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Becca Bassie – “Ready or Not”

Bang! Bang!! Bang!!! Was the noise from the door, I became so scared because Kunle was out late again. ‘Open this door’ the person stammered. I ran to the kitchen to get a weapon (frying pan), and ran back to the door and everywhere was quiet but I was still tensed. I tried so hard to calm my nerves as I sat on the floor. Ifiok, you will regret this if you don’t open this door in two seconds. I ran for the door so that I wouldn’t incur the wrath of a drunk Kunle. With full force, he pushed the door leaving me on the floor with a broken waist. ‘What took you so long to open the door?’ Kunle screamed pouring the leftover drink from the cup on my body. I was still trying to explain myself when he turned me into a church drum, hitting out his frustrations and ill-luck on me.

Kunle lost his job early January 2020 and started doing menial jobs to provide daily bread for his three kids and wife. I stopped working because he wanted me to take care of his kids and his house without dividing the attention with work and family, so I added no financial value to the family.

After Kunle was satisfied with beating me, he pulled his trousers and laid with me, I could feel the vibration from his heart when he claimed my body. A few minutes later he shakes his rod out of my divided sea and left my still cold body lying on the floor. Before I could clean up and go to the room, Kunle was fast asleep.

Kunle’s behaviour went from bad to worse. I got bruised physically, emotionally, and my children kept seeing this. But all they did was cry for hunger, cry for a better tomorrow filled with smiles.

‘The President is going to address the country today’ The market women said. I ran home that evening and soaked the little garri I was able to buy for 200 (3 cups) which was not even enough for my kids and tuned the radio to listen to the next phase of my dying family.

Nothing he said sounded good, I felt blunt, the blood in my body dried up as I heard it was extended ( the lockdown). The look on Kunle’s face spoke pain and war.

At this point, the price of foodstuffs had increased and Kunle and I had no source of income, all Kunle did was to get drunk, after all, alcohol was said to be one of the means of preventing COVID-19.

As time went on, things got out of hand, I had to beg for a plate of food for my family, we kept owing people, but I kept believing it will get better.

One night, as usual, my darling husband came back drunk and we had an argument that he almost broke the bottle on my head. To save my life, I ran out of the house into the hands of the Police cause I violated the rules of being seen outside after 8 o’clock.

I was in a mess, nobody to turn to. I stayed there for a week. When I was allowed to go, I ran home to find my husband and kids all lined outside dead. My heart stopped beating and I felt the air was poisonous to me. I stood there staring, couldn’t talk or cry either. I watched them take their bodies away. I watched my walls fall right before my face. 

Neighbours tried to console me, some trying to show me the bottle of drug that killed my family. I still couldn’t utter a word. I ran into the house I locked the door. Stayed at a corner still thinking. After a week, I made for myself a statue of my husband and kids. I made my statue beat me and sexually abuse me every night and I will run out in search of food for my children.

People called me mad but did not realize I was not ready for the pain I was going through. I was supposed to see light at the end of the tunnel, but I guess I fell in love with the wrong man (Darkness).

A few weeks later, I realized I was pregnant, tears for the first time in a while ran down my cheek, confused as I was. I ran into the storeroom and carried a rope and tied it to the fan.

I mean, I was supposed to share this news with my husband and kids, but I was deprived of that opportunity. I saw my life surrounded by darkness, I yearned for light but couldn’t find. I wished for a whisper but all those were fake imagination.

I claimed the chair, held the rope which hung over my head. I tried placing my head in the noose but then, I was struck, Struck with a reason to stay alive even with the darkness within.

I had to give my child a chance to set things right, I had to tell him who his father was. So, I took my new turn for my better life.

I wasn’t even sure if I was READY OR NOT.


Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

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