Solemn Lasting Days, Chapter Three

Often in the evening, most children in the house gathered to play games even if their mothers were not at peace with each other.

The first wife bore four children; the second had five, the third gave birth to five, while the fifth had only one for the man of the house and brought her three other children to live with her. Some mothers still had to take care of younger kids who were either their underaged daughter's babies or their inconsiderate son who impregnated a girl and brought her to live in the same house.

The whole system was stifled. In only one household, there were four wives, seventeen children, three stepchildren, two daughters-in-law, and roughly seven grandchildren with few family members who came to stay overnight and left whenever. Everything was a total mess. Wale always talked about marrying the daughters above nineteen to suitable suitors to reduce the number of crowd in the house, but most of them later came back with either a child or a growing fetus in the womb with either no father or reasonable one to claim the baby.

Bewa always tried to talk to her mum and make her see reasons why their lives could be better than being in her husband's house. She told her about her better visions for their lives only if her mum could take the courage to start something better, maybe a business or going to her cousin's place in the city. But it was always the same indifferent reply. "I have heard." But she never took any action, and that was always the problem.

Bewa spent most of her time with Abena after school and even slept over in her room several times too. They were the best duo. There had been so many atrocities going on in the house, like someone carrying another's pot of soup, filling it with sand or excess salt. Leaving fetish objects in front of their doorsteps and even shaving another's hair who had slept carelessly.

Such were dreadful things that happened until one day it got to Abena. She had dressed up early in the morning and waited for Bewa to finish. As soon as she came out of her room in the morning, one could not explain how it happened, but she fell to the ground and screamed in pure pain. Someone had poured hot oil from the left side in her direction.

The screams were so loud that it woke up everyone as they came outside to see what happened."Abena! Abena!!" Bewa called in misery as she ran to pick her up as others watched without doing much."What is life? when even those around you showed glaring hate or less concern."

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