Sister Jummy(Mummy John) stood up and wiped her face with the edge of her skirt, she hobbled to the bathroom and splashed water on her face. She saw a stranger’s reflection in the bathroom mirror, a woman with red and swollen eyes, the hollow in her collar bone could hold a bowl of water. She turned away and sighed, “Am that stranger” mummy John murmured.
The past three years hasn’t been easy, Chris changed. Changed? No o, he didn’t, she just didn’t know who he was before, he was still the same man she married but realised too late, he wasn’t the man for her, she only saw the icing on the cake not the burnt cake within. Even his religion couldn’t change him, sometimes he backed up his actions with the scriptures. Bible verses like “You can be angry but don’t let the sun go down on your anger”, “Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth” so it is a sin to use contraceptives, “Right from the days of John, the Baptist, the kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force” and many more verses like that. Getting married to a born again brother doesn’t guarantees a good husband.
He told her to stop working that a woman’s place is in the home, to take care of the family. As a young bride, blindly in love with her husband, she did all he asked of her. After giving birth to her first child, John; the scales fell from her eyes, Jummy realised what a self-centered man Chris was. He would hit her at any slight provocation , he pulled down her self esteem with his demeaning remarks like “Do you know how you look in that gown?, you look puffy, you better lose that baby weight”, “What did you say in church today? And you attended a university? A secondary school student would have done better than that”, “You can’t even sing without bending your back, your bad posture can stop the flow of the Holy Spirit “. Even after their second child, she thought having another son might calm him down a little; yeah it worked for a few months, he was happy, busy bragging, he had proved that he was a man again but after three months he started complaining about the baby’s incessant cries and whines.
She should have been observant, she should have known he was a wolf in a sheep clothing, she should have taken the hint that day. That fateful Friday, she had not seen Chris for days due to her busy schedule, she decided to visit and surprise him with a sumptuous meal. She saw his key under the foot mat and let herself in. Humming a reggae music as she turned off the gas cooker, she heard the door open. An angry Chris entered into the kitchen, “What are you doing here?, haven’t I told you not to come here without a friend? Don’t you know it’s a sin! ” he bellowed. “Am sorry, I just wanted to make you happy, we haven’t seen in a while and I have missed you ” She told him softly , ” Do you want the church to think we are sleeping together?, imagine! To make me happy ” he scoffed and threw out his arms as he spun around and the back of his hand caught her sharply on the cheek. She moved back, shock written all over her face as her fingers unconsciously touched the cheek.
“Ooh my God, what have I done?, it wasn’t intentional, it was a mistake, am so sorry dear” Chris said and pulled her closer to examine her face. “It’s alright, I know” she answered, “I swear, it was a mistake, I don’t even know how it happened” he whispered and hugged her tight.
Her son’s voice snapped her out of her daydreams “Mummmmmy! I want my juice box” John said. “Say the magic words first” she told him, looking at the miniature version of Chris , “puhleeze!” he said, pleading with his father’s eyes. “Ok baby, am going to get it for you” she replied.
25TH OF MAY, 2014.
” I can’t take it anymore ma” Sister Jummy opened up to her pastor’s wife. “it’s ok, wipe your tears” Deaconess Catherine offered her a handkerchief. ” I have to leave, it is getting unbearable, now I am pregnant again, I don’t know what to do” she said with tears streaming down her face , “Haa! Don’t say that you know divorce is a sin, you just have to keep praying” Deaconess Catherine advised. “No, I mean separation not divorce ma” sister Jummy gently told her, “None of them are good my dear” she answered. “let’s pray, Heavenly Father……… “, both of them bowed and held hands.
17TH OF NOVEMBER, 2014
Chris watched his wife from his seat in the congregation, her face glowed as she laughed at what Bro Joel, a chorister said. “What is he telling her? ” he thought. Sister Jummy touched Joe’s shoulder slightly and smiled, the simple act undid him, his face creased into a frown. During the drive home, Jummy noticed her husband was very quiet and deep in thought, she rubbed her swollen stomach and enjoyed the serene atmosphere. Immediately after praying for the success of the service, he turned to her “So even in your present state, you still flirt, you have no shame at all! In the house of God! ” he fumed. “What are you talking about?” she said innocently, “Shut up! I saw you, you and bro Joel, I saw how you massaged his shoulders” He said with anger gleaming in his eyes. “He was cracking a joke, that’s all” she told him, “what else will you say” he said. She took a deep breath and faced him “Am sick and tired of listening to you, I don’t want to fight with you, am going upstairs to take a nap” , his face was contorted with fury “How dare you!” he shouted and dragged her arm back. She tripped and rolled down the stairs hitting her head hard on the floor. “No oooo” he screamed, but it was too late. Blood was dripping from her head to her cheek, her eyes wide opened in a silent plea.