Controllers, abusers and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else.”
The cup flew straight at Tania like a grenade hurled at an enemy. It landed perfectly on her head and she screamed out so loud in pain Mama Ranti jumped up from where she sat washing and raced to scoop Tania in her arms. She examined her head and saw a slight bruise but she knew the child would be in so much pain.
“Haba Tolu, what has this little girl done to you just now?”
“Don’t even give me that face Mama Ranti. Don’t!”
” I am not giving you any face. I only demand an explanation to this irrational action of yours?”
“If she were to be your child, I would have explained to you.”
She moved past Mama Ranti and walked out of the compound amidst Tania loud wails. Mama Ranti cooed her by rubbing her head which has started to swell from the pain it had just endured. She sang for her and danced simultaneously but Tania was only crying non stop.
Ngozi whose window faced the verandah came out from her room. She had been watching everything from her room while she applied her make up but she has tried to stay away from Tolulope’s issue with her daughter. The last time she had tried to talk her from beating her daughter at every slightest opportunity, she had insulted her so much she had stopped greeting her after that day.
“This woman needs to be locked up. She can’t keep treating this poor girl like this every time. She is only 6 years old. She knows nothing.”
” I even wonder if the child is hers sometimes. The other day she had poured hot water on her butts just because she bed wets! Some grown up still bed wet. What sane mother does that?”
“She’s her child, remember how close I used to be to her.”
“Why then does she maltreat her as if she wishes death on her.”
Ngozi sighed deeply and collected Tania whose cries has subsided a little. She put her on her laps and rubbed her head vigorously. She applied a balm she had brought from her room on it.
She removed her clothes in a bid to apply a wet clothe all over her body while Mama Ranti kept on shouting.
“Blood of God!” Her eyes shone in anger and fear. “These scars will forever have a negative lasting effect on this child. What sort of mother is this??? This must definitely be from a hot iron” She pointed to a scar just above her hip.
Ngozi was speechless. She applied the wet clothes all over Tania’s body amidst her struggle to be left alone and loud wail. She finished this and strapped the child to her back, securing her with a wrapper tied carefully around her breast. She makes a little dance movement patting her lightly on her butt as she dances.
“She blames the poor child for her misfortune.” Ngozi explained.
“How could that be?”
“She used to be a society lady that was the envy of all other ladies. Young, famous, rich, and beautiful. She had access to everything a woman could ever want. Trips, clothes, cars, houses, food…you name it! Until she got pregnant. Not her first pregnancy though, but Tania’s dad was a big dude, according to her. Rich to a fault. He was an Internet fraudster. He was excited when he learnt she was having his baby and he had told her to keep it.”
At this point, Tania had stopped crying and was drifting to sleep.
Mama Ranti looked at her peaceful face and tears welled down her face.
“She was in the US all through her pregnancy and she had Tania there. After her baby came, Tania’s dad ‘spoilt’ her with all she could ever think of. They relocated to Nigeria after Tania’s first birthday. Two weeks later, her baby daddy died in an accident. And that was the beginning of her misfortune.”
“But she has parents now, she could have just gone back home.”
“Parents ke, that one!” Ngozi hisses. “She doesn’t speak to any member of her family because they did not agree with her lifestyle. She has already been cast out of home for a very long time. She has no money, no life, nothing! She tried going back to her old ways but nobody wants her anymore. She struggled to earn her name for about two years and in the end, she gave it up.”
“So the child is a constant reminder of the good life she gave up?”
“Exactly, a daily reminder! She hates her with so much passion.”
“Why can’t she give her up for adoption then?”
“She would be lonely for the rest of her life, so she says.”
Mama Ranti sat heavily on the stool she was sitting on earlier. What kind of messed up life is this, she wonders. She has been married for 7 years without a child and here’s someone who has a child and doesn’t even want her. She couldn’t hold back the tears that fell down her cheeks.
“Mama Ranti, don’t do this now please.” Ngozi pulled her up and hugged her tight. “All will be fine.”
Domestic violence is another worse form of abuse any child can suffer. Don’t say after all it is her or his child, report all form of abuse to the necessary authority nearest to you.