TRIALS TEARS AND TRIUMPH [Triple T]
What he wanted to show her turned how to be a kiss and that was the best moment of their union Enitan could recall.
They already discussed about accommodation prior to their big day and he told her they’ll live with his parents. He was the last child and his siblings were all away. The parents couldn’t be left alone and since the house was big enough with four rooms en-suite, the best choice was to live there.
Her nightmare started on the night of their wedding. It was their first night together and he helped her undress. He was to get down with her when he noticed the horrible scar from the iron burn on her thigh. He screamed immediately while he had goose bump all over his body due to irritation.
“What is this?” He screamed and she was really scared.
She was dumbfounded with shock for some seconds before his angry voice jolted her to the reality.
“I said what is that scaring thing on your thigh?” He shouted with one eye closed while pointing at her thigh.
“Its………..Its………..It’s the scar from the iron burn I told you about.” Enitan stammered with trembling voice while tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Gosh! Why didn’t you tell me it’s a terrible and eye sickening scar. I can’t even look at it, yuck!” He expressed disgustingly, took a pillow and went outside to spend the night in another room.
Enitan sank into the bed and cried profusely. It appeared like a dream to her. Could this really be happening? She thought amidst tears. The very first night of her wedding! Or has Taofeeq been changed? What suddenly went wrong? She thought bitterly amidst hot tears.
She recalled vividly the day she was lamenting that no man would marry her with scars. She remembered Taofeeq as saying he would marry her not minding her scars. So where has that Taofeeq who made such affectionate promise travelled to? She thought aloud as her tears poured torrentially.
She needed someone to wake her from this bad dream and tell her it’s all a joke. She needed someone to tap her and tell her to stop hallucinating. She needed to be pinched so that she would wake up from a terrible nightmare. This must not be happening on the first night of her wedding. Where did the loving Taofeeq suddenly gone to?
The burn scar on her thigh was a terrible sight to behold truly but didn’t he promise to love her despite the scars? It wasn’t possible to show him the scar before marriage maybe if she had, all this would have been averted. She wept bitterly till her eyes hurt and her swollen.
She couldn’t sleep a wink. She sat on the bed and cried like a bereaved. She wanted to go look for him and beg him but she feared he might create a scene the way he appeared so angry. She stayed put in the room while her heart raced heavily as hot salty tears cascaded her cheeks.
It was indeed a long night with her eyes wide open like that of a watch dog. At about 3:30 in the morning, she got up, went to the bathroom to perform ablution. She stood on sallah while crying to Allah to change her bitterness to joy. It was too early to experience a sad marriage. All her life she had lived in fear and pandemonium, she had lived in hate and distress and she’d lived with troubles and trials, it wouldn’t be good for her to live in a bad marriage. She cried as she lamented her worries to Allah.
She observed the tahajjud till day break. The adhan of fajr was called and she stood again to observe the two rakah of fajr after which she prayed subh and remained on the mat. She was supplicating on the mat when her heavy eyes started dozing. She hadn’t slept a wink since last night and since nature can’t be cheated, she dozed off tiredly on the mat and unconsciously lied straight on the mat.
She had slept for about thirty minutes when Taofeeq walked in and tapped her gently. She opened her eyes and quickly got up at the sight of him.
“Don’t be scared, I am not a monster. Sleep on the bed instead of lying on the floor.” He spoke nicely to her and she had to wipe her face to ensure it was him.
The Taofeeq standing in front of her now is the Taofeeq she used to know. The Taofeeq that she saw last night was a monster she prayed never come back.
She got up and went to lie on the bed. He sat beside her on the bed, placed his hand on her shoulder and spoke softly.
“I am so sorry about last night. Honestly I don’t know what came over me. Let’s just say I was scared by that scar being my first time of seeing it. I guess I have to start getting used to it.” He said as he raised her cloth to see the scar again.
“It’s scary but I’ll train my eyes to love it just the way I love you. That your step mum is really a witch, how could she do something as terrible as this! She’s never going to get away with this as a severe punishment awaits her when she meets Allah unless she repents.” Taofeeq lamented and Enitan watched him as he went forth and back cursing her step-mum.
“You’re beautiful despite the scar and I love you. I’m sorry I hurt you on a night that should be a memorable night ever. I’ll make it up to you, that I assure and promise.” He said while fondling with her cheeks, then kissed her and their first sunnah was done.
It was good Enitan saw the other side of Taofeeq very early in marriage because she had to battle with that other side very often. She was really careful from that first night and had to be at her best always so that she won’t incur his anger. He had a short temper and he often reacted irrationally when angry though he would later come to his senses and apologize.
When she had realized Taofeeq doesn’t like the sight of her scar, she doesn’t expose her thighs. He noticed this and then bought her bum shorts. He didn’t tell he doesn’t mind her exposing her thigh but she got the signal. Buying her bum short only means he wanted to keep to his promise of training his eyes to love her scars.
Living with Parents in-law too comes with challenges and because she was raised to be dutiful and responsible, she had no problems with chores except her mum- in law was a difficult to please woman who nags and reprimand concurrently.
Taofeeq was also one hell of a mummy’s boy. He has no secrets with his wife except he tables everything in the presence of his parents. He allows his parents’ meddles in the decision that concerns himself and his wife and more often than not, he goes with his momma’s imposing ideas.
Two months after their marriage, Taofeeq returned home one evening to tell Enitan that he had secured a salon where she would work during the week while she goes to school on Saturday and then rest at home on Sunday. This he told her in the living room, in the presence of his parents. His mother quickly raised an objection to Enitan’s surprise.
“Why should she go out to work? What happens to the welfare of the house if she goes out? I’ll get her hair posters to be posted outside and then she can attend to customers in front of the house.” Mama said and his son agreed.
“Do you know I never thought of it that way? Working from home is surely a better option.” He concurred with his mother then turned to Enitan. “Enitan don’t worry, mummy will get you hair posters and you’ll work from home. The stress of going out to work will not be there.” He said to her and then she nodded her head, got up and walked into the bedroom.
She was laying on the bed when Taofeeq walked in. He spoke to her but she didn’t reply.
“What is it?” He asked but she didn’t respond.
“Is anything bothering you?” He asked again and she got up and rested her back on the bed.
“Darling!” She called out.
“Yes sweetheart.” He replied.
“I don’t want to work from the house.” She said softly.
“Why?” He asked.
“Working at home may bring about impertinence. My worth won’t be appreciated and I might not be able to grow at the speed I should.” Enitan expressed her worry.
“I understand but we have to consider the desire of the family as well. Mum and dad will be lonely whenever Iman is away in school. Besides, mum wants you to stay at home.” Taofeeq said.
“Is it about what mummy wants or what I want for myself? Enitan protested lightly.
“Are you challenging my authority?” He asked offended.
“No, but this is my life we are talking about. It shouldn’t be about what mummy wants, it should be about what I want. After all, your parents had been living their lives before I came.” Enitan grumbled and Taofeeq got angrier.
“Can you repeat your last statement?” He said with eyes spitting fire and she got scared.
She shrugged and went back to sleep, he hissed and walked out of the bedroom. Enitan ensured he was out before she began to murmur to herself.
“Mummy’s boy. At this age and time, a full grown man will still be tied to his mother’s apron…………………” She was saying when Taofeeq walked into the room, she quickly closed her eyes and feigned sleep.
Mama got hair posters for her and she began to work from home and goes to school on Saturdays. As envisaged by Enitan, working from home brought about impudence. Most of the customers will not pay and mama will tell her to leave them. Sometimes, Mama would invite her friends to the house to make hair for free telling them her daughter in law is a hair-dresser. She would make hair for plenty heads till her fingers hurt yet there was no wages. Her mother in-law was boosting her reputation amongst friends at the expense of Enitan’s sweat.
This continued for months and she was getting tired of the free labor. Five months after her wedding, she was through with her NCE program and she also came out as the best graduating student. On the convocation day, representatives of both state and federal government were around to grace the occasion. As the best graduating student, she was given a federal government offer to work in a federal government school together with a Part-time scholarship to run a Bachelor in Education [B.ED] Program.
She was really excited and her joy knew no bound. Her husband who went with her to the convocation was also happy for her. She indeed made him proud and in her speech as the best graduating student, she thanked Allah for seeing her through the program and then showered encomium on her husband as thus:
“I really appreciate the moral, physical and financial support of my darling husband, in person of Taofeeq Olafimihan. He stood solidly behind me like a rock. He invested in me and I can boast that this program wouldn’t have been possible if not for his encouragement and financial support. He believed in me when others turned their backs. He became my eyes when my vision was blurred and he became my walking stick when my legs shivers and loses balance. Behind my success today is my Taofeeq who held me firmly when the wave of life was drowning me. I really appreciate you my darling. May Allah reward you with goodness in this life and the next. Please help me shower some accolades on my husband as he joins me on the podium.” Enitan concluded while Taofeeq got up to join her.
He gave her a warm embrace and the hall shouted and praised them for being an inspiration to many.
The convocation program came to an end and the couple returned home happily. The era of making hair for free was over and Enitan joined federal government service as a classroom teacher. Her mother in-law could not object this time around as that was really beyond her. She had to come to terms with the fact that Enitan was no fiddle but a wife.
Despite her busy work schedule, she make sure she makes breakfast before going to work and since it’s a government work, she closes by two, then quickly returns home to make lunch yet her mom in law still complaint of late food, as if the family had not been fairing well before Enitan’s arrival. She doesn’t want her to work at all. It was her who convinced her son to live in the house in the first place. She’s the kind of mom-in law who sees a wife as relief of family burden.
One day, Enitan returned from work and her mom-in law summoned her attention. She sat in front of the woman and when their gazes locked, Mama started.
“I have been observing you lately and I realize you don’t seem to be bothered at all.” Mama started.
“Bothered about what ma?” Enitan asked in bewilderment.
“Don’t you have a reasoning faculty at all?” Mama asked while staring hard at her.
“Ha!” Enitan exclaimed at the insultive question.
“Why did you exclaim? You obviously don’t have a reasoning faculty because if you do, you’ll know that a marriage of 10 months is supposed to have produced a month old baby. What you’re interested in is work. You don’t know that too much stress can make a woman infertile. What is really your problem? I have been expecting to see you in tears but it seems you’re too stupid to realize you have a problem and that foolish Taofeeq too isn’t seeing anything abnormal in a wife who hasn’t conceived in 10 whole months of marriage.” Mama retorted angrily while Enitan was mute.
“Won’t you say anything?” Mama shouted at her.
“I don’t know what to say ma.” Enitan said softly.
“How will you know what to say when all that occupies your mind is how to make money foolish girl. Without working I know my son can take proper care of you so why are you so bent on working at the detriment of your fertility. Anyways your husband will come and meet me here.” Mama said and dismissed Enitan.
She walked into her bedroom and shrugged the insult away. It is God that gives children and He’ll surely give her at the appropriate time, she thought.
Taofeeq returned that evening and his mother might have manipulated him as usual because he came with a shocker.
“You have to resign from your job.” Taofeeq said to Enitan who exclaimed loudly.
“Yes, it’s for our own good.” He said while undressing.
“Because I haven’t gotten pregnant right? I think a fertility test is what we should go for. Let’s find out what might be wrong instead of treating the unnecessary.” Enitan proposed.
“Enitan, Enitan, Enitan…..how many times did I call you? You have to resign and that is my final decision.” Taofeeq said obstinately while Enitan begged profusely.
“Please don’t do this now. This is a rare opportunity which may not come my way again. I have just worked for only four months. Okay………If I undergo a fertility test and the outcome requires me to quit my job in order to get pregnant then I will. Please reconsider.” She pleaded with him.
“It seemed you cherish your job more than having a baby for your husband right? Please don’t patronize me because I have spoken.” Taofeeq said vehemently again and Enitan was angry, and because she was a bold person who wasn’t afraid to express herself, she told him her mind.
“You know sometimes I find it difficult to believe you passed through the four walls of a school because of your perspective towards issues. How can you tell me to resign because I haven’t gotten pregnant? As an educated man, I expected you to suggest that we go for a test but no, you want to dance to the tune of your mother………………………” He didn’t allow her finish before he landed her a hot slap.
“How dare you call me a puppet? I can ask you to resign even for no reason because I made you who you are. I saw you through school and now you’ve suddenly grown wings and ready to bite the fingers that fed you? You will resign and that is the final.” He said, grabbed a pillow and walked out of the room in anger.
She held her chin and cried. This was really the peak, she thought as she wept like a child. This is obviously not the Taofeeq she fell in love with. Where did the pleasant Taofeeq travelled to? She thought aloud as the tears poured torrentially.
She was determined never to resign from her work not even with the way Taofeeq was behaving. The work might be something to fall back on when the road finally got blocked. She couldn’t believe her ten months old marriage was experiencing turbulence already. She heaved a troubled sigh when she remembered the turbulence started on the first night. She looked up as if to summon God for a discussion, she put her head down as her tears flowed like a river, drenching her cloth.
There was no where she could return to. She practically had no one. Her father’s house was a no go area. Uncle’s house was a worst option. It would be tantamount to a dog returning to its vomit. She had heard a lot about domestic abuse, once the husband raises his hand at his wife, that’s how it would continue, so she heard.
At that moment, she felt like an orphan who had no one in the whole world except God. She moaned bitterly with excruciating pains as she remembered all the pains she had gone through and now this! She wouldn’t love to continue with the marriage if that’s how Taofeeq would continue to treat her like a piece of trash because she’s got no one to fight for her.
She quickly checked her account balance and realized she had over #80,000 naira. She’d worked for four months and her salary was #35,000. Apart from the transport fare she spent from her salary and the #5000 she sent to her uncle monthly since she started working, her husband had been dutiful so she had no cause to torch her salary making her saved so much. She added one plus one and concluded that fleeing now that a child wasn’t involved was the best.
With the money in her account, she could rent a room and feed well and with subsequent salary, her life would continue smoothly. Marriage is not by force, especially when it has become abusive, she said to herself as she picked her bags and started parking. She finished parking that night, put the bags aside and went to bed with the hope of leaving very early the next door.
The following morning, Taofeeq had realized his mistake as usual. He walked into the room and the first thing he noticed were three travel bags laying on the floor. He looked around the room and Enitan was nowhere in the room. He checked the bathroom and found her there. And he waited patiently for her to come out.
“What are these bags for?” He queried immediately Enitan was out of the bathroom.
“I am leaving.” She said in tears while he grabbed her hands and pleaded.
“Please don’t leave me.” He said as he snugged her tightly while she struggled to free herself.
“Leave me Taofeeq, allow me go. I don’t think I can endure an abusive marriage.”
“I am so sorry for slapping you…………..please don’t leave me.” He begged in tears.
“You didn’t only slapped me Taofeeq, you abused me emotionally. You made me realize you made me who I am and can equally destroy me. You treated me like a nobody simply because I am an orphan. Let me leave, I am done with you. Let me go now that my hands are empty.” She said amidst tears while he clung unto her as if that would prevent her from leaving.
“Please Enitan don’t leave me. If you leave me I will never be complete again because you made me whole. Please forgive my past misdeed. I promise to always treat you right and hold you with respect. And you won’t resign again please don’t leave me.” He pleaded amidst tears.
“You were never like this before marriage or were you just pretending? Where do you always keep your senses whenever you’re angry, you seemed to always return to your senses after misbehaving why?”
“I am so sorry. I’ll try and work on my deficiency, please also assist me with prayers.” He requested soberly.
“You’re not a bad man really. You’re a good man but you still have to work on your deficiencies if you want me to stay with you. You are financially responsible and I appreciate that. But you seemed to always impose your mother’s ideas on me and gets mad if I object. In as much as I respect the fact that you honor your mom, I won’t have you impose her ideas on me. Be a man and release yourself from the string of your mother’s wrapper. Another thing is you always take advantage of my predicament as an orphan to mal-treat me simply because you think I have nowhere to go. Let me sound it to you that I am not afraid and I won’t hesitate to leave you. I have tasted sufferness as a spinster and my eyes are wide open. I won’t hesitate to leave an abusive marriage and…………………………” She was saying when he covered her mouth with a kiss but she pushed him away.
“You slapped this mouth yesterday.” She said while pushing him away.
“I am sorry. I won’t ever do that again.”
“But I don’t believe you.”
“Do you know I hate men who hit women? My love for you is minus 1.”
“I’ll strive to rekindle it back.” He said as he kissed her again.
[Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe and they will not be tested?………….” Ankaboot verse 2
[May Allah not test us beyond our power].