The Man For Me

This short story speaks about a life before marriage and after marriage. It also talks about domestic violence.

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that Kunle Aderogun was the one for me. Everyone whom we have met or come across said that we complimented each other. I spotted a docile and nice personality- Some would say boring. Kunle was charming, vivacious, and outspoken. You know what they say about the attraction of opposites. Everyone spoke so well of him, outside his workplace, around his neighborhood, and in the church. They had great impeccable things to say about the young man. I was thrilled that the man I loved was accepted by society.

Kunle was a tall, dark chocolaty man with a lot of swag and potential. We met during a church meeting. Imagine meeting someone in the church and thinking, "Yes, I finally got someone after your heart, Lord." Instead, I had been given one of Satan's errand boys. But I didn't know then. This man was skilled in hiding his ravenous and malicious nature.

A few months after courtship, Kunle gave me a grand proposal party. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I thought I was meeting up with my best friend, and I walked into an empty restaurant with candles and roses. Everything is out of a romantic movie. He had invited my family and close friends to the event. He got on one knee and asked me with tear-glistening eyes," do me a favor and be my wife." I would have been on crack if I had rejected his proposal. Like everyone said," He was the one meant for me." No one speaks about the honeymoon stage of marriage- how things go so smoothly, waking up in the morning next to the love of your life and thanking God for their existence, the exquisite date nights or brunches, the beautiful lovemaking, the cute act of gifting each other. It was beautiful. All of it. Quite naïve of me to believe that it would remain the same.

A few years into the marriage, I wonder where the charming Kunle had gone to and why had he replaced himself with this monstrosity of evil I sleep and wake up next to? Kunle's anger was the worst thing about him. I wish I knew when I had started courting him. It was uncanny how his anger never came to show, but later on, he proved himself. It was like saying "I do" was the activation to kickstart his madness. The first year of marriage was sweet. It was beautiful. He would shower me with kisses, gifts, and lunch dates. He would love me.

Like my mother warned me," Give it a year."

How do mothers know it all? My mother never trusted him. She always thought he had a mask behind his "perfection." How I wish I knew before I gave him my all. Kunle began to show his wrath. He started by taking his anger out on the punching bag in the basement. I would hear grunts and yells while he was down there. I just thought," It's good to let out some steam" Weeks after, he ditched the bag and came for me. Why Kunle hit me, I never knew. I was so nice to him, so patient. I never nagged, I never said no to sex, and I cooked the right food with the perfect amount of salt. Why was I the punching bag? What did I do? I was the big fool who thought I could change a man. I would smile at the mirror while assessing the bruised eye he gave me. I would say," He would change, Lord. I know. I will pray for him" How I wish my mother was still alive. She could knock me out, as well as that horseshit idea in my head.

I stayed with him and mourned various miscarriages. One baby, two babies... soon, it got to five.

My five babies were killed by their scrupulous fathers. To others, they thought about my fertility," Why isn't she having babies? Is it a curse?" His crazy mother would castigate me, saying," I need a grandchild. If you have a problem, you should have fixed it before getting married to my son." I wanted to yell at her and say," Mama, if you knew the kind of monster you gave birth to, you would hide in a cave from embarrassment." No one knew about our problems. No one even suspected it because we're masters at pretending. Outside, we dance, we smile at each other, we're touchy, we joke, but indoors, the glasses clash to my skin, his fist collides with my stomach, and he drags me across the room like the garbage man would take out the trash. Now when anyone says," You and Kunle are meant for each other." I would suppress the urge to smack the person across the face for thinking such nonsense. But I will stare at them with dewy eyes and nod," Mmmhmm, he's the man for me."

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