“When the righteous cries for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles – Psalm 34:17”
PS: So we had been given a task about Domestic Violence on the TLC [The-Literary-Cafe] whatsapp platform and I had drawn up several ideas. I tried to reduce it in bits to make a poem but the more I tried, the longer it got. So I gave up and decided to do a story instead. Fortunately, my story coincides with the Lenten celebration and season of Easter. Maybe I can finally use my Talent in a way that praises God. Enjoy!
Tuoyo blocked her ears with her ear piece and pretended not to hear anything Irikefe was asking. She wasn’t in any mood for quarrels or shouting. In fact she wasn’t in any mood for anything.
“Tuoyo?” Irikefe beckoned the second time “Tuoyo…” he moved closer to where she was sitting pressing her iPad as he nudged her lightly by her elbows
“Tuoyo, are you not the one I am talking to?”
She ignored him and continued as if he was not before her. Irikefe looked at her and walked out of the room, pissed. She pulled off her ear plugs and hurried towards the door locking it. She knew what he was going to talk about. She knew from the moment she had walked in through the sitting room last night after seeing him with Boma. That child just doesn’t know how to keep a secret. She laid down to take a short nap when she heard someone pulling at the door. She dived under her duvet and closed her eyes. Please go away, viko iyharhen tis…she prayed silently.
Irikefe stood outside the door wondering why she had locked him out. What was wrong with this woman eh? He knocked thrice hoping she’d stand up to open but he knew his woman, her will must always be done. She was just going to pretend that she was asleep and didn’t hear his knocking. He let out a sigh and walked backed down the stairs to meet his mother.
“Where is Tuoyo, Kefe?”
“Migwo mama, she is sleeping.”
“Vrendoh. I thought you said she was going to come down soon?”
“Well, she suddenly developed a migraine and you know how stressed she has been lately. Let’s just leave without her.”
“Ah ah ‘Kefe, this children wanted to go out with their parents. Will you now use me as a substitute mother instead of your wife? Can’t she just manage it?”
“Mama, you worry too much. We are just going to see a movie. It’s fine if Tuoyo stays behind, she needs this rest. Boma, Tuoyo, Wiobowe, stand up, Vren…let’s go.”
“Does mummy know we are going to see a movie? She loves watching movies…” Tuoyo junior queried. “May I try to go call her?”
“Well hunnie, yes you may try.”
Irikefe watched as Tuoyo junior ran up the stairs to get her mum. He did not want to disappoint her by telling her that mummy had refused to open the door and that he could not have informed her about the movie because mummy just loves to do things at her spurn. Minutes later, Tuoyo junior came down with her mum fully dressed to go. Irikefe was not surprised, his wife was just unpredictable!
“Migwo Mama” Tuoyo greeted her mother-in-law
“Vrendoh my dear” Mama responded smiling “Sorry about your migraine, Kefe said you could not make it for the movie. Are you okay now?”
Tuoyo looked at Irikefe and half-smiled knowing what he had done “Well mama, I have to do this for the kids else Tuoyo baby will start to cry. I will be fine, I have taken some medications in my room.”
“My daughter, try to get enough rest oo. This your job doesn’t even give you time for anything anymore.”
“Migwo Mama, thank you. I will be having my vacation soon. Hopefully I will rest my tired bones.” She let go of Tuoyo Junior’s hands and moved to embrace her mother-in-law.
While at the movies, Irikefe looked at Tuoyo wondering how and when best to ask her the throbbing question. He liked how they all looked happy at the moment as if there was nothing wrong and he wished it were really so. Just then Tuoyo caught his eyes on her and changed seats with Boma.
“What is it ‘kefe? Why are you watching me instead of the movie?”
“I have missed watching you or is it now a crime to watch my wife?”
Tuoyo blushed and hissed mockingly “Keep on watching me oo. When your kids asks you some difficult part in the movie, let me hear what you will have to tell them.” She smiled as she started to switch seats again. Irikefe held her back. She looked at him again
“Dyeee ruwe, ‘kefe? What is wrong?”
“Nothing darling. I just want you close.”
“Don’t tell me nothing ‘kefe with that look in your eyes. When did we start hiding things from each other?”
“Talk about hiding things? Really?” He looked at her and smiled “Darling, let’s just enjoy the movie while I hold you close.”
Tuoyo rolled her eyes in the dark cinema room and wondered why he could not ask her the silently roaming question. She heaved a sigh as she looked at the screen.
“Stop rolling your eyes at me Tee girl, I can feel it rolling.” He said as he pinched her lightly by her side butt.
She wanted to laugh; to tell him how much she enjoyed his company, loved playing with him but this was not the time to laugh.
She wanted to scream at him and jerk him back and forth; to tell him how angry and hurt she was with him leaving her alone with the kids but this was neither the place to do either or both.
She wanted to cuddle with him, spoon him in and nuzzle on his hair; to tell him how much she would love to be in his warm embrace forever but this was absolutely not the spot for that.
She wanted to cry; to tell him how much she missed his presence constantly, how much she gets tired everyday and needed someone to always talk to, let out steam and hoped he was around to give her a foot rub but this was not the time or spot to tell feelings.
She wanted to be upset; to tell him how much she missed their drinking palm wine together and eating antelope, how much she missed cooking for him and watching him eat as he praised her skilled hands, how much she wanted and missed his breakfast in bed [only to find 2 slices of bread, 1 baby banana, a bowl of his handmade ukodo, a long mug full of alcohol and one perfectly rolled out blunt], how much she wanted so badly to lie with him every night after work but hell no! this was not the arena to do that.
She wanted to breathe fresh air again, be young again, remove stale air and just be happy but this life will not let her.
Her eyes misty from tears that threatened to fall off, she immediately stood up without warning and left the cinema hall.
NOTE: We humans neglect to see that constantly ignoring our own needs and voicing out how we feel is a form of domestic inner violence, a form of self-neglect. We then hurt ourselves and the people around us by not caring anymore and becoming immune to other people’s feelings. Suffering comes from living in the pain/joy of the past and/ or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll always hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.
To overcome this, become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?” Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be loved. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-I-see). Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.
Enjoy your day bunnies!