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Battered by senbonzakurakageyoshi(m): 2:30pm On Jun 12, 2018
I wrote this quite a while ago and it has just been sitting on my laptop all this while cheesy. Decided to post since, well, I don't think I have anything else to add to it. Enjoy!

A sudden sound jolted me and for a split second, my heart raced. I realized that it was my phone ringing and my heartbeat normalised. The phone was right beside me, vibrating....calling my attention that was present but distant. I glanced at the screen and, again, my heart raced. It was him. Again.

I felt like my limbs were frozen. A part of me wanted to pick the phone up....to listen to his voice again - that voice that had once made me smile each time I heard it. But the cold, rational side of me insisted that I remained stationary and leave him to call till he was exhausted.
I remember the first day we met. It wasn't exactly a love at first sight story because I honestly didn't think much of him at our first meeting - if I thought anything at all. It was at a small birthday soiree for a mutual friend and I remember at that point that I had been completely taken in by someone else, a dark charming young man named Uche whose wit and smile held the entire room in his thrall and, at a point, it began to feel like we were all there for him and not the celebrant. Mezie, on the other hand, was quiet and at the edge of everything. We barely even registered his presence and I would have completely forgotten he was at the get-together if he had not reminded me himself the next time we encountered each other - this time at the mall close to my father's house. Somehow, he remembered my name and smiled shyly when an embarassed me told him I couldn't remember his.

"Happens all the time", he said and I instantly felt worse.

The second meeting was more memorable though. He was a bit more conversational - even though his voice barely rose above a whisper and he seemed to blush on cue. Maybe I took better notice of him because Uche wasn't there, I teased him sometime after we had started dating to which he replied with silence and a tight-lipped smile and I had to wrap him in my arms and gave him a peck on his nose. The smile this time was genuine. I never teased him with that again.

A sudden silence brought me back to the present. The phone had stopped ringing but the locksreen notification told me I had ten missed calls. All from the same number. Calls I knew I wasn't going to return, though part of me wanted to one-up that by driving all the way back to his house and telling him I had forgiven him and we could just continue like nothing had happened.


The phone vibrated. This time, it was a text message. I unlocked the phone and the message, the latest in a long line of unreplied messages was there. Unlike the previous ones though, this one was only three short sentences long.

"Nnenna please, I beg you, come home. At least, let's talk. Please."

I could feel the tears begin to well up in my eyes.

I was beginning to second guess myself. Clearly he loves me, I told myself. Why then am I be putting him through this pain? I looked up from the phone to the mirror on the wall opposite my bed and my answer was there, on my face - a long scar that ran from just the corner of my left eye down to my cheek.

This wasn't love.

"But Nne, you know some men show their love in different ways," Mama had said when I had just been discharged from the hospital, still sporting the dressing on the wound on my face.

"Mama, is this what you call love?" I replied in a voice that was colder than steel on a harmattan morning. I pointed at the covered wound. "Is this what you call love? If I had died, would you have accepted that daft excuse from him - that he did this to me out of love?"

Mama sighed.

"I understand, Nne. He shouldn't have hit you - "

"Mama, this is not the first or second or third time. How many times have you and Nze come to see me in the hospital after being brutalized by that.....that animal. That inhuman being. How many?"

Mama was silent.

"Aren't you bothered, Mama, that I'm the only one of your daughters who has to run here after each disagreement with her husband because he always gets violent? Chioma is married, as are Adaku and Adanna. None of them have ever come to spend an unplanned vacation with you and Nze due to being battered by their husbands. Even your sons Obi and Emeka - have their wives ever come to complain to you that they have laid a finger on either of them?"

"Your father and I raised them well," Mama replied, the pride decipherable in her voice.

"Then why do I have to suffer Mama, because my husband's parent's probably didn't raise him well?"

Mama was silent for a few seconds.

"I understand how you feel, Nne. But you know how some people get when they are angry. They lose control and you'll just have to learn how to calm - "

"Lose control?" I hissed, my voice rising with each sentence. "Lose control? You and Nze have been married for close to fifty years. We know when you both argue or disagree or fight. Yet not once has either of you hit the other with their hand - not to talk of the metal buckle of a belt!" I didn't realize I was pointing at the wound again. "I warned you before we got married, Mama, that Mezie's temper is uncontrollable and I wanted to end things. But you pushed me to go ahead.....told me I could change him.....that I should just work on him and put the matter in my prayers. Now look at what that has gotten me! LOOK! Even though he saw the blood streaming from my head, he kept hitting me, kicking me while I was bleeding on the floor, begging him to stop and shouting for help. What if I had died, Mama? Would my death be worth it because someone lost control? WOULD IT?!

Mama sighed again and was silent for a few seconds.

"So what do you want to do now?" She asked finally.

My shoulders sagged and I sank back into the sofa, only just realizing that tears were falling freely from my eyes.

"I don't know, Mama."

We were silent for a few seconds, the silence only broken by the sound of the old clock ticking somewhere behind me.

" What I do know is that nothing....nothing on this earth or beyond will make me go back to that man. I will not be the latest casualty of men who can't control their temper. My kids will not grow up watching this man hit me each time he gets angry and think it is okay to hit people when they are angry. I won't go back, Mama."

"Well........it is your decision. I am just advising you because I know each marriage has its own challenges. Your children still need their father. Besides, you know how people look at divorcees..."

I fixed a cold, hard gaze on my mother.

"Mama, he called me a shameless LovePeddler right before my children. Beat me right in front of them repeatedly. God forbid that I would allow that man's toxic behaviour influence my kids. If you and Nze are tired of seeing my face here, I would take my things and my kids to a hotel right now and stay there till I find an apartment because it seems to me that you are on his side and not mine!"

"No o," Mama protested raising her hands and showing me her palms. "We are always on your side. No child of ours would live in a hotel when this house is here, empty, save for me and your father. We just want to be sure you know what you are doing. If this is your decision, I will support you and I am sure your father will too."

A sudden sound snapped me out of that memory. The phone was ringing again.

I glanced at the screen to check who was calling.

Picked up the phone.

And flung it at the wall as hard as I could.

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Battered by adebayo201: 4:53pm On Jun 12, 2018
Uhn... Welcome back Senbo. Being a while here.

What a lovely piece... This is exactly how some homes are and how couples treat each other. Families of both couples ain't helping matter too.

Let's where this will end. *smiles*
Re: Battered by Aceed: 4:51pm On Dec 30, 2018
the literature section is gooone... oh the days when wonderful pieces like these were put up and were appreciated, you will see pages upon pages of satisfactory comments...

Re: Battered by Ann2012(f): 6:44pm On Dec 30, 2018
Re: Battered by Treasurewamiri(f): 10:56pm On Dec 30, 2018
More please..
Re: Battered by ICBBonita(f): 8:34am On Dec 31, 2018
lovely....more pls

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