HAPPY NEW MONTH!!!
Warning: This is story is not meant for readers below the age of twenty. It contains adult theme, strong language and sex.
Eliza, a tall slim woman stormed into the room and glared at her son and husband who were busy playing a ludo game as usual since there was no light.
“Who took the meat in the pot?” She asked.
Her husband paused and lifted his head to look at her. “What do you mean, Eliza?”
“Who took the meat from the pot! Or you people think that I did not count it?” She barked now, her eyes shooting fire.
Her husband straightened his back now and said calmly: “Eliza, I did. Your son and I ate only two pieces of meat with the fufu I bought on my way back from work this evening.”
“Haven’t I warned you people never to touch my meat? Haven’t I?” She snapped.
“Ahan, Eliza, you seem to forget that I’m your husband! Why would you restrain me from taking meat?”
“What husband?!” She barked. “You call yourself a husband? Ehn, Kayode, you open that dirty mouth of yours to call yourself a husband?! Husband to who?! Me?!”
“Mama, you are shouting on papa na.” Her teenage son, Kingsley suddenly chipped in.
“May thunder strike that mouth of yours there! When two adults are speaking, who gave you the right to interfere, you good-for-nothing son! Your mates are out there making money to buy good things for their mothers but here you are idling away with your impotent father! When it comes to providing for the family, zero! Getting a better job, zero! Even performing his manly duties, he’s so terrible at it that he can’t even control himself and has already released in two seconds only to turn on his back and sleep off like an exhausted pig!”
“Eliza, please could you not say all these in the presence of our son? He’s too young for all these and what happened to at least showing a little respect to me as your husband?” Kayode asked in a calm voice. He hardly ever raised his voice at anyone.
“Respect kill you there! Which respect? For who? You? You are the most useless man that I’ve ever seen in my life and I regret marrying you! I would have even managed you if you were good in bed since it’s obvious that you were brought to this world to suffer, but there’s nothing you are good at besides reading the Bible that doesn’t work for you and gradually shaping your useless son into becoming a useless idiot you!”
“So Eliza, is it because of just two pieces of meat that you are raining all these insults on me? Two pieces out of the twenty five pieces in the pot?” Kayode asked, surprised.
“And so? Was it your money? Man of the house, was it your money?!” She clapped her hands at his face. “Mr. Husband, were you the one who paid for the pieces of meat in the pot?! I go out there to break my back for the family but all you can do is come home, eat to your fill and become more useless!”
“But Eliza, I also work. I-“
She rudely cut him off. “You call riding a bike all over Lagos a job?! Is okada work a job?! Your mates are out there making real money and taking care of their wives but what do you have to show for it? Nothing! You are completely useless! In fact, when men are told to raise their hands, please and please, hide your face! I really regret marrying you, Kayode! I should have listened to my parents when they said that Yoruba men were bad news! If I had married Ifeanyi, I wouldn’t be suffering by now! He’s one of the richest men in Onitsha today and his wife goes on vacation all the time, while I’m here wallowing in abject poverty in the dirtiest part of Lagos because of you! Bia, can’t you just die already and set me free since you won’t divorce me?! I have only given birth to one child for you and I’m still in my late thirties. There are tons of men out there waiting to scoop me into their arms but you are the barrier! Bad luck! When will you realise that your staying alive is doing no good to me, Kayode?! Die and go so that I can move on with my youthful life! Kayode, please DIE and GO!” She pushed at his head with a finger but Kayode uttered no word. When she was done, she cast a look of disgust at her son and said: “As for you, Kingsley, I can already predict that you’ll eventually end up like your father- useless! Nothing good comes out of his lineage and I was wrong to think that he had a vision! You had better go out there and make yourself useful instead of sitting down here and wasting your life away by playing Ludo! Listen, if this maggot you call a father dies today, there’s nothing for you to inherit besides that piece of junk motorcycle at the back of the house! I don’t know why you are bent on becoming as useless as your father. Your mates are at the busstop, selling tickets, your mates are driving buses or being conductors and your mates are making it big by building their mother houses through the Yahoo talents that God has blessed them with, but mba! You don’t want to be useful! See, lemme warn the both of you…” She began sternly, shaking a warning finger towards each of their direction. “Next time, I cook and you don’t ask for my permission before eating the meat none of you paid for, that’s the time you two will know who’s in charge of this family!” With a long hiss and additional curses under her breath, she turned and stormed away.
Kingsley looked at his father. He knew that they had both lost interest in the game they had been playing. His mother had a habit of always ruining good moments. He felt really sorry for his father and wondered why his mother was different from other sweet and loving mothers that he had seen. His father’s body had a lot of scars; scars that had been inflicted upon him by his hot-tempered mother who had suddenly changed after his father had been dismissed from his bank job.
It had been very difficult to find another job so his father had resorted to being a commercial motorcycle rider. There was nothing he did that pleased his mother. She was always yelling, cussing, demeaning and comparing him to other men. They lived in a face-me-I-face-you single room and Kingsley could not count how many times neighbours had had to intercede to get his father away from the cruel hands of his mother during a fight. There was even a certain time that she had stripped his father naked in the compound, simply because he had been unable to sexually satisfy her.
What baffled Kingsley was why his father suffered this domestic vilolence in silence? Why couldn’t he fight back?! After all, he was the man and men were always stronger than women. Why would his father just remain docile and tolerate his mother’s disrespectfulness? Why was he so slow to anger? Why did he let his wife get away with anything she did? Why couldn’t he just send her packing so that they could all have peace? Why? When he couldn’t hold it anymore, he spoke:
“Uhn?” The man replied pensively. He looked tired and sad. His wife’s constant unkind and derogatory words had worn him out that despite being almost in his mid-forties, he looked as if he was in his mid-sixties.
“Why can’t you fight back?” Kingsley asked.
“Fight who?” He asked, confused.
“If I touch your mother, she’d probably die in my hands and I’m not ready to go to jail, neither am I willing to make you an orphan… Besides, beating women is not a nice thing to do.” He explained.
“But she gets worse by the day.”
“It’s frustration, my son, frustration.” He replied. “Your mother used to be a sweet-loving woman but after things plummeted for me, she brought out this part of herself that I never knew existed. Listen my son; most women are like this and no matter what they do or say to you, promise me that you’ll never raise your hand against a woman.”
“If I accidentally marry a woman like mama, I might strangle her on the first night.” Kingsley stated.
“No…” Kayode shook his head. “That’s murder, my son, murder. And even in my death, I’ll be in great distress if I ever find out that my beloved son ended up as an abusive partner like his mother.”
“Despite all she has done to you?” Kingsley asked in surprise, glancing down at the teeth mark above the left breast of his father’s chest. His mother had bitten him there a month ago because he tried to stop her from going to a party and he had bled.
“Kingsley, my son, you are still very much young to understand things like this but I’m sure that as you continue to grow, the world will be your class to learn and you’ll see a lot of things from a different perspective and only by then will you understand.”
Kingsley saw his father wince in pain as he slightly scratched his groin through the wrapper he had tied around his waist. His father had been suffering from a sexual infection which he had gotten from his mother but he had not gone for treatment because there was no money for that and this had made the symptoms worsen. On several occasions, Kingsley had seen his father urinating blood and even screaming in pain anytime he was passing out urine.
“Did that alagbo woman pass this street today?” His father asked now in distress. “She promised to help me bring a bottle of herbal medicine for this gonorrhea.”
“No… I think she might pass in the evening.” Kingsley replied. He knew that his father didn’t want to believe that his wife was sleeping around despite all the signs that wicked woman had shown. After a slight pause, he asked his father again: “What do I do if I end up marrying a woman like mama?”
“For your safety and sanity, if you cannot endure anymore, please divorce her but never you lay your hands on her!” His father replied.
“Then why do you stall? Why haven’t you divorced mama yet?” Kingsley was even more confused. Why would his father tell him to do what he himself has refused to do all these years?
Kayode smiled now. “Because, no matter what, I still love your mother. I can’t begin to imagine a life without her.”
“But the feeling is not mutual, she doesn’t treat you like you matter to her. I don’t think that Mama loves you anymore.”
“And that’s why I keep praying for her that God should touch her heart and restore her to the loving wife I used to know.”
Kingsley sighed now. This was hopeless. It was obvious that his father has chosen to remain with his mother no matter what she did, and there was nothing he could. He was only fourteen and had just entered SS1 in the government school in the area. His dream was to either be a lawyer or an accountant. He had lost all affection for his mother and he planned that when he became rich, he would abandon his mother and take his father abroad. He would also find a good woman who would love and cherish his father and make him the happy man he once was.
As he was thinking, Kayode got up while holding his crotch in his hand then he went out of the room to urinate in the public toilet at the back of the house. As Kingsley gathered the coloured seeds of the ludo back into its container, he cringed when he heard his father screaming softly in pain as he urinated steadily.
Determined to go hustle some money and get his father the needed treatment for his infection, Kingsley pushed the ludo under the old chair where it wouldn’t easily be broken by accident, then he walked out of the room and walked towards the fourth block in the compound facing the fence. It was the only block that had some privacy since it lacked neighbours adjacent it and he knew one person that would probably help him.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa