Weaker Sex For Real Part 2

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Weaker Sex For Real Part 2

The next morning is a drag. A subdued, solemn air hangs around the house like a persistent beggar. It is a home in mourning. Mourning the loss of innocence and the advent of a darkness; undefinable and intangible, but very present. They avoided each other, none able to hold the other’s gaze for longer than a second. He had tended her wounds the night before, he had apologised profusely, over and over again, but each time he was prompted to say something more, her eyes, cold and accusing stopped him in his tracks. The unspoken words choked up the atmosphere, widening the gaping divide.

She spent the day in bed. He wandered the rooms aimlessly; each fighting their demons; each trying to come to terms with the terror that he had unleashed. Finally, he could take it no longer. He grabbed his car keys, stuck his head in the doorway of the bedroom and muttered a message.

“I have to dash to the office and pick up a drawing.”  He didn’t expect a reply, and he got none. She simply glanced over her shoulder at him, and went back to gazing vacantly at the wall, clutching a pillow close to her bosom.

He shrugged into a tee-shirt and left the apartment. He needed to clear his head, chart a course for the suddenly uncertain and terrifying future. Why did I hit my baby? Why? Where did that urge come from? Why didn’t I resist it? What happened to my self-control? I used to be appalled when my friends said they struck their wives before I got married. I was enraged that my Father hit my Ma!

Images rise unbidden into his mind; his parents embroiled in one royal rumble after the other. Broken crockery, broken promises, broken bones. He had hated his Father with a passion and had to be restrained from physically retaliating his mother’s honour. Poor, battered woman. She even told her bewildered children that it was her fault that their Father beat her. They asked her why she didn’t leave, and she shook her head as she smiled her long-suffering smile and held back her tears. As they grew older, they understood. Ma was just a petty trader, how was she to fend for 5 children on the pittance she earned from her erratic sales? And so it went on. Pa had become mellow with old age, and it seemed as though the days of thunder were ended; and yet they had not, for he carried the seed of thunder inside as his poor wife had unfortunately witnessed first-hand.

He slows as he nears the junction, and swings his BMW into reverse. He knows what he has to do.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

She got up as soon as she heard the car leave the driveway. He had left some Ibrupofen tablets on the dressing table and she helps herself to a few tabs and washes it down with a glass of cold orange juice which she retrieves from the bedroom refrigerator. She then hoofs it to the bathroom and has a quick shower. She has to be gentle with her bruised parts though, and the sight of her swollen lips fills her with a blinding rage. How could he? How dare he? What beastliness! She needs to process this whole misadventure far away from him.

She stuffs a few clothes, toiletries and shoes into a carry-all. Her stomach growls and reminds her that she has been on a hunger strike all day. She throws on a loose fitting black chiffon gown and slips her feet into a pair of electric blue gladiator sandals. No time to fluff her hair, she doesn’t want him to come back before she leaves. Her Remy extension is stuffed into a black beret and perfunctory make-up covers the worst of the bruises. She drags the bag down the hallway to the entrance door and her stomach growls again. Let me grab something to eat, she thinks making a quick dash for the kitchen. Biscuits, chocolates, mixed nuts, plantain chips, leftover grilled chicken. She grabs the grilled chicken as she notes that he has heated up some potato casserole. She stops momentarily as a tempest of feelings threatens to overwhelm her. She shakes it off, wraps the chicken in some foil paper, stuffs it in her oversized black handbag and heads to the door just as she hears a key turn in the lock.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

He opens the door and almost trips over a bag smack dab in the middle of the path. He rights himself and stares at his wife who is obviously on her way out. He looks at her, glances at the carry-all on the floor and looks up at her again. She is obviously not his mother; not in any way, but that is good because he is not his father either. She stares at him unwaveringly, silently cursing her stomach for causing the delay.

He falls to his knees, repentant and broken. “Angel, my Angel. Where are you going to?”

No reply. She stands arms akimbo, as the fiery light in her eyes grow brighter.

“Omalicha’m, I am so sorry. I know I have said it again and again but now I say it with meaning. I say it because I understand what happened, and what I need to do. I say it because I need your help to overcome the indoctrination of 2 decades. I thought I was infallible, but I see I am not. I thought I had out run and out educated my father’s devils but yesterday something happened. Never in a million decades would I have imagined myself doing what I did, but…”

“But what?!”

He sighs. “I have asked God to forgive me, and I am working on forgiving myself. Please my darling, forgive me, but don’t just forgive me, help me! Help me, pray for me, with me! Don’t just be my offended wife, be my sister in Christ, helping me down from this wickedness that has creeped into our home. We must not let the devil make a stronghold…”

“We?”

He is quiet, deflated. “Pastor me Baby. Punish me if you must, but Pastor me. Remind me that I am not my Father…everyday my Love, remind me every day.”

She is weeping. “You are not your Father Baby! You will never strike a woman in anger again as long as you live you hear me?!

“I hear you, loud and clear, I hear you Ma.” He stands to his feet, swiping tears from his eyes. As he reaches forward to embrace her, her right hand lashes out and delivers a blinding slap to his face. He is momentarily stunned. Stars of different colours dance a jig before his eyes. “What… what did you do that for?” He croaks.

“Punishment, Baby. Punishment.”

© 2012 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Jennifer in 2015: 1. Her newest collection of short stories, 'The Curious Case of the Small Pikin & Other Stories' is available on okadabooks.com 2. She ported from Blogger to WordPress and shares her uncensored thoughts on jennyuncensored.wordpress.com 3. She is an aspiring Filmmaker & Talk-show Host[ess] 4. She's a mother of two, wife of one and daughter of God. 5. She plans to travel around the world in less than 80 days... Now you Know! Find me on Twitter: @jennynkem

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