Domestic Violence
Image by Gregory pappas

  Last night I  lay on my sleepless pillow because I had become a watch woman for my mother’s pain. I watched her smile intently at the broken mirror on the cracked wall that demarcated her wedding picture from the remaining photographs, she observed dryly this lonely version of herself.

Mother spoke very few words especially when father was around. She would send me to find out what he wanted to eat and how he wanted It to be prepared because the Last time she made the poundo yam she got from the supermarket he rejected it and added that she must pound the yam, then roll into tiny balls before he could eat it. He made mother quit her Job and he embarrassed all her university friends.

Mother cooked like her doctorate ended in the kitchen. Perhaps to her it was therapeutic  or It was just another means for Aunty Okwi to give her usual half-baked advice and go home with a cooler of ofe oha. Aunty Okwi had battle scars and black patches on her yellow skin, she tells mother that it is a badge of honor and her husband’s love language is physical touch.

She tells mother that divorce is for scorned women who do not understand the true meaning of womanhood. She said mother must submit even though her elder brother is a brand ambassador for all the brothels in town.

‘’At least he is not beating you and he is giving you feeding money.’’
’Onweghi ihe anya huru gba Obara’’ there is nothing the eyes sees and cries blood.
  Aunty Okwi howled because my mother said she wanted a divorce.

 It was not long before aunty Okwi was admitted to the general hospital. She had lost yet another pregnancy and she told the doctor she fell face down while running at the gym, never mind that aunty Okwi was a voluptuous plus-sized woman who panted like a hungry bulldog each time she tried to climb the staircase let alone the treadmill. I pitied her but it seemed like she had resigned to bad fate and she was not my concern, my mother was.

 The frustration of being unwanted by a man that swore sacred vows to you on the altar is a different kind of betrayal so it's little  surprise that my mother began to pray naked every midnight with candles and ashes. she drew the names of Father’s mistresses from her weary tongue

"Prisca may you be scarred until you leave my husband...’’

"Blessing May you be cursed for life’’

"Angelica, you foreign husband snatching demon, let your coven catch fire!....’’

I  prayed with her once before I rebelled because I wondered why she didn’t pray for father's penis to rot like the one I watched on African Magic. Was it not him who met the women in the first place?

Mother paid no close attention to me so she didn’t know when I saw my first period or that it was Uncle Eke – father’s drop out younger brother that bought me sanitary towels after he licked my lips. This was not the first time, the other day he came around he took long minutes to study the lines and curves of my body with his sinful hands and he promised to teach me what it meant to be a real woman. It felt right to meet him when I saw the bloodstain on my dress.

Father’s bloodline was dented with promiscuity but I didn’t complain, uncle Eke and I touched each other whenever he wanted while mother said her lengthy prayers thrice a day.  Father was not a good man but I thought he was a good father because he bought me gifts so I felt I betrayed my mother by letting her marinate in her misery.

I wanted her to live a little and explore the world but I overheard Aunty Okwi say that men are naturally polygamous and it is a woman's divine duty to tame them with bottom power but father no longer found Mother attractive enough to share his bed.
‘’Ada... and that prophet said I lacked the fruit of the spirit, especially long suffering’’
’mua nka....mua ‘’ me..me, in particular, she yelled as she barged into the house with a bitter snare in her eyes.

Father had not come home in weeks, apparently, he had traveled to America with Angelica. A truck came to pick father’s things from the house and his things were everything except our underwear and some of our clothing.

 Our flat Echoes due to emptiness and mother now goes to 'Restore the mantle ministry' where she ties a suede turban and sings hymns on the pastor's thighs as he rubs her buttocks in Holy Communion. 

What do you think of the characters in this short story?  Who do you hate, love, pity etc? Tell me


  1. What????? Definitely didn't expect it to end that way.
    Ohh aunty okwi, whose husband's love language is Physical touch! I weep for you. Sadly this is a story that a lot of women and children can relate to, especially in Nigeria. Although menascum all over the world. Good read.

    1. Lol. Are they really scum? Yes It's sad that a lot can relate to it.

    2. Not all men are scum!it's rather most though still pitiable but women are still not an exception

    3. I agree Maria. I agree women are scum too

  2. I can't place a finger on the particular emotion I feel now... But I can recognize resentment for aunty okwii who allows torture as a love language and a whole lot of other women who make excuses for the men folk and some of their gnarled mindset. I feel pity for the little girl who is now a victim of sexual abuse due to neglect by a sorrow laden mother who in my opinion would've stood up for herself and daughter instead of recounting woeful tales in the name of prayers . Wonderful piece mgbodichi.. It's a beautiful read.

  3. You have to know when a situation is unhealthy for you... And to know if it's something worth fighting for... Divorce is definitely not for scorned women but it is definitely not a fix(except in some cases)... As for the others who were taking advantage of people's plights... There is God o

  4. Wow. Hynms on the pastor's tighs. If only women will learn.

  5. This is one your best yet!!! You're doing well.

  6. A really nice piece! I hope our young girls and women read this and learn how to go about a toxic relationship.

    1. Thank you for reading and I hope they read and learn too

  7. Wow... I was literally glued to my screen...

    You're really a lioness behind the pen. Beautiful piece, ma'am. ��

  8. Aunty okwiišŸ˜„ it's better to be divorced than dead, it's difficult especially when you already have kids buh it's the living that even know they my have kids. I really feel for the little girl who was also sexual abused, really hope and pray that girls and woman in general understand and pull out of toxic relationships before it's too late. Nice one rosey

    1. I totally concur. Life first before status. Amen to that prayer. Thank you for reading

  9. Everybody there just pissed me off.
    Oh and for those saying divorce isn't the solution, you can see how it can cause other problems. "Father’s bloodline was dented with promiscuity but I didn’t complain, uncle Eke and I touched each other whenever he wanted while mother said her lengthy prayers thrice a day". There are other things i could touch on but, This problem stood out for me.

    Alot of toxic and negativity going on in one family all because the women don't know their worth and how to be treated.
    Breaks my heart.

    1. The whole truth and nothing but the truth! That line stood out to me too

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