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BN Prose: Backlash by Olufunmi Abimbola

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And here I was, bruised, beaten, broken. An empty shell of what I used to be. Seven years of my life gone down the drain. Seven awful years of being Mrs Aisha Carrington. As I lay on my bed in Room 6, Saint Mark’s hospital, I thought about my life and how it had all come to this. I couldn’t stop replaying in my head what the doctor had told me three days ago. How had I gotten myself to this stage?
Well there was only one person I had to blame for my present predicament and that was my husband, Dejumo Carrington. Looking around my room and seeing the flowers and gigantic get well cards, it was obvious he had resumed his ever loving husband role. But that wasn’t going to work out this time. Oh no, it wasn’t.

Dejumo my husband of seven years was a monster, an animal, a demon in human form. It hadn’t taken me long to discover this. Just some months after our marriage and his true colours had started showing. I remember our wedding just like it was yesterday. A small yet lovely one with just close relatives and friends. We met at the christening of a friend’s baby. He was all kinds of sweet, loving, caring. He seemed to know a lot about me during our first meeting like he had seen me somewhere before and had been biding his time to make a move. Falling in love with him was easy because he was the proverbial “tall, dark and handsome devil”. He was a good man and came from a good wealthy home. He treated me like I was his life force. We dated for a year before we got married. He had actually proposed six months into the courtship but I refused because I felt I needed more time to know him before rushing into marriage. My family and friends were bewildered at my refusal because they all thought that at age thirty-two, I didn’t have the advantage of being choosy. But I stood my ground saying I really didn’t know who he was and I just didn’t want to jump into a marriage I would later regret. He even offered to have me move in with him if that would allow me a keener observation into his personal life and I did. Throughout that period I knew without a doubt that he was “THE ONE” and I couldn’t wait for him to pose the question again. He was neat, didn’t smoke, he could control his alcohol intake and he went to church often. He also didn’t mind lending me a hand whenever I was in the kitchen. Even though I had my own job which paid reasonably well and we weren’t even a couple yet, he took absolute care of me; pumped money into my account regularly for my upkeep and “our home”. He was like a son to my mother, took care of her and was also paying my sister’s tuition at a private university. So when he proposed, again, six months later, I didn’t wait for him to finish his sentence before I said, ‘yes’. He was also a perfectionist in the art of love making. I usually thought of myself as the most content woman in that aspect. Like no other woman in the world had it better than I did.

My first few months as Mrs Carrington were blissful. He would send me roses and gifts at work for no absolute reason, come in and take me out to lunch. He also hired a chef to do the cooking because he said he couldn’t imagine me cooking after a long day at work. Two maids were also available. He never got tired of showing me off to his friends and colleagues any opportunity he got. I was Mrs Aisha Carrington the beautiful, contented wife of Mr. Dejumo Carrington, the only son of late Chief Carrington the wealthy oil guru. This was my life until the beatings started.

The first time it occurred was when we got back from a friend’s party. He accused me of “playing the part of the slut” in his words. I was the centre of attention and every man in the room wanted to be around me. In the process of trying to get the right words out of my mouth to defend myself at such ludicrous accusations, I felt the first sting of his belt across my cheek. I was shocked. I actually tried to walk away but he pulled me back and gave me the pummelling of my life. I couldn’t believe it. My own loving husband had just beaten me. After crying so much for hours I was able to get myself up and find my way to the guest bedroom.

Throughout, Sunday, the next day I didn’t come out except to make something to eat and I’d do that quickly hoping and praying I didn’t come across him on the way back to my hideout. He knocked on my door a few times, begging, pleading and asking for forgiveness telling me how much he loved me and how he would never hurt me again, that he didn’t know what came over him. I listened from the other side of the door and knew in my heart that I couldn’t stay mad at him for so long. I even tried to defend his actions- maybe I really did go out of line and that he had every right as my husband to be jealous but, even I had to admit he took it too far. The next day at work, he came over bearing gifts and flowers. His eyes said it all. He really was sorry. That same night he treated me to the most romantic dinner ever acting the part of the waiter and partner at the same time. As I lay in his arms that night, smiling to myself after long hours of mad passionate sex, I knew I had forgiven him.

Months passed before another “pummelling incident” occurred. This time around it was because I didn’t come down from my room to welcome him as he came back from his business trip. I was shocked by the sheer stupidity of the statement coming out of my husband’s mouth and even went ahead to ask him why he was being silly. And yes he beat me up, asked for forgiveness again and I did forgive him. And on and on it went for six years, random beatings here and there for no tangible reason whatsoever. I usually had to remind myself that I was in the 21st century and I could get a divorce and move on, but NO. I held on to my marriage to him maybe hoping he would change or just out of fear and pride. I didn’t see myself going back to my single life again. This was for better or for worse and whichever way this went I was going to stick through it. I also didn’t want to give people an inkling of what was going on in my marriage. As far as everyone was concerned, mine was the perfect marriage and I wanted it to remain that way.

It would have been easier if he had a particular trend with his anger bouts. If it was just jealousy at seeing me talking to other men, fine but he got angry at anything and at odd times. The same reason he gave me a pummelling weeks ago would be the same reason he would constantly whisper in my ear that he loved me weeks later. I suggested that he went for anger management classes already expecting a punch to the face as I said it but he took it well and said he’d work on it but he never did.

On our 7th year anniversary, the final blow was dealt. We had a small party at our home for close family and friends. It was late into the night when the last of our guests left. I was tired but at the same time excited at the news I wanted to share with my husband. So as he escorted the last guest to the driveway, I rushed up the stairs with a bottle of chardonnay to await my husband and deliver the good news to him. I couldn’t sit still as I heard my husband walk up the stairs. When he came in and walked towards the dresser with his back turned to me, I couldn’t see the look on his face. As I walked over to him and laid my hand on his shoulder lovingly, I felt myself being flung across the room and my hand instinctively went to my stomach. The first thought that came into my head was “my baby”. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well. I raised myself up in time to shield myself from the force of his blow. I knew it would be futile asking him what I had done this time because it obviously wouldn’t make any sense. I continued screaming and begging him to stop as he dealt the blows. For a moment I was able to dodge some of his blows and ran from the room but not forgetting to take with me the bottle of wine I had brought up. This time around I knew I had to defend myself come what may not just for my sake but for the sake of the life growing inside me. As I managed to reach the top of the stairs I felt myself being dragged back by the hair. I began to lose consciousness, and I managed to continuously mutter the words I felt would make a difference, the words I felt would make him stop. “I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant” I repeated continuously. I wasn’t too sure whether he heard or not. But with all the final strength I could mutter, I disengaged myself from his grip and ran for the bottle at the head of the stairs hoping to hit him on the head with it and run for the life of my child and mine. But I wasn’t fast enough. As my hands touched the tip of the bottle hoping to wield it, I felt the most painful kick in my groin which sent me rolling down the stairs. The final thought that went through my head before losing consciousness was “Dejumo, I hope for your sake I don’t survive this”.

And that was how I ended up on this sick bed. The fall down the stairs had led to the loss of the baby. I was still deep in thought thinking about what the doctor had said and going over the “plans” I had already made when I heard a soft knock on the door. In walked my husband with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes. But all I saw was a demon. An animal that had almost taken my life and had succeeded in taking that of my child’s. As he rushed towards me and went down on his knees begging for forgiveness, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him because of the fate that was to befall him. I pulled him into my warm embrace and soothed him telling him it was okay while my eyes said the opposite. The reflection of the woman I saw in the window pane as I looked out wasn’t mine; it was the face of a woman who had lost all touch with the good side, all touch with reality. This was the face of a woman ready to enact revenge and put an end to all the misery once and for all. As I slipped the syringe into the back of his neck, I could feel him stiffening in my arms and I pulled him out of my embrace in time to see the look of pure unadulterated shock on his face.

I had just injected my husband with a lethal dose of “potassium chloride” which when injected into the body system becomes untraceable. One thing was for sure, he wouldn’t make it past the next hour. It had to be this way. This was my only option. A life for a life.  Getting hold of the poison had been easy. A phone call to a friend from way back who owed me a little favour had set things in motion. I even had it delivered directly to my room at the hospital.

Now I could live my empty and hollow life easy knowing that the monster that had in turn created another monster was gone………………….forever. With that thought in mind and a phizog that masked the calmness I felt inside, I opened my mouth to let out the high-pitched screams and cries that would have the hospital staff rushing to my room.

I'm a legal practitioner and an aspiring fiction writer. I'm currently residing in Lagos. I enjoy a good laugh. I'm passionate about books, music and fine art. My motto is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. My favourite author is Jeffery Deaver. Perseverance and Self-discipline are my major watchwords.

51 Comments

  1. QueenofEverything

    April 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    oh my GOD! very gripping and harrowing. No woman should ever go through this and suffer in silence.
    I read this on my desk at work and was about to let a tear drop but caught myself. I would have done the exact same thing! When your husband becomes a monster, you do what you have to in order to protect myself.
    Fact is, if he hits you once he will hit you AGAIN!
    Let us wise-up ladies, and be more outspoken about this disease eating into the heart of several families around us.

    “The woman came from a man’s rib – not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior, but from the side to be equal, under the arm to be protected and next to the heart to be loved – Anonymous

  2. hauwa b.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    holy cow!!!!!!!!!

  3. gimmer

    April 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Whooosha! all these one-sided male bashing stories…getting really tiring. if the outcome of your life is someone elses fault, then you need to check yourself. women start taking responsibility ok? it is not by friggindiggity force to be married. Jeez…is BN turning into a Dear Abi/Oprah channel? get a grip women.

    • Turayo

      April 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

      Well said, but these stories need to come out. In Nigeria’s society, marriage is played as a do or die affair.

  4. Anon

    April 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    wow!ll be right back,i need time to digest this.

  5. hephzibah

    April 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Wow! I’m kinda shocked! Would love to ask her, now that he’s dead, by your hands, do you feel better?
    I know there’s been a rise in husbands abusing their wives and all, but why do I get the feeling that this prose is an attempt to soothe the women folk, to give that long awaited feeling of revenge and ‘justice’. Oh well, a good read.

  6. Lucinda

    April 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Wow. Now thats real! Nice prose BN, it teaches us a lot ab0ut not making excuses for any form of domestic abuse.

  7. T.S.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    No woman should ever have to go through this. I wrote a play on this as well.

    http://titisule.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/fleelove-at-first-sight/

  8. Alero

    April 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hmmm…pretty interesting.Kudos Abimbola.

  9. ms pretty

    April 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Eledumare, u commit murder??? u shdnt v gone to that extent, a simple divorce letter wld have made life easier, God gave u another chance to show him d way, anyway sha nice story

  10. ms pretty

    April 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    *commited*

  11. Gracy Mounah Adelle

    April 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Wow… great write up…but killing someone?! That I don’t know about. But this is so true about most women…I can’t forgive on emotional abuse, not to mention physical one.

  12. bodecatalyst

    April 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    nice story. lol

  13. saphya

    April 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    sad

  14. nwosu Juliet

    April 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    wow! this has scared the shit out of me.

  15. Aibee

    April 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve got shivers from reading this. Sad, really sad!

  16. Turn turn turner

    April 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Brother man had issues…all that random beating…what the heck!

    However killing him was a bit much, no?

  17. alice bassey

    April 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    i really do love this, no woman should undergo any torture all in the name of love. i dnt pray this for my enemy but was it really rite for her to kill him, divorcing would have been beta

  18. ama

    April 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I dont really like the end part….she shdnt have killed him

  19. K zone

    April 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    So bcos u’re not married u tend 2 demonise d act

  20. Munet

    April 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Very nice!!! As women we put up with SO much already, abuse should NEVER be something we tolerate.

  21. Fatimah

    April 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Oh dear…
    One of the interesting aspects of this prose was the highlighting of the fact that taking your sweet time before getting married is not a guarantee for a blissful marital experience!

    But then again Wow! She killed him? Phew, can’t wrap my head around that…

  22. Annabella

    April 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Quite sad but I think a mature person has to end with some words of wisdom.Because from the tone of it all,it seems this piece teaches revenge and killing.Please ladies run for your dear life,do not settle for revenge.Heaven and hell are real.Not everyone reading this has a matured mind and would possibly settle for revenge just as Aisha has done.And after killing him,what happens to her conscience?Where is she now?in police detention or where?Please let us address issues accordingly.I know he almost killed her but she had d chance to run for dear life.Imagine not coming out alive after a fall off d stairs?she evn miscarried a baby.It shudnt hv gone that far.Please tell us that this writeup isn’t encouraging revenge and killing(taking the law into one’s hands).We really don’t want a lawless society where evry battered woman kills her husband at her own will.Do not hide this kind of thing because you want people to be of d impression that you have the best marriage in the world.We are talking about life here.So please act wisely,don’t let d devil trick you.

  23. faith

    April 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    wow!!!!she shouldnt av killed him…why couldnt she just leave him???

  24. Kemi

    April 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Killing is just not right, …I don’t agree with the writer of this prose. The story is very one sided and doesn’t pass on a true message to the ladies out there. You don’t have to kill a man to be free, really! I think the writer has a beef with a certain man in the past and want to kill the person.

    Pls women out there, marriage is not by force. If a man is not treating you right in a marriage, get OUT! We are in 2012, educate yourself, go to school, get a job, train yourself…be independent…don’t wait for a man to feed you 24/7. Your own life is in your hand, you can do anything with or without a man. Just be yourself and make the best of your life, whether married or not.

    • gimmer

      April 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      I posted similar comments on the one-sided nature of these kind of this male-bashing-sob-tales…but BN folks didn’t post my comment. i feel its high time women started taking responsibilities for their own choices e.g. the choice to marry

  25. Jade82

    April 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    wow…very nice story. Lesson to everyone

  26. golden girl

    April 26, 2012 at 4:29 am

    she shouldnt have killed him cos you might end up losing your own life as well by spending the rest of it in prison.nobody is worth the stress cos as it is he gets the last laugh.

  27. Sariyu

    April 26, 2012 at 6:27 am

    WOOOOOW!!!!
    I don’t know where to start with this story or whether to even bother gaan sef.

    2/10

  28. princess

    April 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

    i dont think most of you are understanding the message the writer is trying to pass along ; it isn’t “sweet revenge”. it is don’t stay in an abusive relationship till you lose everything and killing or any form of revenge becomes your monster becomes your only form of “emotional release”. when the beatings started, had she taken a decision and walked away, the blood of her husband wouldn’t be on her hands. When u lose everything life becomes meaningless, so women please leave before u are killed or u lose ur “children, ur eyes, become disfigured” and carry some serious hate in you.

  29. Oluwasayo Awe

    April 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Hmmmmn. lovely prose but I think killing him was not the solution. A simple divorce would have been better. Moving out of his house till the divorce is final wold have been a good move. Anyways, the lesson here is do not stay in an abusive marriage in the hope that he will change,cos he might not change until a life is lost in the process.

  30. Debbie Egwuogu

    April 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    The murder part of this story is a no no for me… Her husband is very sick! A separation would have been the best,that way she can even still have a child!she left the marriage with notyn! Na wa o!

  31. Toriola

    April 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Trust me, the woman had lost it… She had taken to much in and remember she made her marriage look perfect. If she was confiding in someone or her family, she wont have gone to the length of killing her husband. No1 lesson is, if you are going through a situation such as this, pls confide in your trusted friends or family, they ‘ll encourage you to take the right decisions and thus, you find a meaning to your own life if your husband doesn’t. My mum was a victim of serious battery, she was even told once to choose between acid and a knife but my father didnt go free, he was jailed. Though my mum still went ahead with the marriage but one day, she decided to leave in as much as she didnt want to leave her marriage. Now, shes alive, happy nd she and my father do very well as just friends and shes married to her childhood friend.

    Lovely Prose…

    • lola

      May 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Wow, thats a real tale of triumphing am glad your mum had d grace to move on and find something better, i wish a lot of women can walk away and be optimistic about the future!

  32. Seun

    April 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

    When will women learn eh? why are you blaming her? abi wld ur comments have been better if you had read that he killed her? how many times have we seen that happen, even recently?abeg make i hear word jare!!!

    by the way, a simple divorce/separation wld NOT have worked coz abusive men make it IMPOSSIBLE for you to leave them (unless ofcourse u r dead). they r cold, calculative, manipulative & control freaks.

    Even though murder is wrong (we all know dat) i dont blame her oh, bcos i know HE WOULD HAVE KILLED HER!!!!

    now let me shock u ladies – WOMEN HAVE BENN KILLING THEIR HUSBANDS SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL. what do u think those herbalists are for? abeg make una wake up to reality.

  33. lara

    April 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    take every action u can to protect yourself but no killing please. u can move out of the marriage if need be but the act of killing is a sin. A man that raise his hand at you to day but make conscious effort and stop will definitely beat you tomorrow. To be alive as a single lady or mother is better than die untimely death in d name of love or be alive as a killer.

  34. Nomy

    April 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Hmmmm! As i enter any relationship, we gat ground rules o! Lay a finger on me and am out the door sharperly, second chance no dey am! And please forgive me cos i will get someone to give you back your own dose.

  35. Ada

    April 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    In our African society where divorce is frowned on it makes it difficult for women going through domestic violence to obtain such from their husbands, especially when you had a beautiful wedding.
    I’m such and when you talk about it with my mother the only thing i hear is “do you know what the next man will do to you?”. So many thoughts ran through my mind. The how do i get rid of this man comes into my mind and the only answer is i’ll be happy if he leaves for work and does not come back home in short i want him dead but murder is something i cannot do so it sounds easy to get out but i am stuck for various reasons.

  36. pd

    April 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    killing him….its ok.

  37. Horrified

    May 3, 2012 at 3:27 am

    “Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned.” Horrifying. Who would blame her, though? Leave that to her Maker. Meanwhile, beware, all you muscle-flexing husbands. You just might be raising a scarier beast than yourselves

  38. lola

    May 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I dont blame the woman for killing him, everyone handles issues in diffrent ways, even animals are protective of their young,women are very protective of their children and would do anything to protect their young even kill yes, am sure i can kill a man who rapes my child maybe not one rapes me but you touch my young….obviousely she’s been looking forward to having a child for the 7yrs of her marriage then she gets pregnant and she perceives her husband as having killed the child, its no wonder she snapped, i assure u it was temporary madness! but she done did it, does she feel better? for now she does, she probably feels triumphant too! maybe later just maybe she’ll regret it “shrug” but i think the husband had it coming, in her shoes i probably wont kill him but i’ll hire some thugs to beat him black and blue and break an arm and leg, believe me guys i wont leave him but he’ll have to think twice b4 raising an arm again,

  39. fokasibe

    May 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something about this prose that didn’t ring true…

  40. omalicha

    May 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

    when you beat a woman to the point of losing her child then oga ooo there’s NOTHING she cant do. she forgave u for all the other beatings but this particular one she couldn’t. i cant lie i wont say i would have killed him but lord knows when your hurt and broken there’s no telling what you can do.

  41. doppleganger

    May 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    hi BN, just a quick one; how do i get my story published on here? send an E-mail to team (at) bellanaija.com

    • doppleganger

      May 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

      thank you

  42. Ojb

    June 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Sad story. It’s a pity that many women, even those educated with good jobs would still allow themselves 2 be victims. The protagonist didnt see it coming, afterall she was with him 4 a year b4 they got married. Some men hav actually started their violent behaviours b4 marriage & the ladies still stay bcos of love or the fear of being single 4ever. My advice 2 ladies out there is this: get out b4 it is too late & dont envy others, thinkin they hav d perfect marriage.

  43. oyin

    July 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I think taking his life was a bit over the line, but what can we say, we aint in your shoes, I might do more than that. God forbid sha

  44. brainiac

    March 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    wat happens after his death?… I NEED MOREEEE…

  45. Anonymous

    March 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Hiya, nice story line but with a sad end, it could have been better if she found a way to deal with him other than taking a life, an eye for an eye leads us nowhere, other than to face the wrath of God.

  46. fisayo

    March 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Don’t be collecting gifts too much. Loll. It will blind ur judgement of the man.

  47. Yemi

    March 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Olu my learned colleague, really impressive creative writing, I feel the issue of domestic abuse needs to be discussed more. There are more people suffering in silence than we think, the sheer possibility of recreating a “new life” which is possible through the existence of social media alter egos makes it easier to hide the true nature of things and give the illusion of perfection. Beauty standards keep rising from already unrealistic benchmarks to total insanity. This has to be addressed, personally I feel low self esteem and the ridiculous desire for social acceptance are to blame. Violence in a relationship has never and will never be justifiable. Although I wouldn’t agree with the way it all ended, I can’t really judge. It is easier to say otherwise when you are not the one getting reupholstered black and blue.

    This was a good read, do well to keep me update when the next piece drops. Cheers!

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