Domestic violence · LIFE · Nigerian blogger · Nigerian life · Reading · Stories

Silent Screams (2)

​See previous episode here

So this post was supposed to go up yesterday,  but I was so disoriented throughout that I couldn’t concentrate enough to get it done. Hope you guys enjoy this. Please, read, comment,  like and share

“Bisi!!!! Is this you?”

The other lady, now aware of her victim, hugged her.

“Vera, long time. What are you doing here? Do you live here? How is your family?”

Unable to respond, Vera simply smiled at the lady and shook her head.

Bisi ushered her into the car amidst protests. “You have to change that dress, and we must catch up.”

In the car, Vera was silent, thinking of how funny life can be. She and Bisi were roommates for the first two years in the university and they became very good friends . It was during the session break that Vera got pregnant for Lucky, a boy she was dating off and on that was living on the same street with her parents.

His parents urged him to carry wine to her family. He was reluctant, so their fathers met and made all the arrangements. Lucky had no choice but to go along with it and she agreed to avoid the shame of being pregnant and unwed. It was decided that she should put off her schooling till the baby was born. Not long after the birth of her first child, she got pregnant of her second baby. That was how the thought of school gradually faded away, subsequent requests to continue her education were met with silence. Even her father did not help matters, he asked her why she still needed to go to school, after all, she was already married with children. Eventually, she resigned herself to fate.

Vera became aware of her surroundings as Bisi drove into a nice looking bungalow. They came down and Bisi ushered Vera into the house. She offered her a change of clothes and they sat down to talk over lunch.

“How are you really doing Vera? How is your husband?” At the mention of her husband, Vera started to cry again. Bisi made frantic efforts to pacify her and tried to find out what the problem was.

Amidst tears, Vera explained that she was on her way to see a pastor about her husband. A few days ago, she came from the market to see a strange white substance on the floor; she was very afraid and called her pastor on directions on what to do. After clearing it up, she reported the matter to her husband that night but she received no reply from him.

Just that morning, she walked into the room to see her husband sprinkling something into the pot of soup she just made. Her questions to him were met with silence and he calmly called the children to come in and eat the food. She immediately grabbed her four children and carried them to her friend’s stall in the market, asking her to watch them till she returns. Then she went home to borrow a presentable dress from her neighbour and started on her way to see her pastor.

Bisi listened to all of this in great surprise, her husband seemed like a nice man the few times that she saw him while visiting Vera.

“Have you told your family?”

Vera shook her head and said in a small voice “He doesn’t like it when I talk to my family”

The way she said this made Bisi look closely at Vera. Gradually she saw signs of abuse, she saw bruises at different stages of healing along with scars of different shapes gradually fading. Vera turned her face away at this scrutiny, she tried to adjust the collar of her blouse to cover a recent scar on her neck.

“Vera, does he beat you?” Bisi asked softly.

Vera lowered her head and closed her eyes in response, Bisi lifted her head to see tears gathering in her eyes.

“How long has this been going on?” Bisi asked again.

Vera replied softly “It’s because he has been so stressed, and sometimes I annoy him, you know the way we women are”

“When did he start?” Bisi persisted.

“Few months after we got married” Vera whispered.

Bisi could not say a word, this was not the Vera she knew in school. Vera  always had a  spring in her step, she was intelligent, ambitious and hated any form of injustice. She was jokingly called “Barrister” as she was always going on about justice and fairness. What reduced her to this? This broken woman with sad and fearful eyes. Bisi felt a rush of anger, this wasn’t right and she decided to help her in some way, she didn’t know how, but she would.

I hope you guys enjoyed this, thanks for reading.

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