AUTHOR: OGECHI ALABI
Bashir made good his threat, he brought another woman into the house. He claimed to have paid her dowry and done the rites. Zainab appealed to him for the new wife to have her place but he refused. The house was a three-bedroom duplex, where would she stay? Bashir told her she would stay with him in his room. She didn’t know who to complain to or what to do. She had tried to make herself happy in the past few months but it had been difficult. Bashir had been a terror and she didn’t know how to tackle the problem. She didn’t know who to talk to.
The new wife was the complete opposite of Zainab. Mistura was short, dark, had big boobs, a small waist and a fat ass. Her physique was intimidating. In the house, she walked around almost naked. Her clothes were very short and she bent over in them revealing her private because she hardly wore underwear. Bashir seemed to like it but Zainab felt embarrassed by it.
Mistura was not disrespectful to Zainab. She was quite nice and chatty. Zainab had no issues with her. She tried not to speak with her often and was focused on her responsibility. At least, Bashir was distracted and didn’t come to her anymore. He only came when Mistura was on her monthly flow which sometimes coincided with when Zainab was ending. He had to wait a few days and wouldn’t come back until he stopped coming altogether.
Zainab cooked most of the meals. Bashir wanted her to make the food because he enjoyed her meals. Mistura joined her in the kitchen to assist when Bashir was not around. She also helped serve Bashir breakfast whenever Zainab was leaving for work early. Mistura was supposed to clean the house but a lady comes in every other day to clean the house. Zainab locked her room; she didn’t want strangers in there when she wasn’t around.
Read – Forced mate episode 5
Bashir didn’t like the fact that everything had fallen into place in his home. He brought Mistura to make Zainab jealous but she didn’t seem to care that he was with someone else in her face. She treated Mistura as a younger sister and Mistura respected her a lot. Whenever he tells Mistura he didn’t like their friendship, she would reply, “She doesn’t fight me, why should I fight her? She is very peaceful and maintains her lane. She is not troublesome. How do you fight someone like that?”
Bashir decided to take it a step forward. He told Zainab he would like to have a discussion with her in the sitting room upstairs. She sat down and waited for him to come out. He came out in just his boxers and singlet. He doesn’t leave his room so unclad. Mistura joined him wearing lingerie that barely covered her buttocks. Zainab shifted in her seat. Bashir started talking about the family and what he was saying didn’t make sense. He had his eyes fixated on Mistura because she was almost naked with her boobs almost out of the top of the lingerie.
Bashir asked Mistura to sit beside him and in front of Zainab, he touched her while Mistura responded. Not minding that Zainab was there they began sexual acts. Zainab stood up to give them privacy but Bashir stopped her and asked her to sit back on the couch.
“Am I supposed to be watching pornography? Why do you want me to watch you have sex with your wife? I am not interested, please,” she made to leave.
“I said sit down and watch how a woman makes love to her man so he will always desire her. Watch her focus on giving me pleasure instead of waiting for me to take it. Sit down and learn a few things from her so that when next I come to you, you will be able to deliver.”
“Bashir, you are being unfair. I have endured enough of your insults and humiliations. I am going into my room and that’s it. You can pour the acid or even kill me right now but I won’t accept this humiliation.”
She walked into her room, locked the door and lay on her bed. She couldn’t believe she married a monster. How could Bashir treat her this way? What did she gain from this marriage? She wanted out and wanted it urgently. She was tired. She didn’t want to have anything to do with Bashir.
Bashir came to her door after some time. He tried to open it but it was locked. He roared at her to open the door. She knew he was angry and so she quickly opened the door. As he came in, he was holding a leather belt. He descended on her. He flogged her mercilessly. He flogged her all over her body. She tried to stop him but it seemed he was possessed by a demon. When he finished he said to her, “The next time you disobey me or challenge me, you will receive worse. Never you walk out on me again. I am your husband, I own you.”
Zainab couldn’t move where she fell. Her body was badly bruised all over. She lay on the floor in pain and from there she passed out. She woke up the next morning. She was on her bed. She heard someone sobbing and talking on the phone. When Zainab fully gained consciousness, she realised it was Mistura.
“What happened?” she asked Mistura.
“You fainted. I waited for him to sleep before I came to help you. I had to call his mother last night because this is too much. Why did he have to attack you like this? I would never have allowed him to do this to me, never. She is on her way to Lagos. She left as early as 5 am this morning so she will be here by 10 am at the latest.”
“Does he know you called her?”
“He doesn’t know but he will know when she comes. Thank God today is a weekend, you can’t go to work for a long time.”
Zainab tried to stand up but the body pains were too much. She struggled to get to the toilet to ease herself. She stared at her hands, they were badly bruised. She remembered she held them up to protect her face. She looked at her face, there were a few bruises but they were light. She took off her clothes. Her body was a mess. She couldn’t even stand up straight. She turned on the hot water shower and then stood under it. It was very hot but she didn’t care. Mistura saw the steam from underneath the bathroom door and then came inside. She turned off the shower. Zainab was in tears. Mistura could feel her pain. She mixed the water and turned on the shower. She allowed Zainab to enjoy the heat on her body while she sat on the toilet watching over her.
“Where is Bashir?” Zainab asked.
“He went out. I locked the door after him so I can attend to you well. He asked me not to enter your room but I had to. If he treats you this badly, why are you with him?”
Zainab couldn’t answer the question. What was she doing with a beast like Bashir? Why was she so scared of his threats? She knew he would make good his threat if he could do this to her now. Calling his mother wasn’t a good idea but was calling her parents better? She needed to be taken care of. Mistura couldn’t do it and Bashir will stop her. His mother would be a better option.
His mother arrived before he got back. She came into the house and Mistura brought her straight to Zainab’s room. She wept when she saw the condition Zainab was in. She picked up her phone and called her brother. She told him what had happened and she wanted discreet medical care for Zainab. He sent her a doctor’s phone number. The doctor asked them to meet him in his hospital. They couldn’t even carry Zainab out of the room, any part of her body they touched made her whine in pain. Bashir’s mother had to call the doctor to get professional help and an ambulance to take her to the hospital.
While they waited for the ambulance, Bashir returned home. Mistura opened the door for him. He didn’t know what was happening until he heard his mother’s voice calling out to him. He went into Zainab’s room to answer her wondering how she got there.
“What are you doing here?” he asked his mother.
“I came to Lagos for an important assignment. I called Zainab that I was coming. When I got here, I met her in this condition. What happened to her?” she asked him.
“You couldn’t have called Zainab this morning, I have been with her phone since last night. What is happening here?”
“So you took away her phone? How was she to call for help? You wanted her to die here? What did this girl ever do to you that you are hell-bent on destroying her? All she has ever wanted was to be happy with you but you have chosen to be a thorn in her flesh. Tell me the crime she committed that made you beat her like this. Even a criminal doesn’t receive this kind of beating. Did you catch her with a man? What did she do? I am asking you. Your uncle is coming over, maybe you will be able to explain to him. This time, you will not go scot-free. You will learn a life lesson from this particular experience. What if it was her father that got the message? Do you know what he would have done to you? He loves this girl, why do you want to kill her?”
Bashir was quiet. He didn’t have a response. From what he could see, she was in a bad shape. He was angry last night. How dare she walk out on him? She disrespected him in the presence of Mistura and she needed to be taught a lesson. Why couldn’t everyone just mind their business? He was worried about his uncle. He felt his mother was bluffing and he waited for him to come.
The ambulance arrived and they had to sedate Zainab to be able to carry her to the hospital. The pain was unbearable when touched. Bashir’s mother and Mistura followed the ambulance to the hospital where Zainab was admitted and treatment commenced. She was in the hospital for four days. The pain had subsided but the marks on her body and hands were still evident. She couldn’t resume work in that condition.
Bashir’s mum used her influence to get sick leave for Zainab from the ministry. She stayed with Zainab in the house tending to her and the marks that needed to fade. She bought her very expensive cosmetics to help fade the marks. It took some time but they helped. She had to wear clothes that covered her body completely. It took her three weeks to resume her normal activities while she was still working on her skin.
Before Bashir’s mum went back home, her brother came to the house. He summoned Bashir, Zainab and Mistura. He wanted to know what happened. He asked who Mistura was and Bashir claimed she was his wife.
“When did this happen that I am not aware of?” his uncle asked.
“I don’t know what he is talking about. He introduced her to me and that was it. If he married her, I am unaware,” his mother replied.
“And she is living in his matrimonial home? What disrespect? Anyway, I want to know what happened and I want the truth. Bashir, would you like to sleep in the guard room tonight? Then don’t try me.”
Zainab narrated what happened and Mistura concurred with her story which infuriated Bashir even more. They were supposed to be rivals, why would she support the enemy? She was an outsider just as his uncle said. He would marry someone else that will do his bidding. He still wondered how his mother got to know what happened. He didn’t realise he had hurt Zainab that badly but now she would learn to respect and fear him.
His uncle asked him, “Bashir, what do you have to say? Are you a pervert? You wanted to have sex with another woman while your wife watches you? What disrespect is that? What did she do to you to warrant this treatment? Maybe there is something we don’t know. What did she do that is so unforgivable? Tell me.”
Bashir didn’t respond. How would he explain that this had been brewing from the time he was introduced to her? He wanted to own her. He wanted her to worship him and be at his beck and call. She grew wings and began to challenge him. He wasn’t through with her yet.
“I asked a question, Bashir.”
“Alhaji, she disrespects me, challenges my authority, reports me to my parents and generally defies me.”
“That’s why you wanted to kill her? When a wife does these things, you send her packing not kill her. Send her back to her parents and marry another wife. I will never be in support of sending this girl back to her parents in a bodybag. Zainab I know doesn’t sound like the person you just described.” He turned to Zainab, “Why stay with someone who wants to humiliate you? He brings another woman into the home and she sleeps with him in his room while you stay in yours. He told you he was married to her and you believed him. You didn’t ask questions or complain about his attitude. It means you have no feelings for him. For you to allow another woman to share a bedroom with your husband, you have written him off. You don’t even desire him. If I ask when was the last time you were together as a couple, you will tell me a long time ago. It is glaring you are with a man you don’t love and he is with a woman he hates. There is no love here. Why are you still here, Zainab?”
Zainab broke down at that point. She cried in deep pain. Her mother-in-law tried to console her. When she felt better she said, “He threatened to kill me. He said he will pour acid on me if I ever leave him or report him to his family. He rapes me whenever he wants to have sex. It has been terrible. I didn’t know where to turn. I was scared he will make good his threat. I don’t want to remain married to him, he is a monster. He hates me but still won’t let me go. He says he owns me and no one else can ever have me. What am I to do? I live each day as it comes. Look at me,” she opened her body for the uncle to see without shame, “this is what he did to me. It might never fade away completely. He doesn’t love me, he is obsessed with destroying me. I wonder what I did to deserve this.”
Bashir’s uncle stood up, he made some phone calls and then his sister fell to her knees and was begging him. He shouted, “Don’t beg me. You spoilt this boy. His father warned you but you wouldn’t listen. I will make good all his threats to her. He will receive the acid burn and he will be dealt with. Zainab, before he is released, go back to your parents. I don’t want to ever see you with him. He will definitely kill you. His father needs to be aware of the threat so when it does happen, he will also die in the same way.”
“Alhaji, please. You know Bashir is hot-headed and doesn’t mean what he says….”
“He doesn’t mean what? He means exactly what he said. Look at her body. If he tells you he will pour acid on this girl, he will. For a husband to beat his wife to the condition I saw her, he is possessed. Yes, I saw her in the hospital. I sent my aide there and he videoed her condition and sent it to me. The doctor told me everything. Bashir wants to make sure no other man desires her. I want to know what she did that he would hate her so much. Is it because she was betrothed to you? It was to solidify a friendship into a family. Zainab, I will tell your family to come and take you away from here before Bashir kills you. I will tell them myself, I owe them that obligation.”
Eight men walked into the house all in military uniform. Alhaji asked them to go with Bashir. Bashir was shocked. He looked at his uncle and then his mother. Before he left, he looked at Zainab. She stared back at him. He no longer looked scary, he looked like a drowning kitten. Why didn’t she think of his uncle? If he tried contacting her again, she would walk up to his uncle and tell him what Bashir had been up to. At least there was somebody he was afraid of and could cut him to size. His mother was worried, she tried to beg her brother to be lenient.
“Shut up!” he shouted at her, “You spoilt this boy. See how he treats a wife given to him on a platter of gold. She is very decent and has never treated him the way he did her. Instead of handling the situation the right way, you cover up his excesses. You called me now because you know his father will hear about it. Your husband gave you everything as the last wife. Your three children are doing very well. The only thorn in your flesh is Bashir because he was an only child for so long. His siblings don’t want to relate with him. You spoilt him. Now he is about to lose the one thing that made sense in his life. She is the only person that didn’t give up on him. Take him away from my sight. And, Zainab, if you choose to remain with Bashir, buy your white cloth down to be buried in. I will include your name in the list of those attending the coming Hajj. That is the only compensation I can give you for now. All expenses will be paid by me. Go back to your parents.”
Bashir went with the men. Zainab was confused. This was her house and she wanted to live in her house. She mentioned it to them. Alhaji told her to look for another house, he would pay. He didn’t want her living anywhere close to Bashir. She didn’t want that. She wanted her house. He offered her a much bigger accommodation, but she still refused it. Then he said, “Sell the house to me. I will pay and then you can buy another house. Or better still, I will transfer another property to you in exchange for this one. The property is in Oregun. The place is secure. It is a block of four flats. One of the flats is empty, it was occupied by some white men. You will love the place. And you will have neighbours who can come to your aid. Trust me, you will love the house.” She finally agreed.