I arrived at my father’s compound, heavily pregnant with 2 ecolac boxes beside me.
Mum and dad were shocked to see me, “Modupe, kilon shele? You never told us you were coming,” mum said as she welcomed me.
Speechless, I stood as I stared at them, I could see an uneasy look on Dad’s face, “Mummy Dupe, do not bombard her with questions yet, I believe she’ll speak up later,” dad responded to mum’s question.
As I took more steps, they noticed I was limping, I couldn’t hide it, I only succeeded in hiding the burns on my back.
At age 21, I had numerous suitors, men of different works of life sorted for my hands in marriage, marriage was the last thing on my to-do list as I was very brilliant in school then but my parents felt marriage was the ultimate for every female child.
“Modupe, this is the best time to get married oh, a woman doesn’t have much time on her side,” my mum always said this to me, I wanted to get a university degree, get a well paying job or run a successful businesses before getting married but I was pressured by my parents beyond limit.
I yielded to their advice, I got married to Adelakun Adegboyega, the son of one of the chiefs in our town.
He resided in Lagos, this fact alone made my parent feel I had caught a big fish, I only saw Adelakun twice before we got wedded, both occasions were when he came to perform some traditional rites. I hated him, not only was he way older than me, he was so huge and had this scary look and crooked voice.
After our traditional wedding, Adelakun drove me in his pegeot 504 down to Lagos, we barely spoke as we journeyed, mum had assured me that I would be alright.
I would have preferred to be captured as a slave by a slave master rather than dwell in Adelakun’s bossom. When we arrived Lagos that night, he showed me round the house and I was made to cook dinner that night. Adelakun kept laughing mischievously as I cleared the table where he ate. That night was horrifying, Adelakun forced himself on me even after I had complained bitterly that my whole body ached.
I remembered how my friends and I always fantasized about our first night with our husbands, what I experienced was totally off from what I had dreamt of, permit me to save the details as talking about it would open fresh wounds.
Shortly after we settled in Lagos, I found out that my husband was not only a chronic alcoholic, he was also a womaniser and rumours had it that Adelakun was in a secret cult. I shared my matrimonial bed with different women, Adelakun didn’t even bother about how I felt. I remembered how he woke me up around 2:00am one night to cook Amala for one of his mistresses, I complained and received the beating of my life, in pains I went out that cold, rainy night, lighted the firewood stove and cooked for them.
I conceived many times but had numerous miscarriages. Before every miscarriage, I’ll see a huge masked man in my dream punching my stomach till I bleed and when I wake up, I would be soaked in my own blood.
These nightmares ceased when Mama Demola, our next door neighbour introduced me to her pastor who prayed for me, this got Adelakun very angry, this made me believe the rumours they said about him being a cultist. I sneaked whenever he was away to attend church, the more I attended church was the more he hated and spitted me.
I conceived again and for the very first time my pregnancy exceeded 3 months, this was a good news for me but a terrible news for my husband. He came home angrily one evening with a black substance in a water bottle, he asked me to drink it, he said he was not ready to have a baby yet and this got me more worried, who wouldn’t want to have a baby in marriage?
I refused to drink the substance and I earned several punches on my stomach that night, as he punched me heavily, I remembered the nightmares I always had before every miscarriage, in all this the baby stayed.
I saw hell during this period, attacks on every side, nightmares too but my baby stayed till I was 6 months gone. Adelakun burnt me with a pressing iron one hot afternoon after I slept off while cooking.
Mama Demola was really supportive, she advised that I return to my parents, I yielded to her advice. She gave me some money to support me too.
My culture frowns against divorce, my society too, even my religion
But Sir/Ma would you advise me to remain in such a marriage that poses such threat to my life? Should I sit there and wait till I am killed? Should I pray for such an evil man to change?
I am broken, wounded but I still have breath, I have a future too and I won’t let anyone ruin it.
I hope this inspires you? Please share
©️ Sophy Bless, June 2020