I was waiting for my order in a hotel in main town when a friend of mine walked in. She looked disoriented and was not her usual bubbly self. The weather was dull so I did not understand why she wore her sunglasses. She loved to display a bald head or sometimes very short dyed hair but on this day she had a curly wig on. One would have concluded she was hiding her identity.
I started to get excited as I waited for a mysterious man to appear. The chair she chose was a definite sign that no one should notice her. She looked around amd I lifted the menu quickly. I was not going to miss on this one. It was definitely an affair. The waitress walked to her and she seemed to avoid looking into her face,making a quick order.
I pitied the husband, a pastor whose church was becoming popular day by day thanks to his preaching prowess. Word had it that he was a true one. Here was his wife now, about to eat a forbidden fruit, I thought.
As the steward brought my order, she tripped and screamed . This attracted attention. Mrs Pastor recognized me in the heat of the ruckus. I almost cursed as I saw her walking towards me. She had a limp on her walk and I woke to embrace her and feign my joy to see her. I knew we both knew we had ruined a beautiful rendezvous.
Things changed very quickly with the hug. She was now holding me sobbing, whispering words like “Thank you God.” I pulled her from the embrace, now all concerned and ushered her to sit.
“Are you ok?”
My question was answered by an action that almost drove me to a heart attack. She got her sunglasses off and revealed a very bloody black eye. Her eye was all red, looked like it would pop out any time.
“What,what is all this, you should be in a hospital, you know that?” I asked.
“You should see my head, it is all cut up!”She said amid sobs.
“Who did these, did robbers ambush you? Where is your family?Are they ok?” I asked, silently repenting for thinking that she had been waiting for a clandestine activity.
“Mark, did this.” She said bitterly. Shock, bitterness, anger were some of the emotions that ran through my blood. She explained that she ordered some tea, waiting for a miracle to happen because in her, she did not even have a cent. She had run away literally snce he was shouting he was going to kill her today. I ordered some rice and beef for her ,which she ate ravenously. I shed tears for this young lady.
The medic staff at the hospital bought her ‘ Robber Story’. I was silent but irate. Here was a woman, with a 4 year old kid who had just received a murderous thrashing from a pretentious monster,now protecting him. It took hours to stitch her up and the doctor’s pleas to have her admitted for frequent check ups fell on deaf ears.
“Thank you Mam,” she whispered to me.
“You know how I will appreciate that thank you my daughter, if we go to the police right now and report that animal.”
She said a frightened ‘OK’ and I drove like a mad man, lest she change her mind. Let’s just say I did the most talking with the police.She was afraid of a man who was not even in our presence. When we left, we headed to my house. It was already late in the evening then so we just went to bed to sleep.
When I woke up the following day, I went to see my friend in the guest room. I called out to my husband,he was in the living room.
“Have you seen my guest?”
“No,I havent seen her but I heard a click on the door at around 5. ”
I sighed in disbelief . She had left.
“It’s ok, I did my part, I only hope she did not go back to that stupid example of a pastor, he will kill her. ”
It was around 2.00 o’clock when an SUV drove to our compound. The vicious man they call Pastor stepped out, followed by his timid wife. If this was my daughter, I would have caned her like a 5 year old child. Aaargh!
He walked towards me like a horse, all mighty and proud. He extended his hand to me which I sneered at. He smiled widely at me, disrespect written all over his face. Now my husband was beside me,his tall self looking down on this short chauvinistic man.
“Yes, we are Mr and Mrs Mark. My beautiful wife here wants to tell you something.Ehe…go on, tell them. ”
She hesitated but he nudged her with his finger.
“Baba and Mam L, thank you for hosting me. I have begged for forgiveness from my husband who has promised never to lay a hand on me ever. This things happen in every home. Every woman has been beaten by her husband at one point in life. If all all leave our marriages,who will we our husbands be left with? I want to forget the past and focus on the future.Please do too. ”
My mouth was agape. I lacked words even as they left and drove off. My husband led me back to the living room muttering furiously to himself.
I waited for a few days and called her. She said she would call me after q few minutes. When she did,I rued calling her.
“Mam L, why cant you focus on your old self now,huh?Is your marriage so perfect that you want to now meddle on others? I am working on mine,work on your retired husband, mschheeeew!!” And she hung up.
Needless to say, I washed my old hands and went to my husband with two cups of coffee. And we sipped it slowly waiting for yet another night.
Last week, Mrs Mark was flying to India to have an eye surgery. Apparently,she fell down on a stone which hit her eye pushing it out. Mmmhhhh…