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My Shadows

“Can you just listen to me for once? Dave please stop this thing you are doing to me, I beg you” Brenda knelt down in tears as she spoke to Dave. Dave looked at her with his hands up ready to flog her with his belt “You are very stupid to talk to me like that, you are very stupid” Dave screamed out as he dropped more strokes of the belt on her body “Dave I am your wife not your slave, I am your wife” Brenda screamed out in pains.

All the accountants of NACO Fruit Company were gathered to give account of the revenues of the company and how it has been spent. “Madam we allocated 6.3 Million naira for the supply of Apples” Shade a slim pretty young looking lady spoke up “hope it is on your record?” The CEO asked “Yes Madam” Shade answered. The meeting was almost over when Brenda rushed into the office looking so tattered, she wore her suit from the back, her hair looked like animals play ground, her face looked so horrible with unblended foundation and powder, her lipstick looked like she kissed a dog and then she gave a fake smile “What is the meaning of this rubbish?” the CEO asked in anger, her other colleagues looked so astonished “Brenda why are so tattered?” Nelly asked while others murmured among themselves “Madam I-I-I am truly sorry, it will not repeat itself” Brenda stammered in fears as she answered the CEO. The CEO gazed at her for some minutes “you are sacked” the CEO said and turned to leave, “No, No, you cannot sack me” Brenda screamed out in tears “Excuse me, did you just talk to me?” The CEO asked “you can’t sack me, I won’t let you sack me” other colleagues tried to calm her down, some left in order not to be called when the issue goes higher than that. “All you think about is yourself; do you even think about other people, do you care about your workers? I came here tattered and you think in my right sense I would dress any how down to this place? Bullshit, you are not worthy to be called a mother” the atmosphere changed, it was as if the walls were about to fall, the CEO was so angry “You have never been a good accountant, an accountant that records rubbish, an accountant that made us lose five million naira, an accountant that made the CPA feel we are not capable of handling the growth of our business, tell me, haven’t I had it up to my mouth?” The CEO screamed out angrily. Brenda could not talk, her tears covered her face, all she felt was pains all over her body “you don’t miss your emotions with work, go home Brenda, go home and solve your problems, get out of my office” The CEO screamed out, Brenda tried to talk but her hiccups could not allow her.

The air was filled with smoke, the ground was decorated with different brands of alcohols and Dave as usual was on the floor sleeping and snoring like a pig, Brenda walked into the compound in tears and strolled down to meet Dave “I have been a good wife, I pay the Children’s school fees, I pay the house rent, I even cloth you Dave, but how do you pay me back, how do you pay me back?, all you do is to pound me like a slave and rape me, but let me tell you, it would have to stop today” she picked up a bottle and tried to hit it on Dave’s head but couldn’t, she tried again but all to no avail, then she sat down on the floor “I hate you Dave, I hate you from the bottom of my heart, I hate you” Dave who was asleep, turned like a baby who was about to suck the mother’s breast “ I curse the day I said I do to you, I curse the day I accepted to even go into a relationship with you, I curse that day” Brenda screamed out and threw one of bottles on the wall. Dave jumped up from his sleep and looked at Brenda angrily “what is your problem, what is your damn problem, why won’t you allow me sleep?” Dave said drunkenly “what do you want to do now, do you want to hit me?” Dave looked at her angrily and she knew what would come next “see don’t touch me, don’t just touch me, who do you think you are, God? Look if you touch me, I swear I will use these bottles to scatter your rotten teeth and brain”

“So Brenda you have been going through all these things and you never told me your best friend?” Lillian asked. Lillian was a pretty model, she looked twenty but she was thirty four and she was also known to be an all men girl. “Lillian I love my husband, I just wish that one day, Dave will understand how well I love him and change” Brenda said and turned to the stool beside her, picked up a magazine and started reading “for real I can’t bear it, like when will he change, when you are dead?” “Come on Lillian don’t say such a thing, I won’t die”. Brenda could not control her tears, she cried out loud “sweet heart it is okay, stop crying please” Lillian tried to console her “When, when will it be over, when? I lost my job as an accountant, Dave burnt all my credentials and I know these people will soon be after me” Brenda said as she used a pillow to cover her face “why will they come after you?” Lillian asked looking so surprised “I collected a loan of about 3 Million naira from my office to give to Dave to start up a business” Lillian gazed at her “I don’t know you to be this foolish, come on what happened to the smart wonderful, beautiful Brenda I knew back then? How on earth can you loan a man that is as useless as Dave three million naira, girl are you crazy or what?” Lillian asked angrily “I did it for him as a wife” Lillian stood up and angrily walked down to the television “So marriage is all about pains? If this is what it is all about then I rather remain single. So what did he use the money for?” Lillian asked “He wasted it on hard drugs”

At Joan’s school, her teacher was worried about her poor performances and called Brenda to discuss the issue with her. Brenda went to Joan’s school and walked straight into Mrs. Gab office “welcome Madam, you can have your sit” Brenda sat down and adjusted her dress “good afternoon madam, you actually asked me to see you” Brenda said “yes madam, it is about your child, madam what is really wrong?” Mrs. Gab asked “wrong how?” Brenda asked back “your daughter is not sound, she is always crying in class and if she doesn’t cry, you will definitely see her moody. I was opportune to go through her dairy and all I saw was I wish I could have parents that understands themselves, I wish I could have a good daddy. Madam what is wrong? Madam whatsoever it is, please you people should try to correct it because Joan is going down seriously both in health and academics, please I beg on her behalf” Mrs. Gab said. Brenda could not talk; she stood up slowly and left the office looking so embarrassed.

“Go and meet Chioma quickly, tell her to give you the balance sheet” the CEO of NACO said to Shade as she tried to cross check a file “Madam should I also collect the Income Statement?” Shade asked “no, just get the balance sheet for me” the CEO replied “Okay madam”, Shade rushed out to deliver the message. Brenda strolled into the CEO’s office and went down on her kneels “Madam I came to apologize for what happened the last time, I was so bitter that day after my husband’s beatings “Brenda said. Shade rushed back into the office with the balance sheet “Madam she said I should let you know that the cash flow for this month is reliable and good” Shade said “okay we will discuss about that later” the CEO said “Okay ma” Shade answered and rushed out again “Brenda, I am a woman and I understand what you are going through…” Brenda’s phone rang and disturbed the CEO’s speech “excuse Ma” Brenda said and picked the call. After the call, Brenda could not say a word; she stood up quickly, picked up her hand bag and ran out.

At Saint Jude’s hospital was Dave on the emergency bed, bleeding from his forehead. Brenda ran into the hospital and they directed her to Dave’s ward. Dave held her hands painfully “You have always being a good wife, you are one of a kind, I have always being a fool and now I believe the adage that says a man that beats his wife is a weakling, I have caused you pains, please forgive me” Dave said in tears “Dave I have forgiven you, but please be alive for me, hit me the way you want, do what you want to me, but please don’t die, please don’t die” Brenda said in tears “I wish I could, but I have caused enough pains, I am so ashamed of myself” Dave said “But why will you steal from a big mall like that? Dave no oh, Dave you cannot make me a widow, Dave wake up, Dave wake up please, oh no, oh no, Dave please wake up, Dave don’t do this to me please” Brenda kept on screaming until she woke up from her sleep. Brenda Stretched her body “What a nightmare, I am not even married yet and I am having such a nightmare, then this should be a warning about something” Brenda said and went down on her kneels to pray.

By Ama Ruth from Nugeria