Soft country music crooned from the speakers of Michelle’s IMac which lay on her study table beside her large bed. She allowed the tears to run down her sunken cheeks as she stared at the new bruises on her face through a mirror. She couldn’t tell exactly why the tears flowed- whether they were from the pain she was feeling or the fact that she would have to cook up another false story for her friends. Her hands shook- make up wouldn’t cover the dark spot around her eye, she decided to skip lectures for the next two days so no one saw anything vivid enough to ask questions.
No one understood her. No one knew what she went through. Everyone and everything said you had no reason to stay in an abusive relationship but how many of those blabber mouths had been through the same experience. None of them had been pushed to make the decision of leaving your lover just because he got angry a couple of times and allowed that to flare up through his hands and legs. Besides, he always apologized after, pampered her and made her feel it wasn’t his fault.
Michelle believed it wasn’t his fault. A few nights ago after beating her to a pulp, he had backed up against a wall and cried like a baby- muttering that he felt possessd every time he got angry. He wanted to destroy stuff and kill. Michelle had risen up rather painfully from the floor, ignoring her own wounds and pains, and had gone to cuddle him saying she wouldn’t allow him to get angry again.
Michelle kept staring at her bruised face. Brian- her boyfriend- had come into her life barely six months ago and she had let go of God, good friends and good opportunities- just so she could make him happy. Was this all a relationship was about- she asked herself. Giving your all and being punched in return. She had yearned to be in a relationship ever since she stepped foot on campus as a first year undergraduate student. Maybe her desperation coupled with Brian’s attractive features had caused her to go lax on his proposal.
She turned to stare at the idol of a Bible beside her pillow. She didn’t remember the last time she had opened it. Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud knock on her door. Michelle frowned, she wasn’t expecting anyone. Who could it be at this time of the day.Slowly, she limped to the door and looked through the peep hole to see who that could be. Yaa-her close friend- was knocking.
Yaa banged harder against the door and shouted from behind,
‘I know you are there M, this thing has to stop. I dunno if you want to get yourself killed but I have seen enough to know Brian is abusing you!’
Michelle backed away from the door. She hadn’t told anyone about all he did to her-all she ever did was read articles on the internet about how people came out of abusive relationships. Yaa banged harder.
‘You need to let him go M! Please! There are better men out there for you.’
Michelle blankly looked at the wooden door, if she left him..
Who would take care of him?
Who would help him?
Who would tell him everything would be fine?
No! she wasnt going to leave him- at least not now, not at this time.She buried her face in her hands and sobbed loudly.
‘No! Go away Yaa! Brian isn’t doing anything to me.’ Michelle screamed.
‘You are telling a lie M. I have been there before. Please let me in. Please!’
Michelle was caught off guard by Yaa’s last statement. Had Yaa really been in an abusive relationship before? She walked back to the door and turned the key to open the door.
Yaa barged in and held her tightly. Michelle let out a wail and collapsed into her friend’s open arms. Yaa held on tightly. She knew how it felt to be in an abusive relationship. The last relationship she was in had broken her spiritually, emotionally and physically. It had taken God, all the strength in the world and a good friend to come out and try to never look back. She needed to do same for Michelle. Yaa had felt something was amiss with Michelle a few months back but had waited to see evidence and be sure before she stepped in to help.
‘Everything will be fine M. We will pull through.’
God bless you.