SHACKLES

Ann grabbed the car keys on the table and ran out of the room and through the hallway. Obinna called after her but she didn’t stop. She was as swift as her rage. She hurled herself into the car and sped off. She was driving the car, yet her anger seemed to be driving the car. She was angry, she was bitter,she was desolate. Her strength was weary. Her patience was outworn.

She had endured for twelve years. Life had been Thorny for Ann. She was the first child. She was barely educated with only a primary school training. She spent most of her time in her father’s Farm in their remote village in umunede. they were migrants but she had never spoken of it with her father. He didn’t speak of it either. Her father died when she was nineteen. He died after a hallucination. Her mother said it was the evil spirits that his father worshipped that were responsible for his strange death. She kept rubbing protection potions on her children; Ann, chike obiora and Paula. She grieved her husband’s death for long. She prayed that her husband would reincarnate in the womb of one of her children. Ann felt her mother was being sentimental. She was married off by her father’s brother, uncle Emma to obinna, a rich trader who had a line of stalls at Rumuola in port- Harcourt. Ann didn’t like obinna. He seemed to quiet and had a harsh look on his face. But there was nothing her mother could do. It was Ann’s fate. It seemed poverty had orchestrated her life.

She moved in with obinna. They barely spoke. They couldn’t reason alike because the levels of their knowledge were different. He was nice to her, but only for the first few months, after which he became irritated with everything she did. She couldn’t use the gas properly. She spilled water on the kitchen carpet while doing the dishes, she was finding it difficult to learn how to drive the car and she couldn’t operate the washing machine. On several occasions, he’d beaten her to a pulp for no reason, especially when he got back home drunk. Her mother consoled her. she had to be strong. He was the man. She was the house wife. She had all she needed financially, so she kept mute. He was skeptical about every guy that greeted her or shook her hand. Most times, it ended in series of quarrels, obinna doing most of the talking and she listening because she had no choice. She didn’t blame him.

It took twelve years for her to conceive, to prove she was a woman. Her mother’s concoctions had finally paid off. She hated the smell of it but she drank it nonetheless. She was three months gone. Obinna was happy. At least for a short while. He came back hungry and famished one evening. He’d lost one of his major buyers and it was taking a mental toll on him. He expected his food ready and on the table. But Ann was weak from the series of vomiting and the painful leg cramps. He stormed into the room angrily and asked for his food. “I’m so tired and weak. Can you prepare something?” she said politely yet sounding pissed off. Obinna’s head tumbled and rumbled. He did the first thing that came to his mind. He slapped her. She winced in pain and grimaced at him. Obinna went ballistic with rage. He pounced on Ann. He beat her to a pulp but this time, he beat something out of her; the baby. She groaned in pain at the sight of the miscarriage. Obinna shrieked at what he’d done. He called the nearest hospital and she was admitted.

The tears were running down her cheeks like a gushing tap. She had nothing to show for her marriage of twelve years. Nothing to live for, no one to live for. She wanted to end it. She called upon death, and death answered; she was over speeding , to angry to concentrate or to notice the pothole on the road. She dived straight into it and the car did a summersault. As she tumbled in the car, she thought of her mother, she thought of Paula. And obiora. And chike. The car came to a hault after flipping three times. Pandemodium was on the road. Cars came to a hault. Ann was bleeding profusely. As she lay faced down, too weak to move,Her vision began to blur and death began to feast on her slowly until it had taken the last chunk of her soul.

Published by akudo okechukwu

I'm a content writer, copywriter creative writer and digital marketer. I help people and brands grow. I also sing pretty good (irony)

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