Tales of a year: Elizabeth Part 2

Elizabeth
sat on the plastic chair fanning herself, enjoying the cool shade of the mango
tree. She sighed in relief, grateful for the miracle that had happened and
hopeful for better days. After that night when Victor had beaten her into a
coma, her father had had him arrested and jailed until she regained
consciousness. As soon as she was well enough, he began the process of
divorcing her from her husband because she wasn’t brave enough to. After a lot
of convincing from her siblings she began to see reason with the move and even
started cooperating with the lawyer. Everything changed though when she found
out she was pregnant. She began to reconsider her actions, she didn’t want to
rob her child of the ideal family that she had enjoyed. She decided that she would
learn to tame her tongue and seek out business opportunities for her husband.
News of her
pregnancy reached the ears of Victor whose ego was suddenly inflated. His
manhood had been at stake; he had no job, was financially dependent on his
wife, and had beaten his wife into a coma to the disgrace of his family. He decided
that this was a second chance for him to prove himself not just to the village
but to himself. He consulted with his family members who were at first reluctant
to go and appeal to a woman whose father had thrown their son in jail, but
eventually got their cooperation. Next he borrowed money from his friend to buy
his in-laws gifts of goats, bags of rice, and kegs of palm oil.
Elizabeth’s
father was furious that Victor even bothered to show his face. “It will never
be well with you, you daft drunk! You dare to show your face?” he thundered. It
had taken the pleas of Elizabeth’s brothers to calm him down enough to at least
listen to what they had to say.
“Please my
father” his mother pleaded, “He made a foolish mistake, that was how his father
was. Please give him another chance. Our wife’s pregnancy is a sign that they’re
meant to be. Let us not change their destiny.”
Elizabeth then
came out and appealed to her father. “Please sir, he loves me and I love him
too. I know he has changed.” With a heavy heart, he finally agreed and let her
return to Victor and so far he had proved to be a truly
changed man.
He was home by six-thirty at the latest and ate whatever she served him, he had
even told her not to pound anymore now that she was in her third trimester. He had
also gotten a job as a clerk in the local government office and was constantly buying
her gifts. What else could she ask for?
A car pulled
up to her house and she watched in delight as her cousin stepped down from it. She
had not seen him since he travelled out of the country five years ago. “Ebenezer!
You are now fat o!” she commented as she hugged him. They talked for the next
hour catching up on old times and laughing lightheartedly. Victor rode into the
compound as Elizabeth rose to introduce her cousin.
“Welcome!” she
said warmly.
“Ehn ehn” he
said flatly
Ebenezer stared
hard at Victor and then decided to leave, he could sense that Victor didn’t welcome
his presence. “Sorry about that” she said embarrassed. Victor came out of the
house shortly after and rode off into town as she carried his tray of food into
the house from her kitchen hut. She set down the tray and wondered what his
reaction was all about. Instinct told her there was trouble and that she should
run but her heart reminded her of the latest changes. All was well.
Victor came
into the house drunk and angry. The woman made a fool of him, he changed and
she had made a fool of him bringing home some man with a car. “Welcome”
Elizabeth said quietly, having learnt from her previous experience.
“You brought
home a man with a car. I said it, I was suspicious that you got pregnant all of
a sudden. I should have known that you brought home a bastard child” he said
furiously
“That was my
cousin, I would never…”
“Liar!” he
screamed and slapped her
“Please…please”
she begged fearfully, there was hatred in this man’s eyes.

By morning
there was a mournful cry, not just for Elizabeth but for the baby boy who had
been killed by his own father. 

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