(This is an Onyew Original, the story is about four years old and has been featured in a lot of other places, but I thought I should share it again with you all. There are four parts to this story, here is the 1st.)
When I turned back to accost him, another punch landed fully on my face breaking my nose so painfully that a bright light invaded my vision. I can swear that I heard a crunch and I saw a bright splash of blood spurt out from my nose as though in slow motion. For a while, I was lost in an upside down world, so I shook my head gently in order to clear it and I literally saw stars.
I wasn’t too sure as to what I had done that was so wrong, so I opened my mouth to ask him, that was when the next punch landed, smack in the center of my mouth, mashing my lips against my teeth. I started to cry then, soft silent sobs with bitter tears running down my face and mixing with the blood. I saw him smile gleefully and so I asked him, “Umar? What’s going on?” Even as I asked, I saw him pull back his fist for another hit so I dodged it causing him to howl in fury and kick me in my shins. I gasped in pain and slipped down to my knees. “GET UP!!!” Umar roared in anger pulling me roughly to my feet and pinned me to the wall.
He slapped me again and my head rocked backward hitting the wall hard and I could only see a bright light for a moment or two. “DID YOU REALLY THINK THAT YOU WOULD GET AWAY WITH THAT? HOW SILLY!” At this point his voice begun to sound like it was coming from a distance and there was a ringing in my ears, my face felt like it was on someone else’s body.
I don’t know what came over me, I just started screaming; I screamed and I screamed and it seemed the more I screamed the angrier he became because Umar went into some kind of frenzy, beating me and shouting and kicking me as hard as he possibly could.
Soon, however, I could scream no more, and my breath was coming out in hitched sobs. The edges of my vision begun to dim out and my head was whirling. By this time, Umar had stopped for a breather and was massaging his shoulder muscles while asking, “Why do you make me hit you! If you would just behave yourself, we would never be in this situation…” His voice began to get dimmer and dimmer as another voice rang loudly in my ears, “WHAT DID YOU DO? WHY IS HE HITTING YOU?”
I jumped a little at the sound of this voice, and I looked around, turning my head slowly and gently in order to see who was asking that question. Even as I was turning my head I knew that I had heard the voice in my head and that this voice, which sounded vaguely like my grandmother’s, was asking me questions that I would never ask my self.
“Umar,” I croaked, “honey! Why?”
Umar started as though I had struck him. “Are you asking me why? You are really asking me WHY?” he slapped me at this point and my already weak body slid to the ground; I was shaking and tired, but not Umar! No! Umar was like a man possessed. He kept shouting at me, he ranted and he raved, and then he acted like he was going to hit me, causing me to cower into the wall as though I could pass through it. As he continued to rant, I started to cough. Deep boisterous sounds that rattled my whole body and put me in even more pain.
Tayo baby, how did you get to this stage? I heard a roaring sound in my ears and that drowned out all other sounds, but my new friend in my head persisted in asking, how did it get so bad? How can the man that you love beat you this badly? You do realize that if you try to tell any one this, they will call you a liar? This beating is unrealistic! It’s almost like he tried to kill you! Tayo baby…
I can’t remember anything else after this point, except that I seemed to fall into a quiet darkness. Now I think about it, that darkness was a relief. It meant that I wouldn’t have to face Umar’s beating and insults; it also meant that I wouldn’t be in pain anymore. I gladly let myself slip into this blessed and much needed darkness.
I guess Tayo did not see the punch coming. I mean, how could she? After all she had turned away from me. I had planned to hit her, but I’m sure I wouldn’t have hit her so hard if she had not tried to walk away from me. I mean I was still talking.
So I lashed out a little harder than I had originally intended. When the blow landed, she staggered a little and turned around to face me with this look of utter surprise on her face. I was ready to leave off hitting her until I saw her lips move like she was about to question me. Stunned by her audacity, I punched her again, this time full on in the face.
As soon as I did that I regretted it, because her nose broke. How would I explain away a broken nose? I was just about to start apologizing when I noticed that she was fixing to say something. I did not have the words to tell how mad I was, so I hit her across the face again, targeting her mouth just to get the message across. I felt her teeth against my knuckles, grazing the skin of my knuckles, causing me to bleed a little, I saw blood rush out of a cut on her lips, and I saw her stagger.
All these observations were made in a very abstract manner, as the submissive look on her face was beginning to excite me. She looked as though she realized that she had been very stupid. As though she knew that stupidity came with a price and that price had to be paid. In fact, she looked like the Tayo I was trying to cultivate, the quiet humble woman who would be the pride of any man, but would be exclusively mine.
It had been a long time since I had been chanced to remind Tayo who was in charge in this house. My wife had been on her best behavior recently. She had done everything perfectly, there had been no cause to correct her and I was beginning to feel like a useless husband. Had she finally seen how weak I was? I had become afraid, I mean if there was nothing to correct, then she did not need me any more, which meant she could walk out at anytime and I can’t have that. I know that it is not possible for such an imperfect person to become perfect all at once. So I decided to set up a small test to see if she had really become as perfect as she appeared. Boy, did it pay off!
It was a simple test really. I can’t believe that … well actually I can believe it, after all Tayo is a stupid little thing. That is why she needs my guidance and correction every once in a while. I pulled my hand back for another punch and struck her. Or at least I tried to strike her; I ended up hitting thin air. In my rage I struck her in the shins.
I came back to my self a moment later when I heard her ask me what she had done wrong. The daft lady didn’t know what she had done wrong! I was flabbergasted! Of all the gall! I turned to look at her and discovered that she was on the floor. On her knees, yet not humbled. That thought flashed through my head and it shamed me. Was I so powerless that my wife no longer respected me? Had I lost so much of my masculinity that she felt she could question any of my acts? What was going on here? I was filled with so many different emotions, fear, shame and rage.
Rage is good, focus on the rage, I told myself. “GET UP!” Even as I was shouting out the instruction, I was pulling her roughly to her feet and slamming her against the wall, and then I struck her across the face sharply. I asked her if she had thought I would let her go free. At this point she begun to shriek, a high wordless wail that put me into frenzy. I beat her thoroughly, throwing in some kicks for good measure. When she stopped screaming, she again had the temerity to ask why I was still hitting her. I realized then that beating her up was not enough to humble her, I had to remind her how worthless she was I had to let her know that she was lucky to be with her. So I started by asking her why she always made me hit her when she knew there was nothing I loved more than a quiet night in, right in the middle of my diatribe, the bitch began to cough!
“SHUT UP!” I roared, slapping her once more, by this time she was already on her knees once more and after the slap, she started to cough up blood. I paused with my hand poised for another slap. I waited for the blood to stop, but she kept on coughing up amazing amounts of blood. She slid to the ground in the fetal position and coughed twice. All was still and I got scared, if she died from my beating there would be no way to explain it. I had beaten her up the way thieves would have beaten up a victim. Thieves! That gave me an idea. I ran upstairs, washed my face and hands and changed back into the clothes I wore to work that morning and went back downstairs to put her into the car.