“Jide!!….Jiiiddeee…Jide!!!T-t-t-he b-baby is c-c-c-r-r-ying. At least let me attend to him… Jide p-p-p-l-lease please just st-o-o-op-p.” Her persistent pleading touches my ears but refuses to sink in. I have to finish what I have started. I begin to pound harder in time to her stammering. “J-J-Jide” thump, thump, thump, thump. A part of my brain keeps asking what is going on. What am I doing? Isn’t this the woman I had promised to love and to cherish? This bloodied and battered huddled being in front of me is the woman I swore to protect. But I can’t even protect her from the monster that dwells in me. “P-p-p-p-please.” Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.
Somewhere in the house, my son is wailing at the top of his voice. The sound grates on my already raw nerves. I exchange my fists for my legs and begin sinking kick after kick into her soft, fleshy body. She doesn’t even put up a fight. Through the red haze blinding my eyes I can see tears streaming down her face. If I know her very well, she isn’t crying because of the pain, she is weeping for her son who is hungry and needs her. And she is weeping for me. For the man I have become. The shell of a man I have become.
“Olaji-ji-jide.” Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. “I am begi-gi-gi-ging.” thump thump thump thump thump thump thump. The other part of my brain, the more dominant part, is determined to channel all the rage and fury and shame and bitterness in me through this medium. However, Kitan’s cries are becoming increasingly louder and I am afraid the child would blow his voice box out so I step away from the mess I have created. We are both panting.
She lies there on the floor, where I threw her, for a few seconds before gathering herself together and limping into the room where our son is. I look away from her retreating body not wanting to see the damage that I have done. The monster is gone just as quickly as he came; a billion emotions are rolling through me but anger is no longer one of them. I look around me slowly, taking in the other damage done. The living room of our two bedroom apartment looks like World War IV just happened. I don’t remember throwing anything around but I remember the sound of body hitting glass, body hitting wood. I did not want to hurt my fists so I flung her instead.
“Jide. Jide. Jide. What are you?”
She comes back out carrying Kitan who has tears streaming down his face but has his mouth fastened greedily to her right breast. Her clothes are in tatters, there is blood all over her body, one of her eyes is swollen shut, her lips are cut and her hair seems to be missing some chunks. Gosh not her hair. Not her long beautiful hair. This is the worst that has happened so far. Ever since the monster took home inside of me, this is the worst he has done. She starts putting the room in order turning furniture back up, putting the stereo back in place all the while rocking the child clinging to her chest. I stand in silence unable to speak or move. She is picking up shards of glass with her bare hands. I make a move to help her but she cuts me off with a look. Shame washes over me and I step away to sit on the couch.
You are definitely mad if you think she’d let you touch her. I look at the face of the child whose little fingers are still holding on trustingly to his mother’s breast. He meets my eyes and there is no fear in his. Just trust in the body that is nurturing him.
”Go get changed. I will take you to the hospital. You might have some….injuries…” I try to speak as coldly and uncaring as possible but now that the rage has faded, regret has taken its place. She shakes her head, looking straight into my eyes, daring me object.
“I’ll go after I prepare dinner and clean up.” She limps out of the room, heading for the kitchen. “Dinner will be ready in an hour,” she says over her shoulder with a small smile.
Read part 2: CLICK HERE
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