BY DOROTHY BUDU-ARTHUR
“Look at her! Oh poor girl! She looks so horrible today! Did you hear her screaming last night? We could hear her from our hut”
“You heard her too? Why does her husband beat her up all the time? Did he pay her bride price with all the silver and gold in this world? Just look at her! Like a punching bag!”
Sama could hear the two women who were carrying firewood and returning to their homes from their farmlands talking about her as they passed by her hut. She got embarrassed knowing that the villagers could hear her every night Kuuku molested and abused her.
However they were wrong about something: Kuuku never paid any bride price! Kuuku never sought for her hand in marriage from her family! Kuuku was just not her husband!
She bowed her head in shame as she didn’t want them to see her swollen orbitals and bruised face. She had tried running away again that night, but rather unfortunately, she got caught by Kuuku who ended up brutalizing her both physically and sexually throughout the night.
She pursed her lips in anguish. She knew she was going to die from this torture Kuuku was subjecting her to, should she not get a helper. But not knowing anyone in the village in which they’d taken habitation for the past few months after she run away from her family with Kuuku, she thought it to be unwarranted to hope for help!
She groaned as she felt excruciating pain all over. Dipping the small cloth into the hot water she had prepared, she started to dab her bruised and swollen face with it.
“Agh!” Sama screamed out in pain. Tears trickled down her face. She wondered if it was a nightmare; she only longed to wake up from. Without an option, she did the warm compress enduring the pain.
Kuuku was not in the house at that moment. Wherever he had gone to, she had no idea. But she definitely knew it was to nowhere good.
He expected her to do all the farmland duties, get firewood for the house, and make sure he got food to eat every time. On the contrary, he cared less about her welfare. Kuuku cared not about her clothing or her safety, neither about the fact that she is a woman and needed love, care and nurturing.
Her palms were hardened. The soles of her feet were cracked. Her skin had become very rough and darkened by the scorching sun under which she always stayed to work on the farm. To her, Kuuku was a monster in human clothing!
She heard approaching footsteps, and her heart began to beat faster! She knew it could only be Kuuku’s footsteps!
“Are you still here?” he yelled at her when he saw her sitting in front of the hut.
Sama quickly got up, but staggered as her left leg was tender and swollen. She felt the sharp pain but could not express it as Kuuku stood there ready to hit her.
“Please… Please I will leave soon!” She managed to say as she quickly found the hoe then limped out of their hut.
She sobbed as she walked under the merciless sun to the farmland. She wondered if Kuuku was the same man who promised her the whole world! “Where is all the love he promised me?” She thought with tears in her eyes.
©Dorothy Budu-Arthur, 2017