YOUR HANDS || By Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji
Why did you do it?
Yes, you heard him right. That’s the question the slim bespectacled man with the babyish face and a small head crowned with a sparse bush of whiteness asked you. Why did you do it? Why did you beat your wife? You never thought you could touch her but you did and for starters, you did a pretty bad job.
Marital Bliss- you had the marital but bliss never came. You planned for bliss when you rapped your romantic vows and slipped the glittery golden ring into her finger but who knew a pregnant cloud of life’s volatility awaited the two of you by the corner.
You met Rose Onome on the 22nd of July 2005- the day you got demoted after receiving your sixth query in succession. You remember punching the walls of your office till they donned your blood as maquillage. You screamed, grunted and cursed at the misfortune life puked into your path till pain jammed your throat shut. You even considered stoning your boss’s glistening black land-cruiser but fear bullied the idea. After trudging from your office to the car-park, sucking in heavy doses of the angry golden rays of the sun, you walked past the yelling shirtless conductor, the hovering cannabis air and hopped into the bus. Just as you made for the back seat, your eyes caught a petite fair lady with a wide smile that shamelessly showed off two straight lines of perfectly shaped white teeth waving at you. Like metal flanking magnet, you pulled to her side at the front row of chairs and made yourself comfortable, your shoulders caressing hers like inseparable hormonal lovers.
You were immediately attracted to her sharply shaped low-cut, her ample cleavage, the looseness with which she flung the plantain chips rested on her laps into her mouth and the popping sound that accompanied each crunch. She was the perfect one for you and even though your mouth failed to voice that, your sheepish smiles sold you out. She eventually gave you her number as you were never going to ask. You called her that night, you proposed the night after and in five months, the two of you— the cutest couple in Nigeria as a friend claimed— were holding meetings with a wedding planner.
Answer me! Why did you do it?
Okay. Let’s skip those times, they were merely ephemeral patches of joy. Let’s jump into the hovering grimness that lurked behind and bask in its heated air. We should be able to provide an answer for this impatient therapist.
You, dapper as hell, carried Rose into the home, up the stairs and into the bedroom. Your groin, well nourished in the pelting rainfall of self-control and patience sprouted like a bean stalk. Warm blood charged all over your body like a coked up urchin. You were eager to eat the fruit she’d hoarded from you with prongs sharpened with importunity. Pulling down your pants and eyeballing your wife, you ordered her to take off the flowing gown. She was not fully done when you pounced on her like a lion on prey and made to get busy when she grabbed your hands with a grip strength you didn’t know she had.
“There’s something I have to tell you” She said
“I know I know, you love me for the patience and bla bla bla…I love you too”. You said and tried to pull free but her grip tightened.
You looked up and stared at her, digging into her innocent face for answers and when you got a hint of the nonelusive answer, everything went flaccid.
She was not a virgin. That was strike one.
The next morning, after successfully subduing the anger and disappointment brewing within, you rolled out of bed hoping for a fresh start with your newly wedded wife.
The dining table was set with the extravagance of a Persian king and when she looked up and broke into a smile, the bitterness buried within tried to show its face but you kept it in check and smiled back. You even walked to her, held her face in your hands and kissed her with fire and desire. Not a bad beginning to a fresh start, that’s what you told yourself and that’s what Rose probably thought. She sat you down and served your food. The smell was beautiful and it danced its way into your nose and up into your head into regions that ordered the release of saliva in your mouth. You took the first spoon and a grimace arrested your face .You spat out the food.
Too much salt
She’s a terrible cook. That was strike two.
You and the guys went out to watch the Super Eagles at a nearby bar. They all ordered alcohol but you asked for water. Laughter erupted, jibes followed and scornful looks were shot. You acquiesced and signalled to the waiter to bring you some alcohol. One bottle only, only one bottle and that’s all you ordered and drank. You were not drunk or tipsy, you just felt different; like a tiger on a prowl. A tap was opened and all the anger buried inside rushed out with wanton abandon. Somehow you found yourself in front of the door of your home and after banging for a while, Rose opened the door dressed in a short white gown. A male laughter reverberated from the living room and you grated your teeth in anger.
She is cheating on me. That was strike three.
“Who is that?”You asked
You shut her up with a punch to the side of the face and shock, not pain was what you saw on her face. But you were too angry to feel anything. You punched again and again and again. The door swung open to reveal a bald podgy man donning an attire that looked green or yellow. You couldn’t tell, your sight was blurry. You resumed your punching and soon began to kick her in the face, belly and all over.
“Are you out of your mind? How dare you touch my daughter?”
The voice was sharp like a two edged sword piercing and bursting the heat in the air.
You froze. You knew you messed up. You knew you were in trouble
It was her father.
There’s no time to waste. Tell me why you did it. Don’t you want progress? Progress can and will only be made if you communicate with me.
You stand up and walk out of the room. No uttered words or second thoughts. You came here because friends and especially the chubby woman in your church’s marriage and counselling unit suggested you see a Christian therapist. It made no difference. In fact, for some unknown reasons, you feel worse. You messed up big time and you know it. Rose lied that she was her virgin and a darn good cook but so what? Now don’t you dare blame the alcohol. Yes, you felt odd but you could still control yourself. The alcohol didn’t do the beating, you did. Now the one week marriage is over and Rose is back with her parents and even worse, her father is going to sue your sorry self.
Finally you know why the visit to the therapist makes you feel worse. You sought the help of the hands of another when your hands did the damage. You have to fix this yourself. After all, you do love her.