken down, everyone has moved on! And I am mad, very mad! I did this to get attention, and attention I got but everyone moved on right after. Nothing had changed. My state was only worse. Dan has moved on and I was still the loser. Maybe, I should have walked away the very first time.
After a few years, Maria joined me on this side, through the same route. Only she brought Dan along with her and I’m still mad, very mad!