I know how it hurts. I have seen him inflict pain on her time and time again, watched him deal her blow after blow like Mohammed Ali in the boxing ring, witnessed him cut her heart into pieces with words. Only God knows how she has survived these abuses, only God knows.
I alone know these things; she hides it from the world; her bruises are buried behind thick heavy makeup, her pains stuffed behind a forced smile. She has mastered this art of deception, so she easily applies it when the need arises.
The other day when their friends came over for a reunion, she held his hands, smiled and whispered lovingly into his ears. She didn’t turn away when he pecked her. She laughed at his jokes, and she lied to Tomike that he was the best thing that had ever happened to her. That same night, he beat her up because earlier she had spilled her red wine on his new white blazers.
I am the only one she is real to. She always stands vulnerable and bare before me every day after the abuse sessions. She will walk naked into the bathroom, her tears mingling with the droplets of waters, forming a pool of anguish and immense sorrow.
Afterwards, she will scrub her body; tenderly at first, careful of the bruises, then she’d scrub with reckless abandon, as though she wanted to remove his touch from it. Then she’ll wear her makeup, applying it layers upon layers on her bruised face— the mask she wears to the world, a complete makeover.
I’ve tried talking to her many times when she stands before me; through the bruises, showing her that she doesn’t deserve it. Sometimes I show her who she was before she married him; how her pretty face and skin were so smooth and flawless. She didn’t need a makeover then; she was as beautiful as the morning sun.
Today, after he beats her to pulp because she will serve his dinner late, he will leave to go to the club as usual. She will come to the bathroom to sob, then as custom, she will come and stand before me.
I will talk to her, showing the bruises, the scars his belt has tattooed all over her body; I will then show her in a flash how she looked in the past. Next, I will show her how the end will be for her. How she will lay naked before me, but she won’t be able to see herself because she would be gone.
Today she will listen to me; because when he comes back from the club, he will find an empty house and a broken me.Check out this short story on domestic violence Click To Tweet