(STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
© Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
Big Daddy had slapped Big Mummy in my presence, and all Big Mummy did was to walk away. She went into her room and locked herself up.
Big Mummy was my mum’s elder sister, I had gone to spend the holiday at her house, when I was 8 years old. She didn’t have kids of her own at that time, so she always wanted me at her place during the holidays.
When Big Daddy slapped her, I expected her to return the slap or fight him, but Big Mummy didn’t do either. I later asked her some questions…
“Big Mummy, why did Big Daddy slap you?”
“We had a fight just like you have fights with your friends in school.”
“Then why didn’t you slap him back?”
“Well, fight in marriage is very different from every other kind of fight, fight in marriage has to do with a lot of emotions and when not managed it can be disastrous even to the point of death… If I had slapped Big Daddy back, it would have fueled him more to keep fighting. So the best thing to do when one’s husband or wife is ready to fight, is to leave their presence because at that point they are mad and can do anything.”
The moment Apostle slapped me and I was about to reciprocate, the Lord brought back to my memory this scene from my early age, and just like Big Mummy did, I ran to my room and shut the door.
Big mummy was right, Apostle was stronger than I was, if I had slapped him, it would have infuriated him to slap and beat me further. A lot could have happened and somehow on the headlines it would be written that “Pastor Happy died of domestic violence.”
Even if Apostle would be prosecuted, my precious life would have ended. It was time to avoid the lion in Apostle, so I won’t be devoured. Whatever he wanted to do with his life was his business. Big Mummy had told me back then, that most men and women who were victims of domestic violence could have avoided such if they were not trying to get back or fight the person abusing them. She told me the best thing to do was to run away from the scene and avoid doing things that might aggravate the violence.
I avoided him like a plague for about two days. I set his food on the dining table and retired to my room before he came out of the room.
On the third day, around 6pm in the evening, I noticed some movement in the living room, I decided to peep. I saw Apostle lighting some scented candles on the dining
table like someone setting up a romantic dinner.
My heart did swell up in gratitude… Finally, he was back to his senses and he wanted to make up for his error of physically abusing me.
I rushed into the toilet, I freshened up, applied little make up and wore a tight fitted short gown waiting to be called upon. I didn’t want to spoil his fun, so I stayed in my room waiting to hear a knock at my door…
I waited and waited, but suddenly I heard the sound of a car driving into our compound.
I peeped through the window and to my utmost shock, it was Mrs. Beecrofts’ car.
My heart dropped. So it was Mrs. Beecroft my husband had planned this dinner for?
“God, why is this happening to me? Why are you watching the wicked prosper?” I wept bitterly.
I stayed in the room not knowing what to do, but very quietly, I started hearing the soft blues from the living room. I opened the door to the room very quietly and I saw my husband and Mrs. Beecroft dancing….
I walked down the stairs quietly…
“Do you care that God sees you?” I said as tears flowed voluntarily down my face.
“Leave us to God and let God be the judge” Mrs. Beecroft answered.
That got me mad… and then a scripture dropped in my heart… that was it… even JESUS reacted once in a violent way…
I went into the store and brought out a very sharp cutlass…
“What are you doing?” Apostle asked
“Exactly what Jesus did, when people were buying and selling in His Father’s house…
Since God has not been talking to you, I plan on standing in gap and speak some senses into your brain… Mrs. Beecroft or whatever your name is, if you don’t get out of my house now, I promise you I will use this cutlass on you, and guess what, I will have nothing to lose, because you will be the one that will have injuries on your body. Number 2, you will have to explain to your husband and the society what you are doing at my place at this time, which of course will be a surprise to your husband who doesn’t know that you are here, so make your choice!”
“I told you not to marry her, I told you to look for a village girl, but you told me she looked calm, and since she is psychologically imbalanced, she won’t be a problem… can you see?” Mrs. Beecroft said as she picked her purse.
As she was moving out of my house, I took a broom with my left hand and was sweeping her feet…
“Lord, I sweep away the spirit of buying and selling from this house in Jesus’ name.”
Apostle was enraged; he was coming close to me…
“Apostle, don’t even dare, you slapped me and I have not been able to reciprocate, don’t force me to reciprocate with this machete in self defense.”
“You are crazy!”
“That was exactly why you married me.”
Instead of him coming towards me, he ran after Mrs. Beecroft. She was not ready to listen to him as she insisted he opened the gate for her.
I knew what was best for me, I ran into my room and locked myself in. I didn’t want any physical abuse.
He came in shortly and started banging my door, but I refused to open up…
“Apostle don’t waste your time, I am not opening this door” I said.
Then the unexpected happened….
Apostle started weeping like a baby.
I decided to be human and open the door….
On opening the door, I met him sobbing…
“Why? Happy, please I know what I am doing is wrong, but my not doing it drives me crazy. I know I am going to hell, but I pray daily for mercy. I can grant you a divorce if you are not going to cooperate with me. My life is dependent on me having intercourse with other women.”
“Why? Are you in a cult?”
“No, God knows I am not diabolical, this feeling is a part of me I cannot control. It is a spiritual force that is stronger than me.”
“No, if you surrender to God, He will help you overcome this force.”
“Happy!, you can’t be preaching to me, I have read the complete Bible 12 times.”
“But the Spirit behind the words of the scripture is not existing in your life, the Bible without the Holy Spirit is just a mere story book in your hands.”
Then he suddenly raised his voice like someone possessed by a demon…
“I said, don’t preach to me.” Out of Anger, he started pushing me out of the house. He pushed me out of the house and just like Big Mummy had taught me…
“In marriage, you don’t struggle with an enraged man, at that time he is more deadly than a hungry lion.”
I obediently let him push me out till he completely pushed me out of the gate…
“Apostle stop this, stop it” I said but the lion in him was not listening. He shut the gate as I stood outside my gate barefoot in a skimpy gown and a made up face looking like a cheap call girl.
I had no cash on me, no phone to call a taxi, nothing.
I decided it was time to go visiting my mum, her place was about 2 hours trek from my home and since walking was a hobby for me, I started walking…
To be continued