Every night, Mama would put me to bed telling me tales of how she and Papa fell in love.
It was the wee hours of the morning and she had set out with her fellow maidens to fetch water at the village stream, she was so engrossed in what they said until her igbá (clay pot) fell as she hit a hard wall, only this “wall” had an handsome face.
It was love at first sight she had said and every night they met under the Irókò tree on the way to the stream.
Under the Irókò tree, he had professed his love for her.
Under the Irókò tree, they had shared the forbidden fruit.
Three full moons after, he took her as his wife and they lived happily ever after…….She said.
But mother never mentioned how she caught father and her best friend under the Irókò tree with lips sealed in a passionate kiss or the night she met Àsàké in father’s bed
Mother never told me the story behind the scar that beautifully ran down her eyebrow or the myriads of carefully crafted tattoos that covered her body from the beatings she got from Papa.
It is an evidence of how much papa loved her she would say until father showed her the greatest love of all.
I slowly watched as her life shattered like the igbá on her head when she met father.
The elders says:
” a ki jí lo sí odò ni òwúrò ka pôn èrú ömi wa ilé”.
(He who goes to the stream early do not come home with dirty water)
But Mother came back with the dirtiest water of all
If that is her definition of a happy ever after, then I do not want one.
Love is not an excuse to get battered, get out while you can. The effect is not only in the pain you get from getting beaten but also in the psychological make up of your children.
Say No to domestic violence.