He would not just tear my pants, he would dip his hands in my ‘toto‘ asking me if I had been with another man! Many times, I am left bleeding and sore and begging him to stop…I really don’t know what he was looking for in my ‘abunna,’ a missing penis or what?
What was he hoping to find? I don’t get it.
And you know what? While he’s at it, he would be screaming to the entire neighborhood about my so called infidelity, he would strip me naked, dip his fingers into my thing and many times draw blood and sometimes have forceful sex with me…I got tired, I just got tired!
Well, that is how I got to where I am.
How did I get here? Long story but I will give you the short version.
I was never married to Ile, we were just boyfriend and girlfriend then we began to live together; you know, we first became friends through a cousin of mine who owns a barbing salon right next to my hair dressing salon; in short it was my cousin who gave me a part of his shop to start business in the first place and Ile was one of his best customers.
From the very beginning, I noticed he was very possessive; when he got angry over me taking to other men or laughing with other men at the salon; we do pedicure and men come after they have barbed their hair or while waiting for their turn; many times, Ile would come and hang out at the Barbing salon and so when we got home, he would break things, punch the wall or slam doors or sometimes try to strangle me…I would always run from him when he got like that but on one or two occasions, when I couldn’t get away fast enough, he almost choked me until I played dead, then he left me.
What happened that day?
Like most times when he loses his temper, it was always about him blaming me for men looking my way; he says I am the one encouraging them by laughing at their jokes or being friendly. To him, that was tantamount to sleeping around and planning to sleep around. I beg my sister, as you see me so, I no even know say I fine. I no know say I be any special girl but once I baff, rub powder, fine girl go just come, I didn’t create myself na. So why should I constantly be punished for it?
Most of these men are also my customers but Ile would accuse me of having sex with so and so; if they just admire me or pay me a compliment or something, whenever I returned home he would tear at me, accuse me of encouraging them; if work makes me get home late, he would say I was returning from a sex marathon…come sef, this sex marathon, na yam?
Even if I went on the so called sex marathon, won’t I wash and clean myself before coming home? Some men are just senseless, sha. Knowing he is the jealous type, if indeed I was sleeping around, would I not use condom? Would I come back dripping with another man’s semen?
Biko, it doesn’t make sense. So whenever he starts like that and tries to put his hands in my pants, he just tears it and fingers me and says, “Ha, you ashawo kobo kobo, you are still dripping, harlot with 10kobo pussy…”
He would be shouting so much the whole neighbourhood would hear him!
I would be telling him, “I am not ashawo, I went to see my sister, I am not…” all would fall on deaf ears!
It was humiliating for me.
Why didn’t I leave him?
Where would I go?
I didn’t think my mother would ever support me leaving him; because he was responsible for her hospital bills; my mother had been bedridden for years and if not for Ile who helped me put her in a hospital, where a good doctor was able to take care of her, and provided her with a monthly upkeep especially for her drugs. My mother would have died a long time. Unfortunately, I do not earn enough to help my own mother so for her sake, I remained with him.
Whenever I tried to tell my mum, ” See what Ile did to me,” she would tell me, “your father was worse than that.”
When I cried to her and said, “Mama, see what Ile did to me”, she would say, “Did he tell you he was an angel?”
So I stayed.
Ok, so a friend of mine from way back in secondary school came to town, he had been abroad for a long time; so somehow a friend of a friend reconnected us again. This guy was already married, had three children in fact and lived with his wife abroad.
He came, contacted me and honestly speaking, I wasn’t looking for romance or anything; we were close as kids and even though he furthered his education, I couldn’t because my father died and my mother despite the fact that she kept saying my father was no good, went to pieces shortly after he died; She had a stroke and has been bedridden for a long time.
So when Victor, my classmate heard that I didn’t even further my education, he contacted me, just as friends…we gisted and he asked me why I didn’t go further, I told him and he said he would support my hair salon business; you know, give me money to make it bigger with more equipment and more girls to work for me.
When Victor mentioned that, immediately, alarm bells rose in my head!
“Ile would kill me if he hears this one talking like this, o, how would I even say my business was so good that’s why I have new hair dryers and can even rent a bigger space?
You know, when Victor asked me if I was married, I didn’t want to tell him about Ile True, true, I wasn’t married. Ile kept saying, “we will marry, we will marry” but after all these years, I knew within myself it was a lie.
Anyway, that’s how I began to see Victor…as per say I had told him I just have a longtime boyfriend.
You know, I wanted to leave Ile but I was afraid for my mum and as for Victor, he told me his wife wanted a divorce and that if I agreed to be his woman, he would be coming to Nigeria more often, though the prospect of me going to join him was slim…I was ready for it!
Seeing Victor, talking to him made me bold; when I told him what Ile did to me every time he suspected I was cheating on him, Victor said, “So how do you defend yourself?”
I said, “defend how?”
“You don’t rush him? You don’t go for his penis and tear the bagger out?”
“Chai! Which one be that!”
But that thing was stuck in my head.
I came back from seeing Victor one day; there was no sex, I swear! Fear would not even let me have sex with anybody with the way Ile behaves. So that day, I came back, and I think Ile smelt Victor’s perfume on me…he just went mad!
He scattered everywhere, tore my clothes, my pants, scratched my vagina with finger nails. I was bleeding, pleading with him to stop…I mean, I wasn’t even sleeping around, but he drove me to think of other men.
That day, I went straight for him, I pushed him down, you know, he was in his boxers and singlet. I rushed into him and grabbed his penis and balls together and squeezed hard… he screamed because he wasn’t expecting it at all. He just staggered back, I put my weight on him and just bit him first in the stomach because I wasn’t even sure where the thing was as we both struggled, then he hit me and I pushed him further and got a chance to bite him real hard!
Na fight we dey fight, he used his hands I used my teeth!
Come and hear as Ile was screaming like a girl!
He was shouting, “You want to kill me, you want to kill me!”
Oho, what have you been doing to me all these years?
Sis, I didn’t get the head but I bit him wella, ha…I was happy with myself even though my head wanted to explode that day.
You should see how frightened he was…
Anyway, that’s how the whole thing ended o. Ile sent me packing that day, I was ready to move out…I moved into my mother’s house and even though I was afraid that leaving him would affect my mum; it did but we are managing. He is not God!
I eventually told my mother all what was happening, she said I should have left him a long time ago…can you believe this two- faced woman?
As for Victor, we are still very much in touch.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)