It was that time of the year when the earthy scents and the tranquility of raindrops, tapping on the rooftop, sent lethargic drab on the souls and body of mortal men. Efua could hear the splash of the rain against her window, as she slipped out of the tattered blanket that served as a covering for her and her husband.
Her half opened eyes stared at the gigantic wall clock, hanging limply on the dullish wall. It was about 4:20 a.m., she had overslept. She tried to sit up, then gasped in pain. Her stiffened joints and aching parts, sent her curling back into the warm blanket as she pressed herself against her husband.
Mr. Ehis, who was roused by the whining sound her body made with the springy bed, got irritated. “It’s about 4:30 a. m.” He scowled.
The hate in his voice made her shudder. It sent cold shivers down her spine. As she struggled to get her aching parts and somewhat dislocated bones together, she could faintly recall the events of the preceding hour.
* * *
“Papa Adesua, you leave me alone nau, I am very tired.” She could still hear her solemn but persistent pleas in her subconscious.
Her husband, whose breathing had become fast and intense, unzipped his old, ragy pants. As he slided into her, she felt an overwhelming surge of pleasure, mixed with sharp, shooting pains. His langurous movements, in and out of her, made her give a deep moan. As he made his last thrust, she felt her opening almost exploding with a sizzling sensation, she wanted some more. With eyes close and breath stopping effortlessly, in high expectation, she felt her husband rolling off her vulnerable body. When she opened her eyes, she found the wall his back created between them. His back against her, spoke thousand words of betrayal. She had been violated yet again.
In such deep thoughts, something scurried past her leg, jerking her away from her dark memories.
Staggering drowsily to the kitchen, which lay adjacent to the children’s room, rivulets of tears escaped her heavy eyes. The kitchen was in disarray from the use of last night: just very close to the little stool Pa Ajumosu made for her, was a little rat making do with the food remainant of last night.
There was something familiar about the battle, between the rat and the ball of ‘garri'(eba). As she watched their struggles intently, her face melted into a smile. The savage manner in which the rat desecrated the ball of ‘garri’ on the messed up floor, intrigued her. She was heartbroken, to say the least.
Unaware of the noiseless approaching footsteps, Efua let out her breath, tilted her head slightly and made her hand into a fist as she convinced herself of the need to save the helpless ball of ‘garri’. She sidled up, stealthily to the little creature; just before she could decide on the best punishment for it, the rat scampered out of her reach, into a visible hole in the kitchen wall. It left behind a nauseating and violated ball of ‘garri’.
Her eyes turned misty as she surveyed the dumpsite that served as her kitchen. She could perceive the deadly stench of soured food; her broken waste bin was in no way, different from the public waste yard of the popular Uselu Modern Market.
Her pot of soup, from last night was left uncovered with the lid lying aimlessly on the dirty floor. Just before she could come in terms with that, she noticed swarm of cockroaches, scuttling out of her cherished soup pot.
She was mortified.
“How in heavens, can I get another money from Papa Adesua?” She asked absentmindedly.
Unknown to her, her husband had been standing by the door, with eyes full of resentment and frustrated fears; his face was white with rage. He hated the woman she had become. “You are not getting anything from me. Until I eventually leave you and your children, you would never come to terms with what true motherhood entails” he answered cynically.
“The bastard.” She thought.
As he walked out on her, she staggered and gave over her weight to a grey coloured bucket, with the heavy lid.
“How could he?”
“I work from sunrise to sunset just to assist him, yet all I get is a cold shoulder. I should have known it was all going to play out this way. I’m loosing it.”
“Mummy, here is a wrapper for you. You are naked!” The familiar voice of her daughter, intercepted her painful thoughts and quiet sobs, bringing her to consciousness.
Her body ached and her tummy growled. Looking down, she discovered she was actually naked. Chewing her lips, she stepped closer to her daughter, reached out a hand for the wrapper then stopped suddenly.
In her daughter’s eyes were reflections of things she had come to detest. She could picture that nauseating ball of ‘garri’ and the desecrated pot of cherished soup. She saw her image in her child and this made her laugh. It was a mirthless laugh that gave her freedom from the burning sensation she felt in her chest.
With the deafening sounds of laughter and inaudible voices of some alien creatures, Efua knew her time was near. It was a time for her freedom from the hurting experiences of years gone by. Those aliens would help her.
She just knew they were aliens. “Only aliens could enjoy such deep throaty laughter.” She insisted longingly.
Pulling her shaky daughter closer, she saw daggers of fears, escaping her daughter’s eyes into her own eyes.
“You are fine and must be strong, Adesua.” she said decisively.
Laying the child’s head on her sagging breast, she kept muttering some inaudible words to herself.
Laying there on her chest, Adesua felt her heart immersed in her mother’s. Having been a silent observer of her mom’s intense pains and suffering, her senses decoded mom’s silent telepathed message. As her white eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, she could make sense of the heavy heaves of her mother’s chest and the inaudible words she kept muttering amidst a bitter laugh. “You musn’t let anyone break you, Adesua, else you suffer from ‘violation disorder’.” she heard the senses say.
* * *
From the subsequent struggles and hard blows thrown at a motherless child at such tender age, Adesua learnt how to swallow those bitter tears, coming up, building like a steam wall of boiling water; she wasn’t going to cry like mama. Etched in her soul was the determination to live a life that was beyond violation, especially the violation by a specific kind.