Caught in the middle 2: Life’s unpredictable twists
Even though Nnenna saved her mother, Uloma from her father’s crushing blows when she was seven, she couldn’t stop from the verbal and emotional abuse he put her through all the time.
One day, Nnenna walked up to her to ask her why her father beat her all the time but her mother hurriedly shushed her. “Your father doesn’t beat me because he likes beating me, he does that because he is correcting me, Uloma said looking away and avoiding her daughter’s piercing eyes.”
She warned her not to talk badly about her father because he was a good provider and takes care of them. But Nnenna persisted with her questions.
“But nne, he shouldn’t be beating you to correct you, he should be doing that with his mouth instead, she fired back.”
“I have told you to stop talking badly of your father, Uloma retorted.”
Nnenna walked away from her mother who was preparing her father’s favourite dish of pounded yam and Ofe Egusi.
“This child wants to get me killed” Uloma muttered under breath and continued what she was doing.
That night when Odogwu came home, Nnenna sat close to him while he was swallowing big lumps of pounded yam accompanied by chunky pieces of dry fish and asked him why he was always beating her mother.
Odogwu’s eyes almost fell out of the socket. He didn’t believe he heard that from his little girl. He turned swiftly to face his beloved daughter and sternly warned her not to question him in her life again. He went further to grab her little arm and shook her so hard that she started crying.
Uloma rushed into the sitting room when she heard Odogwu’s voice. But when she saw him shaking their daughter, she went on her knees and started begging him to let her go. She was crying and wiping her nose with the end of her wrapper at the same time.
Odogwu released Nnenna and continued eating his food in silence. After eating, he summoned Uloma to come clear the plates. She hurriedly cleared the plates and went into the room to console her daughter who hasn’t stopped crying. It was a very sad moment for mother and daughter as they cried and consoled each other for their fate.
Nnenna avoided her father for days. She was still sacred of him. She didn’t want him to hurt again like he did the last time. But Odogwu didn’t care that she was avoiding him. He told himself that a man must be firm and unyielding. He believed that a man shouldn’t have to apologize for anything because he was the head of the household and shouldn’t be questioned either.
Days later, Odogwu came back home and grabbed his wife. He wanted to have sex with her but Uloma was sick. She told him she was not feeling fine. Odogwu grabbed her hands so hard and thundered, “Who is the man of this house? I want what I want whether you are sick or not, he roared.” He forcefully had his way with her.
Uloma’s tears couldn’t stop flowing. She knew it was wrong for her own husband to force her to have sex with him but she knew better than to register her displeasure with him. She reminded herself that he was a man whose needs should be met whether she was sick or not. Even though she had bruises from him forcefully penetrating her, she told him she was sorry the minute he walked into the house later that day.
But that would be a huge mistake because it became a regular occurrence in her marriage. Odogwu would force her to have sex with him and later on start acting like he was the offended one, she would beg for forgiveness later and the cycle kept repeating itself until she became pregnant again. Uloma was happy and fervently prayed that it would be a son.
Odogwu’s family had told her that the reason he was treating her badly was because she doesn’t have a son for him. His aunt, Obiageli assured her that once she gives birth to as many boys as God placed in her womb for her nephew, peace would be her portion in her husband’s house.
“It is a thing of pride to give your husband sons, he didn’t marry you for you to be looking beautiful and changing wrappers, he married you to have sons that will continue his lineage, she added.”
Uloma wanted to make her husband proud and she vowed to give him as many sons as possible. She would kneel to greet him, kneel to serve him food and kneel before she clears his plates after eating. She also gave him sex whenever he wanted it without considering her health. But all her efforts went down the drain when she gave birth to another girl, nine months later.
Odogwu didn’t hide his displeasure. His family called her an Ogbanje who eats up her sons and her mates laughed at her behind her back. It was like darkness took over her life from that day. She didn’t envisage the things that would happen to her in Odogwu’s house for years.
Watch out for part 3