I didn’t blame Maryam Sanda when she was found guilty of stabbing her darling. I wish I had her courage. I am in shackles. They used to have roses growing on them before now but all have finally become rusty old chains around my neck, arms, and feet.
I cry all the time. I lay close to a man I don’t recognize anymore. Every day he changes, bringing more and more rules to the house. I dare not say no to him. I must make all his meals, wash his clothes, not talk to the neighbors or leave the house to visit anyone, not even my parents.
My sister was very ill once, I had pleaded with him to allow me to see her. He refused, stating that I was going there to embarrass him as I wasn’t fat. He claimed not to know what was wrong with me and said that I alone knew what was eating me up.
If he didn’t remember maybe I should remind him that he rarely leaves anything for me to cook with. Until he gets back from work we don’t eat. He would give me just enough money for one person’s meal and I would have to search around for ingredients and cook with the firewood I had cut down from the only tree in the compound.
It is not like he didn’t have enough money to cater to us both but he was just very stingy.
When we first got married, he’d told me that he had gone bankrupt while preparing for the wedding. I had to sell a few of the things I came with to provide food for us. As time went by, I realized he was just like that. He was a miser.
Sometimes when my mother called him for assistance, he would become pissed and breathe fire and brimstone. He would call me and make me kneel, and then he’d go ahead to insult me, my family, and my ancestors. I’d have no option but to cover up in front of my family.
My clothes are getting old and worn out. I have only one pair of shoes and walk barefoot in the house. For once, I never complained. I still did my duties and stayed loyal to my dear husband.
Once our neighbors, who were married had come to see me when he was not at home. They sympathized with me and gave me foodstuff and clothes. They told me they usually overhear his incessant tantrums and hoped that things would get better one day.
My happiness was short-lived because I didn’t know who told him about their visit. He became very angry and insisted that I had taken our matrimonial issues to a third party. He even threatened to divorce me.
I didn’t like the way he treated me neither did I have a place I’d go if I decided to leave. I had no skill. I studied a course I didn’t like and couldn’t practice it. My parents would not take me back. This was supposed to be my home. I didn’t make any other plans except to get married and settle.
I had our daughter at the beginning of the second year of our marriage. She brought forth joy and glad tidings. Even my miserly husband had spent money on her naming ceremony although he hadn’t bought a single baby wear when I was pregnant.
My daughter gave me strength. I no longer felt the effects of his abusive words. Anytime he complained, I’d simply promise to amend and smile at him. He wasn’t very happy about this and so he began to hit me.
Once, I didn’t know how I had dropped a plate by mistake. He saw it as an opportunity to beat me black and blue. While curled up close to the armchair, my baby began to cry. I stood up to run to her but he pulled me by my hair and continued beating me. I suddenly realized I could get myself killed and have my daughter live with this monster.
I grabbed a piece of broken plate and jabbed his foot. I quickly picked up my daughter and ran to our neighbors.
I had to choose to live with the abuse or stay alive divorced. Since I am here to narrate this lovely story, you can say I chose the latter. I do not know the current state of my husband but I and my daughter are alive and well.