At the bottom of the pit of misery,
regrets and wishes mingle to create the stifling aura
of defeat and hopelessness….and desperation.

Her heart beats in anticipation as the front door opens and he strides into the house after a long day at work. She looks round the set table with a smile and walks out to welcome her husband. Every fibre of her being is alive…..charged….from the tiny hairs on her body to rapidly pumping blood. She catches a glimpse of her reflection through the console mirror, her eyes are feverish. She looks good in her mesh maxi ; she is naked under the black mesh. He will be pleased.
He is taking off his jacket as they meet in the living room. His eyes immediately begin to burn as he takes her in with his eyes. He doesn’t respond to her greeting as he grabs her roughly and begins to kiss and fondle her. His smell is a mixture of perfume, cigarettes and sweat. She is turned on. As suddenly as he had begun, he stops. He looks at her in surprise.
“I’m hungry.”

She walks ahead of him into the dining room. She can feel his eyes on her buttocks right before a sudden sharp stinging slap lands on them. She stifles the wince and serves his meal. Spicy groundnut soup with bush meat served with boiled yams.
She watches him eat silently. Worried that he could hear her heart beat.
“How is Nana?”
“She’s fine. I have put her to sleep.”
Nana is their two year old daughter.
She steps into the Black room to remind herself of what tonight is about; all the familiar feelings attach themselves to her as she returns to him. She rubs her hands together to quell the tingling. He is done eating. He gargles noisily and smiles at her.
They pass the nursery and he looks in on Nana. The child looks so peaceful in her favourite pink pyjamas it brings tears to her eyes.
On to their bedroom, on to the bed; she isn’t sure if she should take her dress off or leave it on. She takes it off and averts her gaze. After three years of marriage and a two year old daughter, she still looks away from his naked body. Eyes shut; she feels his weight on the bed. Rough hands part her leg. She is no longer turned on, all she feels is familiar pain, pain, pain; searing pain as he does his business but today, she is not crying.
She looks at Buddha on the head board; a cheap tourist wooden replica. He didn’t even notice that it has changed position. She stretches and caresses it….then grasps it by the head and swings it with all her might. He roars in pain as his flesh rips from the impact. Droplets of warm blood land on her face as he rolls off her clutching his head. She jumps up and swings again, he screams again clawing at the air as he falls off the bed. She lets out a shrill scream as she follows quickly, swinging yet again at his head. Crunch…He crumples to the ground. She stands over him briefly smiling at the mess she has made. Suddenly drained, she enters the Black room and makes a silent vow, never to come out again. She sinks in the bleakness of the Black Room nothing anyone can say or do will affect her here.
After twenty minutes of knocking and calling the neighbours’ breakdown the door. As they rush in to check for the reason for the screams, someone screams, and then more screams. There is blood everywhere; she is sitting on the floor beside his open head, holding the statue. More screams as they discover the dead baby.
The neighbours watch as the seventeen year old is led away. The girl is quiet and respectful even though she has no friends and keeps very much to herself. They all think that she is way too young to be married but this is Nigeria. Here the police are more than likely to ask you “what’s your business”.
She is free.


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