DEATH IN THE POT
The music blaring in my head was very loud as if a music box had been planted into my head and it was going to burst open anytime soon.
It also felt as if I had the elephantiasis of the neck!
My nose was windy!
Hence I knew that there was definitely a tube connected to my nostrils!
Is that some sort of oxygen tube?
What had happened to me?
Just as I decided to swallow the spittle that had gathered in my mouth out of irritation, I felt that piercing pain in my neck and I knew!
It dawned on me!
And the realization of what dawned on me made tears gather in my eyes- hot tears at that!
It was my birthday that very day and on a norm, my husband wouldn’t forget.
Since we got married, it was always surprises upon surprises.
I could remember series of time when he had surprised me so lovingly.
The day after receiving the result that I was pregnant with James, I saw him off to the garage where he drove off to his office while I stayed back to get some things done.
Just some few minutes later, there was a knock at the gate and some event planners actually barged in after greeting respectfully to deliver me a large pack of pizza, some steak and some bottles of wine after which they proceeded to put the house under a shower of care and décor!
I could only watch on as all these happened until they went into our guest room and there was a sudden change in there. It was painted blue and ‘Welcome Baby’ was inscribed on the wall.
I could only laugh as I picked up my phone to call him.
“Hello my dearest bush husband” I teased him
He paused before answering
“Yes Mrs. Bush” He replied and we both laughed
“It is only in your village they celebrate Baby shower before even determining the sex of the baby, shae?” I asked him and he laughed
“Yes ooo. That’s what surprise is. The difference is that while everyone would gather to celebrate the normal one, ours would only be celebrated by you, me and Sharon” He said and I grinned
“Who is Sharon again?” I asked and I could feel him lick his lower lip as he answered
“I wish I am beside you to show you. You know what I am saying?” He asked and I laughed because I could imagine his face as he said it. It sounded like ‘You know woram saying?”
Thank God for God in my husband’s life o, he would have been a playboy
“There is no Sharon anywhere o. It’s going to be a James” I retorted and he chuckled
“Raise your hopes high o. In a couple of months, we would know who won. Either you or I. Either Sharon or James” he said and we both laughed
But I won!
James won too!
As those thoughts ran through my head, tears rolled down my face.
Those beautiful, unforgettable moments!
On another occasion, he had offended me before going to the office.
The night before, he came home to meet a tired me!
I had had a lot to do in the garden and all the house chores were just to many for me but immediately I realised that he would soon be home from work, I postponed on, prepared a sumptuos meal and dressed in an appealing way.
Pelumi hates meeting me looking unappealing!
After his meal, the way he was looking at me and rolling his eyes already told me what he wanted and I continually shook my head in the negative.
He pleaded with his eyes but I was not ready at all.
“Honey, I am tired. Like, seriously tired. Please, abeg” I told him and just as if I was given a sleeping tablet, I slept off.
I woke up to find Pelumi doting over me and all.
I was not happy because of two things.
1. He couldn’t hold on for a while for me to get over my fatigue
2. He woke me up from sleep
I was so mad at him that when he asked for sex for the umpteenth time, I just gave in without my full concentration.
I just stayed still and was like a ghost.
That was his worst moment with me if I asked.
So when he was going to work, I dropped his fruit bowl and lunch box in his car and went inside to sleep.
I didn’t adjust his collar nor did I blow him a goodbye kiss.
He knew I was mad with him but while he was away, I missed him greatly and forgave him in my heart.
By the time he reached the gate and was about driving in, I saw different balloons and cardboards pasted to his car with the inscriptions
‘Forgive me darling’ ‘My behaviour was beasty’ ‘Marry me once again’ ‘Its only you I love’
Oh my God!
I was so touched that I married a humble man whose mouth was so quick to tell me sorry.
I had never for once regretted marrying Pelumi.
On many occasions, he would so delightfully tell everyone that cared to listen that he loved me so much.
His friends would only raise their noses and say ‘We know ooo’ and we would all laugh over it
Even his Facebook friends are aware of the wonderful love that existed between us.
He was faithful to me also because I remember that on many occasions, many girls had called to say they wanted to speak with Pelumi. I was always so shocked as to what that meant until it dawned on me that he gave any lady that asked for his phone number mine!
We shared everything in common.
We had beautiful photo shoots where he would be the photographer or we would use selfie sticks.
Pelumi planned couple’s camping for both of us in any part of Africa- we did that twice at Kenya and South Africa.
Oh those times!
But times have changed!
Oh my God!
How did things go wrong?
The lump in my throat thickened
My misty eyes became mistier!
Then, my heart was cold!
The last time my heart got frozen like that was last year when my mother died in her sleep.
I was packing some food that we would take to her in the hospital because she had been ill briefly when my husband walked in.
I looked into his face and read a deep pain.
I looked at him questionably and all of a sudden, he came over to my side and held my waist.
“Well done darling. Let’s have a nap quickly” he said as if he had hot yam in his mouth.
“Nap?” I asked, so confused
He nodded and took my hands off the pot and started leading me out of the kitchen.
“Honey, it’s strange though. Weren’t we supposed to be on our way to Minna to see my mum?” I asked and he nodded
“Oh yes we were but not anymore. Let’s just get someone to do that for us dearie. Minna is kinda far” he said and my heart started racing.
I just didn’t know what was making me that scared.
“Let’s sleep dear. I just want us to sleep.” He said and I agreed to his terms. I wanted to see where that would lead us.
He placed my head on his chest and it was as if the noise in his heart would block my ears.
I sat up to look into his eyes and I saw mist
“Are you crying?” I asked and he shook his head
“Why is your heart thumping so hard like that?” I asked again and the tears rolled down his face.
I was shocked as my heart jumped into my mouth really badly.
“What’s the problem?” I asked, so scared and he pulled me close and pecked my forehead in a loving manner.
“I can feel your pain. I just want you to have some rest. Since mummy became sick, you had been jumping up and down. I want you to calm down. I want you to rest. I want you to calm down” he said as his voice became so shaky
Something told me the deed was done!
Another told me my husband was only being emotional.
I just put my head on his chest again, trying to calm my heart down.
“Honey” I called, almost inaudibly
“Yes love” he replied
“Is anything the matter?” I asked him
“No.” he said curtly and sniffed wetly but quietly.
My heart stopped for a while.
“Dearie, what if I die?” he asked and I turned to look at him, very fearfully
“God forbid! Die ke! Why? Are you kinda sick? Is there some kind of problem somewhere that I don’t know about? Pelumi, please die and I will follow you. What sort of a talk is this oh Lord” I cried out almost in a rush
“What if James and John died?” he asked again and I simply pulled him up as far as my strength could carry me.
Was he becoming crazy?
What sort of a thing was he talking about?
“Honey?” I could only call out and tears rolled down his face.
“What about mummy? Your mum…what is she died?” he asked and slowly I sank into the bed as I looked into his face.
“My mum can’t die! God forbid!” I cried and he hugged me tightly.
“I didn’t say she is dead. I was only asking” he said but I couldn’t be deceived any further
My mum was gone!
The irreplaceable person in my whole existence was gone really!
“Honey, why? Why would mum die? Why?” I cried as I pulled at his chest.
I felt miserable!
My heart quaked!
My heart got frozen as the cold that descended on it was indescribable.
But he was around me!
My husband gave me some warmth!
He made me to forget my sadness in a short while!
Oh my husband!
The same feeling has enveloped my heart but nobody could console me!
My heart felt as empty as a dead man’s eyes!
I remembered that fateful day!
The first day I saw my husband seriously deadly!
I smelt my husband nearby and I wondered what was wrong with me because I was sure he was in the police cell.
But suddenly, I heard someone shout ‘Mr Pelumi, stop!’
I was doubly sure that my perception was right!
Pelumi was nearby and was probably very dangerous to behold but I still trusted him!
I knew he couldn’t do me bad!
I knew he would not just bear to hurt me.
I had done the most horrible things to him and he still professed his love.
He loved me!
Until I turned back to look at him!
Until I met his stone cold face!
Until I saw the knife in his hand!
Until I saw a policeman, looking like Dr. Afenifere’s ex-husband pointing a gun at him
Until I saw the sweat beads on his face
Until I saw the desperation
The desperation was bad!
He was breathing so heavily
He targeted my stomach!
He wanted to stab my tummy!
I was more than shocked because my husband couldn’t even hurt a fly talk less of me.
The shock couldn’t even make me run.
Despite the fact that Dr. Afenifere screamed ‘Mad man, mad man!” I couldn’t run at all.
Until I saw her ex-husband dropped a tyre which made Pelumi miss his steps.
He fell over me and the smell was crazy!
I was no more perceiving his perfume but sweat, blood, urine- a cocktail of horrible smells!
“Leave me! Filthy, smelling man!” I screamed
I thought that would stop him but no!
I felt the stab at the side of my neck and well, I really wished I died!
He was so desperate to see me die!
A man who would never want to see me pained at all!
As I heard a gunshot, I fell into a bloody sleep!
As these thoughts clouded my head, my eyes failed me and tears ran down my face.
I miss Pelumi!
What made the love turn to hate like that?
How and when did I become so rebellious against the love of my life and the father of my children?
I tried to sit up and realised that there was a tube in my nostrils still.
I reached for my nose and pulled the tube out so frustratingly.
I held my neck carefully as I tried to sit down and the pain was killing.
Oh my God!
How did I lose my marriage?
How did I lose so many things I so treasured?
I could not control my tears at all.
When I married Pelumi, I realised that he was a moral man, a Christian by name and we did go to church but I knew so well that he had not had any personal conviction with Christ and I was ready to help him grow.
I was also pushing my Christian life little by little when we got married.
I felt we could grow together
How did I kill the young, germinating seed of righteousness that was growing up in me?
How oh Lord my God?
I looked around the private ward I was inside and really, I couldn’t but cry!
It must have been Dr. Afenifere who put me in here because she was the only one that could afford to pay for that ward.
I was full of regrets
I didn’t know what I was regretting but I was full of regrets in so many ways.
Just as I was brooding over everything, the door opened and a nurse entered.
She was shocked to see me sitting up especially without my oxygen cap fixed.
A ward maid followed her, carrying a tray of fruits and a packet of juice
“Good morning ma. Praise God you are awake. But why did you remove the oxygen mask? You had difficulty in breathing” she babbled on
“Where is my husband?” that was the only thing that could come out of my mouth.
They moved nearer and the nurse made me rest in bed while she set the intravenous line for me
“Where is my husband?” I asked again but there was no reply
Did she think I was joking?
Is she audibly-impaired?
“Ok, where is Dr. Afenifere?” I asked and she smiled
“That is true. She sent you this letter.” She said and handed me a folded piece of paper.
“Where is my husband?” I asked again, tears already gathering my eyes but she didn’t answer.
“Miss Doris, please be fine” she said and moved towards the door.
I am not Miss Doris!
I am married!
I love my husband!
I still do!
It’d been camouflage all the way!
“Your husband is very fine, dealing with the bullet in his leg and brooding over the death of his mother” the nurse said when she got to the door and banged it after her as she went out with the maid
There was a jab at my chest!
Oh that gunshot was at him? Oh my!
Then, death of his mother?
“It can’t be” I cried so crazily, beating my laps in great desperation
“Pelumi’s mother can’t die! It is impossible!”
I sat down to think about it deeply
It could be true!
What was he doing in the hospital with the IGP?
What could make him desperate to end my life?
A death blow on him must have been the cause!
The death of his beloved mother!
As much as I thought of peace, so many things had happened that made it seem impossible for him to forgive me- to take me back!
It was just over- permanently over!
I frustratingly removed the cannula off my vein, bled and stood up with all my might.
Then I screamed in agreement with all the molecules of my body.
I slapped the wall and hit my head against it.
I wished it was all over!
I wished death could take me over!
I couldn’t fathom what could have turned my happy life into something this sour.
Was I under some kinda enchantments?
I remembered as the patrol van from the Abuja police headquarters came to drive my husband away, how mama begged me and how painful and unbelievable the look on the face of my husband was.
I saw mama as she fell and how she started crawling after the van and I wanted to run after her and bring her back and tell my husband that it would be fine but I listened to the devil in me.
I shut the door against her!
I squeezed my hands in serious pain as my right hand bled because of the wound the cannula had inflicted.
I didn’t care about the blood at all.
That was when I remembered the letter in my hand.
I fell in my bed and unfolded it.
I am happy the cut wasn’t a deep one. That is exactly what I am talking about when I say men always think they are gods when they really aren’t!
I intentionally asked you to call the police headquarters so that my ex would be aware of how far we have gone in our fight against injustice against the female folks and I was so happy when I heard that he volunteered to join the patrol van to have him arrested.
My joy became so full when he got interested in the case of your ex too and they both became enraged to the extent that they were seeking for vengeance.
Well, what I wanted to do has been achieved. I only stirred up anger in him, he remembered some things about the incidence 10 years ago when he saw your husband in a similar issue and he sparked off, gave your husband a knife and they came after us.
Now, nemesis will catch up with them. Your ex is in the hospital as we just had the bullet taken off his ankle and then he would rot in jail.
Secondly, my ex-husband forgot that his post as the IGP of a country is so huge that he lowered his status and embarrassed himself in the public. I am going to ensure that he loses that job and rot in jail too.
How did a criminal get equipped with a dangerous weapon? These and many more are what would be used against him at the court of law.
I am going to fight for us girlie, till they are under our feet and know that we are goddesses. Talk to you later.
Oh great Lord of grace!
That was it!
I wondered why I had struggled to remember this for a long time.
Wasn’t it just obvious?
Chai! I regret this woman!
I cursed the day my husband suggested in his heart of hearts that I should have an entrepreneurial training so that my businesses would have a touch of professionalism.
I cursed the day I boastfully told her about my husband’s love for me.
She was the proprietress of the college and said she would love to see me at the end of the class and I waited to see her.
“You definitely love your husband right?” she asked and I blushed.
I nodded with glee as I started telling her about the beautiful marriage we both have.
By the time I finished my tale, her eyes were filled with tears that by the time they cascaded down her cheeks, I was shocked!
She wept for like close to thirty minutes while I could only watch.
When she stopped, she dabbed her face and touched my shoulders.
“It’s been nine years since I divorced my husband and I had never regretted my action”
“What! You divorced him? Why?”
“Because I realised that I could live better without any man. Men are evil! Men have nothing good to offer but cried and cries and heart breaks”
“I don’t believe that. Even if all men are like that, my husband is not like that. He doesn’t need to offer me anything good because he is the good offering to me himself” I said emphatically
She smiled, shook her head and clapped her hands
“You speak well and would make a good poet but I was better than you when my marriage was younger. If I was still together with my ex, our marriage would be 40 years this year”
“What!” I exclaimed unbelievably
“Yes. We had twenty years of blissful marriage and I had a shop where I sold classic clothing materials but in the twenty first year of our marriage, I decided to look for job, got one which took me out of the country most times and which gave me mad cash! My husband started envying me. That was the beginning of the whole problem” she said and I could only watch on
“Hmmm” I exclaimed too, sighing deeply.
“My sister, your marriage is how old now?” she asked and I racked my brain
“That should be 10 this year” I said and she laughed
“You are even still young in there. Mine hit the rock when it was already 20 years. Do you know what, if you want to know if yours would be standing still in like 5years to come, I need to start giving you some trainings that would help you test your husband”
“Test my husband?” I asked
“Yes dearie. Just like a freezer in your house that has guarantee, you could decide to check the freezer on a machine to find out if it would really last. If it would, you could continue using it and if not, you could dispose of it”
“What! I can never see it that way! Never!”
“See, if I bite kolanut with this old, rugged mouth of mine, please don’t take it but if I give you any advice with this mouth, embrace it wholeheartedly”
“I don’t want to see you fail” she said as she reached out into her handbag and handed a book over to me
It was titled ‘Men aren’t really men!’ and it was written by Dr. Afenifere Janet- herself
“Yes, I wrote the book. Please read and there are many tests there to help know if your husband really loves you or just wants you as a slave. Put the tests to use and see me when it looks so difficult”
And then, curiosity killed the cat!
I started reading my death sentence!
I went in search of soup ingredients in the bush to prepare something delicious for my home and unknowing to me, I had packed some poisonous herbs alongside which after cooking it for my family, I forced it down their throats!
I aborted his baby just to frustrate him!
I slapped him and beat him!
I got him arrested just so that the law might prevail though the poor man had done absolutely nothing wrong against me.
To show I own my body and no man had right over me, I started to have boyfriends and stayed over in their houses!
Dr. Afenifere taught us lesbianism and how no guy can satisfy our needs as we ladies could be sexually satisfied without any man!
Oh how I missed it!
In my curiosity, I was brainwashed!
I was brainwashed that no man is the head of his family though the Bible explained it so vividly that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church
I had forgotten so well how my pastor had taught me on my wedding day from Ephesians 5:22 that I am to submit myself unto my husband as unto the Lord.
I had so short term memory to remember that Genesis 3:16 says in part that ‘my desire shall be to man’
Even 1Timothy 2:11-12 says she shall have no dominion over a man!
I forgot it all!
The problem came immediately I forgot the embodiment of the god-head bodily!
I had forgotten that even I had taught young ladies that since it’s a command from the Lord, that it is expedient to marry someone one would be able to submit to.
I told a single class one time like that “You are to submit everything you are, you have, you wanna be to him”
I made a fatal mistake immediately I started discussing virtually all that was going on in my family with strangers.
I had forgotten that it is not all that come to your birthday ceremony that wishes you happy birthday!
I killed the ‘unkillable’ love of my husband for me
I was made to read different topics online and on Facebook and I saw many people fighting for feminism. I saw different pastors and prophet preaching it but I forgot that it was because of these kinds of situations that I should have been a prophet myself.
I should have preached to myself!
They told me there are different forms of feminism and I believed but that was a big mistake on my part.
It was just like convincing me that there are different forms of Christianity and I would say no! Christianity is Christianity! Jesus is in charge of our lives and all…
But no! I felt I was in charge!
I felt I could put a chain round my husband’s neck and start to pull him about.
My pastor’s voice rang in my head again and I listened so attentively.
“Let’s see marriage as an examination with two students in an exam centre each- the husband and the wife! The husband is expected to be the head of the home but that doesn’t mean he is the master over all the universe. He is just like a director who is the head of an organization. Immediately he stops consulting and hearing from his partners, he would fail miserably” he preached on and I smiled as I saw my husband-groom jotting the essential points down
“The husband is to love his wife above all human beings. He is to be considerate and tender. He is to cherish his wife. He is to treat her with tenderness and affection. He is to demonstrate his love to his wife socially, mentally, verbally and physically rather than just at the time of sexual relationship which would give her the idea that all a husband is interested in is her body and she is merely a sex object.” The pastor had itinerated that day
“The only responsibility of the wife is to obey, reverence and submit to her husband. And then build her home! After the exam, the examiner would come in to score both of them. Pelumi and Doris, after ten years of this examination, as the invigilator, I might doze off and not able to monitor your conduct in the exam hall but remember, the examiner himself is watching. Who is going to do well out of you two? Is it the husband or the wife? Is it going to be a fail, a pass or distinction? Which?” he cried on and I wept really!
It was a distinction on Pelumi’s part and he won!
I failed woefully!
I had failures all through!
My phone beeped and that was when I realised that my handbag was in the ward with me.
I went to the bag to get my phone and it was a text from my pastor’s wife in Niger state.
“Have you read the Candle in the wind by Oyekunle Lizzy Oyebola? Please try to my dear. The story narrates the state I was in my marriage but I didn’t solve the problem through revolt and rebellion. I won in prayers. I won on my knees. I saw the news on the TV and we are on our way to Abuja to see both of you. Hang in there please”
The message was timely!
On the news?
The story got to the whole world?
Oh my goodness!
I fell in my bed and my neck made a shriek.
The pain sent some triggers in my brain and I wept!
Where were my pastors when I served poison for my home?
Where were they when I stop going to church?
Coldn’t they see?
Couldn’t they feel it until it became worst?
“…as the invigilator, I might doze off and not able to monitor your conduct in the exam hall but remember, the examiner himself is watching”
Those words rang in my head again and I cried harder.
They shouldn’t have dozed off!
It really spoilt a lot of things!
As I cried on and on, I felt the door open and as I looked up, what I saw threw me off balance!
“I am in serious soup o” I whispered as I jumped to my feet
I quickly went down on my knees and raised my hands up high.
What I saw came closer and I screamed as it felt as if I was indeed running mad.
Or was I running crazy really?
Let’s meet at the last episode soon. I am so sorry this came rather late. There were lot of unforeseen circumstances.
I love you all