People say two wrongs cannot make a right only when its your turn to do your own back. Adaobi was 18 when her father told her she was betrothed. He said she was betrothed to Chief Obi’s first son to repay a debt. Ada was devastated, she was seeing someone, Azuka and she loved him so much. Azuka was not a perfect person but he loved her ever so perfectly, he didn’t have as much as Chief Obi’s son true, but all he had he showered on her. He was an ordinary University student but he was smart and sweet and he was who she wanted but, her parents had other plans.
One day, like Ugu on its way to the market, Adaobi was bundled to Chief Obi’s house, his son was leaving for the abroad and she was leaving with him. Everything happened in a rush, she didn’t even get to say goodbyes or anything. All she knew was one minute she was studying Accounting in Nsukka and the next minute she was Nwunye Alex, nwa Chief Obi that stays abroad. It was as if fate was in disagreement because the marriage was fruitless for the first few years and Adaobi did not hear the end of it. Her every day started with a call from her mother-in-law asking her when she could come for Omugo and her days ended with her husband checking her out as if she swallowed a crocodile, inspecting every part of her.
When Adaobi finally had kids, she had girls. Her first born was a girl-child, her second that followed swiftly a year after were twins and both girls then, the calls started again. “Ada, when would you give my son a heir”, “Ada, are you cursed? first barrenness now, female children everywhere, are you cursed?!” then, her husband started keeping late nights. He suddenly always had extra work to do at the office. At first, Adaobi did not care much, she was too busy catering for her three daughters to care but then, the beatings came. Everything she did was wrong. Her husband suddenly forgot how to speak with his mouth, every word was said with his fist. She called home but she was told that he was under pressure and that her giving him a heir would normalize things. She cried for help but no-one heard her so she learnt to lick her wounds and treat her scars but you know how everyone has a breaking point, one day Ada reached hers.
Alex her husband had come home late as usual and as she opened the door, he unleashed blows on her, why did she take so long to open the door? he asked even though he had his own key. As he punched away, one of the twins began to cry, Adaobi tried to get away so she could soothe the crying child but he pulled her back and continued to beat. She looked at her wailing child and mouthed “it’s okay, mommy is fine” but the child was not deceived. She ran to her father and started to hit him weakly crying, “leave my mummy alone”. In a fit of rage, Alex pushed the child away and expectedly, the child’s wailing was to increase but, a deadly silence filled the sitting room. Adaobi froze.
“It was a mistake… I didn’t mean to kill my own daughter… it was a mistake” Alex stuttered but Adaobi only stared at him. “Errhm Ada, what is done is done please forgive” somebody began to talk but Adaobi was not sure who, her mind had zoned out. That night, when Alex pushed their daughter, she hit her head on the heavy metal piece of art that stood by the side of the wall and died on the spot. Something broke in Adaobi and now they have been invited home for a meeting. What was her crime? If this case was taken anywhere, anywhere in the world, what would they say her crime was? At first they blamed her because she was barren as though she was the one that gave children and not God. Then, they blamed her for having female children as though it was the fault of a woman and not the man. Azuka and his family would never…
“So you people are saying I should just put everything behind me, okwaya?” She asked. “ Adaobi, please, we would have more children, please” Alex pled and once again, Adaobi just stared. After a while, she stood up, thanked everyone and went to her room but they all shivered after she left and ignored each other’s eyes because they knew within them that something has changed in Ada, something had snapped and it was scary because hell hath no fury…