The lockdown and the asunder, By Esther Chizaram Ngele

Posted by News Express | 21 May 2020 | 1,760 times

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•Esther Chizaram Ngele

It’s the COVID-19: it’s a virus and people must maintain their distance in other not to catch it. Families must stay indoors, but this could be really good for couples. The happily married ones can go on and enjoy another honeymoon bliss with each other. The indifferent can learn to love again and rekindle their love by doing things together. Lingering longer while staring at each other’s eyes. They may feel stuck at first, since their usual escape every morning has been taken away by the lockdown. Then the abusers must “die here.”

It is a terrible place to be, for both the abuser and the abused. But where do we really fall under? The confused! Tonight, the gods are awake! They must watch this and bear me witness that I am done.

What do we call this? Our husband has gone mad again? God forbid!

This is really a period to discover the tiny details about your partner. And for sure, I’m discovering quite a lot. While others are cosying up to each other, mine is cooking up mischief with his mother. Doing anything and everything to appease her like the deity she is. Can I really write about the truth? The true feeling? What I really wish you knew? OK, no bullshit! This is not the usual cliché of pretence and a bucket full of lies about happy ending. This is what happens when you realise you're worth more. That love comes before submission.

Oh sure, motherly love can never be broken and no one can compete with that. But the fact that you know of a good mother does not mean everybody has one. This is not love. This is dominion. This is what “I call the shots” game.

School thought me, society schooled me, but life happened. The lockdown has opened my eyes to my greatest mistake: You!

This lockdown has really brought out the real you. Your abusive words have really come to play. But what self-respecting man fights over a fried plantain?

Wow, my life was relapsing to a well-scripted living-in-bondage. And all for what? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

We never really grow up. We are all still children deep inside of this thick skin we were forced to grow. Remember, the goal is to be married with kids before the age of thirty? Whoever and however that may be. This was my biggest bondage. Oh yes, the society sets the bar. We are expected to be married within a certain age. That's the normal thing. Right?

As the saying goes, “every disappointment is a blessing.” This has also come handy for me, not to waste my time or beat myself up when I don't get the desired result. But how, all of a sudden, I couldn't embrace it at the first dawn of feeling disappointed at you is beyond me. It goes a long way to prove the power of love or here, infatuation.

A friend once told me that even the smartest girl can be fooled by love, and he couldn't be more right. Now, I have a sense of how embarrassed God must have felt each time I muttered the words “thank you Lord” behind your shoulders. I felt that you were my finishing line whereas I was only beginning. I'm sure God shook his head each time to say, “No babe, that's not me!”

You were the love of my amazing life. Or so I thought. I thanked the heavens for you. You looked responsible; I deserved you.

The tales of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law drama is a tale that runs far and wide, regardless of race and culture. The beginning could only be told by the gods themselves. But here in my story, my would-be mother-in-law out-did herself. Her arsenals of hate and wickedness did put winds under my wings to fly.

Well, at first, she posed as the most supportive member for our relationship. Now, she's acting like I married her husband. Clearly, Jerry is our husband.

She even once told Jerry that he was lucky to have me and would constantly refer to him as my husband even before he popped the question. Ah! You see? She endorsed me.

On the very day of our traditional engagement; how she managed to convince everyone that she was not in support with the attitude she displayed were appalling. She nagged at everything and treated everyone in a condescending manner, including my mother. The moonlight tales of my engagement that travelled around was “my mother-in-law is a witch!”

Jerry and I thought we could grow pass this but that was the beginning of the ending. We argued and fought about the smallest things.

Help me heavens! I watched Jerry tear his shirt like a lout to fight me over a TV remote. Oh how the walls of Jericho have fallen. His famous wise words: “Wives submit yourselves to your husbands.” The fact that you thought yourself worthy of answering a husband is hysterical. Well, a husband you're to my supposed mother-in-law.

My Guardian Angel would always whisper, “On your marks, go! And even though I saw every reason to tie up my shoelace and run, I always wanted to see what could happen next. “Oh he wouldn't dare”, I would reassure myself. But, you managed to wow me each time.

Indeed, there are different colours to a man; layers upon layers. But how you've managed to display yours all at once, in this lockdown, you must be the rainbow.

I kept dropping tears in my well of pains. Thinking about it now, I disrespected myself by condoning all your foolery; it was all about getting the ring. Never knew the great impact that could have on my future till your mother opened my eyes. She is my amazing grace!

The lockdown has not just made me realize I've made a terrible mistake of my life, but that I sold myself not cheaply but for nothing. For nothing, because, there's nothing to show for it!

Jerry’s mother was the Angel sent from above to remind me you were not my blessing. Indeed, God works in mysterious ways! Your mother's torments were one of such ways.

Oh how I resisted by trying to please her, even though I had this sick feeling in my stomach. She would pretend ill but had an amazing recovery when it came to displaying the terrors of a mother-in-law.

She would pound on the doors and shout on top of her lungs about how she built the house with her money. Oh the little furniture shop you had was hers; so, she would seize the keys if you were to ever reason with me. She needs you on her side and I could never compete with that. And, you living with her made it a lot easier. Her snobbish treatment and sly comments in her native tongue, oh wow!

Even though I painted her an angel in my head, she showed me her horns once she heard the wedding bells. It was as if she never believed it would lead to one.

Love covers a multitude of sins, because love is blind. But there was no love in our hearts for each other at this point. Only the selfish desire to get the deed done! You had this urgency to gloat at your exes. And, I needed to flaunt the pictures so badly. How foolish of me.

It was all for the wrong reasons but, somehow, I went on with it.

Leave the judgment for the gods. There is a lot you haven't seen. So much you will never understand, so don't bring the balance yet. Don't weigh my sins. Don't!

Here, I am to say thank you to your mother! I have nothing but love for her. Her interference and boastfulness made me want to be great.

Breaking up with you Jerry is the best thing that ever happened to me. It gave me strength and a new sense of direction: Knowing that only I can make me happy.

•Esther Chizaram Ngele writes from Enugu.

Source: News Express

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