I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, too tired to move.
I have wept so much, my chest is tired from all the heaving and crying.
It has been nine days since the bleeding started. What began as a normal menstrual period escalated to a river with thick clots like liver leaving my body in torrents. I have no money in my bank accounts. Even the business account is down to its last withdrawable kobo. I have no credit on my phone.
On day three, I had gone to visit his elder brother. I could see their car in the driveway but no amount of calling or pounding on their door brought footsteps in response to open it. His mother was out of town, as usual. His father was not within reach either. I was more concerned about him by then, I just needed to talk to family, to help me get through to him in some way. I’d felt that hearing my words from someone he was related to, would penetrate the haze in his mind. But I could reach no one.
By the seventh day, I was in panic mode. I had to sit on the toilet bowl for hours, just to minimise the bloodstains everywhere. He would not listen to me. He simply got dressed, went to work and came back late. It was the following day that I confronted him about locking me in the house all day. He simply asked where I wanted to go since I “claimed” I was in pain and bleeding.
Yesterday, a client made a partial payment into the company account. I was so overjoyed, I bought credit and called the hospital.
“Hello.” I said, “I need to speak with a doctor. I have been bleeding for eight days and I am in severe pain.”
“Haba!” Exclaimed the nurse. “Why did you wait for so long? You should come to the hospital immediately! Hold on for the doctor please.”
I was chastised for waiting for so long by the doctor and instructed to come immediately. I could not talk – how was I to explain that my darling husband was fond of locking me up in the house and the fact that I might die before his return did not matter to him? It was a far cry from the man they knew, who doted on me and was happy I had finally given him a son after four years of waiting for a child.
I promised to come immediately, but deep down I knew it would have to wait until when he returned from work. I prayed that he would remember to pick our three-year-old son from after-school this time. He didn’t, so I had to walk to the school to pick him up, and walk back.
“Is it until I drop dead that you accept that something is wrong with me?” I screamed at him upon my return. “Or is it that you really want me dead?”
“You shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord in Jesus name, Amen.” He replied.
“Stop quoting the bible and face reality!” I screamed some more. “I have been bleeding for over a week now! Can’t you see that there is something wrong?”
“Isn’t it like your normal menstrual periods? That last for six days anyway?” He replied, walking out on me.
“It is not! This is more! And I have been telling you this for days now. Why won’t you listen?”
He just shrugged and walked away.
“What have I ever done to you to make you want me to suffer pain this much?” I ask as I follow him.
“What do you want?” He asks, turning to look at me.
“I want to go to the hospital,” I mutter.
“For what? There is nothing wrong with you.” He replies. “Besides, you are starving me of my husbandly rights by claiming you are still bleeding.”
I look down at my dress, at the bloodstains in the front and the back because the Motherhood pad I had on had gotten soaked as I went to pick our son from school. He raises an eyebrow, hisses and walks away again.
The hospital calls as I make dinner. They ask questions and with each answer I give, the tension over the phone rises as they demand that I come in immediately.
Then I was asked, “Is your husband aware? Is he home?” To which I reply with silence.
I am on the bathroom floor, too tired to move.
In front of me is a small bottle of Sniper, poison for rodents. I’m staring at it as the past eight years stream through my mind.
Eight years of psychological abuse from his mother for focusing on making money instead of ‘giving her grandchildren’ from her favourite child.
Eight years of constant rape by my husband because it was my duty and his husbandly right. Eight years of pain that did not abate even after I had my son three years ago.
I feel a hand on my shoulder. I look back and force a smile for my toddler.
He rubs my head, then pulls at my sleeve until I turn completely around. I hide the bottle behind me, before looking at what he had brought.
He had come with his dinner and was now seated, crossing his legs the way I did.
He begins to feed me his food, one baby spoon at a time.
That is when it hits me like a tsunami.
If I needed anything to raise me from the darkest pit I had sunk into, it was this child that God had given me when I had given up all hope and accepted the fact that I was barren. Hope reminds me that I need to be alive to see this child grow. I’d suffered too much to just give up and bleed to death.
I look into his eyes and he smiles at me. I open my arms for a hug and he dives into my chest.
We will be fine.