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by Dorcas Osesie  
10/05/2014 / Marriage

The cold water dripped down Chedda's bruised arms as she wrung the last piece of clothe she had been drying out on the clothesline. With a weary sigh, she picked up her bucket and journeyed for the umpteenth time to the well. Chedda peered into the well, it was almost dried up as it was well into the dry season. This was a reminder that the days of walking long distances to the stream every cold morning would soon commence.
She dropped the rope into the water and watched as her reflection was destroyed. She braced her worn shoulder and began pulling up the heavy weight. She trembled slightly, her body was getting too worked to continue. When her bucket was filled with water she returned beside the heap of clothes left for her overused fingers to wash.
Chedda breathed heavily and let the cold sweat drip down her cleavage. She gave a rub to her pregnant tummy and sluggishly continued her laundry.
Her bruises wouldn't get healed fast with its frequent contact with water. They would keep giving out pus. But not doing the laundry was not her decision to make, neither was cooking or fetching water, even having sex or bearing children.
Okocha was the only one who had a say. As far as she was concerned, remaining a pawn in his hands was the safest thing to do. Even if it meant that she'd be stripped of her own rights, and would be nothing but a sex object and baby machine. That was better than unnecessarily purchasing more bruises and scars.
Uche and Ikedi, both not older than three, ran to their mother in tears, they were hungry. 'Ndo' Chedda wrapped her cold hands around her sons. She drew their lean and hunger stricken bodies to her sick, cold, dying one.
She carried her children into the kitchen and put little Akpu in a wooden bowl with Abacha soup. She would have nothing as lunch today. The untouched food was for Okocha and she couldn't imagine serving him less than he wanted.
She'd earn a cold scar from him for that.
That was what had happened yesterday. She had been playing around when she was caring for the children or washing laundry or clearing their vegetable garden, that she forgot to prepare his food in time before he came.
Okocha did not play with his food. But he certainly enjoyed boxing his pregnant wife.
He clouted her face. 'What's the meaning of this? My food is not yet ready?!!!'
Trembling and in tears, Chedda voice quavered 'Ndo; Gbagharham' I'm sorry.
'Are you stupid?!!' Another bloody hit, scarring her face.
'Biko, ahu na anwum' Please, I'm sick.
His merciless rage awarded her punches. Injuring her all over.

When he had his fill, he walked away to cool off. Leaving the wounded woman shivering in the cold of his cruelty.
Yet the same night, he'd still come after her. He'd feast his hands on her wounded body. Against her will. He'd take his pleasure from her writhing body. At the expense of her pain.

Then by morning, he'd be gone, perhaps to work. Perhaps to the laps of other women. And day by day, so it would continue. So had it for the three years she had lived with him.

But if it doesn't continue, then perhaps Cold finally grasped Chedda's soul. Never letting go forever...

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Osesie Dorcas Agbogun
 Copyright 2013 Dorcas Agbogun
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