I made up today. I cannot remember the last time I did. Oh yes, I recall. It was the day Adamu, my husband summoned me into his suite. It has been a whole month since then.
Sitting at home can get boring. You wash, sweep, tidy the house, and even cook for a man that would never visit. I am not allowed to go out. And I do not even have friends in this new place. Sighs.
It is raining. The sound is like music to my ears. I’m watching through my laced curtains as the rain kisses the red earth. Sometimes I wonder if the earth loves the feeling. Or if like me, it has no choice but to let the rain penetrate its hard core until it becomes softened mud—surrendered and pliable.
Life has a way of hardening us. A subtle way of taking away the fire that once drove us to do things. To live, I mean. I lost my fire a long time. Barely a month after my forced marriage to Adamu— a man twice my age.
Thankfully, I only get to see him about 20 times in 365 days. Sometimes he is forceful. Other times, like the earth, I welcome the rain. I do not know much about him. Except for his name, his flourishing business and the fact that I am not the only wife. Thankfully, I am the only one living in my castle.
You would think that living in a castle would make you a princess. But it does not. You’d think that having all the money, designer bags and shoes will make you feel satisfied, but it doesn’t. Yes, I get to sleep in my bed wearing Ralph Lauren… but I still feel no warmth.
I wish I had a child. A little me to run around the house and bring life back to me. Wait, let me get a cup of ginger tea as the weather is getting a little chilly.
So where was I? Yes, I wish I had a baby. I would call her Amina, my mother’s name. I did not get to stay with her for long, as she died few months after giving birth to me. At least, I would get to know her through my daughter. But Adamu does not want any more kids. He has eight already from the other three wives.
I am like a caged nightingale. Bored out of my mind for most days. I have drank my tears so much that I’m afraid I’ve taken in too much salt. I have thought of killing myself more times than I’ve thought of living. But it’s just a thought. Nothing to discuss there.
The rain is reducing to slow drops, like the ones from the leaking roof in our classroom at Government Girls Unity Secondary School, Sokoto. There was always a metal bucket there to secure someone’s bathing water for the next day. Chuckles.
It’s been two years after my Secondary School. I was the brightest kid in a class of 120 students. I got a JAMB score of 280/400. Baba na (my father, as he is fondly called) was proud. I saw it in his eyes. But He was too poor and sick to take care of me. I understood why he would accept his friend, Adamu’s wedding proposal. I had no say then, and I have no say now.
This journal is my voice. I will continue to hide it under my bed, until I die. And I hope someday, someone will read it. Maybe, just maybe, my story will be a page in another woman’s survival guide.
I made up today. Because it is my birthday, and nobody remembered.
So I’m starting fiction Friday’s once again! Hope you enjoyed this short story I wrote. Let me know your thoughts!
Also, feel free to share your stories on the blog: firstname.lastname@example.org